The Doctor For ComputersKen Hughes
Owner, Ike Tech Consulting
Please tell us about your business. I offer computer technical support with a twist. I do work on-site and always go to the client. I’m really looking at the situation holistically, as opposed to the typical technician who asks where it hurts. Most technicians will look only at the issue and what’s wrong, and don’t really discuss cost effectiveness or your overall experience. Rather than fix the one thing and be done, I’m more about a long-term relationship. It’s sort of like having a mechanic or a dentist – you don’t just go to them once, you’re looking for someone for life.
What is your service like for new customers? Usually I get an initial phone call because something has broken. I can start there. But my preferred world is to be proactive. Somebody realizes they are always struggling and want a better experience; they want someone to come in and walk them through things. To that effect, I do a free assessment. What I’m doing is actually taking the pulse of everything, explaining it and giving to that person in writing the pros and cons, the strengths and weaknesses of their setup and what they can do to improve it. I do all my work there, I never take anything away. My mantra is cost-effective. So if a new machine starts at $500, we don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a box that’s three to five years old unless there is a really good chance of success.
What operating systems do you work on? I work on Mac and Windows, but not Linux. However, with the popularity of Droid, I provide service with those phones as well.Why did you start this business? It’s what I’ve done all my life; it’s my bread and butter. I knew the minute I saw a computer in high school in the 1980s that was what I wanted to do. When I graduated from high school, I moved to San Francisco and I got a job with one of the world’s largest law firms taking care of their phone systems as well as helping with their computer systems. Before moving to Kauai, I was doing this exact same consulting business in Sedona, Ariz., for nine years, and I wanted to replicate my success there here.
What is your advice for keeping your computers running as efficiently as possible? Maintenance is the key. You should have your computer maintained every six months. So just like you go to the doctor, or you go to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned, you should be getting your computer tuned up every six months. If you do that, you’re going to prevent some of the bigger problems from happening. Be proactive; don’t wait until something breaks, because by then it may be too late.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your business? Seeing the light bulb turn on when people always have wondered why something happens or how it works and I explain it to them – and all of a sudden everything makes sense.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your business? Microsoft Windows infections.
Mac or PC? Windows pays the bills, but I generally prefer Mac. I run my business on a Mac and find them far less problematic.