I have been in information technology industry for quite some time. I have first-hand information technology experience especially in government, utility, consulting, software and manufacturing industries. I wanted to contribute with my indu
With PC Repair, computer and technical consulting services such as repairs, training, networking and upgrade services are offered to small local businesses and home PC users. For a company like ours to maintain their customer relations, our company will focus on marketing, responsiveness and improve quality of the services to our customers.
At present our PC Repair will be a partnership, but after about one year it will migrate to a Limited Liability Company in January 2013. Our PC Repair business at its early stage will start at a rented office, utilizing one studio room in the rented premises and serving customers in the local Louth area and beyond. In the fourth month of our plan, we will move into a leased office environment and employ a second computer technician. With increase in sales, we will equally employ additional personnel.
Your company’s goals.
Our primary customers will be small business PC users and the residential PC users. Our short and long term goals of our business is to:
The goal of our business is to create standard for on-site computer solutions through fast, on-site service, quick response time and easy turn around.
To provide the best service available to the people in the community at an affordable price.
To generate customer satisfaction so that at least 40% of our customer base is repeat business.
To generate considerable market share so that PC Repair is a common name.
Constant growth in sales from start up through year three we will repay our loan and beyond.
Provide our employees with adequate training; make the place of work a conducive and great place to work, fair pay and benefits, and incentives to use their own good judgement to solve customers’ problems
Explain in a few paragraphs your short- and long-term goals for the company. How fast do you think it will grow? Who will be your primary customers?
3. The service or product planned to offer.
We will be offering computer repairs, training, and networking and upgrade service to our customers in two main distinct categories namely home PC users and small business users. As our PC Repair business starts to grow with increase in customers’ demands as well grows, we will start to provide software development to our business customers.
From the very first day of our business inception, we will start offering our customers with on-site repair and consulting services. This service will alleviate our customers with the problem of taking time out of their busy days bring a computer in to our workshop. The issue of bring a computer to workshop for repair is one of the biggest disturbances among small business owners needing computer help. It will be easy for us to offer on-site repair because most of our diagnostic equipment is portable. We can only remove a PC from our customer premises to our workshop only when the problem requires a more detailed diagnosis or repair. We will as well be providing our customers with free pick-up and delivery of PCs that is requiring repair. In the fourth month of our business, we will purchase a company van in order to meet up with the challenges associated with our services.
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With our PC Repair business we will be providing our customers with an extended maintenance agreement. In this regard, our business customers can deal with technical support and repair needs or requirements as a single line-item expense, instead having to plan for unexpected failures and problems with (security funds) – a rainy-day fund they may never use. Maintenance agreements will provide a high gross margin for our business, and provide our customers with peace of mind.
We will concentrate on hardware and networking support while offering a limited software support – installation and compatibility issues. The reason is that software development is much more rapid than hardware does, and our customers will have such varied software needs that we may not possibly keep up with all of them. We will then advice our customers to register their software and use the support of the software vendor’s options. We will, however, keep up to date with multiple operating systems and networking developments. We will be working with our business customers to ensure that they have the compactable hardware, Operating Systems, networking devices, backup systems, and software. Backup and security will be our top priority for our potential customers, as the rate of internet usage has becomes more common, and as well as more and more daily business records and transactions are stored electronically.
4. The market potential for your service or product.
The computing industry nature, with its rapid technological growth rate, creates a concern for the need for businesses skills been up-to-date and providing advice to customers on computer-related issues. Small business PC users and home PC users will provide the majority of our business income. Business Week expects the computing industry to grow at a rate of 12% and the processor speeds to continue to expand for years to come, providing a rich resource for sales 
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With our PC Repair business we will focus majorly on the small business market, because these customers usually don’t have full-time IT personnel, but they have the needs for fulltime IT. Our PC Repair business will offer these customers with affordable on-demand services. We can also offer maintenance agreements that generate extra monthly income to our business. In respect of our residential customers, we will provide them an affordable, helpful and flexible schedule service to fit with their needs. Our target market will focus on having competitive advantage over PC World and its likes in surrounding areas. Market research shows there are loads of business for a small company such as ours’ – PC Repair.
5. A marketing strategy.
We will exploit the weakness of our competitors in our market strategy. We will run a reasonable number of advertisements on the local news papers business page, local radio stations and the local television houses and post some bills. This will happen in the starting phase of our business.
Our advertisements will focus on our advantages, such as on-site service, competitive rates, and quick response time to faults and turn-around times. In the advertisement, our opening date will be made known to the public, and a free diagnostic service will be give for the first 30 customers.
We will maintain these opening advertisements with a smaller direct-marketing drive to some small business owners within and around the county, with lists drawn from the local Chamber of Commerce. For the first year that we are in business, we will not relent on advertising our business periodically and offering promotions such as discounts, free diagnosis etc. We will be running monthly advertisements in sections rather than the business one so that we will have steady response from home PC owners from different areas that saw our advertisements.
In order to attract more customers, we will make a promotion for three months for example, Spyware removal on a desktop PC for €50 including tax and software. This offer will draw the attention of customers because spy is a menace for small business PC users and many home PC users
6. A three- to five-year financial projection.
To get our PC Repair business started, we must provide cash and assets. We are also seeking a short-term loan, to be secured with the owner’s home equity, and repaid within three years . In the first three months our financial plan calls for limited growth, followed by much higher sales when we will be hiring additional technicians. Our projections are relied on market research and ratios that is compared to similar businesses. We will try to cut down our operational expense as we grow, and maintain a positive cash balance as we repay our three-year loan. For us to achieve these goals, we will employ a vigorous advertising campaign or drive to exploit our competitors’ weaknesses. Using good cost control, we will see a modest, yet comfortable, net profit the first year, even after moving into a leased space and recruit new employee.
7. An exit strategy.
All good business plans include a section that lays out the benchmarks you’ll use in deciding to call it quits. The strategy could be based on a Euro figure, revenue growth, the market’s reception to your idea, or a consensus among top officers.
stry experience during ITM 700 and ITM 800 courses. Other team members did not have a similar background or experience thus had different points of view most of the time.
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I particularly had experience with Ministry of Environment, Government of Ontario, particularly with their RFS and RFP processes. I wanted to utilize my past experience with Ontario government in making a better RFI. I knew our professor had also Ontario government experience. I proposed what needs to be done to make our projects more successful based on my practical industry experience, in consideration of professor’s past experience with the industry, especially her experience with the government, what she would be looking for in a RFI.
Other team members responded positively at times, mostly did not agree with what I proposed. But regardless of differences of opinions, I complied with the majority and delivered reports. Most of the time, feedbacks from professor were in favour of what I proposed earlier. In most cases I received little or no feedback on my parts of the deliverables.
They understood what I had as industry experience was genuine and was really in line with what these courses are trying to achieve. I felt that my past experience in the industry contributed to my learning, and my education here at Ryerson was in line with what I learned in the industry, giving me confidence that I was receiving an education that would actually be put to good use and would at the end help achieve my future career goals. It was not only theoretical but also applicable to today’s and future business environments.
Other team members also realized that these courses were not far from real business life realities. Good thing about this experience was that it was not always what we felt like was true; it was what client wanted and what profitability and sustainable competitive advantage principles dictated.
Bad thing was we realized we had a lot more to learn and gain much more experience, we were just at the beginning of a long journey and the road ahead was full of challenges, was long and needed a constant concentration and energy to keep up with the pace and to keep at it.
I learned that technology, tools, their fit for purpose and their alignment with corporate strategy were very important for survivability of a company. This made it clear to me that we need to educate ourselves constantly about technology trends. We need to know how emerging new technologies can change how we do business. We need to be in a position to identify if they can be acquired by competitors. If they were acquired by competitors, what could this mean? What would be the future threat if competitors were to adapt these technologies much earlier? We also need to be able to understand if these new technologies are just a fashion statement and will disappear like never happened or existed, or will they form an important part of how we do business. When we look back, will we say “I can’t imagine how we made business without these technologies”. Take, for example, 20 years ago, how did companies communicate with their customers without internet, how did multinational and geographically dispersed corporations communicated internally, what was the speed at which they could arrive to a decision about a particular subject with collaboration of geographically dispersed team members? How did they reach to international costumers? What was the means of delivery of information regarding their products and services before internet did not exist?
Impact of technology on many different areas of businesses is becoming more evident with each day. How would companies have shortened design to market cycles without use of information technology as they do today? What could we have achieved with a certain amount of budget 20 years ago in comparison with what we can now with the same budget? Would the business benefit the same? Considering how far the computing capacity increased in the last 20 years, it is a challenge to imagine what future business environment and culture will look like. We need to be prepared and ready for such changes in the near future which most likely will happen in a not too long of a time span.
I learned how to approach a team environment that has many leaders, with difference of opinions. I gained experience in how to handle conflicts of priorities. It was a remarkable opportunity for me to increase my experience on how to tackle tight schedule timelines. I learned how to juggle what we need for our project versus what the client wants from the same project. It was a unique opportunity for all of us to learn how to handle challenges due to lack of interest on the client’s part in providing important financial information for our deliverables.
My strategy with our client was to extract reasonable amount of information, if at all possible, for our deliverables while keeping client’s interest in the project intact. I based my actions on satisfying client’s needs as well as providing enough information for our deliverables for our course. Striking a balance between what client wants and what we need for a successful report for our course was the key.
Experience that I had with well known consulting companies such as Deloitte & Touche, Cap Gemini and IBM helped me a lot in gathering requirements and preparing reports. My knowledge and experience regarding technology, enterprise resource planning systems, business application development and maintenance helped a lot during the course of both ITM 700 and ITM 800.
It is important to understand the needs of the client and articulating them. Keeping dependable records of communications with the client, getting clarity on the requirements, good understanding of their near and future business growth are important elements in a successful project.
I understood that to better manage and deliver projects in the future, it is important to understand client’s business, what is important for them, what the critical elements are in sustaining their competitive advantage and thus how our project can help improve them.
It is also important to have a better understanding of technology trends that are applicable to client’s business. Better articulation of tasks, deliverables, timelines, lead times and resources needed are also important.
Demonstrated and continued executive leadership is an important aspect in a similar project. This allows reasonably fast decision-making during the project, reducing risk of delays in delivery of the project. It makes it clear to the team members and other stakeholders that the organization is supporting the project and that they will receive the project deliverables and results they are expecting.
Adequate funding and resources dedicated to the project is also important. Without this, quality of the deliverables may suffer, project may be delayed, team may be more likely to cut corners on the project, or take more risks and thus jeopardize the quality of outcomes of the project.
Clear governance, roles and responsibilities is another important aspect of a successful project delivery. Without clear governance, roles and responsibilities, key milestones and delivery dates can be missed. Due to the project not being given the importance warranted by senior executives, resources may be moved from the project, critical decisions may be deferred or removed from agendas and the project may lose credibility as a result.
Another important success factor for a project is complete and clear requirements. This eliminates significant changes in scope throughout project’s lifecycle, likely resulting in the project being on-budget, and being on time.
A comprehensive, well-thought out plan helps to have a clear picture of what is going to be delivered and when. This will allow enough lead time to obtain vital resources needed towards the latter parts the project, for example testers, technical writers, trainers, and business users to validate and accept the deliverables.
Greater consideration for people and organizational change management increases chances of acceptance of the project deliverables by the client by making its business environment ready to accommodate and support these deliverables. It is important that the deliverables are embraced by business users otherwise the project may not be seen as a success even if everything is delivered as agreed.
Multi-stakeholder communications is also important on a project because without regular communications client may lose confidence in our ability to manage the project, may not have a clear picture of what is going to be delivered, and when, may not be aware of issues occurring on the project, whereas issues may have occurred with an impact on delivery dates, quality and scope of deliverables or may believe there are significant issues occurring on the project when there are none.
It is also important to have a better understanding of economy in Ontario and Canada as it relates to industry that our client is operating in. We need to better understanding legal implications and law in Ontario and Canada that affects business of our client.
With the help of all these critical success factors, we can end up with a better managed project, better client satisfaction, and bigger benefits realized. We also can decrease amount of time to gain back the investment made on the project. Better alignment of technology with company strategies that feeds and sustains competitive advantage of the client will also be an important outcome.
We can get more training to improve ourselves. We should increase amount of interaction with team environments and get more opportunities to practice good communication skills such as presentations, public talking and other means of improving verbal communication. This can also further be nurtured by performing more client facing tasks as much as possible.
Overall I was very pleased and satisfied with my experience with ITM 700 and ITM 800 at Ryerson. There was never a dull moment during the course of study in the last eight months. Ryerson provides its students unparalleled opportunities to equip themselves with relevant, current and industry aligned skills and experience in a changing and highly competitive global economy. As a Ryerson graduate I will feel much more confident and ready for challenges that future business life will bring.