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Knowing Just Enough To Be Dangerous

It could have been a very bad day for Jim (not his real name) and his company.  When he called me early one morning last week, I could tell he was panicking and desperately needed help.

Jim’s company recently added a new wing to their building.  They ran their own network cables, installed new switches, and even a new wireless access point so employees could connect to the Internet with their phones and tablets.

Now Jim is fairly knowledgeable about computers.   It’s not his main job at his company, but since he’s the one who knows the most, he’s tasked with handling all the technology.

But when some of his office computers couldn’t communicate with their server while others could, he was stumped.  As the problem progressed, more of his employees couldn’t do their jobs – costing his business time and money.

When I arrived on-site, I discovered Jim had missed one small, but VERY important box that needed to be unchecked when he installed the software controlling the wireless access point.  This minor detail completely disrupted his business operations for nearly three hours – and cost him the fee for an emergency service call.

Jim thought he was saving the company money by doing the work himself.  But in the long run, it cost the company a lot more than it would have if he would have let us install it.

Unfortunately, I see this all the time with both business and home users.

Someone will call describing a problem, and then throw in, “And I had my grandson look at.  He knows a lot about computers.  He tried a few things, but he couldn’t fix it.”

By the time we look at the computer, the original problem has been made worse.  Repairs now cost more than what they would have before the “tech savvy” relative had tried their fix.

Are you guilty of this?

I used to be.  I would try to save money by fixing broken things around the house on my own.  I’d call a friend or family member who knew more about whatever was broken than I to see if they could do it cheaper than a professional.

Most every time, I ended up having to call an expert anyway – and pay more than what I would have if I would have called them first.

Not only was I ticked that neither I nor my friend/relative couldn’t fix it and that we had wasted hours, but now I was mad at having to spend lots more money.

Eventually I learned this truth from business coach and mentor Darren Hardy: “If it’s not your specialty, you shouldn’t be doing it.  Hire someone who is.”

Friends and family are excellent supporters to help in times of need.  If they specialize in something you need help with and are willing to assist for free or reduced cost, absolutely take advantage of it!

But if they happen to know just a little more than you, but it’s not their field of expertise (i.e. what they went to school for or what they do every single day in their job), save yourself the frustration and the extra expense – call an expert to do the job right.

* * * *

I was saddened and surprised to learn earlier this month that Adam’s Computers in Princeton will be going out of business at the end of this month.  Adam Hudson opened his business three months prior to Calibre in 2004.

Adam and his team have been worthy competitors these nearly 11 years.  I know it had to be a very difficult decision for him to make.  I wish Adam the best in his new career.

If you have been a customer of Adam’s Computers, Mark, Will and I here at Calibre Computer Solutions can continue to provide you excellent LOCAL computer service and support – both home users and business clients.  No need to waste time traveling to Evansville and experiencing long service times.  Feel free to give us a call at (812) 386-8919.  We’ll welcome you with open arms.