Mike Tech Show – Podcast – #166 – 01-06-08

(85 minutes)

Mike Tech Show Listener Round Table
Topic: How to monetize your full or part time tech business

Show #166 Notes

Guests –

Show Links –

Some of the songs on this program were provided by Magnatune.com

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  1. Barbra says:

    So if it is all WORD-OF-MOUTH how does that potential client find us?

    Imagine someone sitting at home with an issue & they do not have a good network of friends /resources

    I do not want that person
    to open the phone book
    and start calling.

    …because of course..
    what we offer is more personable
    (teaching as we go)
    taking time to explain what we are doing rather than

    – dropping off the pc
    and picking it up when it is “fixed”

    How do we get THAT person in the loop?

    THAT is the question.
    THAT would make MY business

  2. Mike says:

    An excellent question. I will give my thoughts on this on the next podcast.


  3. Anonymous says:

    That would indeed be interesting. In my experience, those “pc” repair folk who do advertise locally have no intention of teaching as they go. A neighbour of mine was charged ¬£30 ($60 US) for removing a virus – and this “specialist” left without installing any antivirus software or even turning on windows firewall. If your car mechanic did something so unprofessional, surely it would be criminal?

  4. Winston says:


    the way for the client to find you is for you to join the local chamber (or whatever local org. has the same function) and get involved. The first clients will come from there and they will be your word of mouth starters. I also find that the local Kiwanis and Rotary clubs are good for this same purpose. The main idea when you start is to network to get some work and a reputation going.

    Something I forgot to mention is that doing this full time is not for the faint of heart and you need to have a good quantity of capital to cover your operations for the first few months. Figure out what your expected expenses are (including your personal stuff) and double that. Once you have that ammount you can start to consider doing this full time.


  5. Winston says:

    An update answer to Tony’s Question about learning an OS.
    Microsoft does have some answers for you that are free and while not as good as running your own OS inside VMWare (IMO) they are still great learning tools. Follow this link http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/bb467605.aspx and you can make use of PreBuilt labs with instructions that are topic specific.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hey, guys. I loved this topic and found it very interesting, but I have to leave this comment.

    When answering Tony’s question about education and certification, you completely neglected formal education. Learning through experience and mentoring is great, but it is a very slow process. I think looking into a local community college or Vo-Tech (if that’s what they are still called) is a great way to learn and helps speed up the process. Sitting in a classroom with someone feeding you information quickly builds a vast foundation of knowledge that you cannot get by googling individual problems.

    Yes, taking classes costs money and time, but it’s worth every penny and every second that you spend on it. Even if you have to take student loans to be able to pay for it, you will not regret it. Student loans are very low interest rate loans that you don’t have to start paying off until after you quit going to school. You can start by going to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov and filling out their application to see what you qualify for. Depending on your financial situation, you may even get grants that you never have to pay off!

    As another resource, there are several companies that produce training videos for all aspects of IT from workstations and servers, to advanced networking and routing, to office applications. These are the sites I would recommend checking out: http://www.cbtnuggets.comhttp://www.learnkey.comhttp://www.lynda.com

    As far as certifications, yes, the paper its self isn’t worth anything and as a consultant, your clients are probably never going to ask you for it, but the knowledge you gain in achieving the certs is very valuable. There are those people who are only after the paper and just memorize what they need to know to pass the test, and that is where they get the bad name, but if you are actually interested in learning the subject matter, then a certification is a great way to measure your progress. It is also very satisfying to earn one and gives you the confidence that when you walk into a situation where you need that knowledge that you will be able to do a good job.

  7. Barbra says:

    Thank you Anony for that input.

    I know we bagged on the certs.
    It tends to be instinctual.

    I LOVED the classroom setting I had for A+ Cert. You are right:

    “Sitting in a classroom with someone feeding you information quickly builds a vast foundation of knowledge that you cannot get by googling individual problems.”

    The reason my parents struggled to keep me in Catholic school during the elementary years was
    “to give me a good base”

    So YES and touché.
    You need that for a good base to build from.

    I think what we initially went for
    CERTS do not make the GEEK.
    Passion makes the geek.

    TY again for keeping it real.