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WHAT’S INSIDE

Computers, Networking, Websites, Advertising, Marketing & Sales ISSUE 004 | APR 2012

The Official Monthly Magazine of the Association of Computer Repair Business Owners

ACRBO Mag By Technicians, For Technicians

Useful Tips

OFFER CUSTOMERS A FREE DOWNLOAD P26

Question Time:

How do you clean a PC? P16

INTERVIEW

Steve Gibson The Illinois Computer Repair owner warns to stay away from debt

DEALS

MSP Advice

Exclusive Offers

Get out of Break/Fix

ACRBO gives you some great discounts that can’t be found anywhere else!

Derek from Cantey Technologies tells us how to move into MSPs


IN THIS ISSUE

APR 2012

Contents APRIL 2012 | ISSUE 004 | ACRBO MONTHLY | ONLINE

P3

Editors Letter & Top Picks

P4

ACRBO Inbox Dan answers your questions

P5

Gillware - Fixing Dead Drives

P6

Featured Member Profile Steve Gibson

Featured Articles

P8 ScreenConnect Advert P9

Join the ACRBO! Get a premium account today!

P10

ACRBO Deals By Daniel Hand

P11

7 Mobile Marketing Things for 2012

P12

Handle Dirty PCs | P16

Practical steps to move from break/fix By Derek Iannelli-Smith

P14

Computer Repair Business Lessons Learnt By Daniel Hand

P15

Learn Lessons from your Social Media Competition: Win a Windows 7 Book!

P16

How to handle a dirty PC By Paul Iommi

P18

The Industry

P19

Strategies For The Social Market

P20

Remote Support By Dan Hand

P22

ACRBO Marketplace The people and products that helped make this issue

P23

Doors Thoughts: Free & Open Source Software By Stephen McLoughlin

P24

Business Apps By Dennis Drew

P25

6 Ways to Improve Your Google Adwords

P26

Build Your Business

P27

SEO Companies: DIY or Hire?

P28

Have the Right Attitude

ACRBO Inbox | P4

SEO Companies | P27

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HELLO

Editors words

W

e are now on our 4th edition of the magazine and feedback has been outstanding. We appreciate all the support we have gotten since our first release. We have some great writers and others working on the mag that really put time into what they do and it’s much appreciated. Depending on how long you have business you will find with summer

Talk to us! Keep your valuable feedback coming. We try to reply to every email, we appreciate your input as it helps to make the ACRBO magazine possible. dan@acrbo.com www.Facebook.com/acrbo “Association of Computer Repair Business Owners”

EDITORS INTRO

approaching you might need to change up your marketing a bit in order to account for people going on vacation and everything else that happens when the weather changes. Might be time to sit back and look over your marketing and see what has worked or even what has worked last year around this time and see if it’s something you should get a start on now.

ACRBO Magazine Fredericksburg Virginia Advertising enquires: Send an email to dan@acrbo.com Contribute articles: If you would like to be a contributing author for the magazine then send an email to dan@acrbo.com and let us know what you would like to write about. Copyright 2012 ACRBO. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated or converted into machine-readable form or language without the written consent of the publisher. Articles express the opinions of the authors and are notnecessarily those of the publisher ACRBO Magazine Director: ACRBO dan@acrbo.com Editor: Jon May jon@thelaptopmedics.co.uk Contributors Various experts in their fields The instructions and advice in the magazine is for entertainment purposes only. The creators, producers, contributors and distributors of the ACRBO Mag disclaim any liability for loss or lack of results from following the advice expressed herein.

www.acrbo.com

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ACRBO INBOX

EMAILS

ACRBO Inbox

If you’ve got a question, just fire it over to dan@acrbo.com and we’ll answer them and include the top three e-mails in each issue.

Building Websites

Fees

or contract work out?

Should I charge a diganostic fee?

QUESTION:

QUESTION:

I have not been in business that long but I have realized that I need to either start learning how to do websites for businesses or something to take care of these customers i’ve come across.

Should I charge a diagnostic fee?

What do you suggest?

DAN, ACRBO

DAN, ACRBO:

Your time is important and you have every reason to charge a fee.

Great question and i’ve been there myself when starting out. I believe in being well rounded and being able to take care of any situation that arises with businesses in particular. Typically they will want computer work/networking done but if you are also the person that can provide web services then why not take on that task for them as well. We do websites ourselves but have also contracted thru a 3rd party to do them when we just don’t have time. We do not turn the client over to them but we are the middle man and everything comes thru us from start to finish. Most important thing is to make sure there is a solid contract in place along with step by step what needs to be done..

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I know some people do and others don’t but really am unsure what route to take.

I say yes.

If anything tell the customer that upon approval to do the work that you will even roll the diagnostic into the charge. Otherwise what happens if you do a diagnostic and then the person does not want it fixed. Well you just used up your time to do something that made you no money at all. Don’t go crazy with the fee but make it something. Courtesy of Flickr User: Quasic


Drives Fail. REVIEWS

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BIG INTERVIEW

FEATURE

Steve Gibson gives us the stor y of how he got into web deisgn from dreams of wanting to be a scientist

YOU’RE NEXT

I f yo u wo u l d l i ke yo u r b u si n e ss to be fe at u re d i n the ACRBO M ag azi n e th en j u st d ro p u s a l i n e at d an @ ac rbo.c o m and we’ l l g et back to yo u w i th w h at d etai l s are n eed e d .

It’s free advertising! Get in touch today!

“Avoid debt as much as possible. It colors every business choice you make” 6

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FEATURE

BIG INTERVIEW

Featured Member This month, Steve Gibson talks to us and gives us a look into his life ...

Q Q Q

Business Name? Webpage by Steve Where are you located? Saint Charles, Illinois

Education? Associated Degree in Business Management

Q

What did you want to be when you grew up? Scientist

Q Q Q

What was your worst job? Dishwasher What was your first job? Gas Station attendant

Who was your hero as a child? My dad who survived the Battle

of Bataan in WWII and died a motorcycle police officer when I was just 3 years old. He was 41.

Q

Q

What business book do you recommend most and why? “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap… And Others Don’t” by Jim Collins. While it’s a great read and easy to digest, it’s even better as an audio-book, read by the author who is a college professor and who makes great points that the best companies are not necessarily run by a high-profile CEO or the latest technology.

and growing our webhosting business. I may spend some time on expanding our remote support business as well. Getting out of the small ticket residential PC support and bench-top repair business.

What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business right now? Avoid debt as much as possible. Debt is dead weight that colors every business choice you make.

Q

How did you end up owning your business? Started it after retiring from my first career as an IS Manager at a large quasi-Governmental organization that delivers letter and packages. What is next for your business? Concentrating on website design

Q

And since debt adds nothing to the quality of the choice you make, it can only stifle your vision.

Q

Where do you want to be five years from now? Pretty much where I am now – maybe traveling more.

Q

What are you most likely doing when not working? Playing guitar, drinking craft brewed beer…

Q

Who would you rather spend time with, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett? Warren Buffett. Give me quality time with a good old Midwesterner with sensible ideas and decades of business and life experience any day!


WEBSITE

MARKETING


DISCOUNTS

DEALS

BARGAIN

APRIL 2012

ACRBO DEALS Remote Support

Tutorials

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COMPUTER REPAIR TECH WEBSITE BUILDER Some of you may of already heard but Steve Cherubino has disclosed that he is going to be coming out with the NEW Computer Repair Tech Website Builder. Years ago Steve developed an easy to build/edit website for computer businesses and was greeted with great success and praise from business owners. Realizing the market has changed Steve has done a total revamp to the Tech Website Builder and it should be released very soon‌ Top right is a picture of the old format that was used with great success. Really looking forward to this new release.

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Your Advert Here dan@acrbo.com


REMOTE

STARTUPS

7 Mobile Marketing Things to Watch in 2012 1. Mobile text messages

5. Mobile money transfers

According to Portio Research 6.9 trillion SMS were sent in 2010 while this is expected to rise to 8 trillion in 2011. The year 2012 will see consumers showing strong demand for SMS in addition to MMS and mobile instant messages (IM).

According to Gartner there will be 141.1 million m-payments with a total value of $86.1 billion in 2011. The year 2012 will see global giants like EBay, Google, PayPal, and Skype enhancing their mobile payment systems. In addition, developing countries where there is a low banking penetration will witness a bigger reliance on mobile payments.

2. Mobile smartphones According to IDC 302 million mobile handsets were shipped in 2010 which represents 21.8% of total mobile shipments. In 2012 the number of smartphones will sharply rise. In addition, smartphones that come to the market will get smarter with more functionality and ease of use. 3. Mobile advertising expenditure According to Gartner mobile advertising expenditure was $1.6 billion in 2010 and this number is expected to rise to $3.3 billion in 2011. The year 2012 will certainly see a sharp rise in mobile advertising, possibly double the 2011 figure. And as expected Asia will continue to dominate the global ad spending; a whopping 77% of mobile users, according to the International Telecommunication Union, are in this region. 4. Google moves Google earns in excess of a billion dollars in a year from mobile advertising. It is expected that in 2012 the company will position itself to generate more revenue from this source. Key adjustments are expected in the mobile search results, and localization of mobile searches. Apparently, locally targeted ads constitute 51% of total US ad spending.

6. Mobile handsets Mobile subscribers will grow from the current 5.3 billion. We expect the USA to come closer to 100% penetration rate as more people get connected especially in Africa where penetration averages 50%. 7. Facebook access According to Facebook official page, there are currently 350 million active users that access Facebook on their mobile phones. My prediction is that in the year 2012 this number is expected to rise. In addition, Facebook use is expected to spread to other parts of the developing countries that currently have low mobile penetration. Final thought... As the Google CEO, Eric Schmidt said in 2010 the future is mobile. And any marketer, business owner out there who hasn’t yet though of mobile marketing should reconsider his position. This mobile marketing wave is not about to stop.

www.acrbo.com

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BREAK/FIX

MSP

Managed Services Derek Iannelli-Smith from Cantey Technology tells us about moving away from the break fix to managed services and how to use managed services

L

ast month we started down a road in which I outlined 5-steps to moving away from break fix to managed services. This month we focus on the foundational premise; Using managed services yourself. It would probably help to know some history about me for a moment. I am hard

our growing client list! The latest release is making some big promises that are going to create more revenue streams to those who ‘get it’. Level Platforms is definitely making its mark in the MSP world. 2.

Virtual Administrator – I wet my feet in the managed service industry

MSP = Managed Service Provider

to work with (when it comes to vendors) in that I have some strict requirements. The features I draw attention to are based on time tested and taking full advantage of these options with these particular products. Not all experiences will be like mine, which is why I will delve deeper into the topic of;

Start with hosted services. How can you sell something you never tried? Reviews are not enough, reliable enough, or as valuable as live experience. People generally talk about things they are excited about and hype reveals itself down the road against tried and true tested solutions. This is the place I throw out a few heavy hitters with hosting packages; 1. Level Platforms – obviously I am a little partial in that I am in our ‘service center’ daily, managing 15+ sites and over 500 devices. I was a little skeptical of Level Platforms in the beginning, I was a little enamored with #2 below (more later). Level Platforms has two great features right off the top. Customer Service and reliable support. I have used and continue to use these resources to their fullest and we are never disappointed. LPI has been a learning curve for me with its ‘agentless’ technology, but 6-months later it hums proficiently along, creating more billable work for us. This month we partake in a ‘Dashboard Review’ in which our account manager and engineers review our service center and point out areas for ‘tweaking’ for better service to

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with a referral. This referral turned into another heavy hitter in the hosted Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) realm that I am still convinced gets it right with a pivotal paradigm shift from break fix to managed services. VA is a learn-n-earn business model, that when tapped into, can vault a previous break fix business into a residual earning machine, fielding calls from the big boys to ‘host your own.’ I was with VA for 18-months at my previous job and I grew to love Kaseya and Robin Robbins, both educational resource pools provided access to by VA. Also another heavy hitter when it comes to customer service and reliable support. I remember the patience of network depot engineers who meticulously answered emails and followed up quickly with alerts and scripts so that I could be successful with my growing client list. VA makes it affordable to get in the game. 3. LabTech - I was introduced to LabTech through listening to a Robin Robins seminar in which it was an interview with the head dudes at CharTec. I was so fired up with the product offering, that I spent considerable time reviewing and even strongly considering moving to this offering. I was weeks away from signing a contract to incorporate into our recent PSA changeover before I left my previous employment (PSA part of topic of the next article – wink). LabTech is in the news pretty regularly as well, which keeps me thinking this is a company to watch.

Many companies offer trials for 30 days, and this would be your best way to test them, especially their support. Check out the list I linked above (http://www. mspmentor.net/question/what-is-thebest-managed-services-software-for-mybusiness/) Support is going to be the key especially as you are learning and later as you support your clients. Using a hosted service also allows you to learn from the hosted companies as they want you to succeed, and later you can grow into being a service center yourself. It takes time and you can make money in the process. I did not mention all of the other companies, maybe even one you are succeeding with, the point though is, take it for a test drive, what have you got to loose. However when you do select one, think through a few things; • Is this a company that delivers what it promised? •

Better than they promised?

• Is this support a model you can see being confident and sharing with your clients? •

Are they investing in your success?

• Are they updating their product offerings and assisting you to become more competitive? • Do they at their core, provide service that is vulnerable, and embrace uncommon levels of humility, selflessness and transparency for the good of a client? • Can you afford it, invest in it, your people and make a profit? Next month, the topic of using a PSA (Professional Service Automation) platform. Good luck to you and let me know if there is anything I can do to serve you.


MAPS

LOCATOR

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List your business today with all your details: • Photos and videos of your business • Contact information (name, address, phone number, email address, office hours and social network profiles including Facebook and Twitter) • Description of your business • Special promotions and coupons to offer your customers • Feel free to search your location to find exactly who you are looking for. • Computer Repair Locator is owned and maintained by the Association of Computer Repair Business Owners.

Get your business listed today at: www.computerrepairlocator.com www.acrbo.com

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STARTER KIT

ADVERT


SOCIAL

MARKETING

Social Media Lessons Most business are failing to respond on social channels and this can damage future brand loyalty and revenue A report from A.T. Kearney found that more than 90 percent of businesses using social media marketing do not actively respond to communicate with their customers, despite evidence that active engagement helps businesses improve sales. While brands are reaching more and more consumers via their Facebook pages, companies are not realizing the full potential of engaging and interacting with

these brand fans. In December 2011, consulting firm A.T. Kearney analyzed the conversations happening on Facebook between 50 of the world’s top brands and their fans, comparing their interactions to those in December 2010. The study found that in 2011, 94% of the 50 top brands’ Facebook pages directed users to a one-way communication page, such as a tab or a closed Facebook wall that

didn’t allow consumers to initiate a conversation. This was up from 91% of the top 50 brands’ pages in 2010. Additionally, 56% of those brands did not respond to a single customer comment on their Facebook page in 2011; the same percentage of nonresponses as in 2010. Time to look at your business model and see exactly what you are doing with social marketing

Competition Win a Brand New Troubleshooting Windows 7 Inside Out book! The ultimate, in-depth troubleshooting reference. We will randomly choose a winner and e-mail the winner. Just send an email to: dan@acrbo.com and in the Subject line put: Win Book Last month’s winner of the branded D7 copy is: Christi Leonardis of CleoTek www.acrbo.com

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DIRTY PCs

FEATURE

How to Handle A Dirty PC http://www.picomputing.com

piommi@picomputing.com

Paul Iommi explains how to handle a dirty computer and the safety implications this might have on you and the customer laptop. I use Windex and a paper towel, but other technician even have formulated their own special solution. When studying my competition, I notice that they will return the computer exactly how it came in. I assume they are afraid to get their hands dirty. This makes it advantageous for my business for many reasons. One reason is because most customers will take notice that you cleaned the machine. This show that you care about your work, and about giving a quality service.

Every computer repair technician has had a customer bring in a computer that was just filled with dust and debris. Often, I think to myself that I have too much pride to bring anything that dirty into a place of business. Growing up around technology, I always keep my electronics in the best possibly condition - and it never ceases to amaze me the state of some of the electronics that come into my shop. This creates a dilemma, as we are here to help and assist customers, not to pass judgement. It is also hard to blame the customers, as nothing they will find in their computer documentation (if they were provided any) suggests that they should ever clean in out. Often times, just popping the side of the case off will void the warranty. Heat is the killer of all electronic

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components. Often computers will be running much hotter then they should because of a buildup of dust, pet hair, and cigarette residue. It will accumulate over time, and eventually find its way into the fan and heatsink unit, making their job of cooling the system impossible. Of the hundred of hard drive replacements I do each year, I find that about eighty-five percent of them are in computers that badly need a cleaning. This is no coincidence. Every desktop and laptop that comes into my shop will get blown out with an air compressor before the repair is even started. If you do not have a compressor you can also use cans of air. I have even heard of some technicians using leaf blowers. After the computer is worked on, I will clean off the surfaces, and screen when working on a

They will be more likely to recommend you to other people and word of mouth is going to be the strongest form of advertising for most businesses. The biggest reason to do this though is because the computer will run better, and will last longer. The last thing you want is a customer coming back in a week after you removed viruses because there power supply has failed. You may know that it is unrelated to your previous repair, but the customer may not see it that way. In some cases, if the computer is extremely dirty, you can charge a small fee for the cleaning service. Make sure to keep a positive explanation on why keeping the machine clean is important to the health of the computer. Some customers will even drop by for the “cleaning service� a couple months later. Cleaning out computers that come into your shop has too many positive outcomes for your business - don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.


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ADVERTISING



 

WEBSITES

If you are in the Information Technology industry then below is a list of must visit locations

 Site: www.TechNibble.com

Who Is Technibble For? Technibble is a free resource for Computer Technicians ComputerTechnicians Business owners. Technibble is and for Computer (or soon to be techs) who are looking to get into the IT industry, start their own computer business Technicians or improve their Technibble helps Computer withexisting one. We frequently write about ways for you ato get informational and how-to articles published clients, deal with problem clients and introduce you to few some great computer repair community tools and of software. times a week and has a strong

Site: www.TheForceField.net

What is The Force Field?

The Force Field is the name of a podcast for IT Service Professionals, IT consultants, VARs, computer shops and anyone else in the technology field, particularly those who offer products and services to end users.

Computer Technicians to help one another. About Technibble

Technibble started in 2006. During this time the Technibbleitself helps you by covering topics such as: founder (Bryce Whitty) was doing a lot of web development work for clients. There were a handful of sites available that talked about the business side of web - How to start a Computer Business development such as how to get clients or how to deal - Advertising, how to This get clients andakeep with troublesome ones. helped him greatthem deal in the web development but eventually gave away - Business and legalworld issues doing web development for clients andwork focused solely on - Steamline your computer repair the computer repairs. - Technician related product reviews and However, he noticed there wasn’t anything out there to discounts help Computer Technicians with their business in the - Newway opportunities look out for From this, same there was fortoweb developers. - Stories from Technibble was "the born.trenches" from your fellow Computer Techs Over the years, Technibble has grown into a vibrant community of Computer Technicians sharing their knowledge with each other. Technibble also has a large database of Computer Repair tools and adds a new one to its Be sure toevery checkweek. out the Archives, Computer Repair database Tools section and the Computer Technician forum. .

   

The half hour show is produced by Savoia Media and hosted by Rick Savoia, an IT Service Professional who is also a veteran in the broadcast industry.

Your Ad Here Last issue had over Your Ad here 2,500 views!

 

Contact

dan@acrbo.com

Let Us Know > Want to see your ad here? Drop us an email.

 

Be sure to check out the Archives, Computer Repair Tools section and the Computer Technician forum. www.TechNibble.com

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dan@acrbo.com


PROMO

MARKETING

Social Market Strategy Strategies for Social Marketing - Is Social Media just a fad or a real life game changer?

Q

Is Social Marketing and Social Media just a passing fad or a here to stay real life game changer? A: While it is amazing to me that in spite of all the proof of the power of Social Marketing we have now, there are still those asking this question, I do understand it. The first time of heard about Twitter and got my account, I did wonder “who cares what I had for lunch?” Then I began to here rumblings from trusted colleagues that there Twitter List was becoming more responsive than their email list. That got my attention, and leads to the first of three powerful reasons Social Marketing is a game changer on the Internet. 1. The first reason is that each one of your SM sights is a list just as powerful and often times more powerful than an email list. I want you to really think about and get the power of what you about to read: Imagine if you could go in and invite everyone on someone else’s list, let’s say a leader in your niche or even a competitor, and you could actually go in and invite their list to join your list. That’s exactly what you can do with the list building capabilities of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Are you getting excited yet? 2. The second reason is that anyone, with the current tools and

a little time and elbow grease, can create a massive online presence. It no longer matters if you have an advertising budget in the millions or in your change in your desk drawer. Either way you can build a huge online presence. Here’s a business visibility principle that works online and offline: When you are seen all over the place by the people in your niche, making sense and being helpful, you are seen as the go-to expert. When this happens prospects are much more likely to do business with you.

3. And the third reason is you can greatly extend your reach with SM tools. You can reach more people in your niche who want to learn from and buy from you. You can also reach the big names in your niche and begin to develop relationships with them. You can reach out and connect with like minded people all over the world, find out what they want to know, and then provide your answers to their biggest questions. Properly planned SM can benefit your business more than you might know.

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REMOTE

BUSINESS

Remote Support Dan Hand explains how to perform remote support calls and gives a sample customer as a guide for best practice Now that we have covered in previous issues the decision to do remote support and you have had a chance to look at different remote support products it’s time to start doing work.

the phone. With everything in place here is a sample of an actual call from a customer.

done we will give you a ring and go over everything that was done. Caller: Ok, let’s do it.

First, you are going to have to setup a page or something on your website in order for customers to actually go to and find out a little about your remote support program and how to connect to you. Here is an example of one such page:

You also want to have a “terms and conditions” statement on your site. Now you can have a fill in form that they utilize and it gets sent to you or you can actually put the terms right on the same page that they have to click in order to be able to connect to you. When you talk to them verify that they have read the terms and conditions prior to starting work for them. Depending on what product you choose to you for your remote support you will need all your tools i.e. spyware removal etc in a centralized location in order to have easy access to them. Have your system in place to accept payment either through your website i.e. paypal or if you can take credit card payment over

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Caller: This is Jan and I have used your company before. My computer seems to be running a bit slow and I am getting some pop-ups here and there. Tech: Jan, sorry to hear that you are having problems. We would be glad to either come to you or you can bring it into the shop. But, we also have a new method we utilize where we connect to your computer over a secure connection and we can resolve the issue for you that way. Caller: Doing it remotely sounds good is it safe? Tech: Yes it’s a secure remote connection and you can sit there and watch what is done or we can get connected and when we are

Tech: Great I’ll need you to open a browser on your computer, either I.E. or Mozilla whatever you use and go to this website (this is where you can give your link to your page for remote support) Caller: Alright I am on that page. Tech: You will see our Terms and Conditions that you can look over and then when you are ready click on “connect”. Once you click on “connect” it will install an agent on your computer in order for me to connect to you. (this will vary according to the remote software that you are utilizing) Caller: Ok, it says I am connected Tech: Alright you should see the mouse moving around the screen, if so that is me.


BUSINESS

Caller: I see it moving Tech: Great we are connected and now I can check out the computer and find out what is going on. You can either watch or I can give you a ring back as soon as I am done and go over the details then. Caller: Sure, just call me back. Now that you are connected you can start working on the computer pretty much like if it was in your physical location. Run your spyware/malware programs

Tech: Hi, just calling you back to let you know we are done Caller: Great, what was wrong with it? Tech: Well we removed ?? and had to ??, etc..Give the customer as many details as you can. Caller: Sounds good Tech: Alright if you’d like you can either pay thru paypal on our website or I can take a credit card and process it.

REMOTE

a remote repair or do the on-site or bring it to us route. It really all depends on the problem the customer is experiencing. Also, reflecting back to previous articles I personally like to do our initial customer experience in person vice doing it remotely. If it’s a completely new customer then we would cover the rates for the service and then it is your decision if you have them pay at least an hour up-front or charge them after the fact. I will tell you in our business model we only bill afterwards and never have an issue with receiving payment. Some key points when talking to customers about doing remote support. Remember most customers are not aware of the capabilities of remote support and might be

or whatever other methods you have in place and do a thorough check of the computer. Hopefully your remote program allows you to reboot the computer also. Typically I recommend rebooting during or after you are done in order to make sure everything is working correctly.

Caller: credit card is fine.

Once you have completed everything that the customer wanted then you can call the customer back and go over the things that you did (good idea to make notes while doing it)

Remember this was a previous customer that called and that is why it was handled that way. If the customer had been new then it would be determined if we do

Tech: Ok. (run the card) Tech: Ok it’s taken care of and if you give me your email address I’ll be sure to mail you a receipt with a detailed description of what was done. Caller: that would be great.

apprehensive about it at first. But, if explained correctly then usually they think the overall experience is great and could not be happier. Remote computer repair is convenient Remote computer repair is safe Remote computer repair is affordable (typically cheaper than going onsite) Remote computer support is typically available 24/7

www.acrbo.com

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MARKETPLACE

ACRBO

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Contact:

Veteran Web Hosting Contact dan@cmonova.com

ContactUs Hosting – Domain Names – Yearly Packages (ACRBO Discount)

dan@cmonova.com

A great gift for that tech you know. Or even better take them on site with you and amaze your customers. Visit www.PcDice.com

Visit www.VeteranWebHosting.net

Your Ad   Here 

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Pretty spacious, huh?  Contact

dan@acrbo.com

Let Us Know > Want to see your ad here? Drop us an email.

Linux For The Rest Of Us - Do you want to stay ahead of the computer curve so that you don't feel left in the dust? - Do you want to expand your knowledge so that YOU are that technician who people go to for advice? - Do you want to learn an operating system so powerful and fun you'll wonder how you lived without it?

  

“ 22

dan@acrbo.com

 Visit www.LinuxForTheRestOfUs.com

Quotable: I have an almost religious zeal - not for technology per se, but for

the Internet which is for me, the nervous system of mother Earth, which I see as a living creature, linking up. ~Dan Millman

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D2D GEEK

FREE

Doors Thoughts Stephen McLaughlin (AKA Door to Door Geek) tells us how to use Freeware and Open Source software bootable cd or that bootable thumbdrive that it took 20+ minutes to find the tool, create the media and test that it in fact can do what it says it does, I just have to connect the drive and run a few Linux commands, like chntpw, that is a installable program on Ubuntu that stands for CHange NT PassWord.

I wanted to share with everybody a quick tip I learned but it is a rat hole into a whole new tool that you can use, this is not a complete tool to cover everything you could need to do but with a little bit of work you can make a very good toolbox that is persistent, un-infectable , free and Free. If you think I just made a typo I didn’t, free means free of cost and Free means free to do with it what you want. They are two completely different things, for more info check out Wikipedia for “free and open source software” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Free_and_open_source_ software It seems like I have tried nearly every boot tool

ever made to do task, from blanking Windows passwords to emergency data recovery and here is what I learned. Some of you know where I am going with this…. Virtually every useful tool I used is a modified Linux cd, everything from Kaspersky Rescue cd to Trinity Rescue Kit. So with that said I am going to give a real example. Blanking Windows password, everybody at some time has needed to reset or blank a password for a local user on a Windows computer, we all have a tool to do this but I will say I can simply connect the hard drive to my normal day to day internet browsing laptop and I can perform this exact task. No need to dig for a

Now I am not saying one way is better than another way, in fact I am saying the exact opposite, virtually every single bootable tool that blanks Windows password uses chntpw, they just call it something else or have a simple gui that runs that command when a button is clicked. If anyone wants details on how nearly any Linux desktop can perform this task please do not hesitate to contact me at DoorToDoorGeek@gmail. com -Thanks Stephen McLaughlin DoorToDoorGeek.com LinuxBasix.com Podnutz.com/ LinuxForTheRestOfUs Podnutz.com/ AndroidAppAddicts Droid-Nation.com www.acrbo.com

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BUSINESS APPS

PHONES

Business Apps Put simply, an app makes things easier; they make accessing information quicker and more convenient for the user

Now available for Android and iPhones The app market caters for everyone, apps can help customers find you, find out more about your business and interact with you. Businesses are now putting faith

in apps to generate revenue, raise brand awareness and increase user engagement. I compare it to the internet came about and people were wondering “Do I really

need a website?” The same can be asked of apps, and to me the answer is yes. If it’s affordable and doable why not implement it into your business.

$50 for the Android app, $125 for the iPhone version, or $150 for both (Prices reflect ACRBO membership discount)

Contact Dennis Drew dennisdrew@gmail.com for more information 24

www.acrbo.com


ADWORDS

BUSINESS

Improve Google Adwords Corey Fruitman tells us how to improve our Google Adword campaigns and how to get more bang for your buck Visit www.InstantHousecall.com Google’s rules on Adwords are opaque. The mystery behind the Adwords algorithms can make them a frustrating and expensive venture – especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re going to advertise with Adwords, here are some tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. 1) Focus on Quality Ads Nothing determines how much you pay per click and how often your ad shows more than your Quality Score. There is a lot of speculation about what goes into Quality Score. Most of it can be distilled into how well you ad attracts clicks (normalized for ad position) and how relevant your landing page is. Google employs real people, “Ad Quality Raters”, who look at your ads and pages. Make sure your landing page and ad are top notch and relevant to what Googlers are searching for. Consider having different landing pages for different ad groups. 2) Monitor your Quality Score Google gives you an easy way to check your quality score. In the Adwords control panel: • Click the Keywords tab in an Ad Group or Campaign • Just above your clickthrough chart, click the “Columns” drop-down, then “Customize”. • Click Attributes, Quality Score, Add

Your quality score will fluctuate with time, hopefully rising as you tweak your campaigns. You’re looking for a click-through rate of 1% or more.

have a very substantial presence beyond Google Adwords, I always recommend that you build your business locally before trying to go national.

If you have a new ad group or campaign, it may take several months for your quality score to be established. The higher your quality score, the lower your cost-per-click and the more often your ad will be shown in higher positions.

5) Don’t overlap or duplicate Adwords in different ad groups or campaigns

3) Build a History There’s no other way to do this except persistence and patience. Google monitors your advertising savvy at the account level as well as the campaign and ad group level. The longer your history of success, the better you’ll do. If you’re less successful, your past failures will remain a drag and the more you’ll have to pay to be seen in those coveted top spots. 4) Geo-target searches I’ve seen a lot of remote support providers blow their marketing budgets on national and international clicks that never returned a dime. Adwords lets you geographically target your users, and most IT Specialists will want to do just that. Advertising to someone in another state or country will probably waste your budget, even if you provide fantastic remote support. Unless you

I speak from personal experience on this one. I had one ad group for “remote support” and another for “remote support software”. After much troubleshooting, I found out that I was competing with myself, bidding my own words against each other. Eventually, I paused the “remote support” campaign – and surprisingly that compounded the problem. The paused ad group was being triggered first, and the ads weren’t shown for the second. One would think that Google in its infinite sophistication would be able to handle these scenarios a little more gracefully and intuitively. 6) Install Analytics You’ll be hard-pressed to find something better than Google Analytics for measuring the success of your campaigns. You’ll want to monitor your bounce rate closely – a high bounce rate on specific keywords will tell you which of your ads and pages are performing poorly and where you might be able to deploy those marketing funds more effectively. www.acrbo.com

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STRATEGY

INFO

Build Your Business Improve your business and realise that information is a product that you can package and offer as a download, or sell product such as a brochure or handout is something people can take away with them, when you meet them at networking events, trade shows or in line at the grocery store. Because it has useful information, they will want to keep it and look at it again.

Whether it’s a downloadable report available from your website, a book sold in the bookstore or a brochure that you hand out at a trade show, information product is just that a product that contains information. A well-written information product is valuable to your potential customers because it offers them insight, tips, solutions or awareness into the issues that most concern them. A written information product is valuable to you because it can help you to build your business. Here’s how: 1. You can create a targeted list of names and email addresses. By offering a written information product available at your website, such

26

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as a free e-course or special report, you’re giving your visitors something valuable in return for their name and email address. When your information product is created especially to address the needs of your target market, you know that the people who request it will be interested in what you’re doing. 2. You’re the expert. A written information product demonstrates your expertise in the topic that you specialize in. It will make you more attractive and credible to prospective clients and customers as well as to referral sources and the media. 3. You stay on their minds. A written information

4. Your visitors have an attractive variety of options. For customers or clients that are unable or unwilling to pay for your top-level consulting or in-person services, written information products offer a cost-effective option for you and a valuable and satisfying option for your clients. 5. You’re open 24/7. Your prospective clients and customers can take action and get a response from you 24-hours a day. A message or series of messages delivered automatically from your website can provide a handsoff way for you to provide a sample of your services, sales information or answers to frequently asked questions. And that’s not all! Consider the added value to your customers and clients (and the added revenue for you) of adding e-books, tutorial packages, learning guides or other products. The possibilities are endless!


REMOTE

STRATEGY

Hire an SEO Company SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a confusing world - Do It Yourself or Hire an SEO Company?

A website’s visibility on the internet highly depends on how it ranks in search engine pages brought about by search results. What is SEO? SEO means “Search Engine Optimization” or “Search Engine Optimizer”. SEO is a method that makes a web page more invisible in search results. This works by ranking the web page and making it appear more frequently on top of the list. The higher the web page appears in the search results, the more visitors will visit that page. Considering this, SEO can be construed as an internet marketing strategy. It makes research on the psychology of what visitors look for, the keywords used and the like. SEO can also be understood to be an industry. When taken into this context, it is a group of consultants,

companies or individuals that take on the responsibility of doing the aforementioned process in behalf of the web page owner, i.e., their client. These consultants use all internet marketing strategies such as management systems, HTML, web analysis, videos, and all other elements that can increase exposure of the client’s website. The Industry of SEO Most will agree that hiring a company or person that will take care of SEO can save a lot of time and every. However careful consideration must be made into the advantages and disadvantages of this course of action. Not all web pages will need SEO and sometimes, especially when not done properly, the use of SEO can make or break the web page’s reputation. Considering all these, deciding whether to hire an SEO company or go with the DIY SEO approach, will often come down to the following questions. Factors to Consider 1. There is no number 1 ranking guarantee. No matter how good your SEO is, there is no guarantee that your web page will receive the

topmost spot in search results. It is important to note that Google does not acknowledge any priority submissions. Neither does it have any special relationship with SEO companies. Submitting a site to Google is made only through the “Submit Your Content” option or through a site map. 2. There should be full disclosure of content. Do remember that Google can remove your site from its index should it contain the socalled “throwaway domains”. 3. A good and reliable SEO company will clearly and specifically explain each process. As a web owner, you have the right to know how they can help you. 4. There is no such thing as a “free for all” or popularity links. These schemes do not, in any way, affect search engine results. 5. The money-making process. “Better ranking” payments are nonexistent. Search engines, however, make use of “Pay Per Click” or “Pay For Inclusion” options. There are also advertising sections that are well-labeled in order to distinguish it from the search results. www.acrbo.com

27


STRATEGY

SUCCESS

The Right Attitude Do You Want To Be Successful ? The Right Attitude is All You Need! A famous quote says “Your attitude today determines your success tomorrow”. The most valuable asset you can possess is a positive attitude towards your life. Your attitude determines how much success you can achieve in all aspects of your life. Your attitude is also one of the first things people notice about you, and impacts on all the business and personal relationships you will have. Positive attitude is not a product of heredity; but with proper training, anyone can acquire this important trait. If your attitude is not positive, then you can use some tools to do an “attitude tune-up”. 1. You must understand the power of attitude Your attitude is the most powerful tool for positive action that can help you become successful, so you will need to understand this before you can work on the following steps towards adjusting your attitude for the better. Your attitude impacts on everything you do, the way you think and your motivational levels. In order to turn your attitude around and get into action towards your goals, you need to be able to consistently fight any negative or pessimistic thoughts that you may get. You need surround yourself with positive things and people, and you need to keep on your ultimate goal of achieving the success and wealth you want. 2. You must make a choice to be in command of your mind and attitude Taking full responsibility for what goes on in your mind by monitoring your thoughts is the

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first step towards being in control of your attitude. The power of choice is very influential in our lives. In order for you to be successful and wealthy, you must first choose to be successful. While you are working your way towards your goals, you will encounter some hurdles, you may experience some failure; but is very important that you control how you respond to whatever that happens, and keep your attitude positive, while working towards your goals. So, what will be your choice? A positive or a negative attitude? It may be easy to make this choice, but what tends to be a challenge is to actually stick with this choice no-matter what setbacks you face. “Program” your attitude by training yourself to be always positive, maintain a positive inner dialogue, and keep your focus on your long term goals. Choosing to have the right attitude will help you become successful in all areas in all areas of your life. 3. Identify and stop the negative attitude that holds you back Assess your present day attitude and identify aspects of which may be holding you back from becoming successful. What are the underlying causes of your negative attitude? What attitude do you need to propel yourself towards success and wealth? Do an attitude assessment and work an all the attitude that is keeping you away from being successful and wealthy. Rid yourself of any debilitating attitude, and focus on the positive attitude which will help you attain your optimum potential in all areas of your life. 4. Turn your attitude into action

and find your purpose and passion After you have identified what it is that is holding you back, you will be ready to take on the next step of looking ahead and analyzing where you want your life to go and what you want to achieve. In order to be successful, you must understand the importance of living your life with purpose and passion, and having a personal vision of what you want in your life. If you do not have a vision, you have nothing to work towards, and therefore you cannot be consistently motivated. Once you have your success goals specified, then you can easily turn your attitude into action as you work towards these goals. 5. Develop strategies for maintaining the right attitude For you to be successful in your life and in your business, it is important to be able to maintain the right attitude at all times, regardless of any setbacks you may face. You will need to prepare yourself for handling any challenging situations that may threaten to provoke negative attitudes that will throw you off course. You must develop some self-motivation techniques to help you maintain the right attitude towards your goals; namely affirmations, visualization, positive attitude talk, enthusiasm etc. By using these tools, you will be well prepared to achieve professional and personal success. It is also important to build supportive relationships that will get you through challenging times. By simply following the steps outlined above, you can have the right attitude which will help you transform your life and achieve any success you want.

ACRBO Magazine April 2012  

Association of Computer Repair Business Owners Magazine

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