Friday, August 06, 2004

We have another customer

Earlier in the week I received a call from a second TWYC customer. He was having problems with his computer not turning on. It sounded like faulty hardware, which I prefer not to deal with, but he lived literally in the next building so I went and had a look.

There wasn't much I could do onsite so I took it to the shop down the road. I'd spoken to them a few weeks ago about my plans to set up a troubleshooting business in their area and they were quite enthusiastic about the prospect of pooling our resources. Together with their technician we decided that it was probably a faulty motherboard so I returned it to my customer and gave him the bad news. It turns out it was his brother's computer so he's going to wait until his brother returns in September before he does anything. I managed to help him out a bit by telling him the webmail address of his ISP so he'll use that to check his email in the internet cafe down the road.

So that's two customers in two weeks from an initial letterbox drop of 1000 leaflets. If that trend continues I'll need to put out maybe another few thousand to reach my ideal level of 3-4 home troubleshooting jobs per week.

I'll distribute another 1000 leaflets next week and see what that brings in. It will also be interesting to find out if the original 1000 continue to bring in work. I can't let this distract me too much from Sydney though so I'll continue distributing the leaflets in small batches. When the troubleshooting work reaches a comfortable level I'll just stop the letterbox drops completely. From that point on I'll hopefully be able to rely on word of mouth alone to keep me in beer and movie money.


At 2:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you manage to extract any cash from him for your time and trouble?

At 7:23 AM, Blogger Lachlan said...

Yes, I charged him my minimum fee. Charging people isn't my strong point. I like helping them but I'm way too reluctant when it comes to charging for my services, especially if the job hasn't gone exactly to plan.

At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lachlan

I think it takes three things to build a small TWYC business like the one you describe:
1. Be really good at what you do
2. Impress people with your service and ability
3. Don't overcharge
4. Wait a long time

Hmm..that's four things. Okay, it takes four things. The letterbox drop may help get an initial client or two, but basically it is a waiting game, where with time the referrals build up.

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Lachlan said...

I think you're right with your 4 steps. I started a similar business years ago while I was at Uni and it worked in much the way you described. Thanks for the advice.


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