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Small Business Digest


Computer Support Options Frustrate Small Business, Survey Suggests: New Solutions Offer Help ASAP

Small and home-based business leaders often make decisions based on the trade-off of their own time versus the cost of hiring someone to do a task.

When a computer problem arises, many smaller enterprises, with limited personnel resources, face the dilemma of diverting time and staff from their main tasks or finding an expensive expert to fix it.

With computer issues, it’s typically the operating system or hardware that goes bad. On the program side, it’s usually people not knowing how to do something. Often, the right expert can fix in minutes what the individual manager would spend hours researching and learning to fix.

Access to affordable expertise is the premise behind new computer help marketplace  To see how you can profit from CrossLoop, click here. The site offers 24-hour access to more than 10,000 experts at affordable prices so users can get the help they need and get back to being productive. fills a need expressed by many smaller enterprise leaders.

“When it comes to my computer, I know just enough to be dangerous,” said Houston economist, Dr. Kenneth E. Lehrer. “So when I have a technical problem, I want it solved quickly and fast and preferably not by me.”

“But let’s face it, I can’t afford a full-time IT specialist and certainly not the cost of someone coming into my office and tinkering with my computer at $60-an-hour,” he added. “Worse, I really never learn what the problem is or how to fix it, if it happens again,” Lehrer added.

Dr. Lehrer is not alone.

In recent months, this newsletter’s parent, Information Strategies, Inc., asked small and home-based business leaders what they did when computer problems arose.

More than 400 managers and home-office users responded. Among the findings:

  • Respondents said they spent an average of 34 minutes identifying where to obtain information to fix their problem.
  • While one in 10 respondents said money was not the key issue in solving a technical problem, time was.  More than 80% of respondents said having a computer unavailable often led to lost sales or opportunities.
  • A significant majority, (78%) said they prefer to talk to a live person when dealing with problems involving their own computer.
  • Three of four respondents (76%) said they preferred to have an expert show them what the problem was and how it is fixed.
  • Almost one in five (19%) said they thought online information offered by technical product suppliers was inadequate or non-existent.
  • Only a slight majority, (51%) said they solved their technical problems through online sources alone.

According to CEO Lisa Alderson, the new marketplace enables a smaller enterprise to:

  • Save time and money by avoiding trips to repair centers.
  • Find an expert on nearly any tech support area at anytime of the day or night or on the weekend.
  • Pay for help only when you need it.
  • See the expert working on the problem by allowing the expert to connect to the problem computer.

The new offering is an alternative to other options, most of which require taking the computer to a repair shop. In recent months, Staples has joined Best Buy in offering computer repair services through their retail outlets. Another option is to have a so-called expert come to the location, but many smaller firms and home-based operations find this service to be exceedingly expensive and not immediately available.

Alderson says her offering saves time by enabling experts to connect and communicate remotely. For more information, click here.

© 2016, Information Strategies, Inc.
P.O. Box 315, Ridgefield, NJ 07657