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Service Level Agreements: A 5-Step Guide for SME IT Consultants

Chances are, you don’t find the topic of service level agreements (SLAs) especially exciting. They are however, a very useful tool, both for managing customer expectations and for protecting your IT business if things go wrong.

Your Computer Service Agreement: Five Mistakes to Avoid

A computer service agreement could be for anything from a single PC operating a one-man-band business, to a company’s worth of computers spanning an array of homes and offices. It all depends on the scale of your IT business.

Regardless, there are some basic principles you should always keep in mind when you formalize a service agreement with a client, and some “schoolboy errors” you can make if you don’t give the creation of the contract some thought.

Running a Computer Support Contract: A Guide to Client Reporting

When you're running a computer support contract, it’s important to provide regular reports to your clients for a number of key reasons: 

5 Ways Your Technical Support Services Offer a Competitive Advantage

There are multitudes of companies providing technical support services, ranging from household names to one-man band firms. Wherever you are on the spectrum (or wherever you aspire to be), it makes sense to work to differentiate your business from the competition and find yourself a profitable niche.

IT Support Agreements: 7 Qualities of Good Clients

IT support agreements differ hugely from client to client. Over time, you’re sure to find that there are some that you (and your staff) thoroughly enjoy working on, and others that seem like a serious chore.

Computer Repair Checklist: Creating a Simple Guide

It’s always wise to work from a computer repair checklist when performing any work on a client system. This becomes especially important as your staff grows, as it can enforce good practice and compliance with the way you want your company to do things.

This article makes some suggestions for items you can include on a computer repair checklist. This is, by no means, a rigid or definitive list – you can adapt it for the way you do things. Nor does “checklist” have to mean a list on a physical piece of paper. You could equally integrate the checklist into your call logging system and complete the items on it on a tablet, PC, or laptop.

Your Computer Support Contract Sucks! 5 Signs to Terminate

However good your company is at delivering IT services, you will occasionally find yourself wanting to rid yourself of a troublesome computer support contract.

Explaining Monthly Computer Maintenance Routine Tasks

Many IT companies are keen to persuade clients to sign up to monthly computer maintenance agreements. The trouble is, much of the work that goes into keeping an IT infrastructure running smoothly goes on behind the scenes. If you don’t tell the clients what you are doing, they’re likely to be unaware and take the reliable running of their systems for granted.

In this article, we list some of the routine tasks that go towards justifying the need for monthly computer maintenance. While we’re not suggesting that you attempt to charge for them individually, listing the tasks you perform regularly can help customers understand what’s truly involved in keeping a company IT system running quickly and reliably.

Software Updates

5 Step Plan for Starting a Computer Maintenance Business

Running your own computer maintenance business can be an enjoyable and fulfilling choice of career. When starting your business it is essential to plan your activities in order to maximize your chances of success.

Is a Computer Support Contract Worthwhile for an Individual PC?

If you run a small IT firm, you may have wondered whether it’s worth offering domestic customers a computer support contract for a single PC. While doing so may seem tempting, there are several potential issues, which this article explores.

  1. There’s only SO much a customer will pay for a computer support contract for one PC. While pulling in a small amount of easy revenue may seem compelling, especially if your business is new or particularly small, you will probably earn more in the long run by waiting for something to go wrong and billing by the hour.

  2. When something DOES go wrong, customers will expect miracles. If a computer behaves perfectly for the first six months of its computer support contract, then suddenly goes wrong, your customer will expect fast and perfect service – after all, they’ve been paying “for nothing” for six months. You can be sure that this will happen when you are busy with a far larger and more lucrative customer, and will probably find yourself wishing you’d never agreed to the small contract.

  3. You will become permanently responsible for that PC. When a customer pays for a computer support contract, they feel like they are insured against anything going wrong. That means it’s still somehow your fault if a clients’ child downloads malware-infected software or someone spills a cup of coffee on the keyboard.

Undoubtedly, there are companies that generate some revenue by making a computer support contract available to individual domestic users. However, it’s fair to argue that there are easier ways to make money.

 

Do you offer a computer support contract to individual home users? Share your experiences in the Comments box below

 

And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on IT Service Contract Secrets for Getting More Repeat Clients and Recurring Service Revenue

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Creative Commons Image Source: flickr NobMouse