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I think I’ve touched on this before, but not this particular idea.

Why not take an ad out in your local paper or even go door to door (“we’re in the neighborhood” kind of thing) and advertise your services to set up a computer backup system for people so they won’t lose any of their data if their computer goes down? You would be absolutely AMAZED to know how many people do not have their computers backed up. Almost every single house you go to is a potential customer.

Take a cool looking hard drive with you when you go door to door. Use this one. It’s very cool looking and if you happen to get a Mac household, you’re a shoe in. Tell them you’ll set up the hard drive and ensure their data is being backed up every night at 2am (or whatever time they want) and they’ll never have to worry about it again. Their data will always be backed up.

The hard drive comes with backup software so you can just install it, tell it what to backup and you’re done. Tell them they can get it done now for $250 (which includes the hard drive and backup software and your services to set it up) or if they want to schedule another time, it’ll be $275. You can use that price difference to close the deal. After some talking, etc… just say, “You know, I’ve got some other installs in this area on that date, so I’ll do it for the $250 if you can commit to X date.”

You get the drift. The drive cost you $200 and you just made $50 for maybe 20 minutes of work, if that.

Be sure to choose neighborhoods that might have $250 to spend on backup solutions and it would be a very good idea to take credit cards for your payment.

Carrying the actual hard drive with you will give the customer something to lust after. When you get to the door, hand it to them as soon as they open the door and have them hold it while you talk. It keeps the door open and gives them something to start desiring. Add in your sweet talking about how they absolutely NEED to backup all those MP3 files, pictures, word documents, emails… etc. They know they’ve been putting it off and so many will just say, “Yeah, okay… I need to get this done and I’m never going to do it if I wait for myself to do it.”

Congrats. You are now a career backup technician. Of course, now that you have a relationship with them, give them your card and tell them what other services you do or partner with a tech in the area to give their card to them for a share of the profits in the future… or something like that.

Go forth.

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  1. Just a quick idea. To take credit card payments, simply make sure the customer has an internet connections, and take them via paypal whilst you’re at their home. Nice and simple.


  2. Lesson of 2005: Backup Your Data

    USA Today:
    Reviewing events of 2005, if I were to choose the most important lesson for entrepreneurs, it clearly would be this: Back up your data.
    This year, hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated tens of thousands of small companies. Critical to t…

  3. I’m actually preparing to go door to door selling something similar, but not quite the same. I have set up an ftp server in my home and have written some software that will allow the users computer to log into my server and backup files over the net. With most people on broadband access now it doesn’t take that long, and it is much cheaper for the customer ($5-$15 a month), the files are stored off-site (in case of fire) and it creates residual income for me. Wish me luck…. who knows maybe someday i’ll sell the software to other companys so they can offer the service in their area.

  4. Your $50 in 20 minutes assumes a 100% success rate for your sales efforts, and doesn’t take into account overhead. It also assumes that 100% of the people you attempt to make your sales pitch on are home, willing to invite you in and give you immediate access to their computer. Would you give a stranger who knocks on your door access to your computer that quickly? I suspect that once you take into account reasonable success rates for your sales attempts, and overhead (which should be fairly small with a home-based business), that your earnings are going to be closer to McDonald’s salary levels than $50 every 20 minutes. It’s a nice idea, but you either need to raise prices, or lower the cost of the hardware. The latter is probably more reasonable idea, as few people are going to want to pay $250 or more, when the average price of a computer to begin with is just $500 these days anyway. Plus, with the advances in hard drives, dual hard drive computers are going to be very common on the mid to higher end range soon enough, seriously reducing your target market’s willingness to entertain this product.

  5. Hi Peter,

    The idea is just that, an idea. It’s not designed to be something you can implement to the letter and expect to make a million. I share concepts and ideas… it’s up to you as the reader, if you’re interested in taking further, to figure out the exact details of what about it will work and what won’t.

    This idea is actually a much better one now, but changing the hard drive concept to an online backup set up. There are some very cheap options out there that will pay you as an affiliate to sign them up. There are dozens of variations on this concept.

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