Would you walk?


My friend and I ran a pretty successful IT business in Darwin, but the problem was, and I’m sure this is not just a Darwin thing, but clients wanted the earth but didn’t want to pay for it. Mind you I’ve generally noticed that Darwin does have the tightest people I’ve ever seen. They’d expect service straight away but as soon as you mentioned a call out fee and a wait, they’d crack the shits big time. Why should I have to wait 2 hours and pay a call out. It should be free. In the end we dumped the call out fee and raised prices, that didn’t really help, but it did stop the arguments about call outs. After that they’d just try and argue price and haggle. Often saying I’ll find someone else. Calling back half an hour later to book in a time, after failing to find a really cheap IT business. Ironically that would often mean the wait was now longer.

That’s not to say all clients were horrible, a lot were salt of the earth. They’d be understanding and more than happy to pay for quality service and parts. But as time moved on, business clients sold businesses or got out of business and it became harder to find decent clients.

I managed the web hosting, web design etc. after a while that became a “why am I paying you, I can build my own website on wix.” I tried to explain that they were getting custom design website specific to their needs, but most jumped to wix. In the end a lot called me to ask for help and support with the wix set up etc. when I mentioned charging them they’d crack the shits, but it’s free! My time isn’t. I sort of realise now I undid myself, where most people would charge money to do small odd jobs and updates for clients. I wouldn’t. I thought I was value adding to our services, but it just meant they’d expect any small jobs to be free.

In the end my business partner and I decided we wanted different things. We both moved down south, I went into media and he became a web services manager.


Hey @iMic,

One of the things I tell myself… whether true or not I’m not 100% sure… is that at least in the job I’m doing, I get to spend a fair bit of time setting up complex Excel spreadsheets, tinkering with formulae, getting things right. Which I enjoy - almost harks back to playing with HyperCard as a kid. If I didn’t have that…

It really sounds like there’s nothing holding you at your job now. Time to put as much time as you can into finding something new, whether it’s with another business in the same industry, or something new entirely… (Sparky? Probably not as technical as component level work… and lots of dirty dark holes to climb in to service poorly kept wiring…)