Entrepreneurial Stories – Complete Computer Services

Izzy Goodman started Complete Computer Services almost ten years ago while working a full-time job at CBS Television. It was actually begun as a hobby: he built a website to discuss safety online. As the number of visitors increased, he offered some items to help defray his costs. Most of them were drop-shipped directly from the distributors. Contact with customers was done via e-mail, which he handled during his breaks and in the evening.

In Izzy’s words…

“Then I discovered some unique ink cartridge products which cut ink costs by about 75%. My sales started going up and the sideline began to take all my spare time. I started to seriously consider giving up my job and doing the business full time. Massive layoffs at the company took the decision out of my hands. With more free time, I studied search engine optimization (SEO) and brought my site to the top of the search engines in a matter of weeks.

Today I am much happier and wishing I had done this sooner. I am also helping others build their own online businesses. Unemployment may not be a disaster but an opportunity.”

What were the obstacles to starting your business (educational requirements, certifications, licensing, insurance, etc.)?

Since it was a home-based sideline, I didn’t need anything other than time, money and knowledge. the only obstacle was that I started it when I still had a full-time job and there were occasions when it interfered with my family life.

How did you find suppliers/services you needed to get started?

I first Googled suppliers in the US. As I started to sell in large quantities, I went to Chinese boards. That’s how I discovered a unique product which no one else in the US has. Sales took off from there.

How did you finance your start up?

I spent less than $500 to start. I probably should have spent a little more – like $1000 – to have a professional website. An article I wrote brought thousands of visitors, some of whom emailed to say the article was professional but the site was disappointing. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

Is this a full time business or a supplemental income?

It started out part time but it is now full time

What advise would you give others?

To those sitting on the sidelines, particularly if they’re unemployed or underemployed: It is always a good time to start an online business. Stop whining about your situation and do something about it. To those thinking they can throw up a website (and some of those sites look like they were thrown up) and sales will come rolling in: if you want to make a serious income, you have to run a serious business.

What was your biggest mistake or failure?

My biggest failure was in trying to cut starting costs too much by throwing together an amateurish website. An article I wrote brought thousands of visitors to my site, many of whom emailed to say the professional article didn’t match the poor site. I learned that your website is the first impression you make and it had better be polished before it is released to the public.

What organizations do you belong to? organizations?

This is the Internet age and I’m a member of many LinkedIn and other groups.

How has your lifestyle changed from being an employee to becoming a business owner?

Absolutely. I work from home. No 3 hour commute. No incompetent VP making mistakes and blaming them on his underlings. No unplanned overtime. My family has commented on how much my disposition has improved.

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3 Responses to “Entrepreneurial Stories – Complete Computer Services”

  • Very interesting article Brandt. It really makes you think about what’s possible if you put your time and energy into it. I wish you had spoken a bit more about how he made his site visible online, in terms of search engine optimization. I’m currently opening a business in South America, and am pleased with the website (it’s not perfect, but it’s not bad) but I am struggling a bit to figure out how to get visibility online. Also, do you think that a business that is run purely online, such as Izzy Goodman’s, should present its website differently than a business that people physically interact with? It seems that the presentation of information on the website might need to be structured differently if you’re trying to get somebody to buy through your website versus trying to get somebody to come to your business site.

  • Brandt Smith

    @Daniel – We only had so much space for the interview. While it would be interesting to ask about how he gained visibility, it wasn’t on my list of questions!

    I personally think that you don’t need to present your website differently whether you have a physical store or online only business. The same things apply to grow your online presence. I personally spent a ton of time (on a different business) building our online presence, and this was for a company who did 100% of it’s work on site at the customer. Check out industrialenergyaudit.com to see what I’m talking about.

    As for search engine optimization, there are a lot of great resources available. You can also speed up the process by paying someone for help. Before you do that, make sure your website is planned and structured correctly to convert the traffic to customers. Contact me directly if you want to learn more. While I’m not the top SEO expert in the business, I am pretty darn good at building websites that convert.

  • I admire Izzy Goodman’s success stories. Those opinion from his site visitors who emailed him seems an inspiration or a tool to made a several attempts for making the site impressive. As we know “we learn from our mistake”.It’s the other tool to motivate us to reach what we really want or goal in life. :D

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