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Reaching Out Feelers

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  • Reaching Out Feelers

    So I'm looking at starting a new venture. I've got a pretty solid profit scheme worked out for a business, but I need to figure out what kind of customer base I may have.

    To save you guys from details as much as possible, and to save myself from speaking too much about an idea before it's protected... I just need simple answers to simple questions.

    For the right price, would you consider paying to learn how to (basically) operate and repair different versions of Windows?
    To be clear, would you consider paying to not have to pay someone else to fix your computer or to better understand how to keep yourself safe online (assuming you can't/don't know).

    I assume the vast majority of you guys probably already feel comfortable doing this yourself and not paying to learn. If so, do me a favor and consider the people around you. How many people do you know that would probably pay to learn what you and I know about computers in a general sense? How many people do you know that would pay to learn how to fix viruses/spyware themselves? Please keep children in mind when considering this. Would you pay X dollars for your child to take a virtual course on how to not infect your PC with viruses, etc?

    If the answer is no and you don't know anyone who would, then just put no.

    If the answer is yes... let me know what the "right price" is for you. Ballpark it. And tell me what you'd like to learn, if possible.

    Thanks guys!

    Games lubricate the body and the mind. - Benjamin Franklin
    Ever since the beginning, to keep the world spinning, it takes all kinds of kinds. -Miranda Lambert

    You're a 34, Mom. Thirty. Four.
    Forever Perplexed

  • #2
    Re: Reaching Out Feelers

    I have a cash and cookies side job doing computer repair and support. Teaching cyber street smarts is something I always try to do. Basically ways to avoid malware infections.


    • #3
      Re: Reaching Out Feelers

      If I was an older American who spent little time with computers in the past and felt intimidated by the idea of mice and keyboards, then I would probably feel at peace with a person teaching me how to use a computer or actively managing stuff.

      I never thought to call it street smarts, but I know a guy who use to run a business where he helped people manage their computers in a similar manner. His business did him well until he was pushed out by a chain store and a shift in tastes...

      Yes, there are people out there that would want to have another person manage their computer's software versions and security updates. It is mostly a psychological thing and to some extent a lack of willingness to learn.

      Take my words with a grain of salt, but I have found people to be unwilling to learn, willing but too frustrated to learn, or able and willing to learn. It is something where trying to teach them is up to you, but generally patience is needed. I am sure you will find a good method.

      Yermom, do you have a specific target audience in your area or are you looking at a more of a broad approach where you advertise to the masses? You don't need to answer this part if you choose, but I am curious if this is thanks to a higher percent of one population group over another.


      • #4
        Re: Reaching Out Feelers

        Your target audience might even be small businesses that do not have their own IT people. My fiancée works at a veterinarian ER that has just changed its office software and they are having a ton of gremlin-like issues: Printers turning off at 11:00 am daily, computers freezing, server crashes. They had a tech around for the install and beginning phases but that lady is gone now and the problems still aren't getting resolved.


        • #5
          Re: Reaching Out Feelers

          A former entrepreneur (myself) speaks:

          Consider your competition (which includes Google search engine).
          Consider the cost and difficulty of acquiring new customers
          Are you going into a business with low profit per sale which requires high volume? Then you face marketing time/costs to maintain flow of new customers.

          Are you targeting a particular demographic? The best market is the richest market (but hard to access unless already socially embedded or networked).

          I would not pay, nor do I know anyone that would pay -- but my circle is urban highly educated types -- cash strapped home owners.

          What do you bring to the market that will distinguish your offering from the competition?

          I assume you have already though of all these matters.


          • #6
            Re: Reaching Out Feelers

            This is strictly my opinion, but that's what you asked for so here goes.

            I think that most people don't care to learn. Those who are naturally curious about technology will teach themselves. And very few people seem to put much value on computer repair (and by extension, the teaching of computer repair). They will just "get their kid" or "computer nerd friend" to do it for free.

            It's not what you think your service is worth, it's what the market / people in general think it's worth. Not everything makes a good business model. In fact, very few things actually do.

            Source: business owner (some successful, some not) for 20+ years.
            "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw


            • #7
              Re: Reaching Out Feelers

              Originally posted by Randy_Shughart_ClwFL View Post
              It's not what you think your service is worth, it's what the market / people in general think it's worth.
              Very true. Only under EXCEPTIONAL circumstances can you inflate your value above market (competition) value. The value of training/information has been on a multi-decade slide. Former business publisher and high-tech training company exec/owner speaking.




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