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Dealer Discussion: What plans do you have for your business in 2020?

In our latest Dealer Discussion, Tech For Techs asks its retailer, reseller and service provider members whether they are planning to expand their offerings, become more specialised or introduce new service in 2020.

CAROLINE HOWELL – PUTERTUTOR COMPUTER SERVICES

“My aim for 2020 is that I want my business to shift from 70/30 residential/business, to a 50/50 split.”

KEVIN PRICE – CAMBRIDGE PC SUPPORT

“I want to expand on what I already do and get out of my comfort zone more. Maybe upselling and migrating to Exchange Cloud, local/cloud backups, spam filtering and AV. I need to look at doing managed services, but first need to work out what the real-world benefits are to the customer.”

MACAULEY STEPHENSON – STEPHENSONS IT SUPPORT SOLUTIONS

“I want to continue to grow as an MSP, offering more cloud-based solutions such as Office 365, disaster recovery, hosted VoIP and end point protection. I also want to build my client base more towards small businesses rather than residential users or walk-ins.”

RICHARD FORTH – PHASE 4 COMPUTERS

“What don’t we want to do in 2020?! We’ve got plans to expand our business offerings, so not just doing Office 365 and Remote Monitoring services, but also VoIP services too. As for residential customers, we want to expand further into other device repairs (tablets, phones, consoles etc). Currently we are undergoing a rebrand, so most of that will be implemented shortly, with a full relaunch in the new year.”

MICHAEL JAMES DEAN – COLLIEDOG COMPUTERS

“In 2020 I am looking forward to offering a few more services such as digital signage solutions, photo restoration, and videography/photography, whilst expanding on the core services that I already deliver. In particular the web/email hosting side of things and reselling line rental and broadband (ADSL/FTTC/ FTTP). As well as that, I’m starting to focus on marketing myself more effectively, which I think is often a side battle in this line of work.”

IAN HARDEN – IPC SOLUTIONS

“In 2020 I aim to go full time and finally take the ‘big step’. Currently, I work four days for an employer and one day for myself. This has been a good year since dropping a day at work and I have focused on developing new supplier links and selling more online, bulk sales have worked well. I intend to grow, mainly buying and selling and will also aim to learn networking and installations and expand into local business. I want to also do more cloud product sales and learn how to do this successfully. I am also considering a rebrand to represent what we are and what we do from the off. My Google presence has always been good, but I’d like to see whether using more paid for ad services will be beneficial.”

PHILIP GRIFFITHS – TECH FOR TECHS

“With 2020 just around the corner now is an ideal time to plan ahead for next year. With so many directions to go in at the moment for independent stores and traders, plan ahead and make sure you have everything you need from a reliable and helpful distributor and vendor to help you with these sales and promotions. If a vendor really wants your trade and help, they should supply you with plenty of marketing materials and an easy point of contact in case you have issues. Just remember when expanding your business not to solely focus on the new products and services, if you do you could find you start to suffer in areas you normally do well in.

Now is not only a good time to look at expanding, it’s also a good time at looking into dropping services and products that no longer fit with your plans. It’s better to focus on what you need to rather than having to spend precious time on redundant parts of your business. Even specialising your business to focus on one or two areas – rather than being the store that repairs and sells phones, desktops, laptops, tablets, windows and mac computers like most of your local competitors, you could specialise on one aspect. For example, only do Apple-based products and then recommend any Windows-based customers to a competitor who does not do Apple products, and in turn they will send Apple repairs your way.

In our own repair store (Chips Computers) we are focusing more and more on computers and products for creators. Creators are normally people who use their computers for video editing, Photoshop, and CAD work.

These computers are normally very high spec and you can’t just go to PC World or Tesco to pick one up. What’s even better is that in most cases, content creators have very similar machines to what gamers have, but without the bling.

Whatever you do in 2020 make sure you think it through. Research the services and products as well as local competition, and if local competition do offer the same products and services come up with a way you could improve on what they offer, from better warranty or even value.”

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