Page 1

WHAT’S INSIDE

Computers, Networking, Websites, Advertising, Marketing & Sales ISSUE 002 | FEB 2012

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

ACRBO Mag By Technicians, For Technicians

In review

TEST DRIVE THE NEW WINDOWS P16

Question Time:

Why Remote Support? P19

INTERVIEW

DEALS

MSP Advice

Angela Henderson

Exclusive Offers

Get into the world of MSP

The working mum tells us how having twins spurred her ambition for business

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

Derek Iannelli-Smith shows us how to escape the break-fix cycle


IN THIS ISSUE

FEB 2012

Contents FEBRUARY 2012 | ISSUE 002 | ACRBO MONTHLY | ONLINE

P3

Editors Letter & Top Picks

P4

ACRBO Inbox Dan answers your questions

P5

Gilware - Fixing Dead Drives

P6

Featured Member Profile Angela Henderson

Featured Articles

P8

Blog Vs Social Network By Darren Chow

P9

Join the ACRBO! Get a premium account today!

P10

ACRBO Deals By Daniel Hand

P11

Pace our Tech By Stephen McLaughlin

P12

Windows 8 | P16

How to become a Managed Service Provider By Derek Iannelli-Smith

P14

Computer Repair Business Lessons Learnt By Daniel Hand

P15

Branding Yourself Online With A Website By J S Moore

P16

Taking Windows 8 For a Test Drive By Corey Fruitman

P18

The Industry

P19

Why Remote Support By Daniel Hand

P20

Managed Service Provider Webinar

P20

‘Inside Windows 7’ Book Competition

P21

Mobile Marketing > Text Messaging

P22

ACRBO Marketplace The people and products that helped make this issue

P23

Personalized Web E-mails By David Pagi

P24

Business Apps By Dennis Drew

P25

The Checklist for Start-ups

P26

Search Engine Packages Ador Talukdar

2

www.acrbo.com

ACRBO Inbox | P4

Websites | P15


HELLO

Editors T words

his is now our 2nd edition of the magazine and the feedback from the first issue has been great from the community. Now with our 2nd edition as you will see the layout has taken a turn for what I have to say is “the better”. Fortunately Jon May from TheLaptopMedics in the U.K. has stepped forward and taken over the layout functions of the magazine. Jon obviously has experience in this type of thing and we do appreciate his expertise.

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

This in turn will give us more time to deal with content and other things and hopefully turn out an even better magazine. Looks like we also picked up another “Featured” writer for the magazine, and look forward to his works. Feel free to contact us if you’d like to contribute articles in future issues. We hope you enjoy this months’ issue of the magazine, and as always please email if you have any comments, contributions or feedback.

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

3


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.

Top E-mail

New Startup

Trying to get out of the break/fix cycle

Should I get employees?

RYAN

JAMES

I want to get away from break/fix and not sure where to start

DAN, ACRBO You are not the only one that wants to make that switch. Typically everyone starts out doing break/fix and then progresses on to the MSP type of setup or at least implements it into their business model. Fortunately we have a new writer that has been down that road and I am sure you will enjoy his article and others that will follow to get you going.

I’m just getting ready to open my business and not sure where I should look for employees or what to look for. To start I’m just going to work out of my home.

DAN, ACRBO

Congrats on just starting out and I wish you much success. As far as employees go you might want to wait and find out what your work load consist of. Typically just starting out you might not even be busy enough to pay an employee full-time. If it was me I’d get the business off the ground and then worry about needing employees. But, you can always put an ad in the newspaper, on Craigslist or if you have a VoTech school in the area I’d pay them a visit and see about getting some of their students or recent grads going.

Warranty Offers Virus removals can be tricky but what warrant should you offer?

PETER What kind of warranty should I give on virus removals?

DAN, ACRBO

Typically a customer is going to want a warranty of some sort for everything that is why it’s important to have in your documentation exactly what is covered. For virus’s we typically give a 30 day warranty. When the computer leaves our shop it has virus protection and some other things on it so we feel giving 30 days is fair. But, you will find that the browsing habits of some customers are sometimes the reason for the problem in the first place. Try to educate your customers as much as you can.

4

www.acrbo.com


Drives Fail. REVIEWS

ADVERT

Ready to strike back? Gillware lnc. Your data recovery experts Gillware Data Recovery saves data from failed drives, SSDs, RAIDs & more.

Gillware Remote Backup prevents data loss altogether. http://gillware.com/acrbopromo


BIG INTERVIEW

FEATURE

Angela Henderson gives us the stor y of how she got into computer support, how her company is growing and some advice to those thinking about starting!

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!

“A lot of mistakes are made by just not asking. Don’t be afraid to ask the stupid questions; everybody has been where you are” 6

www.acrbo.com


FEATURE

BIG INTERVIEW

Featured Member This month, Angela Henderson talks to us and gives us a look into her life ...

Q

Business Name? Built by Mom Tech Services http://www.builtbymom.com

Q

Q Q

Q Q

Q

Q

Where are you located? Grover Beach, CA

Education? BA from Cal State Fullerton, CA. A+ and Security+ certified. What did you want to be when you grew up? At one point, a paleontologist. But I found an old school paper at my mom’s house that was pretty interesting. When I was eight I had written, “To me, success is working with computers.” I am not sure where that came but I guess me and computers were destined to be.

What was your worst job? Anything minimum wage. I had a lot of those. What was your first job? House of Fabrics (ugh!)

Who was your hero as a child? The Bionic Woman! How did you end up owning your business? Honestly, after I had my twins, I thought...if I can give birth to two babies at once I can do *anything.* I had always been nervous about doing my own thing and that finally made me brave enough to get serious about my computer repair business. I’m so glad I did.

Q

Q

Q

Q

What is next for your business? I’ve just started to get into remote support. Wow, is it a time and gas saver. And even if you can’t solve the problem completely that way, at least the client knows you’re working on it, and they actually enjoy seeing you click around. What business book do you recommend most and why? Start Your Own Computer Business by Morris Rosenthal, Zen Habits by Leo Babauta, Less by Marc Lesser, and Work as Spiritual Practice by Lewis Richmond. All of those are excellent books to help you stay organized and grounded.

What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business right now? Get social. A lot of mistakes are made by just not asking others that have come before you. This is true in business and life. Don’t be afraid to ask the stupid questions; everybody has been where you are. Any hobbies? Photography! Landscape

mostly, and I love it.

Q

Where do you want to be five years from now? Training my girls to do what I do. I would really love for them to become computer ninjas and follow in my footsteps!


MARKETING

BLOGS

Blog Vs Social Network Darren Chow looks at the advantages and disadvantages of having a blog vs a social media network connection for your internet marketing strategy The Pros and Cons of Using Blogs for Internet Marketing Blogs are effective marketing tools for companies in “selling” ideas and solutions. Effective marketing highlights the need for us to generate the “pull” by focusing on information and solution instead of the products or services. Those online journal entries offer some of the best opportunities for you to turn readers into strong believers.

In most instances, the Internet marketing campaigns of companies are anchored on blog and social media marketing interventions. Of course, we would always seize every opportunity to improve our marketing programs, and this is the main reason why we see companies undertake marketing strategies anchored on these 2 popular platforms. However, business owners and stakeholders would want to determine the incremental contribution and impact of the blog marketing and social network marketing interventions so that they can make a more appropriate strategic decision. The Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing Marketing programs and activities that are geared towards popular social networking sites provide opportunities for companies to reach out to segments of the market which are not normally accessed through traditional

8

www.acrbo.com

marketing techniques. The social interaction aspect opens a lot of opportunities and present business prospects which may not be available through traditional marketing medium. Internet marketers can also tap Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to build brand loyalty. These social interaction platforms also create an ideal environment for companies to project their corporate image and generate goodwill. In this way, you can bring the marketing activity down to a more personal level. However, you also have to take into account the major challenges which are associated to social media marketing. Generally, marketing efforts that are geared towards social media have longer gestation period. You may have to wait for a longer period of time before you can see significant positive results. It is also an aspect of Internet marketing which will demand much of your time and resources.

Blogs can also be used by company owners and managers as an effective feedback mechanism. It is where you give your growing customer base the opportunity for them to ventilate their issues, concerns and preferences. From the perspective of the Internet marketer, this unique setup provides a great way for them to get into the minds of their target clients and learn more about their preferences and expectations. However, you must also take cognizance of the downsides or challenges of blogging. It is a permanent commitment and in order to obtain the optimum results, you need to allocate a significant amount of your time and resources to generate quality content for your readers and target audience. Of course, it is also one aspect of Internet marketing that you must closely manage and control. Blogging opens the company to possible profanity and personal attacks. Your competitors may also use this medium in order to peddle damaging information or acts which might undermine the interest of your company.


WEBSITE

MARKETING

www.acrbo.com

9


DISCOUNTS

DEALS

BARGAIN

FEBRUARY 2012

ACRBO DEALS Remote Control

Tutorials

ACRBO Preferred Vendor

ACRBO Preferred Vendor

SCREEN CONNECT

LAPTOP REPAIR VIDEOS

Screen Connect is an amazing program that you can do your entire remote computer repair with. No need to pay a monthly fee anymore when you can just buy the software outright.

Thinking about working on Laptops? Then you need this package!

AVAILABLE: For Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS MORE INFORMATION: www.ScreenConnect.com MORE INFORMATION CALL: +1-919-532-0022

AVAILABLE: By Download in HD quality or on DVDs MORE INFORMATION: www.LaptopRepairVideos.com GENERAL SUPPORT: mail@LaptopRepairVideos.com

Downloadable or available on DVD, this package will help you on the way to repairing laptops in no time at all. Available in the US and around the world.

Stay Tuned ACRBO Preferred Vendor

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.

10

www.acrbo.com

Your Advert Here dan@acrbo.com


WEBSITE

MARKETING

Pace Our Technology Stephen McLaughlin explains how it’s best to know where your boundaries are, don’t overreach and admit when you’re wrong and slowly take the time to build a physical or virtual network in your shop and build, break and rebuild that domain as many times as you can. With the proper pace and repetition your overarching knowledge and confidence will grow thus your business will as well.

After my first article I was reminded by a friend that maybe just as important as never stop learning that we need to remember to also pace our tech and do not overstep our boundaries. Yeah I think I need to expand on that. We I say you have to “pace our tech” I actually mean two things, the first is we should not expect to be able to learn Windows Server 2008 in two weeks if we have no Windows Server experience. In the same breath we should no promise we can reinstall a OS on 50 computers without careful examination of the computers, do they have licenses for the desired OS’s, which OS can be loaded on them, yada yada yada. I know they seem easy and obvious but lets take this very concept a touch deeper, first lets agree that saying “learn Windows Server” is almost a cop out because to learn Windows Server and to be experienced enough to troubleshoot issues the first time you come across them is two completely different worlds altogether, if we learn enough of Windows Server to be “complainant”

we need to identify, understand and admit as quick possible to ourselves and our customers that we will help them find, contact and hire someone who can take care of a issue or task that is over our level of competency, always remember and admit “nobody knows everything including myself” Never Stop Learning With all that said I will reissue the topic of never stop learning, remember whenever we have slower cycles in our business we can, no strike that, we must use that time to better ourselves and expand our knowledge.

“Always remember and admit “nobody knows everything including myself” I will bring it back around by saying I believe the best way to learn is to select a task that you do not know how to do, like building a domain

And never ever feel you’re on an island, you are never alone, a great many communities exist for nearly every possible field of employment, skill set and task, I will say most of the smartest people I have found hangout in one of three communities, they are (in no particular order) TechNibble, Podnutz and ACRBO. I will also state when someone has not been able to directly help me complete a task they have always pointed me in the right direction. The only thing I ask is please please, dear god please give back, help other people, participate and always share what you learn and learn what is shared. If you want to give me any direct feedback please feel free to email me: DoorToDoorGeek@gmail.com Thanks, Stephen McLaughlin www.DoorToDoorGeek.com www.LinuxBasix.com www.Podnutz.com/ LinuxForTheRestOfUs www.Podnutz.com/ AndroidAppAddicts www.Droid-Nation.com www.LinuxForTheRestOfUs.com

www.acrbo.com

11


MSP WORLD

CENTER

Get into the Derek Iannelli-Smith from Cantey Technology tells us how to become a Managed Services Provider and escape the break/fix cycle that loses you money I was asked to write for our magazine regarding a hot topic in our industry. In stewarding that, I would like to start off with some credentials. CompTIA completed a study on Managed Services based on separate online surveys of 400 IT and business professionals in the United States involved in IT decision-making and 364 IT channel firms in the U.S. Both surveys were conducted in June 2011.

they plan to add server management to their offerings in the coming year, which might indicate an increasing complexity of IT infrastructure among their SMB customers.

Google Shopping means there is no money in hardware

• About two-thirds (68%) of end user organizations today contract with a managed services provider (MSP) for some or all of their technology needs, versus 29% that handle all of their IT on their own. • The number one reason end user organizations have moved part or all of their IT into a managed services model is the desire to reduce costs. • Service-level agreements are critical to end users. The top three SLA elements deemed most important to include are: Response times, 24/7 support and data/ systems security. • Six in 10 (62%) end users said they plan to increase their IT spend on managed services over the next two years, with the balance opting to remain at current levels. • The top demand driver behind channel companies adoption of managed services as part of their business model is to protect their customer base. • Nearly 4 in 10 of the smallest MSPs said

12

www.acrbo.com

and service agreement and thus was born computer repair as part of their small office offerings which directly competed with the ‘Mom & Pop’ IT companies.

Why this is important for today’s Small Computer Repair Companies?

Because the technology service industry is changing, upgrade your business acumen firmware or you are going to get left behind. Said another way, Windows XP SP3 will not be supported forever… Further if you love the industry like I do, if you don’t make this transition, then you really don’t care about your clients or the industry. I realize this is a bold statement, but I have been encountering clients since 2007, most whom have had bad experiences with previous technology companies – primarily because most have been nickeled-and-dimed to death through an archaic model recently titled, ‘break- fix’(back in the 90’s – make a living). Some definitions are in order. But before I do, I am a firm believer in affirming history. Break-fix was a model that was traditionally one that kept most computer companies in business. Because computers and networks were ‘new’ business technology, many of the repairs were left for the elite skilled ‘nerds’ and companies like ‘Geek Squad’, ‘Best Buy’ etc, which added value to technology purchases with warranties

I mean, who can compete with a franchise right? Later, these ‘nerds’ would advertise going to the enduser location, thus break-fix became mobile. This model is struggling to survive as you can tell from the office supply stores; they are slowly going to the wayside, or becoming obsolete. The chain stores do a good job of getting overstocked or scheduled for discontinuation, machines to the mass consumer market, that even many small businesses are rampant with Windows Home Premium installations…to run a small business. While the consumer has been becoming aware that we are in a service economy and no longer a commodity market, as Google can price comparison in a matter of moments, there is no money in hardware.

*I tried to not ‘name drop’ too much, and there are many vendors I have opinions about and recommend not mentioned in this article. Any views or opin Cantey Technology are expressly required not to make defamatory statements and not to infringe or authorize any infringement of copyright or any othe concerned. Cantey Technology will not accept any liability in respect of such communication, and the employee responsible will be personally liable for


CENTER

MSP WORLD

e MSP World So the transition to service Thus was born MSP or Managed agreements came next. The ‘service’? Services Provider, the next evolution Adding value to technology purchases of the Information Technology-As-Ais a ‘good investment’ and keeps you Service provider. A proactive service current. Leasing machines has been rather than a reactive one. For the small around for a while and IT Company, the companies like Dell next phase is have been offering Become a 360-degree going to a ‘hosted’ business lease machines solution that subprovider and do and equipment for lets or provisions years. They get service subscriptions for something you love contracts! Which comes a fee and provides with another transition, support while you hardware has changed. It learn. is lasting longer, is larger, cheaper, and As your business grows, tap into portable. Whereas ide scsci drives were their ‘system’ – complete with their the bomb, today, dual level blue ray training, and transition to a NOC and you can get a flash drive with 1tb of storage space and ‘download’ with an app. Technology has changed and most teens now are learning computers and networks in middle school and advancing to high school, and later transitioning to the work force. Most companies today have a resident ‘go to’ computer/network person who knows enough to be dangerous. On that note, break-fix is a one-time, emergency oriented exchange between an end-user and a technology company, whereas minimal work is accomplished primarily for minimal investment and turns into future ‘break fix’ opportunities usually negative in content. Most of the time this accomplished to ‘get it up and running’ with no thought as a business essential to be invested in but a ‘throwa-way’ technology. Successful IT companies will grow with only one thing – educational marketing. Teaching your clients that you are a reliable manager of their business technology so they can run their business, realizing that hardware is lasting longer and the new ‘app’ of tomorrow is to be a future investor in solid and reliable technology with maintenance agreements.

assurances sub-divided payments or paid up front, quarterly, bi year, or yearly. Managed services, monthly subscription, and credit card based residual income. At my last employment I transitioned an IT ‘side businesses from break-fix, to service contracts to MSP with highend consumer and small business client which produced 100k when I left. Technology-as-a-service through educational marketing is the future mainstay of the technology services industry. The final month, I was doing all three- break/fix+added plus, service contracts+budgeting, msp+long-term residual income. The technology companies of tomorrow will do all three, constantly educating, collaborating, and partnering with their clients. How do you get in the MSP market and escape only break-fix? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and don’t climb a mountain when there is an elevator next door. Learn from others and give back – become a 360-degree IT services provider and do something you love.

(Network Operations Center) utilizing data center infrastructure and sub-lease to your client base, and the ultimate goal, tapping into both businesses – invest in IT Companies making the transition, provide a system, and also service clients while collaborating with the community at large through Channel Partner programs. The opportunity: to make a life versus making a living. Break-fix is one time income with labor hours + hardware = invoice, bill collections, etc. Service contracts time limited income

nions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ACRBO or Cantey Technology. Employees of er legal right by e-communications. Any such communication is contrary to company policy and outside the scope of the employment of the individual any damages or other liability arising.

www.acrbo.com

13


STARTER KIT

ADVERT


WEBSITE

MARKETING

Branding Yourself Online J. S. Moore shows us how to promote yourself online and how to make the most of your website so get online and brand your company! marketing online or anywhere else for that matter. When you provide value to people and have honesty and integrity on your website, you stand a good chance of building a lasting presence. Seeking some advice from those who have years of experience marketing online will also save quite a bit of time and money. In the end you will want to heed their advice, since it has worked, and then make your website fit your personality. Try to combine good solid advice with your own personality as you go.

If you are going to promote yourself and your company or another company online, you will really need a website. A website doesn’t have to be expensive and it is easy to build one or more if need be. As you build it you can set it up with the specifics you want to promote your company or product your way. Driving traffic to your website will be the name of the game to create the exposure you are looking for. Branding yourself online and establishing a solid reputation is what a website of your own will help you do. As your presence becomes more and more established, you will learn what works the best as far as the type of advertising you need to do. There will be plenty of advertising options to choose from for promoting your website. You will want to do a certain amount

of research to find the keywords that will serve you best as far as attracting people to your website. You will also want to provide extra content and valuable information that will be practical for people to use. You will also find that there will be a great satisfaction in having your own website and making it fit your own personality. I honestly think that is the most important part to

There are a number of web hosting services available. You will need to look around some and find the one that you are most comfortable with. You will find that web domain prices will not be expensive and there will be plenty of help getting set up if you have never built a website before. You will have plenty of options to choose from as far as templates, page layout, headers and how to convey the message you want your website to convey. You will want to just take your time and remember to have fun while you work on it. You’ll see that it was a good investment of your time.

www.acrbo.com

15


WINDOWS 8

FEATURE

The New Windows Test drive the latest developer release of Windows using VirtualBox & ISOs Windows 8 will mark an exciting new step for support specialists. This new platform

“Windows 8 is a whole new thing. It’s so flexible ... we’re trying to bring that to computers, tablets and phones”

Steven Sinofsky

will bring new opportunities for your business to grow as your customers migrate to the new operating system later this year. If you haven’t taken Windows 8 for a test drive, it’s time you did. Windows 8 is pre-beta, in its Developer Preview. It is available for you to try now. Since Instant Housecall’s remote support techs are always looking for ways stay on top of the newest trends, understanding Windows 8 before its launch this year is an important step for everyone. Getting started with Windows 8 is easy. If you have a Windows 7 slate or tablet, you can take full advantage of the new Metro style touch-first interface

Will be mostly used for touchscreens, which will enable Windows to get into the tablet and smartphone markets THE BAD It’s not doing enough to enourage 32 bit users to upgrade to 64 bit and there’s www.acrbo.com

by setting up a dual boot configuration and using it on its native platform. Since most specialists just want to get their feet wet, if you don’t have a spare platform available, a virtual machine is a great way to take it for a test drive without investing in new hardware. Download the Windows 8 ISO from Microsoft: http://msdn.microsoft.com/enus/windows/apps/br229516

Windows 8 Facts THE GOOD Still using a x86 and x64 architecture will mean both 32 and 64 bits users can upgrade.

16

“We’re building the future ... The future is Windows 8”

a very fine line between backward compatability and supporting legacy dead software. STATS Some educated guesses as to the viability of Windows 8 Starting Price

$200

Memory

1GB

Graphics Card

DX9+

HDD Space

19GB


FEATURE

WINDOWS 8

Corey Fruitman from www.InstantHousecall.com shows us how you can download Windows 8 and give it a test drive!

Windows 8 Step 1: Create a Virtual Machine • Download Virtual Box: https://www.virtualbox.org/ • Click New • From the Operating System menu, choose Windows 8 (32bit recommended), and name it “Windows 8 Developer Preview”. • Set RAM to 2048 MB • Create a new hard disk, file type VDI, dynamically allocated • Click Create Step 2: Mount the ISO • Right click on your newly created virtual machine and choose Settings • In the left pane, click Storage • From the center pane, under IDE controller, click on the “Empty” CD • In the right pane, click on the Disc Icon, then choose the ISO from your file system that you downloaded in Step 1

• Click OK to return to the VirtualBox Manager Step 3: Run the instance and install Windows 8 • From the VirtualBox Manager, double click the instance that you created • A traditional Windows installation will appear in your virtual machine • Since you’re not upgrading, choose Custom Installation to perform the full install

START MENU This is a radical change with no start menu

“Remember that Windows 8 is built for touch. That means some of your mouse gestures will feel a bit foreign at first”

It takes about 20 minutes to install. Once configured, you’ll immediately notice a big differences in the Windows 8 touch-first interface. You’ll also be able to run all of the included Windows 8 apps with a mouse and keyboard.

www.acrbo.com

17


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 for Computer Technicians (or soon to be techs) who are looking to get into the IT industry, start their own computer business or improve their existing one. We frequently write about ways for you to get clients, deal with problem clients and introduce you to some great computer repair tools and software.

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.

About Technibble

Technibble itself started in 2006. During this time the 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 development such as how to get clients or how to deal with troublesome ones. This helped him a great deal in the web development world but eventually gave away doing web development for clients and focused solely on the computer repairs. However, he noticed there wasn’t anything out there to help Computer Technicians with their business in the same way there was for web developers. From this, Technibble was born. Over the years, Technibble has grown into a vibrant community of Computer Technicians sharing their knowledge with each other.

   

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!

 

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

Contact

dan@acrbo.com

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

 

dan@acrbo.com

18

www.acrbo.com


REMOTE

QUESTION TIME

Why Remote Support? Daniel Hand poses the question of should you use remote support as an additional tool in your business and how you can benefit from it There is alot of talk about providing remote support services and adding them into services that you already perform.

Years ago we looked into remote support around the time we got our first business client contract. Now when I refer to business client I want to point out that I mean this business pays us each and every month to support their business. I am not referring to a business client that calls just when there is an issue.

person that actually wrote the program was the person you talked to on the phone when you bought it. That pretty much sold us on it. So now we had a remote support program installed and setup so now we were ready to go. But, now all that was in place and the ideas of when we would use it came about. Did we just want to use it for the business clients we had or did we also want to offer it to anyone that called into our shop. We decided that we would utilize it for business clients and as a

Was not long after we started to provide remote support that we decided to get another program/ device in order to get even more out of doing remote support. Once again we started searching for what to use and settled on a Bomgar. I had heard of the Bomgar and I knew from friends that were utilizing it in the government what a good product it was. The cost was not cheap as compared to many different programs/devices on the market but the capabilities that it did allow you to do made it worth the price.

So we were getting our first business client and I knew that I would need to be able to support at all times and the easiest way to resolve some issues was going to be remote support. The next thing we needed to do is find a product we could utilize for his remote support. Now you have to remember this was many years ago so there was not dozens of different options available that are out there now. Actually one of the main ones was setting up VNC and utilizing that program. Of course it was rather teadius to setup and even worse to deal with when working with customers (my opinion) so it did not take long to realize we would need something else. Shorthly thereafter we settled on DualDesk which was a program written for remote support and to me the biggest benefit was the

on pretty much anything but only to a limit. Now you go to that same persons house and are sitting there working on their computer and you see a degree on the wall from say “Columbia University”...and it shows what the degree is in. Well right there is a great thing to talk about with the customer. Or you see other items in the surroundings that open up even more discussion. The personal touch you can put on things being in person will never be achieved over a phone.

last means for people that called in. Now the reason for this was rather simple...”Customer Service”...I say that because no matter what you think or might think there is no way you can establish a relationship with someone on the phone doing remote support the way you can if you are in person. I know some out there will disagree with me but it’s true. Think about it this way you are doing a remote repair job and you can have your little list of things to talk about or get a discussion going

Since we started doing remote support years ago we have branched out and now offer it Nationwide through various websites that we own. This is a whole different animal to deal with and provide support for. If you are going to start doing remote support then it’s time to do your homework and find out what products out there are available, what capabilities they have, what do they cost and how effective are they. Other things that you are going to have to consider is what to charge, how to provide support, and various other things. We will cover these topics in future issues. www.acrbo.com

19


COMPETITION

PRIZES

When: Thursday February 16, 2012 @ 4-5pm EST Where: GoToMeeting Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/864892121

Comeptition Win a Windows 7 Inside Out Deluxe Edition book We will randomly choose a winner, email them for their address, and mail the book to them. Just send an email to: dan@acrbo.com and in the Subject line put: Win Book January’s Winner: Josh from Scoville Technologies 20

www.acrbo.com


MOBILE

MARKETING

Text Message Marketing Daniel Hand gives us the lowdown on Mobile Marketing, this time with the emphasis on SMS/Text Messaging - “The Leading Medium of Smartphones� Mobile Marketing is the fastest growing advertising technique and can communicate instantly with customers. Businesses may send a text message blast to all customers that have given permission to receive them, offering a keyword or promotional offer. Customers will view the text message moments after being sent containing a link to the website or simply by reading the message and showing it to the business. Compared to other types of mediums such as TV, print, and radio, mobile marketing is less expensive, personable, and instant. It has become effective due to the technological cell phone age that has created an instant gratification public. Text messages are more likely to be opened and responded to than emails or direct mail, primarily because customers must opt-in for the mobile promotions. These customers want to be advertised to and are more likely to use the coupon promotion bringing customers to the business more effectively. With customers providing permission to contact them, they are trusting businesses leading to brand loyalty. Cell phones are a very personable item that people continuously use 24/7, allowing advertising to reach consumers at a high rate. The reach of mobile marketing not only advertises to smart phone users but to traditional cell phone users also. Mobile traditionalists comprise 60% of mobile users that website advertising cannot reach. Text messages can reach an audience of 100.7 million compared to the web at 34.1 million. People have their devoted attention to their cell phones and interact with

them uninterruptedly. With web and TV, the audience is most likely distracted by numerous attempts to gain attention. Mobile marketing breaks through the clutter and advertises to customers as an individual.

Cell phones have become personable through individualized apps and reflect an active user perspective on consumers. Marketing professionals can detect where a customer has been, what they've been doing, and essentially know that customer. This allows businesses to better fulfill the needs of their customers, relating their product specifically to their habits. People use their cell phone for just about everything now, carrying it everywhere, checking their personal accounts, and leaving intimate details about themselves. Businesses can relate relevant and valuable information to customers creating a deep relationship.

GPS location is also a successful tool that mobile marketing utilizes. It can direct the text message blast within a certain mileage of the business or target certain demographics specifically. By reaching a more precise target, there is no wasted circulation and the message is delivered to the intended target audience. Through the help of mobile carriers, there may be user profiles to better pinpoint a target audience. Mobile marketing uses geography to make advertising integrate into a campaign, focusing at home or away. The use of an effective mobile marketing campaign has the chance to double a business’ revenue but at the cost of $100,000, in 2007. In a recent campaign I conducted for a counseling business, the use of text message appointment reminders and online booking doubled the profit intake for the business. Since mobile marketing is a recent advertising campaign, there are still challenges to be considered. But, it has proven to be an effective and upcoming marketing medium. The beginning of mobile marketing has been successful and shines hope on upcoming advances for companies such as AdMob, Quattro Wireless, Millennium Media, JumpTap, and InMobi. Future mobile marketing may include video messages, advertising with games, screen savers and coupons. Mobile marketing has proved to be a success for many businesses, and is an upcoming leading medium in the advertising world.

www.acrbo.com

21


MARKETPLACE

ACRBO

   PC Dice

   

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 

Your Ad here

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

www.acrbo.com


E-MAILS

MARKETING

Personalized E-mails David Pagi explains what the benefit of personalized web e-mails are, why we all need one and most importantly what not to do to seem like a pro Mobile Marketing is the fastest growing advertising technique and can communicate instantly with customers. Businesses may send a text message blast to all customers that have given permission to receive them, offering a keyword or promotional offer. Customers will view the text message moments after being sent containing a link to the website or simply by reading the message and showing it to the business. Compared to other types of mediums such as TV, print, and radio, mobile marketing is less expensive, personable, and instant. It has become effective due to the technological cell phone age that has created an instant gratification public. Text messages are more likely to be opened and responded to than emails or direct mail, primarily because customers must opt-in for the mobile promotions. These customers want to be advertised to and are more likely to use the coupon promotion bringing customers to the business more effectively. With customers providing permission to contact them, they are trusting businesses leading to brand loyalty. Cell phones are a very personable item that people continuously use 24/7, allowing advertising to reach consumers at a high rate.

The reach of mobile marketing not only advertises to smart phone users but to traditional cell phone users also. Mobile traditionalists comprise 60% of mobile users that website advertising cannot reach. Text messages can reach an audience of 100.7 million compared to the web at 34.1 million. People have their devoted attention to their cell phones and interact with them uninterruptedly. With web and TV, the audience is most likely distracted by numerous attempts to gain attention. Mobile marketing breaks through the clutter and advertises to customers as an individual. Cell phones have become personable through individualized apps and reflect an active user perspective on consumers. Marketing professionals can detect where a customer has been, what they've been doing, and essentially know that customer. This allows businesses to better fulfill the needs of their customers, relating their product specifically to their habits. People use their cell phone for just about everything now, carrying it everywhere, checking their personal accounts, and leaving intimate details about themselves. Businesses can relate relevant and valuable information to customers creating a deep relationship. GPS location is also a successful tool that mobile marketing utilizes. It can direct the text message blast within a certain mileage of the business or target certain demographics specifically. By reaching a more precise target, there is no wasted circulation and the message is delivered to the intended target audience. Through

the help of mobile carriers, there may be user profiles to better pinpoint a target audience. Mobile marketing uses geography to make advertising integrate into a campaign, focusing at home or away.

The use of an effective mobile marketing campaign has the chance to double a business’ revenue but at the cost of $100,000, in 2007. In a recent campaign I conducted for a counseling business, the use of text message appointment reminders and online booking doubled the profit intake for the business. Since mobile marketing is a recent advertising campaign, there are still challenges to be considered. But, it has proven to be an effective and upcoming marketing medium. The beginning of mobile marketing has been successful and shines hope on upcoming advances for companies such as AdMob, Quattro Wireless, Millennium Media, JumpTap, and InMobi. Future mobile marketing may include video messages, advertising with games, screen savers and coupons. Mobile marketing has proved to be a success for many businesses, and is an upcoming leading medium in the advertising world. www.acrbo.com

23


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


CHECKLIST

START-UPS

Checklist For Startups The ACRBO gives a comphrehensive checklist on what to make sure you do before you should trade to give yourself the best chance for survival Use this comprehensive checklist to plan each step of your new business and transform your dream of entrepreneurship into reality. These steps may not necessarily be completed in the order listed; however, you can use them as a guideline for completing all of the necessary business startup tasks.

- Register a domain name.

-Determine what kind of business you want to start.

- Write a business plan.

- Create an operations and employee manual.

- Write a marketing plan.

- Hire employees.

- Learn about the industry for your business.

- Locate financing.

- Set a launch date.

- Create a list of start-up supplies with budget.

- Plan a grand opening event.

- Analyze the market for your business.

- Design a website. - Obtain a logo. - Determine business structure (sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation). - Evaluate your personal budget.

-Obtain business tools (computer, printer, fax, postage, office supplies, and fixtures). - Order business stationery (business cards, letterhead, brochures). - Obtain inventory.

- Send announcements to everyone you know.

- Study your competition.

- Set up a system for accounting and payroll.

- Educate yourself on running a business.

- Apply for business license, fed tax ID, fictitious business name.

- Turn on the OPEN sign!

- Join trade associations.

- Select a location and set up shop.

- Name your business.

- Revisit your business plan and update often.

- Order signage.

- Perform a trademark search.

- Send press releases.

- Evaluate your marketing strategy often. - Prepare a realistic business plan. Do not expect to conquer the world with your first year’s business returns. Starting a business is a life changing undertaking and one you must be patient with. The rewards are there, but make sure you set yourself achievable targets - when you reach them they will give you the confidence and satisfaction to set new goals and to continue building your business’ success. Obviously some of these steps you will not find necessary such as a location or shop setup if you are going to work out of your home. Take from it and even add to it as you come across other things that need to be done.

www.acrbo.com

25


MARKETING

GOOGLE

Search Engine Packages Ador Talukdar explains how to get the most affordable SEO package, how to get one to suit your budget and how Search Engine Optimisation works You know that in order to have a successful search engine optimization campaign you are going to have to have a complete link building package. You also know that you do not have an unlimited budget for the advertising of the company and that you have to spread the money you do have earmarked for the advertising and promotion out among the different types of strategies you plan to use. You know that you cannot limit yourself to one type of advertising and expect to be successful. These are a lot of things to know and they can cause a lot of stressful nights where you try to figure out how you are going to proceed. A complete link building package will include the company helping you to establish solid back links from relevant sites back to your web site. These links need to be well monitored and maintained so they remain viable and they also need to be placed in every type of page that the customer you are attempting to reach may be viewing. This means that even though you do not get a high PR value for things like forum

26

www.acrbo.com

discussion pages and blog posting you still need to have back links established in these locations because people will be going to these locations to read about the things they are interested in. You will also need representation on as many of the social networking sites as you can get. There are a lot of people of all ages and financial situations that use these social networking sites daily.

television, and local sporting fields, unless you do not have a store that people can actually walk into. If you do not have a Main Street address that the customer comes to in order to shop then you can spend a much larger portion of your advertising budget on your complete link building package and eliminate things like radio advertising and advertising in local papers.

A complete link building package is a crucial part of your marketing campaign and it should be where a large portion of your advertising and marketing campaign budget is spent. Of course you do not want to overlook the other types of advertising like your newspapers,

A complete link building package rewards you with visits to your website from people that see your link on other pages and click on it. These extra visitors will add up to extra sales because for every twenty visits that does not result in a sale there is one that will result in a sale. Do not let these numbers discourage you. It is easy to get twenty people to your website. The benefits of the complete link building package do not stop with the people that click on the link though. You also benefit when the search engines discover that these links exist and they raise you to a higher level on their suggestions page. You then receive more visits from people who were using keywords to search for your type of website because you will be closer to the top.


ACRBO Magazine - February  

Issue 2 of the monthly magazine

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you