I first started Attitude Computers back in the fall of 2003, when I was still in college and was really just looking for some extra funds so I could go out on the weekends! We started off by offering repair services to residential clients and small home business clients while working out of my parent’s basement.
Eventually after completing school I was able to take the business full time back in 2006. And after a number of years of satisfied clients talking about us to their friends and family we began to grow, we grew to nearly 1000 repeat clients in size by 2008 with a small staff of just 8.
Growing that fast quickly forced us to look at our basic business fundamentals and at the type of clients that we truly wanted to service. How we wanted to service them, and the best way for us to help them run and grow their businesses. After much deliberation we decided to no longer do work for residential clients and focus our efforts solely on small and medium businesses local to Ajax, Pickering and Whitby in the Durham Region.
We then realized that we would continually get calls for the same types of problems across our clients, and that most of our time was spent fixing problems that should have been preventable. Our clients only called us when something broke down, when it was an emergency and they were in dire need. And trust me things had to be very BAD before they called! The things that should be done on any enterprise network were not getting done. Like proper backup systems to protect your data, or failing hardware, or un-patched “hacker friendly” servers… or even having a staff that was empowered to just call us directly before a small problem grew and halted their network – instead of worrying about what it would cost to get the IT company to resolve the problem.
There had to be a better way to help our clients so that they wouldn’t have downtime, wouldn’t worry about calling us for small problems, and so that if something happened we’d be able to get them back up and running quickly and effectively.
So we changed our model to a Technology Management model, where for a fixed monthly investment we manage all of their technology, backups, planning and allow them to focus on growing and running their business. Their staff are happier and feel like their technology problems and questions are heard since they can now just ask us directly without fear of racking up the bill.
This change created a huge and unexpected shift in our business, because our clients are on specific plans, we can use our time helping them to improve their networks as their businesses grow – instead of just duck taping each little problem that keeps coming up over and over. This model helped us to dedicate more resources for our clients and allowed us to make sure we can live answer our phone, and solve most issues that come up inside of 15 minutes.
We coupled our new service capabilities with non-intrusive daily preventative maintenance on our client’s networks so they have only a fraction of the issues that normally plague, and debilitate most businesses. In fact most of the problems we help our clients with now are “I want to be able to do this” questions. This elevates their IT situation and positions their company to grow by removing the IT restraints and barriers that most companies live with because they think there isn’t a better way.
We’re still a small local company with a staff of 9 currently (8 of which are technical), and we love to take on new clients and challenges just to prove to them that there’s a better way. I recently wrote a book on this topic and would be happy to send you a copy if you’re interested.
Author & President