Jade Burke speaks to the owner of YourITstudio, Frank Seldevig, about how his store resembles a doctor’s consultancy, his competition with larger chains and why he thinks the PC isn’t being replaced by new technology...
Have PC sales changed over the years for you?
The sales of PCs have stayed constant during the last 20 years. Every now and again we hear it’s the end of the PC, and I say well where did you get your numbers from, because I’m selling as many PCs as I would have 20 years ago. If you measure the sales of laptops or iPhones as a percentage, then of course it is going down because the others are going up.
The others are new products, but they’re not replacing the PCs.
What is your opinion on Which’s? report stating PC stores are overcharging their customers?
From a professional point of view, the test was wrong. It applies to amateurs not to professionals, designed by people with no experience in the industry.
They (Which?) deleted a file and that file could be restored by Windows Repair – a simple fix. But no professional in this industry would ever use Windows Repair because it never works for anything.
I would be saying, ‘In the long run you have to consider buying a new hard disk, because files don’t just disappear’. But from most of what I read, what the independents did is more or less in line with what I would do. I’ve got 20 plus years in IT, and I’m offended by the fact that I wasn’t in the test because I would’ve come out top.
How important is advertising to you?
I have a good reputation – I believe that’s the only good advertising that works. That’s my strategy and it’s worked really well.
When did the company begin and what products and services do you offer?
About four years ago. I offer PC and laptop repairs and sales, accessories including cables, webcams, mice and keyboards. I also sell computer parts like motherboards, CPUs and graphics cards.
What support do you offer your customers?
I spend a lot of time with my customers. I’ve got a workbench right out in front of the shop and a couple of seats. So it’s a little bit like a doctor’s consultancy. People sit down, we talk it through and I show them what the parts are inside their computer. However, we don’t take people’s laptops apart in front of them. That would be like doing an operation on your cat while you’re looking.
What’s your best-selling service or product?
How do you compete with big chains?
It is a little bit like I’m a restaurant and Burger King is the competition. They’re lower priced and what really hurts is when people come in, get all the advice from me, and then they walk out and buy it somewhere else because it’s cheaper.
What do you offer gamers?
Well, I’m a gamer, which I think is quite important. I get a lot of young customers, and I think they’re surprised to see a 50-year-old talking about games and graphics cards. I’m also working with a local distributor, which means that they can deliver the same day. Because I’m a gaming sort of PC shop, I stock Assassin’s Creed figurines and Skyrim mice mats as well.
What advice would you give to a new business?
Make sure you get lots of advice and keep your prices up. Don’t feel like you have to go cheap.
Year established: 2009
Number of outlets: One
Number of staff: Two
Contact name and address: 9 Arena Parade, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, SG6 3BY
Telephone: 01462 684 552