I am very thrilled and honored to have been interviewed in Boston Voyager.
Here is an excerpt from that discussion.
Meet Dave Berkeley of Satuit4me
Today we’d like to introduce you to Dave Berkeley.
Dave, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I worked at Intel as a Field Applications Engineer for 16 years. In 2016 Intel was downsizing in the range of 12K employees. Although not quite ready for retirement at 56 years old, I decided to accept an early retirement package from Intel, a company that I really enjoyed working for. I have always loved all things related to technology and wanted to run my own company, so I spent 6 months researching and planning to start a business.
I decided to provide a broad range of services initially to make a determination on which services would resonate most with my clients. I targeted Smart Home, Computer Services, and Business Telephone and Cut the Cord services. An Interesting email critique I received from a vendor sums up my business model, The Subject of the email was “You.Provide.So.Many.Services”.
My top priority is to exceed client expectations and treat others how I would like to be treated by service professionals. It amazes me that one of the things I get complimented on is that I return phone calls and show up on time, which should be the rule and not the exception.
After about a year I was contemplating narrowing down my company focus, but I ended up keeping all services and even adding a few. This is not a typical business model but I have found that the latitude of services I offer my clients as a Technology Partner meet many of their technical needs. I sometimes get requests from existing clients for services outside of my scope. In one instance a client I installed a surveillance camera for asked me to mount a 60” LCD TV on her living room wall. Another client asked me to build a shelf for her cable modem and router. This business model also provides a great sense of freedom for me personally as a small business owner. I intend to keep my business small and even refer to it as an iSB (Intentionally Small Business). I am very fortunate that I can concentrate on creating great service for my clients and not be so constrained by time and money. This Michelle Obama quote sums it up, “Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I refer to it as trial by fire. I do and have done a lot of research on of starting and running a small business and have certainly made my share of mistakes along the way. I built a website that was a limited in functionality but it was a good start for a company presence on the web. After a year I was ready to move my website to a more professional platform. I really enjoyed learning how to use WordPress to set up a professional looking website. I am very happy with the results, and I have learned that Internet and social media presence is essential for a successful small business.
I have also been challenged with installing and servicing technology that I didn’t have a lot of hands-on experience with. However, through research and learning about new technology I have found a few solutions to this challenge. I have purchased products ahead of client installations so I could gain experience, and I have also found a significant amount of resources, including videos and documents to gain knowledge about the latest gadgets.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Satuit4me – what should we know?
Satuit4me is located on the South Shore in Scituate, MA. My company provides IP Surveillance Camera, Smart Home Automation, Computer Services/Repairs, VoIP Business Phone Systems, and Cut the Cord Streaming.
I highly customize my client services to tailor them to their specific needs. I spend time up front with clients listening to their needs before making any recommendations.
The level of service is really the key differentiation between Satuit4me and other providers. I always strive to go above and beyond in regards to service and it really resonates with my clients. I am always happy to address any issues that may arise and they sometimes do occur. Standing behind my service is part of my commitment to the client. Honesty is integral to the company’s reputation and if our service is not appropriate for the job at hand, alternatives are always suggested.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I really appreciate the patience and support of my wife and family. They are always available to provide suggestions and advice for the progress of the company.
I have really learned a lot from my clients and they have helped me shape and position my business, including how best to price services. I always try to provide great value for my company’s product and services.
My brother, who is a business owner, has been a key contributor to my business. He always provides sound advice and support whether I ask for it or not.