Simon Waters Computers Solutions Limited is a small IT solutions business based in Wanganui, New Zealand, and launched in May 2013. It is presently a one-man operation, supported by a team of strategic partnerships and sub-contractors.
The principal of the business is Simon Waters (right), who discovered finding work during a recession and at the tender age of 48 was not going to be as easy as hoped. Simon completed a Bachelor of Information and Communications Technology (Applied) degree from the Universal College of Learning in 2012 after a highly successful yet ultimately redundant 20-something career in newspaper journalism. He had always been passionate about computing and decided to seize the opportunity of redundancy to effect a career change, working in the exciting and ever-changing world of IT.
"I am passionate about IT and have been for many years. My first browser was Mosaic which arrived on a series of 3.5-inch floppies and my internet connection was a whopping 14.4kbps - ah the good ol days of dial-up, eh :)
"I have seen a revolution take place since then as technology has continued to evolve at break neck speeds, creating new possibilities at every turn and enhancing our lives in ways we could never have imagined even just a few short years ago. Who could not want to be part of that?"
Simon re-entered the workforce late in 2012 as a self-employed technician for the Computers In Homes charity, administered locally by the Wanganui District Council.
That was the springboard he needed to take on other clients and, realising it or not, he was in business.
After taking professional advice things evolved from a sole-trader arrangement to a limited liability company and Simon now has his sights set firmly on the future and growing the business.
The company already has several Strategic Partnerships in place enabling a broad range of services. Staff, and ultimately business premises, are on the radar.
So what's his point of difference?
"I guess we all say we aim to offer excellent customer service. But price would be one. Having a tech base at home means lower overheads so that's something the customer benefits from. Having an IT degree might be another, though there are a lot of talented techies out there."
A free pick-up and delivery service is an appealing point of difference for many customers, especially those who have transport issues or are not confident about unhooking and hooking back up a labyrinth of cables.
"Ultimately it comes down to who people trust, who gets the job done with minimal fuss, on time and at a competitive price. Customers will make their own minds up about that - we just have to concentrate on doing our best in everything we do. Hopefully word of mouth will take care of the rest."