Norm McLaughlin, the founder of Norm’s Computer Services, tells us how they offer computer repair and troubleshooting services, etc., for different computers and electronic devices.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Norm’s Computer Services.
Norm McLaughlin: I grew up in Northern Ireland and attained a Master’s Degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast. I spent the first eleven years of my career working in various engineering roles for Canadian multinational Northern Telecom (latterly Nortel and then Nortel Networks). Following this time, I spent the next fourteen years in the non-profit world in non-technical roles and moved to Sydney, Australia, during that period.
Towards the end of 2015, I first launched my computer repair and IT support business. Initially calling the business Norm’s Computer Repairs, I changed the name to Norm’s Computer Services in early 2019. The new name more accurately reflects the range of services I offer as it is both a computer repair and IT support business. I’m someone who thrives on unpredictability and who loves solving problems, and my business enables me to play to my strengths just about every day in my life.
Following three successful years in Sydney, we made the decision to relocate to Brisbane in Queensland. This effectively required a relaunch of the business as I provide the vast majority of services on-site, and starting again in a new city meant starting from scratch with no local clients. Three years on, the business is even more successful in Brisbane than in Sydney.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Norm McLaughlin: The beauty of my business is that, for the most part, each individual job is completed on-site and with no ongoing maintenance required. At the end of each day, however long and busy that day has been, I endeavor to complete the necessary paperwork and administration. As a result, each day is a new beginning with brand new challenges.
How does Norm’s Computer Services market its product/services online?
Norm McLaughlin: When I first launched the business in Sydney, I used Google Ads as my main source of new leads. However, in 2018 Google began restricting ads for third-party technical support providers. This effectively meant it was no longer possible to market my services in this way. As a result, and with a move to a new city imminent, I began to seriously utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order to attain natural placements in search results from organic search.
In my view, it’s almost impossible to market a business online without Google, and my SEO activity has now resulted in the vast majority of my leads coming from Google organic search. I also utilize Google Business Profiles to market my business in specific local areas. While unable to offer Google Ads, I actively employ Microsoft Advertising on Bing, and I use Facebook Ads. The goal of the latter is mainly to raise awareness of my brand to a specific demographic in specific local areas.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Norm McLaughlin: Many of my competitors at the top of Google’s search results are the larger, corporate companies with marketing budgets far in excess of my own. Other competitors are smaller, local businesses that offer services much like my own but may rely on word-of-mouth and other more traditional means to gain new clients.
I truly believe that the service offered by Norm’s Computer Services is superior to that of most of my competitors. Reviews and testimonials reflect this. To date, every single external review of my business has been a five-star review. Simply put, I plan to stay in the game by continuing to maintain high standards and providing outstanding, personalized customer service.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Norm McLaughlin: I have many customer success stories, and it’s always gratifying when someone tells me that I’ve solved a problem another company failed to solve. As far as specific customer success stories go, how about this quote from a recent client called Deb.
“100% HIGHLY RECOMMEND NORM’S COMPUTER SERVICES!!! Super impressed and grateful to Norm for getting my hard drive up and running. I was immediately at ease when I received and read Norm’s quote details, he knew exactly what issue I was facing based on the quote details I had submitted, and I knew right then that I was going with him. Norm arrived on time and promptly fixed my problem, exactly as he had mentioned when I called him to re-confirm our appointment. So friendly and a great conversationalist. Don’t hesitate when you get a quote from Norm. Seriously, do yourself a favor, and you won’t regret it. Now I’m stress-free and ready to work Monday morning – THANK YOU SO MUCH, NORM, APPRECIATE YOU!!! ***Honest ***Professional ***Reliable ***Knowledgeable ***Friendly ***Warm Smile“
Your final thoughts?
Norm McLaughlin: It’s been a pleasure to share something of my story with you, and I hope you’ll find some inspiration here. For me, getting up every day to do something I love, and putting smiles on people’s faces by solving their computer issues, is a great privilege. Truly I am living the dream!