CDR Technicians offer computer repair at your doorstepAdam Tenore and Jared Conklin were having a conversation on Skype last fall when Tenore made a suggestion. “We should start a computer business,” he said. Conklin agreed, and eight months later they have.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
Adam Tenore and Jared Conklin were having a conversation on Skype last fall when Tenore made a suggestion.
“We should start a computer business,” he said.
Conklin agreed, and eight months later they have.
It wasn’t quite that simple, of course. There were rules and regulations to learn. There was a logo to design. The pair taught themselves the basics of website design on the fly as they built their page. But it all came together, and now the 2009 Farmington High School graduates operate CDR Technicians – the initials stand for consult, diagnose repair — from the Farmington townhome they share. They advertise a wide range of services for the less tech-savvy out there, from repairing computers and setting up home networks to installing televisions and video game consoles.
For both Tenore and Conklin, the business is an extension of something they’d been doing for years. Tenore became tech support for his family when he was about 12. He built his first computer from scratch when he was 13. He was Conklin’s go-to repair person, too, until Conklin decided to learn how to fix things himself.
Both are nearly finished with degrees in network administration, Conklin at Dakota County Technical College and Tenore at Brown College, and they took additional certification courses to supplement their self-taught knowledge as they prepared to open their business.
For both Tenore and Conklin, going into the computer support business seemed like a natural step.
“It’s something we love, and we figured we could help people out, too,” Conklin said.
Tenore and Conklin spent a lot of time researching their new business. They looked into how similar businesses operated, and how much they charged. They developed the forms they would use and the policies they would follow. They also had to get up to speed with marketing ideas.
“We know how to do all the technology and hardware stuff,” Conklin said. “It’s just getting your name out there.”
Everything the pair has done has focused on professional presentation. Their webpage is neatly organized, and both Conklin and Tenore wear black polo shirts with their name and the CDR logo embroidered on them.
Tenore and Conklin expect to do much of their work from home. They offer free pick-up inside a roughly a 30-mile radius from Farmington. Anything beyond that is extra. They have already helped customers replace a damaged laptop screen and recover potentially lost files.
Conklin built a work bench that stands in one of the townhome’s basement rooms. Everything on it is neatly arranged.
They also do what they can to make sure people don’t have the same problems over and over. Both Conklin and Tenore have worked help desk jobs and they frequently heard from people who kept making the same mistakes.
Tenore said he’d rather hear from someone who’s having a new problem than from someone who hasn’t learned to avoid the old one.
“I like to teach people when I’m fixing things,” he said. “It’s nice to help them at the same time. Make them feel like they’re getting something out if it other than just a fix.”
Tenore and Conklin are still figuring a few things out, but they already see a future for their business. They would eventually like to expand into working with businesses, and perhaps set up ongoing service contracts with small franchises.
If things go according to plan, a business that started with a casual comment could grow into something big.
“We’re pretty driven,” Tenore said. “Once we set ourselves on something we like to go through with it.”