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In the ever changing technological era of the soon to be 21st century, electronic
advancements have amazed us all. Unfortunately, the educational gap for the common
man/woman as a computer end user has left many far behind. There are those who know
and those who don’t. This gap is the anchor of the computer industry. One question
comes to mind. “Why would I buy a computer, investing thousands of dollars, when I
don’t know the first thing about them?” If it were as easy as plugging it in and it guiding
you through every nook and cranny answering every question you had, then the computer
would basically sell itself. However, the shortcomings of this incredible technology
intimidates the average person. There has to be a liaison, an educator, a hand-holder,
someone that is there, patient and understanding, willing to teach and guide the most timid
of users. This is where my service comes in to play. A service that is there for the
computer novice, a strong, knowledgeable voice just a phone call away, soothing the
anxieties, relieving the pressures of ignorance.
A geographic approach for my business would be the most feasible. I’m concerned
with anyone that now owns, plans to own, or is reluctant to own because of their fear due
to lack of knowledge. As a test area, I would keep my business in the immediate vicinity.
The Battle Creek/Kalamazoo area would be my start up point. Although computer sales
have increased considerably due to the drastic drop in prices and at the same time the
increase in speed and abilities, I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew. There will
always be computer users because, like the television, society has welcomed the
computer chip into everyday life. In other words, expansion will be there.
My business is a service to the public. Mainly telephone contact to all that
contract with the service. For those extreme cases, home visits may be a necessity. The
main purpose is to guide the computer owner through any problems they may encounter.
At the present time, most computer companies offer assistance at a fee of $35 per
situation. That means every time you need help it’s $35. I ran into this when I first
purchased my computer and I was quite angry about it. I gave my business to this
company, not to mention almost three thousand dollars, and they have the gall to charge
me more every time I had a problem. If someone who has no idea how to use a computer
needs help, this could get quite costly.
My business would deal more on the novice level. From how to turn on your
computer to more advanced applications. I plan to gear my service toward the person
who has a simple problem, to the more learned computer user, and will call on my service
without hesitation. My goal would be to make the customer feel comfortable no matter
how insignificant the case. This is what would separate my business from the others.
I would be most likely accepted in the market in a penetration pricing strategy.
First, my overhead would be minimal so cost of my service would best serve the public at
a low start up price. Second, not many are willing to open their pocket books too wide
after they’ve already made a major purchase. However, since my service could be
considered a short term service with a high turnover, a month to month contract or a
choice of extensions to this contract for additional fees would go like this:
$25 for the first month up to 25 calls
$45 for two months up to 50 calls
$70 for three months up to 75 calls
$125 for six months unlimited calls
$200 for 1 year unlimited calls
all emergency home visits would be a $20 charge
An important note: These would be the promotional prices in the Introductory stage of
my business. If and when my client list expands, further changes and adaptations would
take effect. At this stage I’m more interested in building clientele.
When it comes to a service, the price/value relationship is less likely to come into
question. Therefore it will be my responsibility to convey to the potential customer the
purpose and obligations of my service. I feel that once a person has an interest to call and
question my service, the importance of communication is utmost to the sale. Making up a
procedure for calls received, as to type, would be in place before initial advertising.
The simplification of my service is that the channels of distribution is quite narrow.
The customer can pick up the phone and contact me at any time. I would utilize a
Selective strategy. The main area of exposure would be in the major computer sales retail
stores such as Best Buy , Staples, and other more technical stores. Developing a
relationship with management to these establishments, conveying that their computer sales
could increase considerably if their customers knew that there was a service after
purchase. Even possible supplemental deals purchased in a package with the computer for
my service would also be a selling point to their product. This would provide prestige for
this store’s selling pitch.
Working from my home would provide extreme low overhead on start-up. Adding
additional phone lines for convenience would be an expense. Later down the line as my
client list grows, adding more responsible, personable, and computer literate employees to
the payroll will be necessary.
The initial kickoff of my business would employ a pull strategy. I would try to get
a working history and reputation before I approached the large chain stores. This would
include using a beeper. Since I wouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket, I would start by
placing ads in the area newspaper and literary documents such as the Shopper, and other
free hand out type circulations. As I said before, my main goal would be to establish a
client list so I would post fliers, hand out business cards, and use word of mouth to my
advantage. I would concentrate on keeping expenses down so my own salesmanship and
personal contact would be my biggest assets. Once I had a reasonable client list and
history of satisfied clients, I could approach the major franchises with respectable
Selling my service to retail stores in conduction with their computer sales would be
a major goal of my business. If successful, I could then employ the push strategy, as my
service would be an attractive selling point to the computer novice.
The initial ad I would place would go something like this:
Does this machine scare you?
Does your computer go unused because you don’t know
how to use it?
Have you put off buying a computer because you don’t
know the first thing about it?
Would you feel better knowing that there is a business
that specializes in helping people like you?
SAV-YOR COMPUTER CONSULTANTS!
Our main objective is to guide you, the computer novice, on any and all problems
with your computer. From how to turn it on, how to understand your computer,
how to make your computer work for you, and even help you out with a computer
purchase. There is no problem too small! We understand that the computer
can be quite overwhelming at times and even the more experienced person can
run into problems. Our purpose is to be here for you to help whenever you need
us! We’re only a phone call away!
For more details please call: 1-800- 555-1234
I wouldn’t rely as much on the newspaper ads as I would on personal contact and
sales. Although the ad may sound ‘cheesy’, it is simple and to the point. The importance
would be in the initial phone contact. If the call was a Q & A about the business, this
would be a great opportunity for reeling in the customer. If the call was an established
client, only the most professional and expedient handling of the problem would be
acceptable. It will be crucial to make the customer feel comfortable and leave the
situation feeling satisfied.
With the explosive surge of computer products and technology saturating our way
of life, there must be a bridge to close the gap from the unknown to the producer. The
market for a service to educate and dissolve the barriers of computer fears is vast and
never-ending. This is a turning point in our lives. The computer is here to stay and will
eventually engulf our way of life in even the most routine of chores. This is the service I
will begin. Someday I’ll look back, just as Microsoft giant Bill Gates, and remember
sitting at my desk pumping life into a simple idea.
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