In one of the weakest economies the U.S. has ever seen, most Salt Lake Community College students are focusing on getting through school while working, not on starting their own businesses. This is not true of SLCC student Jeffrey Doty. Doty, a Computer Information Systems major, is currently working on getting his computer maintenance service, Geek Me!, off the ground.
Surprisingly the struggling economy is not what Doty identifies as his main obstacle, “Developing a reputation that will allow customers to trust me,” is Doty’s concern about starting his own business. Creating a positive reputation is especially difficult concerning students’ dependence on their computers.
Since students are so dependent on their computers it can be hard to turn them over to someone, but this is why Doty says computer maintenance is so important. Doty explains that the average person will spend more time on their computer than any other device or tool they have, including their cars, and just like cars computers need to be maintained. Whereas students are familiar with washing their cars, changing oil and getting tune-ups, they’re not necessary familiar with computer tune-ups, hard drive cleaning and repair, and virus and malware removal.
These are just some of the services that Geek Me! will provide. Beyond regular tune-ups, Geek Me! services will help with upgrades, custom building, and even website design. Part of Doty’s business model is providing these services at a flat fee of 20 dollars, with a money-back guarantee. This is a price that Doty says is much lower than PC Laptops, Geek Squad, or Geekbox. The reason Doty can do this is because working with computers is both a practical skill and something he enjoys, not something he depends on financially.
And if your Internet Explorer keeps crashing, Doty recommends, “Get rid of it. Go with either Firefox or Chrome, they will treat you much better,” Doty jokes that Internet Explorer is really “Internet Exploder.”
Doty is currently taking several classes to further his knowledge about computers, including Java programming classes and HTML courses. Doty says his time at SLCC has “Helped [me] to see the different areas of programming and where I would like to do with computers in the future.” After his time at SLCC Doty says that he would like to get his degree in computer systems management, with an emphasis in database management. Beyond that Doty would like to pursue a Masters in computer security. Right now Doty is working on launching a Geek Me! Website, balancing life and school, and making sure that his current customers remain satisfied because, “I want your business later down the road.”
If your computer needs a tune-up you can contact Geek Me! at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, Doty says, “Get your Geek on.”