WorkForWeb brings you an online interview with Mr. Amnon Nissan, the owner of Deltaforce Technologies Inc., who is also a radio podcast host at WKIX Radio. DeltaForce Technologies is a Raleigh, NC-based ISP and a Web studio involved in a number of projects primarily targeting the local communities. Amnon is sharing with us his experience in the online service provider business.
Amnon has been in the IT business for longer than some of us have been able to read. Unlike a lot of experts who are no longer up-to-speed with some of the new stuff on the Net, Amnon is staying abreast with all the current trends. He seems to put a lot of efforts in educating his clientele with all the latest developmnets via his radio show, podcasts and daily interaction with the folks seeking his services. We honestly do not know how he manages that along with actively taking part in all his other commitments and multiple hobbies he's into.
Q.: First off, thank you so much for taking time to give us an inside scoop into the way you run your online business. It'd be great if you could please briefly describe your background and your business?
A.: Nissan Inc. was formed in 1981. I was a car mechanic then. I got involved with computers in 1983. Was one of the first participants in FidoNet (pre Internet) and other BBS systems. Quit the car repair business in 1986, and started my computer business, building and repairing IBM clones. Became an ISP in 1994. Deltaforce is an Internet Service Provider, and computer service, owned by me. It is a full service ISP.
Q.: Looks like you have a ton of experience in IT, having started your business quite a long time ago. What does IT mean to you? Is it work, way to make money, or passion?
A.:All the above. I like computers, I like helping people, and it puts food on the table. It is a lot of work, but it is also fun.
Q.: We heard that you are devoting some of your time to educating the local community and bringing them your perspective on the latest technology developments. How do you come up with the ideas for your podcasts?
A.: Have you been watching the podcast? :-) Anyway, having a computer service operation, I talk to customers and I know what bothers them. That is the best way to help others. Reading articles is another way. In most cases though, I really don't have much chance to talk about what I prepare, because the show takes a life of its own. Someone asks a question, and calls start coming in concerning the subject. And... at this point it is not only the local community that is being helped, but the world community. We get calls from Africa, Europe and Asia.
Q.: What are the main challenges your business had faced back when you had just opened it, and now?
A.: Growing the business.
Q.: What makes DeltaForce unique and special?
A.: I answer the phone :-) Customers like that. We treat each customer as an individual, and make sure they are happy with our services.
Q.: You are spending lots of time personally interacting with your customers. Why, and what does that give you in return?
A.: Word of mouth, and personal satisfaction. Knowing that I helped someone is worth its weight in gold (as long as you pay the bills too :-)
Q.: How do you find your customers and how do they find you?
A.: Ahhh, that is the main problem. I don't do traditional advertising, and I don't go out looking for customers (don't know how). In this day and age, my show is the best tool I have for getting my name out. Word of mouth is still the best way. I am also a member of a networking group (BNI) and got a few customers that way.
Q.: Do you envision a lot of transformation that your business will have to go through in the next five years? If so, what specific areas fascinate you?
A.: No I don't, but then I don't have a "working" crystal ball. We roll with the punches, and when a new piece of technology becomes relevant, we work to try and incorporate it into our offerings.
Q.: Finally, a couple of recommendations to other readers who intend to start an online business.
A.: Start slow. Don't spend money that you didn't make already. Be honest with your customers.
Raleigh, NC, Spring 2011
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