One of the keys to running a successful small business or happy, efficient home is knowing what you’re good at, and when to ask for help.
For many whose strengths are elsewhere, this is especially true of today’s ever-changing technology.
Fortunately, that’s exactly the forté of Oak Bay Computers owner Ian Robertson.
With more than 20 years in the computer and technology industry, Robertson is an expert in his field. It was while working in the corporate world that he was also receiving many requests to help people on a smaller, more local scale. From that seed emerged Oak Bay Computers.
“The business grew out of the need,” he reflects.
For Robertson, that personal connection happens to be the element of the job he enjoys most: building those one-on-one relationships with clients.
Serving both Mac and Windows products, Oak Bay Computers offers in-home and office services such as set-up and troubleshooting, repairs and upgrades, backup and data recovery, full office IT management and remote support services.
From homeowners simply wanting a system to stream Netflix to those looking for a full computer system for their 10-person office, Robertson believes in taking a holistic approach to ensure clients receive exactly the products and services they want and need.
The fact that Robertson grew up in Oak Bay and knows the community well resonates with clients, he says.
“Oak Bay is very much a longevity-based municipality and it’s a word-of-mouth municipality,” he explains. Clients appreciate “the person at the other end of the phone; it’s the personal (connection).”
Common requests he’s seeing from homeowners include wireless troubleshooting and solutions, tutorials for communications tools like Skype and Facetime, and help with digital photo collection, storage and sharing. Others seek help setting up separate wifi accounts that limit children’s and teens’ wifi access to certain times or days, for example, without limiting others in the household.
One of the key components of Robertson’s company is the option of remote support – familiar to anyone coming from the corporate world – that allows him to access the client’s computer from his office for both tutoring and support/troubleshooting.
For security the service is fully encrypted and is only initiated by the client, Robertson notes.
For both home office and small business, Robertson has a variety of service models available, but many appreciate flat-rate service plans and customized plans that provide the support they need at a set price every month. As one client noted, “It’s like having an IT department without the staff salary.”
Coming up later this spring, Robertson will host several free (with no sales pitch) 90-minute technology information sessions exploring topics like “iPad Basics and Video Chat with Your Family” and “Can I Cut My Cable and How Many Gigabytes do I Need?” (leading into streaming only). For more information or to register, visit www.oakbaycomputers.ca.