Special to Emmaus Patch By Chrissy Cilento, Emmaus High School Senior
Business: Applied PC Solutions
5831 Kings Highway S, Old Zionsville
Owner: Joseph Marks
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; Saturday 9 a.m. to noon
What service do you provide?
We do complete computer repair -- so that would be virus removal, data recovery, hardware upgrades, software upgrades, etc. Lately we’ve been featuring iPad and iPhone repair, so that’s now something we can do. We’re starting out with the “i” devices mainly, but we can do some HTC’s too. We do repair for Mac laptops, but not Mac software, per say.
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Why did you choose to locate your business in Old Zionsville?
It’s the town I grew up in and the township I grew up in. It also gives me a chance to interact with local people.
What inspired you to start your business?
It was an emerging field. Right out of school I went to work for a company, and I saw a market that was growing. That was right when people were using AOL and dial-up, so it was just the start of people getting PC’s in the home regularly. I had an interest in computers and was able to provide a service in this area that nobody else had...I’d say for at least a year or two I’d just do stuff with spare parts at home because I definitely had the knowledge and I tried to apply that to whatever I could afford at the time. But a little bit of something else figures in too, like how a building just happened to be available at the same time I was looking to open a business.
What is the most rewarding part of your business?
Being able to take something and make it grow. Also to be your own boss and set your own schedule. [Owning your own business] definitely gives you more decision making ability -- for good or bad -- but I mean it gives you more control and flexibility with the direction of business, and it’s definitely rewarding when you’re doing that.
What’s the hardest part of your business?
Economy plays a big part -- you’re not guaranteed work. You can have some really good months, and you can have some really bad months, so it’s the fluctuation of the business that can be kind of scary.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Bigger isn’t always better. One of the guys that was in business for a long time when I first started my business told me that you don’t want to get big too soon. Your reputation is more important than getting bigger. The bigger you get the more problems there are.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about entering this business and why?
Trust yourself, and don’t be afraid to take a chance. Because the only way you’ll know if you can do it is if you try. You only get so many opportunities, so don’t let them pass you by. For instance, I think when I was going into business, I didn’t actually think it was going to work, but I never really thought about it not working -- I didn’t think that far ahead, I just did what I thought I needed to do.
What do you do when you aren't working?
I have a brand new daughter, so family time is really important now. So I love spending time with my wife and daughter -- it’s great. I also have a garage on the side so I build cars in my garage with my buddies. And going four-wheeling -- that’s always fun.
Chrissy Cilento, a senior at Emmaus High School, plans to study journalism in college. She is a periodic contributor to Patch.