“With today’s technology we don’t see distance as a barrier,” says business software consultant Jill Garrett. “We have clients in Palmerston North, Napier and Wellington. It’s not a problem to be providing services over the internet.”
Being based in a provincial city has other advantages for Garrett, a former Aucklander.
“We enjoy the lifestyle and it’s only a five minute drive to work.”
Established in 2000, the company is co-owned by Garrett and business software consultant Jenni Parkinson. Blue House Computing employs six staff with strong accounting backgrounds.
Parkinson says one of the biggest challenges is getting people to see training and software as an investment.
“Once people have invested in that training, what they get out at the other end is so valuable to them as they can start using their systems to the full potential. When we first started people were just dabbling with accounting systems and now they are a must.”
Both women agree people want more information out of their accounting software and to be able to use that information on a regular basis.
“They’re using it as a daily tool and seeing accounting software as an asset to increase their business rather than a cost,” says Garrett. “They’re looking at the data and really analysing who the clients are.”
Clients are kept informed of the latest accounting software.
“For a small business MYOB is still the most popular software, but we have recently offered a new product called Infusion and a lot of people are switching to that – it’s a step up,” says Garrett.
Blue House Computing is also a reseller for HP hardware.
A recent change has been the introduction of Windows Vista. The company has worked extensively with clients to ensure they know how to use the operating system.
“The technicians have had to go on a steep learning curve to know what is causing problems. As long as the client’s software is compatible they want to change, which is good,” says Garrett.
Building ongoing relationships is very important for the company.
“Jenni and I sell and install the different types of business software and then we provide ongoing support anytime they need us,” says Garrett.
As its website states: Blue House Computing can train people who have an accounting system and are not utilising features such as sales analysis, profit and loss reports and job costing reports.
The company offers training seminars with an onsite meeting room and Garret says this is where it stands out.
“We can provide the whole package so clients aren’t dealing with their accountant for software issues and we have technicians for hardware. We have an extensive in-house database, so it only takes five minutes to organise an invitation to a seminar and email it out.”