“You cannot start a business if you don’t get up and try”
Name: Andrew Patch
Business: PCRS Computers
Founded: November 2011
Location: 420 Winchester Road, Geneva
Education: earned A+ certification at South Adams Junior-Senior High School
How would you describe PCRS?
The PCRS stands for Patch’s Computer Repair Service, but that seemed to long so I shortened it. We do remote software and operating-system repair, which means you don’t have to bring the computer to us, we can connect through the Internet to your computer to fix it.
Most of our calls come from customers who need us to remove a virus or get rid of spyware or malware. We also do a lot of system maintenance and offer a full line of computer-related services. Nine times out of 10, if your computer’s running slow, we’ll just do our $50 PCRS Computers tune-up and it will be running fast again.
I started the business because a lot of other people I knew doing this were pushing products they wanted to sell. I care more about just fixing the computers and making sure my customers are happy.
We really try to strive for customer service and maintain long-term business relationships with our customers. Our motto is “treat you right for less.”
How did you start PCRS?
When I was in high school, I learned I was great with computers and found myself spending more and more time fixing them, optimizing them and playing with them.
After high school, I was in and out of factories, working 60 hours a week and taking what ever temp jobs I could get working with computers. I was basically doing this on the side and wanted to start my own business and be my own boss doing this full time, but I was playing it safe.
Then, like a lot of other factory workers in the area, I got laid off. I said to myself: “You know what; you’ve always wanted to do this, so why not try it?” And I finally had the time to give it a try.
People at the Berne Chamber of Commerce and Northeast Indiana Small Business Center gave me the jump start I needed on my management skills, and I started a Facebook page and website for the business and started letting everyone in the area know PCRS was open.
What is ahead for the business?
We’ll always be updating our professional certifications, and right now that includes getting a lot of classes through Microsoft. You don’t stop training once you start; every year you have to do something.
Right now, I’m the only full-time, permanent PCRS employee, and I bring in additional people for projects on a temporary basis as needed. I’d like to grow the business enough to add permanent employees and to move it out of the garage to a building with a nice classroom area I could use to provide customers with computer training.
What do you like about your work?
You never face exactly the same situation with a computer twice. You can have two computers that are identical in every way and you’ll have two completely different problems because they can have different things happen to them.
I like facing a different challenge every day and helping people solve problems with their computers, which everyone has come to rely on so heavily. Sometimes people will be absolutely distraught.
It’s all about seeing that look on a grandma’s face when she’s found all those grandkids photos she thought she lost forever. It’s that type of feeling that keeps me getting up in the morning.
Do any moments at PCRS stand out so far?
I live about four miles south of Berne and in the summer we have a festival we call Swiss Days. I had arranged for PCRS to have a booth there, but didn’t really know if the business would last that long during its first few months, before many people had heard of it.
It seemed like everyone there came to the booth to participate in a PCRS drawing for T-shirts, gift certificates and a Toshiba laptop, and they all said they were glad to see this kind of business had opened in the area.
All that community support just kind of boosted my spirits, and I’m going to show them PCRS deserves their business.
What have you learned from your work?
Get off the couch. You cannot start a business if you don’t get up and try. I put it off for five years because I thought I couldn’t do it.
It’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be fast money, but the rewards of finally doing what you’ve been wanting to do will outweigh what you’re putting into it. You just can’t get anywhere until you start.