Friday, July 14, 2006

How Not to Get a Client to Rely on You.

This may seem a bit elementary, but I'm beginning to notice a trend in the way that small businesses and residential customers are taken care of by IT service professionals.

In one case, I have a new client that is a small office with one server, mainly used as the overall domain controller and backup for the other computers. The person that serviced them before somehow decided to keep all of the password information for administration secret from the owner and the employees.

Now, that's one good practice when you're the IT department of an actual company, BUT when your client owns the equipment, you better make sure that they are privvy to these things.

The moral of the story is to always depend on your customer, no matter how easy or difficult to deal with they can be. Smugness is not a virtue in business, especially if you're running a small business.


Well, in the above case, my client couldn't reach the other tech person when things were going awry.

Never, ever assume that "it's in the bag." You never know what can happen. If you're concerned about a client fooling around with settings by having administrative rights, then type yourself up a good disclaimer, with a firm yet polite explanation of what powers they have as administrators and how easy it can be to make detrimental changes and that you and your firm can not be held accountable for such actions. Actually, statements like that should be in every contract you work out with a customer.

I didn't think that this one time would merit a post from me, but then again, this is my blog so there!!! :o)

Anyway, it's more common than one would think, but I only had time to post my most memorable experience with this type of incident.

Never surgically attach yourself to a client. It really alienates you from them, and does little to comfort them in the event they need you pronto, and you're on another "emergency" service call. Providing superior and friendly service will keep them calling you for the days and years to come.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Techie Patrol - The Early Years

Hello world!

Sorry, an old programming habit. Greetings, my name is Marcos Rodriguez and I own and operate Techie Patrol LLC out of Baltimore, Maryland. Basically, I've been a bit of a computer geek my entire life. The story starts when I was living in Camarillo, California. My awesome dad was working as an electrical engineer when we moved to California for his new job at Litton. He had previously worked for Hewlett-Packard and would now and then take me to the office, where I would troll endlessly on their terminals, finding ways to load the really cool Gran Prix racing games.

It was in California where we got our first family computer, the Coleco ADAM, a powerhouse of a computer with a dual cassette deck and a slot on the side to accept an Atari 2600 video game system adapted for the Coleco. Simply brilliant.

I was eight years old and after accidentally erasing my favorite game cassette, Zaxxon, by leaving it atop the the PC (the magnetic force erased the tape, becoming my first ever unintentional destructive hack attack), I started reading the "Hacker's Guide to the Coleco Adam". From then, I learned the BASIC language and the LOGO language, which didn't turn out to be a waste thanks to LEGO's MindStorms kit my lovely wife purchased for me a couple of birthdays ago.

My first program in Basic was to have a poem display all over the screen that read:

"Spring has sprung, the grass has ris, I wonder where the flowers is." I found that so hilarious as a child that programming stayed in the back of my mind for a long time, and code still runs through my brain this very day.

My graduation into LOGO was very nice, as a cute little pixellated turtle would do my bidding by following a course I plotted for it. I hope that turtle is doing well today.

Anyway, I took for granted having a computer in the house for so long, that it really never occurred to me that I could make money by working with what I love until I got out of the Army and my dad encouraged me to stick it out in the civilian world and convinced me not to re-enlist.
To this day, I am so thankful that he encouraged me, because now I am living the life I love, working a hobby, and not a J-O-B.

I've created this blog with the intention of encouraging entrepreneurs and assisting them in making sound business decisions, especially when it comes to spending $$ on so-called "Money Making Systems". Take it from me, I've spent a fortune on things I've never used. You will learn how to read between the lines of most information products you see everywhere online, most commonly at auction sites, and various Entrepreneurship sites.

Let me tell you, there are absolutely NO shortcuts to running a successful business. What you will learn here will save you tons of money and will make you a much wiser business person in the long run. Thanks so much for reading my story and I look forward to helping you succeed.

Cheers and God bless!