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.