Is this a good marketing idea?

MHGCMHGC subscriber Posts: 1
edited February 2008 in Marketing
I`m starting up a mobile computer repair business and I was thinking of
ways to get business.  An idea I had was I would drive the
neighborhoods scanning for unsecured wireless networks.  When I find
one, I would place a flyer on their door offering to secure their
wireless network for free.  Of course I would explain how the purpose
is to get my business name out there and that there are no strings
attached.
I realize that there`s the possibility that this may seem creepy to
some people so I was wondering what people think the reaction would be.
«1

Comments

  • DavidNCDavidNC subscriber Posts: 1
    I had another idea to share.  I suspect as much advertizing as possible is your best bet.  Then, word of mouth will take over along with repeat customer business.
    What about creating a flyer that goes to everyone`s home?  What the flyer needs to do is highlight the key benefits from the customer`s frame of reference.  These would include things like protecting their identity, getting their computer fixed within 24 hours, or whetever customers think about as key benefits.Now here is the thing that might make this work.  Create some sort of thing, like a magnet or a business card, that they can keep by their computer.  That way when something goes wrong, they name is right there.  I had an electrician pull out a Sharpie and write his name and number on the electical circuit board in my garage.  I`ve called him ever since!The key issue for you seems to be at what point home computer owners decide to call a repair guy.  My guess is that it is when there is some sort of poor performance or a crash, but I don`t know.  Getting your name right by the computer would help.I would hesitate to approach people based on seeing that their system is not secured.  I suspect some people would consider that an invasion of privacy.  I do think it would be ok to give them a flyer that outlined all the potential benefits you might provide, including securing the network.  I just would steer away from conveying that you are seeing into their home via the street.  I would also suggest that you outline all the benefits to them anyway.  Good luck!
  • Innovator7Innovator7 subscriber Posts: 9
    Craig, are you trying to be facetious?
    Any mobile business will face competition from other mobile operators.  Barrier to entry is just the cost of a vehicle, provided skills already had.
    I`d suggest try the business market.  Business owners need (desperately) to have their computers working, more than homeowners.
  • MHGCMHGC subscriber Posts: 1

    Woah! This is an absolutely Genius idea!! Not only do you extract your
    customers from the crowd, but it`s entirely scaleable. At the start,
    it`s just you driving around, but as you grow, your employee pathway is
    to hire more drivers!
    Don`t worry about the "creepy," that`s your key selling feature and
    benefit! If you can do it, anyone can. You`re selling protection,
    security, and avoidance of identity theft, three major hot-buttons
    today.

    The "extraction" of customers is exactly why I hoped this might be a good idea.  People who inadvertently leave their wireless network open NEED someone like me.  Getting a note on your door will spur some kind of action with 99% of the people out there.  I never thought about it, but I suppose the creepy factor may be a benefit.
    As others have said, the need to appear professional is of course incredibly important.  A uniform would lend towards that end.  Thanks everyone.MHGC2/26/2008 7:53 AM
  • MHGCMHGC subscriber Posts: 1
    I`ve had mixed responses on a couple of forums that I`ve posted this on.  I`ve decided I`m going to go ahead and put this together and try it out on a couple of neighborhoods.  There are three wireless networks that are unsecured that I can detect FROM MY LIVING ROOM.  It seems there is plenty of opportunity for business here.
    Thanks everyone.  I`ll post how back how the reception was.
  • toppdoggtoppdogg subscriber Posts: 8
    Hi, MHGC,
     
    I agree with Innovator7.  You should try the business market, particularly small businesses.  Most of these businesses do not have a "computer" guy/gal (more like they can`t afford a fulltime computer guy/gal).  But they need their computers up 24x7.
     
     
    toppdogg2/27/2008 12:36 AM
  • MHGCMHGC subscriber Posts: 1

    Hi, MHGC, I agree with Innovator7.  You should try the business market, particularly small businesses.  Most of these businesses do not have a "computer" guy/gal (more like they can`t afford a fulltime computer guy/gal).  But they need their computers up 24x7.

    I`d like to do something like that, but I have a regular day job.  I`m
    only available after hours and on weekends.  If a business is having a
    computer issue, it`s usually in the middle of the day.MHGC2/27/2008 8:58 AM
  • KevDevKevDev subscriber Posts: 5 Member
    You know, you just might want to talk to an attorney about this (I`m not one). This definitely strikes me as creepy. Consider this analogy - driving around town looking in windows at night to see who you can market window shades to!
    I think I`d opt for the direct mail route and blanket the neighborhood rather than risk being accused of invading privacy.
  • Wirehead321Wirehead321 subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    I have to say all of your ideas are very good. But being in the WIFI business now for eight years. I found that getting my customers was by word of mouth. You don`t have to drive around. What you could do is work with a housing contactor building a new home that could have a Wifi network built in. Become a Home media center dealer that set up complete home networks some networks can run as high as $10,000 and up. Work with your vendor as a reseller ans have them feed you leads. I know from experience. I became a dealer for Proxim and my first lead from the was a school. The deal netted me over $40,000.00 My second school $25,000.00 So if you are part of a vendor like Linksys, Cisco, D-link or other wifi equipment provider see if the do lead generation. If you want to deal with small business that is looking to set up a wifi system show them how wifi is another service they can offer their customers that will keep them coming back and staying longer that means buying more. Some examples are Starbuck and Borders Books who have T-mobile hot spots now Starbuscks is whrre people meet and business is done. I know I use Starbucks as my office on many occasions. I have also started working with state government on a wifi project they are looking for a consultant to show them how wifi can be used at state offices. So there are many ways to do this stop driving around and look at what your mobile business really does that is managing data in a mobile world. That`s what we do here at Wirehead Technology. If you need more ways to create mobile market send me a private message. I would be happy to consult with you.
     
    Best Regards,
     
    Howard Lee
    CIO
    Wirehead Technology
  • ProfessionalListsProfessionalLists subscriber Posts: 1
    I’m with Craig man, that`s a GREAT idea!  So many people probably don’t know that they`re `unsecured` also don’t know how to fix it and would not research anyone to resolve the problem because they don’t know it exists. 
    Further when they get an expert in the house they`ll probably ask other questions and you can let them know your hourly rate and ask if they`d like you to go ahead and fix those issues too. 
    After a visit such as this I’d leave them with a handful of cards and a warm thank you.  To be sure they remember you I may even consider creating a monthly news letter with helpful hints! Do keep us in the loop as to how this idea works out. 
    I`d try to find businesses that are like this too, or possibly even  especially and target them~!
     
  • ProfessionalListsProfessionalLists subscriber Posts: 1
    You know, you just might want to talk to an attorney about this (I`m not one). This definitely strikes me as creepy. Consider this analogy - driving around town looking in windows at night to see who you can market window shades to!
    I think I`d opt for the direct mail route and blanket the neighborhood rather than risk being accused of invading privacy.

     


    I am always a big fan of direct mail, and if you need some help with that let me know (shameless plug) but, I think this is  great idea.  Also, you don’t have to have a computer on and be in the neighborhood looking shady for a long time you can use a key chain devise.



     



    http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/watches/9313/


    http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/89d1/


    or if your just a tech junkie…


    http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/80ce/

  • MHGCMHGC subscriber Posts: 1
     
    I am always a big fan of direct mail, and if you need some help with that let me know (shameless plug) but, I think this is  great idea.  Also, you don’t have to have a computer on and be in the neighborhood looking shady for a long time you can use a key chain devise.  http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/watches/9313/http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/89d1/or if your just a tech junkie…http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/80ce/

    Devices like that can`t tell you if the network is secure or not.
  • LauraGullettLauraGullett subscriber Posts: 0
    I always wanted to do the same thing.  I feel people already should know that WiFi is not secure, since it has been on the news several times.  There is no "privacy issue" when it isn`t secure in the first place.  The criminal knows it which is why they can tap in and get away with it.  The person who sets up and configures the network is the one responsible for making sure it cannot be tapped into.  The only way to know that is to test it from a criminal point of view and find out what is secure and what is not.
     
    At a work location once our router person gave us access on a major worldwide network and told us to try doing whatever we wanted on those routers.  They said if we break something it was their fault for not configuring it good enough.  The idea is to "want" people to try to break it, so you can find out what needs to be changed to make it better.  You just need the "right" people to do that, so you can find all the problems and fix them, so the criminal can`t get in.  If you ignore this philosophy then the criminal will do whatever they can get away with.  It is up to the good people to stay ahead of them.
     
    What you can do by finding out which places are not secure is by asking for an appointment with the manager on offering free security checks of his/her WiFi network, because of all the advertising of how insecure they are.  That is your "personal approach" to the person in charge of the cafe place.  Your technical tests have already been done to know who to talk to, but you do not need to tell them that, since they don`t know who you are yet.  Then do the same tests again in front of the manager that you did earlier, only do recent tests on the spot to show the manager how the network needs some security work.  Then after they understand give a presentation on how to help them fix that problem.  A very important point is to make them understand that secure issues are an ongoing problem and needs frequent tests to find out if they are still secure at any given time.
     
    You may see my technical experience and more about me at www.skybits.com.
    Laura Gullett
  • Wirehead321Wirehead321 subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Dear Laura,
     
    I am very impress with your level of IT knowledge. I have been approached by a IT consulting frim that is looking for people like you in the Ohio area. i am in Chicago. I just got of a meeting with them about an hour ago. I think would be very interested in talikng with you. Can we talk off line if so send me a message at [email protected]
     
    Best Regards,
     
    Howard Lee
    CIO
    Wirehead Technology
  • bellapriabellapria subscriber Posts: 1
    I agree, targeting people and pointing out an issue they already have is a great idea!
  • MHGCMHGC subscriber Posts: 1

    Congratulations, MHGC! You`ve found a recipe for success: identify a problem for which you can offer a solution!   Please check local city/county ordinances before deploying your flyer idea. Many require permits to distribute material `door-to-door`. Watch for residential and commercial property polices regarding "No Solicitation" or you could find yourself in violation and facing fines.   Perhaps you could make note of unsecured addresses and use direct mail to advise them of your service. For other more specific suggestions, feel free to contact me. 

    Yeah, I called the city about going leaving flyers on people`s doors and the city considers that solicitation so you need a solicitor`s license.  To get that, you need proof of insurance and a $500 "Surety Bond".
Sign In or Register to comment.