Frequently Asked Questions

What services does Holland Consulting provide?

Holland Consulting is a computer support resource for small businesses.
The primary thrust of my business is networking, however I typically act as a first "point of contact" for most of my clients support needs.



Other computer support issues

What DOESN'T Holland Consulting do?

No, Holland Consulting doesn't do anything and everything.

Where do you do work?

Primarily the Detroit (Michigan) Metropolitan area.  Telephone consultations to other areas can be arranged, but I am not really wild about responsibility for a system I can't lay my hands upon within an hour or so in a crisis.

What do you charge?

Everyone's favorite question.  Click here for detailed rates.  Short version, $125/hour.

Wow, that's a lot of money!  I have a neighbor who will help me for much less than that!

Very possibly.

Most people take the $125/hour, multiply that by 40 hours a week, and multiply that by 50 weeks/year and come up with a darned impressive number, and they figure my service has a very low overhead.  Unfortunately, that is not the way it works.

First of all, I like to keep a "loose" schedule for the purpose of being available when problems arise.  Like most people, I get frustrated when I go to a doctor's office at the time of my appointment, and end up waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  Or having a repair person come by, where if you can get a four hour window of when they will show up, you are doing well.  I don't want to do these things to my clients -- I find that much more than 15 billable hours in a week starts getting difficult to manage.  There are many other things which take up my non-billed time, none of which I get direct revenue from, but are critical to the business -- travel time, research, keeping up with technology, etc.

As for the overhead, it is much higher than you might expect -- software, hardware, books, equipment, it adds up.  Worse, much of what I end up investing in has the effect of reducing the time required to diagnose and repair problems.  This means I often end up SPENDING money to REDUCE my income!  I do this deliberately and consciously, however, as I feel that for the long run, providing top-notch support will improve my business through referrals.

Unlike your neighbor, this is my job.  If you have a problem at 10:00am in the morning on Tuesday, you can get ahold of me.  If your needs are not critical to the operations of your business, your neighbor would probably be a better choice.  However, if your computer support needs are critical to your business, you need a full-time support provider.

How many people are employed by Holland Consulting?

One.  Nick Holland.  And to head off the next question, yes, I work out of my house.  Other than I would love a lot more space, I can't find any reason to have an office.  Although it might be nice to be able to "go home" from the office, many of my clients appreciate the ability to reach me at odd times of the day and weekend.

Wouldn't it be better to have someone else to "back you up"?

Perhaps... However, if you look at many "larger" computer service companies, you will often find their entire network support staff consists of one very capable person -- except that person's pay goes to pay the book keeper, the phone answerer, the building, etc.,

Another problem is, who?  If the person I would hire was my equal or superior in abilities, why would they wish to come to work with me?  If the person I were to hire was my junior in skills and ability, do you volunteer your client to be supported by the second-rate person?

I think I provide some of the best support available to my clients.  I do not believe this is in spite of, but rather BECAUSE of being a very small company -- you have one person doing, scheduling, designing, repairing, billing, etc.

Yes, there is a risk that if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, you will be without a support person.  However, in the case of many "larger" companies, which still have only one support person, you aren't in any better shape.  I am aware of this concern, and it is legitimate.  This is one of the reasons I keep my systems very easy to support and maintain.  A competent network support person should be able to walk in and continue the maintenance of one of my systems.  I'd rather keep you a client by keeping you happy, not by keeping you hostage.

How stable of an operation is Holland Consulting?

Well, this has been my one and only source of income since April, 1992.  That's a pretty good track record in this business.

I also brag that in my first year of business, Holland Consulting had higher profits than both IBM and General Motors combined.  But then, IBM and GM were both running at a loss in 1992.  )

Why don't you pursue medium and large businesses as clients?

Well, small businesses are just more fun.   They pay their bills in a timely manner, I get to work with the decision makers and the system users in one group, and they understand the importance of their computer systems to their business, and are much more likely to be results-oriented, not just obsessing on names.

That being said, I don't hide from medium sized businesses, although I try to keep from having any one client responsible for more than 10% of my annual revenue.

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since June 24, 2000

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