Troubleshooting The Web
(Sunday, January 14, 2007) - As the head of information services for two corporations, Alan Rucinski knew a lot about computers before he decided to realize his dream of being a business owner. But he still sought the help of a franchise, Computer Troubleshooters, before starting out.
"I chose to franchise because of the support they provide on the business side, as well as technical help," he said. "A franchise follows a set of standardized procedures. But more importantly, there is a network of other offices to deal with technical questions if I run into something we had not previously encountered."
Having just rebranded, Computer Troubleshooters is a franchise network with more than 450 locations in 22 countries, more than 230 of which are in the United States and Canada.
The franchise got its start in Australia back in 1999. Computer Troubleshooters USA was formed in 1999 by Chip Reaves, who had previously built his own computer service business, CHIPTECH Computer Services, into one of the largest small business computer service firms in Georgia .
Rucinski estimates that since starting the franchise, 90 percent of the business is residential, with the other 10 percent commercial, catering to small business with one to 50 employees. But that portion of the business is growing in recent months.
"I'm hoping to hire two employees this year, an administrator and a technician," Rucinski said. "I service Dyer, Schererville and St. John, and am also looking to buy additional territories."
Rucinski said that most of the problems he encounters involve Internet usage, particularly with ad ware and viruses, often because users don't realize their security software has expired. While he has always enjoyed working on computers, Rucinski said there are other problems in owning a business.
"Marketing and advertising are among the challenges," he said. "You have to get the word out about a business, join the local chambers of commerce and meet people. Funding is also difficult -- to get business loans and make reinvestments to help the business grow. But the business is getting busier every month, and I really feel I am helping people."
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