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  • #986780
    Mike@Homedesk
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
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    G’day all,

    I was hoping for some feedback from the good people here at Flyingsolo on a new business model I’m looking to implement.

    I have been running a solo IT business for about 8 years and am looking for some different and more cost effective ways to support my residential customers. Previously we have always been hourly rate onsite work, but remote support is becoming more and more prevalent. I was thinking something like:

    Unlimited remote support for $30 a month for 1 device plus $10 per extra device (PCs or Tablets).

    This would be a 12 month contract billed monthly or yearly via credit card.

    What do you all think? Is it something you would find useful?

    Appreciate any feedback, thank you.

    Warm regards,
    Mike
    Homedesk – Your helpdesk for home

    #1159589
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 2,566
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    Hi Mike,

    Firstly, welcome to Flying Solo! And congrats on 8 years flying solo, that’s an achievement that many of us would be glad to emulate.

    My feedback on your idea:
    1) Good idea.
    2) Personally I’d want all my devices to be covered by the basic fee, otherwise what’s the point of having a dude you can call for some devices but not others. If you’re my dude, then you’re my dude. Two rates might work, PC-only vs The Lot, but prob not each device. Especially when a family might easily have 6+ devices.
    3) Price. People can easily do the maths – does $360 per year make sense for your customers based on what they typically spend on your services? If people typically spend $180 per visit, once per year, then it might not make a lot of sense (for them).

    Now forget everything I just said. Because you need to ask your customers.

    Any IT tech could go out and start a business using this model starting today. The huge advantage you have over them is your past and existing customer base. You can do all the research in the world, but the only research that matters is contacting your customers and asking them to sign up for your service (Hi, I’m trialling a new service that will give you 24/7 support for $30/mth…)”.

    Since you have an existing relationship with them, they will likely be willing to be generous with their feedback. If they go for it, then great, you’re in business. But if they don’t, you can ask them why. They will give you their objections about price, value, devices, inclusions etc, until you can piece together an offer that they are responding to.

    Then you can sign up a swag of existing customers to the new plan. Even ones who said no to your first offer.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)

    Dave

    #1159590
    Mike@Homedesk
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
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    FS Forum Support, post: 184090 wrote:
    Hi Mike,

    Firstly, welcome to Flying Solo! And congrats on 8 years flying solo, that’s an achievement that many of us would be glad to emulate.

    My feedback on your idea:
    1) Good idea.
    2) Personally I’d want all my devices to be covered by the basic fee, otherwise what’s the point of having a dude you can call for some devices but not others. If you’re my dude, then you’re my dude. Two rates might work, PC-only vs The Lot, but prob not each device. Especially when a family might easily have 6+ devices.
    3) Price. People can easily do the maths – does $360 per year make sense for your customers based on what they typically spend on your services? If people typically spend $180 per visit, once per year, then it might not make a lot of sense (for them).

    Now forget everything I just said. Because you need to ask your customers.

    Any IT tech could go out and start a business using this model starting today. The huge advantage you have over them is your past and existing customer base. You can do all the research in the world, but the only research that matters is contacting your customers and asking them to sign up for your service (Hi, I’m trialling a new service that will give you 24/7 support for $30/mth…)”.

    Since you have an existing relationship with them, they will likely be willing to be generous with their feedback. If they go for it, then great, you’re in business. But if they don’t, you can ask them why. They will give you their objections about price, value, devices, inclusions etc, until you can piece together an offer that they are responding to.

    Then you can sign up a swag of existing customers to the new plan. Even ones who said no to your first offer.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)

    Dave

    Thanks for the welcome and the advice Dave. I’ve already put this to my customers and most of them are keen, but I am looking at driving up my customer base and was looking to see whether others outside my base thought this was good value.

    I had to debate between offering 1 price for all devices or the model I have put forward. The reason we did this was because many of my customer base only have 1 device. If we had to support all devices then the price would have to go up as of course it means more work for us. Offering the $10 per extra device seemed the only way that we could make it cost effective for us internally.

    I don’t think the residential market would bear $50 a month which is what it would have to cost to cover everything. Perhaps I’m wrong.

    Most of my clients actually spend more than $360 a year on support with our current onsite pricing however remote support costs us less so we can pass that saving onto our customers. This will save us a lot of overhead with travel times, vehicle maintenance etc

    Appreciate yours and anyone else’s time!

    #1159591
    Divert To Mobile
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,751
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    Hi Mike,

    You could try a different model.

    Unlimited devices, limited calls.
    Unlimited support could end up being a disaster.

    Steve

    #1159592
    Mark – CIT
    Member
    • Total posts: 4
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    Hi Mike,

    I agree with Steve, unlimited (with out some caveats) does sound a little dangerous!

    Perhaps look at the average spend and number of tickets per client per month and offer a few more tickets for a bit less?

    Say the average was 2 tickets and a $50 per month spend, you could offer 3 for $40 month? Counting on the less demanding users to pick up the slack.

    I am sure there would be a better formula than simply using the average but it’s a starting point.

    Cheers,

    Mark

    #1159593
    Hatching_It
    Member
    • Total posts: 414
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    Edit: Posted in the wrong thread…

    #1159594
    LucasArthur
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,171
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    Hatching_It, post: 184134 wrote:
    Mike I love your idea. Reminds me of the old “million dollar homepage”.

    I’ll do you a deal. Let me know when you sell your $99 add and I’ll help you tick over $5000 earned by buying your $100 ad.

    That’ll force me to have my store up and running and enough products in it to warrant the $100 expenditure!

    Will you be publishing any kind of traffic information to help entice potential customers?

    Good luck mate.

    Maclean

    Hi Maclean

    Sounds like you are replying to a different thread? or am i missing something mate? Maybe this thread? or have i had too many bourbons, already?

    Am i chuckling incorrectly?

    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1159595
    Hatching_It
    Member
    • Total posts: 414
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    SimplyReplica, post: 184137 wrote:
    Hi Maclean

    Sounds like you are replying to a different thread? or am i missing something mate? Maybe this thread? or have i had too many bourbons, already?

    Am i chuckling incorrectly?

    Jason

    Yyyeeaahhh.. I was reading three threads at once and was writing back to all three whilst trying to read another article.. Posted this reply then switched tabs and saw the right thread but then couldn’t find this thread again.. Got confused, thought maybe I imagined it all and went and sent a PM instead..

    Thanks for pulling me up..

    What I meant to write in this thread was about having some kind of fair use policy so you don’t get a few people hurting the support of others by calling you every time their laptop screen is blank (PLUG IT IN!!!!!)

    #1159596
    LucasArthur
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,171
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    Hatching_It, post: 184138 wrote:
    Yyyeeaahhh.. I was reading three threads at once and was writing back to all three whilst trying to read another article.. Posted this reply then switched tabs and saw the right thread but then couldn’t find this thread again.. Got confused, thought maybe I imagined it all and went and sent a PM instead..

    Thanks for pulling me up..

    What I meant to write in this thread was about having some kind of fair use policy so you don’t get a few people hurting the support of others by calling you every time their laptop screen is blank (PLUG IT IN!!!!!)

    Oh sweet,, thought i had a drinking problem… well, actually, your reply doesnt confirm or deny this thought although does highlight that maybe not quite yet… oops.. Hic…

    May i share? i think your multitasking is taking things to the next level for a guy! LOL..

    Cheers
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1159597
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
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    So what support do I get for my $30.00 a month. Where does the support start and finish

    #1159598
    I.T. Guaranteed
    Participant
    • Total posts: 54
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    Novel concept!

    I have for the past 19 years offered free telephone support 5 minutes per call 1 call per day, to all clients. It is a value added service.

    At one point I offered it to the general public. I still would if I was in that market, as its impossible to bill for 5 minutes.

    To me there could be a lot of potential for problems with your idea.

    What happens if you can’t fix it remotely?
    eg. “I paid you for this service. now you want to charge me more to collect / on site” – You could offer substantial discount for this.

    When you use words like unlimited, they really must mean that or legally you have a major problem. Haven’t some ISPs been raked over the coals by the ACCC about their use of the term?

    Restricting it to a single device would not be attractive to residential customers, but could be ok for businesses.

    Have you considered selling support tickets (bulk?) in advance at a discounted rate?

    #1159599
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
    Member
    • Total posts: 500
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    Hi Mike,

    I love the model – but immediately had warning flags going up… Consider that you are laying yourself open to the customer who gets home at 3am on Sat morning and can’t turn on the PC to google the wonderful bloke they just met at a party… This would be included in your plan as it’s currently phrased – but is probably not what you meant.

    Good luck!

    Kathy

    #1159600
    pirilla
    Member
    • Total posts: 1
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    Hi Mike,

    I know its a bit late, but i thought i would share my own opinion. I work for a multinational company in remote support.

    I am not sure what sort of clients or skills you have but i think the above approach only works in small business and above.

    I think you’re on the right track, most large companies provide a per device cost or a per application cost. But i think you have to define as to what you cover in that device cost. Being unlimited and 24/7 would be daunting.

    As an example, if i pay you $30 per month to look after a server that is critical to my small business and there is an issue with the OS that is causing my business application to fail and, as a result, I ask you to rebuild the server and install the application. To throw a spanner in the works its 9am on a Sunday and you’re out fishing. Do you really want to spend your Sunday rebuilding a server and installing an application you’re not familiar with for that $30?

    To prevent situations like the above happening I would be strictly stating what is covered in the monthly fee and that any additional work that falls outside the contract will be charged at an hourly rate.

    We actually sell our time to the customer. E.g. they buy 100 hours of our time in bulk at a specific rate (say $40) and they can use that at any time for anything. It covers you and the customer for additional work.

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