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LarrySabo
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Computer repair shop+DR or dedicate DR business only?

Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:44 pm

In another sub-forum, Jared said: "No one will take you seriously in data recovery unless it's all that you do." (my emphasis)

Any objective evidence to support that? :) If you had said, "some," "many" or "most" people with advanced DR needs will probably not take you seriously, I'd have no problem with the statement. I'm not sure one shouldn't try to do both at the same time; there are advantages and disadvantages both ways. Doing only DR would help with the steep learning curve and credibility, but also doing PC repair helps pay the bills when the DR business is just starting out or when DR cash flow dips. I think a lot of DR business is a follow-on to computer problems, so that presents repair shops with DR opportunities--if they have a reputation as a credible DR service provider. Some don't. Some DR-only shops also have credibility problems.

Specializing should theoretically be more efficient and effective, but diversification reduces risk. I'm not sure where all this rambling is going, but given that a few of us on this forum also run computer repair shops, I thought it might be a good idea to focus the discussions on the topic here, rather than hijack other threads.

I'd be interested in others' thoughts and suggestions on this.

HaQue
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Re: Computer repair shop+DR or dedicate DR business only?

Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:34 am

I think this is going to one of those things that is this, that and everything in between. I personally am starting to realise that you have to treat each job carefully. don't be in a huge rush to say yes, to look at everything, to help everyone. If you are the only tech, you are going to have to decline some jobs you would have liked to do for interests sake, for the ones that bring in money, and also the ones that give credit to your business and its ideals.

no point having 5 or 6 hard jobs, ones you really want to play with, but are not straight forward, if you are struggling for next months rent.

It is easy to work in standard PC repair, if you want to portray a mostly DR Lab by adding "DATA protection" and "computer integrity" where you market like you are making sure the system is optimal.

I cant stress this part enough, no matter what stance you have on the work, no matter if you want to specialise so much as to concentrate on polishing the "halt" button on MicroVAX 3400's or want to do everything from offer video card advice to recovering scsi drives..

DO YOUR PAPERWORK! I mean all the time.. every night.. get it done and keep it up to date!

The money and paperwork side when lapsing causes an obscene amount of anxiety, greif, added fees, and makes you not love your thing you used to enjoy. I have seen my partner just finish going through taxes and finishing up a failed business after 5 years of putting it off. the relief, even owing a substantial sum, is showing. If you can do this you will find you are better organised, your customers don't hound you and you enjoy working more.

If you already are good at this, you may not understand how big of a deal it is, but for someone like me that is insanely busy with things going on in all directions, and trying to research as well AND work to actually get something out of this... well trust me this I believe is the single most important thing. You still need to concentrate on all other aspects, but you will find being organised will help.

I have no problem with doing computer repairs, but really you need to look at your business logo/sign/name and say to yourself "what do I want my customers to see me as?" and work towards it. It may not be instant, but one foot after the other to your dream business. It can be done, never before has there been so many opportunities.. and so little people around that are willing to help..

hey TONY ROBBINS, get off my account!! :-)

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pclab
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Re: Computer repair shop+DR or dedicate DR business only?

Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:52 am

HI

I have started to work on PC repair for about 18 years. Back in the days, I used to format and install software on 2 or 3 machines everyday. No one knew how to do it and I (the company I worked for) earned allot of money, besides all the rest of repairs.
Now, I format 1 or 2 per week (a 12 year old kid knows how to do it).
So, at about 4 years, after reading a forum topic of a guy searching for a way to reset SMART on hdd's, I found out SD, ehehehheh.
After talking with them, I got the idea that it was a "one-click" solution and no one knows how to do this, so I could earn some good $$$$,
As you know, it's not like that.
So I had to continue to do PC repair, but I'm a little tired. I want to only do DR, but unfortunately it still doesn't pay the bills.
I have to continue to do the best I know and for what people know me (PC repair) and advertise DR to get more and more recognition about it.
Until then, I have to do both....
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LarrySabo
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Re: Computer repair shop+DR or dedicate DR business only?

Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:39 am

I guess the question of whether one can only be credible if they do DR exclusively is moot, since those of us that do DR to augment other income are not about to pitch that source of income and pour everything into DR only. So the question becomes, how best for PC repair shops to expand into DR, given that other repair shops are a primary source of DR business but probably see you as a competitor.

Is it really necessary to spin the DR business off into an independent, differently-named business? If I establish "AAA Data Recovery," maybe local repair shops would be more willing to partner or hand out my DR business card. On the other hand, that loses the recognition, credibility and good reputation I've built up over the past 18 years, and wouldn't fool any PC repair shop owner. It might just remove enough of the concern about referring customers to a competitor that it would be worth doing. I don't know the answer. I guess what I should do is talk to a number of repair shop owners and find out what it would take, or whether it's feasible at all.

Does anyone know of a PC repair business that has been very successful at expanding into DR, and how they did so?

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lcoughey
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Re: Computer repair shop+DR or dedicate DR business only?

Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:49 am

I started with PC Repair back in 1996 and started doing data recovery in about 1998. In 2001, Recovery Force was born as a separate company and in 2002, the PC Repair business was abandoned.

The key with data recovery, the vast majority of work you are likely to get is via referrals from computer service technicians. If they think, even for one second, that you might steal their client, they won't refer work to you.

Also, what about client perception? Yeah, the end users likely won't care who does their work, but the business up the road doesn't want their data recovery project put on hold while you go onsite to another client's to remove a virus.

You don't see too many brain surgeons also acting as a family physician.

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Jared
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Re: Computer repair shop+DR or dedicate DR business only?

Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:03 am

Nice analogy Luke. I realize what I said was perhaps a hyperbole, but to get good amount of data recovery work you have to be viewed as a specialist. Sure you may get some people just looking for their family photos back who will go to the local repair shop. But, businesses and people who really feel they can't live without their lost data want the comfort of a specialty service even if it costs five times the price. Other people are willing to pay twenty times the price to have a company like Kroll or DriveSavers do the work because they want to feel they're getting the "best" company (though that's highly debatable) to do the work.

I'll tell you a story that illustrates this perception: Back when I worked as an electrician my boss, who was a good electrician, was referred by a friend to a client who lived in a very wealthy area (Greenwich, CT). The woman called my boss up and asked his hourly billing rate which at the time was $65/hour. He never heard back from her, so later he asked his friend who had referred him to the woman about it. She told him that her friend told her she didn't hire him because his rate was "too low". Turns out her other electrician was billing her $150/hr and she was happy to pay it. She assumed that since his rate was so much lower, he "must not be any good". (funny thing is I was always on his case to raise his rates too). She had the perception that because he was cheap, his work would be lower quality.

It's the same with data recovery. If people view you as a computer repair shop, they will assume your work in data recovery to be "inferior" to the place that specializes in just data recovery. Even if you are just as good in reality.

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LarrySabo
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Re: Computer repair shop+DR or dedicate DR business only?

Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:07 am

Thanks, Luke and Jared. Good input.

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pclab
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Re: Computer repair shop+DR or dedicate DR business only?

Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:17 pm

Yes Jared. That is very true. Also happens here.
If we charge high prices, it's because we are good ahahhahah
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jerovsek
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Re: Computer repair shop+DR or dedicate DR business only?

Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:34 am

Hello,

I agree with Jared and Luke.
It's like to be family doctor or specialist doctor.
I suggest you to separate both business.
And there is also one other aspect of this story. If you repair someones computer( you replace drive with new one) and then customer return beck with faulty drive, you are on very thiny ice.
Probably first question Will be, why you put into my computer drive, which is not reliable. It's hard sometimes to explain customer, that there is a lot of factors, why drive fail.
And also your labour cost for computer repair is lower then for recovery,...

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pclab
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Re: Computer repair shop+DR or dedicate DR business only?

Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:14 am

The pain sometimes with a PC repair, is that when we get a bad HDD from a client, and we replace it for a new and he wants the data back.
Sometimes, I do it free of charge....
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