When Alex Lissner helped out a member of his family with an IT issue, little did he know that it would eventually lead to him setting up his own business. Having worked in retail for 20 years, Alex decided to take a career break in 2003 to go travelling for a while in order to help him work out what he wanted to do with his life. Whilst he was in Australia, he visited his cousin who was having problems with her laptop. As Alex explains, “My cousin had a virus on her laptop, which I managed to sort out for her. She was so impressed by how helpful and efficient I was that she suggested that maybe that was something I should consider professionally. I had always helped out friends and family with IT issues, but had never really thought about it as a business option.”
After returning to the UK, he started on a part time basis getting work through recommendations from friends and family. As more people began to seek his assistance, he realised that it could become a viable business and so made the leap to work on it full time and, in 2004, Alex set up Mobile PC-Medic. Since then his business has been going from strength to strength. He currently has around 500 – 600 clients on his database, offering a wide range of services from WIFI Installation, cloud hosting, data backup and recovery and even website design and hosting.
Many of his clients are small local business with up to 20 employees. Alex is able to offer a fully comprehensive service looking after their entire IT system. He is keen to attract other local businesses particularly law firms and start-up businesses who might also need his help. Alex works with a small team who have knowledge and expertise in key areas, to ensure that he can give his clients the best service possible.
When a new client gets in touch, Alex will make initial contact by telephone, and have a chat about the needs of the client. He will then arrange what he calls an ‘IT audit visit’ to the business premises where he will assess all the equipment currently owned, and offer a breakdown of costs and proposed services that are relevant to the business. Some clients prefer to have a more adhoc service knowing that Alex and his team are available when needed, whereas others have regular contact so that Alex can oversee the smooth running of their business on a day-to-day basis.
The IT audit visit also allows Alex to advise businesses on additional equipment that they may require. “Often with new businesses, there is a belief that they need to buy everything at once, but that is not always the case and as the business grows, their IT needs grow too. We like to help our clients to simplify their lives rather than complicate it, so we are able to help them be sure on what they actually need and what may not be required at this stage. We can also advise on future investments that might benefit their company from an IT point of view.”
As a small business, Alex feels that he is able to offer a personal service to his clients, and can support them remotely or by coming into their offices whenever needed. “We offer a bespoke service that is tailored to the needs of the business and we try to ensure that clients only pay for what they need, rather than what they think they need. My motto is that we always look after the client from the first contact to the last transaction.” Although many of his clients contact him during the working week for their IT issues, Alex recognises that sometimes things may happen out of hours, and he is happy to help at these times when required.
When it comes to starting up a business, Alex has very much learnt as he has gone along, and has grown and developed along the way. “I think that there is never really a right way to start a business, and it is often trial and error, but I have learnt so much, and really enjoy running my own business.”
Alex’s top IT tip for any business would be to ensure that they have an off-site back up system in place that will be accessible in the case of fire, theft or other issues that might affect it. “Having an offsite system in place where everything is backed up regularly means that should the worst happen, your business should not be significantly affected and you would be able to access your files and continue running your business.” He would also recommend to invest in some decent equipment, such as laptops so that they are of good quality and capable of doing what is needed for the business.
The world of IT is always evolving, and Alex is keen to grow and develop his business to reflect this. One of the next areas that he is focussing on is social media marketing, where he would be able to offer customers a monthly service that could help manage their social media accounts. “In business today, having an online presence is important, but it can sometimes be time-consuming or confusing. e would be able to help with this, and ensure that all of their social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are kept updated and relevant.”
Being able to help people through the work that he does is what he really enjoys most about his job. “Every day is different and often we don’t know what to expect. I really enjoy learning new skills all the time and being able to make myself and the business better.”
If you would like to get in contact with Alex about any IT support, please contact him on 01923-625-101 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
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