Today marks the 1 year-in-operation anniversary for Top Flight Computers, wooohooo! Most people say that the first few years (especially year 1) are make-or-break for a small business, and I could not agree more.
The first 6 months or so was very dull. Not to say that it was boring, I just had no sales (which is a drag). Most of that time was spent figuring out social media, to an extent. Stepping into a world that relates to a hobby (PC Gaming and construction), but isn't quite that world...is very daunting. Taking the leap from enthusiast, to Founder/President/Lead Designer, is not for the faint of heart...although it can be very rewarding.
Enough of that, let's talk about a few things.
Things I didn't expect to have to think about:
- Quotes, and all the wording that goes into them. This applies to Invoices too. Documents are very important to a business, as it provides a fallback point-of-reference. Business documents are different than your generic books/grocery lists/essays, they need to be focused, detailed, and clear.
- How connected we really are. Social Media & SEO (when executed properly), can raise your footprint dramatically. Specifically-paid marketing and SEO duties are effective as well, though they aren't free (and free is awesome). Even how you choose to connect with your community, and how you interact with them...makes a tremendous impact.
- The time commitment. I love running this company, it is my dream. It does however, demand much of my time. Not to say that I don't eat or sleep; it just requires time. You won't get a high-quality product, without putting in the due effort/time. Quality is my primary focus in this business.
Things I really enjoy:
-Getting feedback from friends, family, and the community overall. You make it worth all the trouble. There is no greater joy than seeing a clients face when you restart their new PC in under 10 seconds...and they've been used to a 30sec-1min restart time. Bar none.
-Making products. I wouldn't be in this business if I didn't genuinely love building PCs. Sure I may nick my fingers every now and then, and puzzle over some random pathway/connection...but I do love what I do. Except really tall air coolers. They are the devil.
-Networking. Small business has it different than big business. Small business is a hustle-and-bustle deal. If you don't want to put forth the effort to talk to someone new, you'll never know if they're a business connection, advisor, friend, or even a potential client. Networking has tremendous power. You have to put yourself out there, be the face of your company. Take that flying leap into the beyond.
I really love Top Flight Computers. I didn't know this was my passion until a few years ago, and even then, it was but a small spark in my mind. Well, that spark has transformed into a full-on inferno. Thank you all for all your support, I could not have done it without you. I look forward to many years of designing quality-built custom PCs.