Dave Bender came to the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center in March 2008 with a desire for funding information for a computer store he planned to open with his business partner, Jerry Miars. When he first met with Business Advisor Ola DeGabriele, he brought along a draft of a business plan for the proposed new store. Ms. DeGabriele reviewed with him different options related to starting a new business, including legal entity, market strategy and funding sources, to name a few. Then she turned her attention to the initial business plan, which she noted was lacking in financial projections.
Over the course of several meetings, Ms. DeGabriele provided a template to assist the business partners in putting together financial projections such as cash flow and break-even analysis and helped the two entrepreneurs refine their business plan. “We put a lot of work into the business plan,” according to Mr. Bender, “but it was well worth it because the plan gave us a better overall comprehension of the start-up costs involved.”
Alpha Computer Mac & PC, LLP opened for business on November 1, 2008, in a small strip mall located at 301 Stable Drive. Alpha Computer specializes in three major categories of computing – desktop computers, notebook computers, and servers – with a focus on providing network systems and services to small- and medium-sized businesses. The available network systems include PC-based LAN systems and mini-computer, server-based systems, and the services offered include the installation of network systems as well as training and support.
In addition to offering custom-built computers and network systems, Alpha Computers specializes in exceptional service for both Apple Macintosh (Mac) and personal computers (PCs), with service work conveniently available at the client’s site as well as depot service. Also available at the new store are computer components for those who like to complete their own repairs, along with a variety of computer accessories.
Future plans for the business include adding a couple more employees and expanding to a second location. In the meantime, the two business owners keep in touch with the Northeast Indiana SBDC and do not hesitate to refer others to the center. “The SBDC is a good place to get information and help,” Mr. Miars says, pointing out that “it takes a different skill set to run your own business instead of just working for someone else.”