Derek Franklin of Personalized Computer Solutions can save you both time and money in getting all of your computer and technology needs met correctly the first time. He loves a good challenge and is always willing to try something new. Nothing is more satisfying to him than being able to solve a client’s dilemma. Whether you need help with diagnostics and troubleshooting, virus removal or data recovery, he is the person who can handle the job!
Derek thanks for talking with us today. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what got you interested in technology?
I grew up in Santa Cruz California, before moving to Ashland 15 years ago. I became fascinated with computers at an early age. The first one I was exposed to was a black and white Mac. We have come a long way since then! I was fascinated with this machine and what it could do. Since there was no Internet back then, I had to figure things out by trying programming. Every time I discovered something new, I was driven to go further. I guess that’s how I developed my problem solving skills. I had no idea how much they would help me in the future.
What got you interested in helping other people?
I discovered a lot of people didn’t understand computers, and some were actually intimidated by then. Technology was pretty rough when it first came out, so it was a lot more error prone and unforgiving when it failed. The desire to explore it was greatly reduced, as there was a fear that one could accidentally break it. I had a gift for helping people feel more comfortable with their technology by understanding it better, so that it became more of an asset, rather than a liability.
How did you start your own computer business?
When I first moved to Ashland, I wanted to continue helping people with their technology. I had learned a great deal over the years and felt confident in my knowledge, and problem solving skills. A friend suggested I start my own business, but I was a little scared that I might not be able to make it happen. Putting my fear aside, I made up flyers explaining the scope of my service. I then focused on going around to all of the small businesses in town, introducing myself to their owners. I let them know how I could help them and their employees with their technology issues. Before long I started getting calls for help, and that’s how it all began. I now have over 500+ clients and growing.
How has it been working with the people of Ashland?
It’s been awesome! People here are really friendly and supportive, which has been the reason for my success. I enjoy working with entrepreneurial, independently minded people who want to push the boundaries of technology. It’s fun for me tackling the challenges they face, making their relationship with their technology more user friendly and less intimidating. This area is really supportive of new and developing businesses. I never thought when I was passing out flyers that the business would grow like it has. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to pursue my passion and make a living doing it. I love being my own boss!
Derek, would you mind sharing a success story with us?
I was recently asked to help a client setup a new network in a building that had just been built. There were 8 vacation rentals and it was imperative to get WiFi operational as soon as possible. We ordered network equipment via Amazon, and had it shipped via 1-day delivery. The electricians had installed network cables into the walls during the construction process, but I discovered they were wired in a way that was completely foreign to me. We brought in a wiring expert Tim Sorby (this guy knows his stuff) and he discovered the cables were setup for telephone service, not Internet service. It took a while to individually address every connection in every unit, but we got it straightened out and Internet-ready. Thank God for Ashland Fiber Network, those people are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. Chad Sobotka was especially awesome. There were several times I would not have been able to move forward without his assistance! The time sensitive nature of the project was intense and the technical issues made it more challenging, but we got it done and it’s working perfectly. These are the kinds of challenging projects that I enjoy the most. They give a feeling of accomplishment that makes me happy and proud.
What’s the best tip or advice you can offer?
Back your data up! That way it will still be safe if something happens to your computer or device.
What are some of the services that you offer?
• Syncing Information and Devices
• Diagnostics and Troubleshooting
• Computers and Devices Setups
• Network Setup and Support
• Technology Education
• Viruses and Malware Removal
• Hardware Installation and Upgrades
• Data Recovery and Backup Solutions
• Software Installation and Configuration
What do you find yourself doing when you’re not working?
I enjoy volleyball, laser tag, exercising, and videos games. I’m kind of hooked on Pokémon Go right now.
What makes you enjoy your work as much as you do?
Part of the fun is the unique situations I encounter while helping clients. I find challenging projects are the most exciting, as they expand my knowledge and help me become better at problem solving. I’m constantly learning something new! The other part is the amazing people that I get to work with. They make my job easier and worth doing.
Derek, I have called you many times and often times you are able to help me on the phone. Then on top of that, you always have essential information on hand and can even work remotely.
It’s been an honor! You always throw fun projects my way and I enjoy working together. Technology does enable me to locate information fairly quickly these days. It’s nice having everything interconnected, as I can connect with people in different countries and assist them remotely with their computers. I can bring up technical records on devices without being onsite, which helps me solve issues much faster. It’s all stored in a database that is designed to maintain client confidentiality.
Over the past years of working with you, I’ve always found our conversation together to be straightforward, clear and concise.
I like to get right to the issue and not waste my client’s time or money. I also try to make things easy to understand using language that’s not so technical.
Other than advertising in the LocalsGuide, your business in Ashland has been entirely grown from word-of-mouth referrals. Now that we’re doing this feature interview, I expect you’ll be even busier.
That’s right, word of mouth has been huge and advertising in the LocalsGuide has significantly increased my business. I look forward to taking on additional challenges, as I prefer to be busy and more active.
Derek any last words or comments you would like to share with our readers?
I want to thank all of my clients for the opportunity they have given me to learn and grow, which has enabled me to serve them better. And thank you Shields, you’ve given me plenty of fun projects and business promotion. It has truly been an honor to work with so many amazing people and I look forward to many more great experiences in the future!
Personalized Computer Solutions