Independents are definitely not dead but they do have to be very careful about the large brand players entering the market as they're after the Independent's core business - onsite support.
The home and small business support market is changing quickly and we're at the beginning of a new and exciting evolution. The question for an Independent is not that the market exists but how to best position themselves so that they can offer the services that customers are looking for today while protecting themselves and capturing ongoing revenue streams.
On the one hand, this market is not keen on spending £150 to fix a problem on a regular basis when a new computer costs £300, on the other hand they can't live without their IT, need things fixed immediately (particularly minor issues), hate being on the phone for hours, are worried about security and are increasingly networking all their IT together.
So what do services customers need and want? At zuuMedia we believe that to be affordable services which include:
- Local Technicians with local pricing. The idea of having the same hourly rate across the country does not work. A Technician in London should be charging far more than a Technicain in Hull.
- 24/7 Remote Support for those little problems.
- Proactive ongoing security checks.
- Automated Offsite Data Backup (stored in the UK).
IMHO, this is the new market and Independents can have a prosperous future as long as they offer the services that customers require. In order to do this however, Independents will need to join a network such as zuuMedia.