It has always been my dream to start up my own business. It all started when I was 13 years old. I found 2 broken old computers in the attic, which I managed to merge into 1 fast working pc, using the best components from each machine.
From this point on I started to notice that many people struggle with their malfunctioning computers, phones and networks. I started with giving people advice and tips on how to solve the issues, which later turned into me starting my own student company called ‘Tom's Computer Solutions'. I managed to run this service for 3 years; I targeted the British community in my Belgian neighbourhood. I noticed that the Brits weren't comfortable with the local Flemish repair shop as they weren't particularly helpful or friendly.
Unfortunately it all changed when I moved to the Netherlands at the age of 18 to start with my university studies. The mouth-to-mouth marketing and reputation I had built up in Belgium was all gone which gave me 2 options: Start from scratch again or stop the computer service.
I noticed that my lectures and trainings were very useful and could easily be applied to my computer service. I changed the company name to ‘Voordelige PC Hulp', in English ‘affordable pc assistance' and I targeted local Dutch speaking people who weren't willing to pay 50 euro per hour to your average Dutch computer repair shop.
I launched several marketing campaigns on different websites to find new customers. The Dutch equivalent of Gumtree gave me the highest Return on Investment. When people searched for computer or laptop parts on the second hand website, my ‘ad' would appear at the top of page, directing people with computer issues straight to the description of my service. The reviews on my ad boosted my reputation in the area, which gave me an enjoyable but challenging hobby and profession beside my study.
I noticed that a lot of people contacted me about broken laptop and smartphone screens, which gave me the incentive to expand the business to desktop, laptop and smartphone repair.
To keep my customers informed about the latest trends I decided to engage on social media. This would inform pervious customers about my progress and give potential customers insight of my services. I enjoyed the social media part a lot as it was free and a very convenient tool to stay in touch with the world. The platform I enjoy the most is Youtube. I have over 200,000 views on my videos, helping people with broken phones and computer.
Unfortunately, university work caught up with me. I hardly found any time to repair computers or answer requests. The lack of time gave my ad bad reviews, which resulted in less demand. As I knew university came first, I decided to end the ad and shutdown anything related to the company.
The time had also come to look for an internship; I had the choice to work in any field related to my course (international business & management studies). As I mentioned before, the Social Media aspect of the whole experience fascinated me. Now look at where I am, a Social media-marketing intern for Fownd. It is funny how small things (in my case 2 broken computers) can have such huge affect on someone's life and future.