August 24, 2010 08:00 ET Research Reveals What Small Business Owners Want and Don't Want When It Comes to Tech Support

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - August 24, 2010) -  A new focus group study commissioned by online tech support company, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRT) reveals both the desires and concerns of small office and home-based business owners when it comes to maintaining and repairing their technology.

The research, conducted in July 2010 in Philadelphia and Cincinnati, involved men and women who own a small business and work primarily outside the home as well as those who own small businesses and work primarily from home. The respondents were specifically probed on their technology needs, how they implement technology for their companies, and how they typically overcome technology issues.

What They Want
When asked what they would want from a professional tech support provider, the respondents offered the following:

  • A service that's focused first and foremost on their business needs as opposed to their "personal" or "family" needs. Most of these business owners separate their personal computer from their home computer and treat them very differently.
  • Fast and affordable access to their IT support 24/7; 365 days a year
  • Routine computer maintenance to help their computers stay optimized
  • The ability to call frequently should they have a problem
  • Expert recommendations on software and hardware purchases as well as business consulting

What They Don't Want
When surveyed about what's holding them back from utilizing professional IT services, the respondent shared the following concerns:

  • One Size Does Not Fit All: Every small or home business has its own unique tech support issues. The respondents indicated that they want a company that understands this and can tailor their services to best meet their needs.
  • Information Overload: Focused on running their businesses, small business owners don't have the time or the inclination to wade through vast amounts of information in order to choose the products and services that are right for them.
  • Need for Speed: Most companies they were aware of were neither fast nor affordable. Additionally, waiting for a friend or taking the computer to the store for service was problematic.
  • Sensitivity of Business Data: Privacy is an issue and respondents admit that dropping off and leaving their computers at a third party location causes anxiety.

Putting Their Technology at Risk
A majority of the focus group participants admitted that their concerns about professional IT help have led them to fix technology issues themselves or to rely on friends or family members for help. As a result, their computers may not be getting the proper routine maintenance it needs, such as defragmenting disks or removing unused programs which slows computer speed and performance and can reduce productivity.

A Better Option
When presented with the option of having their computer fixed securely and remotely by a third party who understands their needs and can fix their problems promptly, the respondents were in favor, with one business owner saying "it is exactly the type of service I've been looking for."

Expanding on their wish list, the respondents said they would prefer an online remote technology provider that can save them time without the loss of productivity that results from having to disconnect their computers and bringing them elsewhere for service.

"The results of the focus groups indicated that owners of small and home-based businesses have very specific needs that they feel aren't being addressed by existing tech support options. We believe there is a substantial opportunity to deliver high quality remote services to this customer base over the phone and the Internet," said Anthony Rodio, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of

About, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRT) provides hassle-free, expert tech support services and software that help consumers and small businesses with their technology needs.'s live online tech support is conducted over the phone and the Internet by highly qualified Personal Technology Experts™ who are 100% based in the U.S. and Canada. also provides consumer software for the do-it-yourself customer., Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. is a trademark or registered trademark of, Inc. or its affiliates in the US and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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