York Computer Repair – A Success in the Making

  • Comments: 5
  • Written on: July 27th, 2009

york_pc_repair_paFrom time to time I do some consulting for computer repair companies outside Schrock’s local trade areas.

Typically these take the form of phone calls about trends or marketing ideas, but York Computer Repair is a whole different story.

Yesterday I received an unexpected thank you letter (yes the postal mail kind) from York Computer Repair’s Owner, Walter Oakhem. Here is what he wrote:

Thank you for all of the help you have given me with starting York Computer Repair.

I especially appreciate the information and advice you have provided, and the contacts you have shared with me.  Your assistance has been invaluable to me during this process.  I just wanted to say an extra thank you for your mentoring and kindness.

Again, thank you so much.  I greatly appreciate your generosity.

What Did I Do to Deserve Such Kind Words?

I have never really talked about Walt, his company, or what I have done to help him get things rolling in York, PA.  Even my employees don’t know the details of what we discussed.  In one of our calls Walt suggested I document our conversations because he felt other computer repair company owners might benefit from them.

I am going to preface this by stating that no consultant, no home study course, and no business model can bring you success unless you are willing to implement it.

From day one, Walt has had a flame of passion that I have seen in few others over the past few years. While this post will name off some of the suggestions I gave to Walt, by no means am I trying to take any portion of the credit for his work.  Anyone can talk, but only an entrepreneur can transform talk into results like Walt has in Pennsylvania.

The Meat & Potatoes of Three Phone Calls

Over the course of our three phone calls we covered topics raging from starting up to scaling to a retail location and everything in between.  Walt and I discussed:

  • The absolute NEED for a sales model (and how easy it is to make one)
  • How to target a small niche in your marketplace and expand outward from there
  • Yellow Pages advertising techniques that are proven to bring in hundreds of new customers each month
  • How to build an inventory of repair components for next to nothing
  • How to hire employees as inexpensively as possible in the first few months
  • How to value your time and get your customers to pay a reasonable price for it
  • Every reason you should NEVER try to be a low-cost leader
  • The need for a work flow management system and where you can get one specifically designed for computer repair shops
  • How you can create brands for your physical products and service products and why it is a VITAL step than is often skipped causing others to fail
  • Who the key low-cost hardware providers are and how to do business with them (if you think NewEgg is your best value, think again)
  • The need to continually remind your customers how wise they are to choose to do business with you

Walt paid me my normal $200 an hour rate over the course of three calls.  With the information he had, he was able to accelerate the growth of his new operation, and had the best month of his company’s history in June.

How Can Just Talking Help a PC Repair Business?

Walt first heard about me and Schrock Innovations from a podcast I did with PodNutz about starting a computer repair shop.  In that podcast I stressed that most PC repair technicians try to penetrate a market as a low cost leader.  That approach dooms them to failure.  I spoke about the need to charge a fair price for your service, not just the hardware you are selling.

Walt heard that podcast and called me for followup.  Because of our three phone conversations his PC repair shop is rapidly growing.  His Q4 marketing plan looks like a home run, and even if it under performs his larger population base in PA will make it a bigger success than the 162 new customers Schrock gets every month by following that same model.

I have made a lot of mistakes, learned form them, and modified my techniques to gain the best return on my efforts.  It is entirely true that another person can learn the same lessons I did the same way I learned them.

However, it is also true that if a person like me existed 10 years ago when I started Schrock Innovations we would have cut 5 years off our growth curve, had an easier time doing it, and would have earned tens of thousands of dollars more.

Does Your PC Repair Shop Need Some Fresh Insights?

In the coming weeks I will be blogging about the bullet points I covered with Walt.  Subscribe to my RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss any of the topics.  If you need more immediate or involved assistance give me a call at 402-212-5393 and let me know what challenge you are facing.  I might be able to give you the piece of advice you have been missing!

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