Brian Austin knows that almost everyone has a computer these days – and that most computers experience problems at some point. Because of this, he decided to set up his own small business called Secure Solutions USA, Inc. in January 2008.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Austin is the main man in charge of the corporation, but he has several consultants who work for him when he needs assistance. Secure Solutions USA offers a variety of IT and computer support services, many of which can be delivered remotely.
“We specialize in offering support for small and medium-sized businesses,” Austin says. “We do everything from working on desktops, to servers, to automating and streamlining processes that will help our clients save time and money.”
The IT firm primarily handles small businesses, and its current clients include medical offices, accounting firms, and even landscaping companies. However, it also offers residential services to individuals who are dealing with computer problems. Austin does more of the high-end server work and lets his consultants solve the more mainstream tech issues.
Like other business owners, Austin points to a number of different reasons that gave him the motivation to start up his own company nearly six years ago.
“I started getting into computers quite a bit around the year 2000,” he says. “I worked for several years as an employee, but I knew I wanted to take this work in my own direction someday without having a boss and being tied down to a regular job. So I decided to start up my own small business.”
Based on experience, he believes that operating a successful company involves having the right people on your team and having confidence to be able to solve any problem that arises for a client.
“The thing with computers is that you really don’t always know what you’re getting into,” he says. “We offer top-notch services that can help anyone. I only hire consultants who are overqualified, and we always figure out the answers to things because we take the time. The clients aren’t paying us to guess. They’re paying us to know the answer to something.”
Small business owners enjoy a wide range of aspects of their roles. For Austin, it’s all about customer service and putting a smile on the faces of his clients.
“I enjoy being able to go into a situation, make the appropriate decisions, and see the results. I like to see the business owners be happy with our work.”
Small Business Competition in the Tech Field
Competition is a big part of most industries. According to Austin, he competes with similar small businesses by offering more personalized services and taking advantage of the ever-growing number of opportunities out there.
“Computers are like cutting grass,” he says. “There’s always more business to be had. As far as separating ourselves, we actually talk to people one-on-one. We have pictures of ourselves on our business cards. We believe that people want to deal with a name and a face, so we strive to make this a priority with our clients.”
Using a website, Google Adwords, and social media are just a few of the small business marketing strategies Austin has implemented for Secure Solutions USA. He has noticed, though, that word-of-mouth may be one of the most important ways of building a customer base.
On a related note, he believes that small business marketing and advertising should be top priorities for startup companies to truly see success.
“Every small business owner has a skill set, but nobody is really that knowledgeable about advertising unless they’ve worked in it,” he says. “It took a lot of book reading, trial and error, and copycat marketing for me to figure it out.”
He points out some of the pros and cons of being a self-employed business owner.
“You don’t have a boss, you can make as much money as you work for, and time isn’t tied to money all the time,” he says. “The downside is that if the phone isn’t ringing, there is no real safety net. It’s all on you. If something blows up at night, you have to fix it.”
Austin, who is a client of 1-800Accountant, says he’s had a good experience working with the accounting firm.
“I have been very satisfied with the services. It’s been well worth it for sure. I’m into computers. I’m not an accountant, so it’s kind of an invaluable resource for me. I would definitely recommend 1-800Accountant to others.”