Need for Focussed Markets in Computer Service Businesses

You may be the owner of a computer service business and you may need better results from your marketing efforts. Many entrepreneurs think catering to the home user or the B2C (business to consumer) category is a thriving place to do business. They may start out as a one-person or two-person operation. But they soon realize the difficulty of making enough profit in the venture.

In your computer service outfit, you may be targeting all ‘small’ businesses, but you need to know that there can be different types of small businesses. In this article we look at 3 different definitions of the ‘small’ in small business and recommend types of small businesses that should be the best focus for your business.

Increase your knowledge about micro-small businesses and home-based businesses. In a home-based business, there are usually a couple of computers used by one individual. In a micro-small business, there are usually 5-10 people with corresponding number of computers. If you focus on this segment you are likely to have a hard time when trying to sell ongoing services agreements like AMC. Both types of businesses are still technically ‘small businesses’, but they may not the best focus for your marketing efforts.

Don’t target home-based and micro-small businesses. These businesses usually have home PC’s which are not that good candidates for implementing advanced client/server networking solutions. Also, they usually use software that has been pirated. This will give you problems when you develop complex networks and long-term technology plans. Most of these kinds of businesses are often unable or reluctant to pay you for high-end, sophisticated IT services. They also tend to believe that IT is not very important to their operations, so they would not need your IT services. They may be too small to afford a dedicated, real server and a client/server setup, making your professional solutions look like overkill.

Concentrate on outfits with 10 or more PCs. If you target those units with a minimum of 10 computer systems then you are likely to build strong businesses. With 10 PCs minimum, these businesses cannot run peer-to-peer networks. They cannot afford to wait for volunteers to respond to emergency needs. They understand the need for ongoing service-level agreements. They get serious quickly about the need to put in client server network solutions, sophisticated and reliable backup solutions, secure firewalls, and power protection. The decision makers in these units usually tend to understand the need for sophisticated integrated business solutions. They are also aware of the need to use IT in a strategic manner to grow and compete.

Small businesses with ten or more computers are ideal targets for your marketing efforts because they understand your expertise and their need for a professional computer service provider to take ownership of business and IT problems. They also need you to provide an on-going service package and you are not called upon only for emergencies in an ad hoc fashion.