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