|Delphos business owner offering opportunity for veterans|
|Friday, June 06, 2014 7:59 PM|
BY NANCY SPENCER
DHI Media Editor
DELPHOS — Area veterans will soon have the opportunity to own their own business. A Delphos-based computer servicing and tech repair company is leading a substantial innovative retail pilot project. The franchise, PC-ER (Personal Computer Electronic Repair), is locating at a major retailer east of Lima and north of Van Wert and they are looking for veterans to work with them to launch an outlet.
PC-ER is dedicated to recruiting, training and then selling the franchise to veterans to own and operate.
Owner Maggie Wannemacher, who has 25 years of experience in the technology field, said she came up with the idea several years ago during the height of the war in Iraq.
“I kept thinking, these men and women are fighting to protect me. What can I do as a civilian to honor them?” she asked herself. “The Geek Squad was just becoming a household name and I thought, ‘Why can’t we do that’?”
Wannemacher, a Delphos native, started out in the University of Michigan, moved on to Gannett News Services and then opened InterMedia 3 in August 1994, which serves as franchisor in this endeavor. She pitched her idea to a major retailer who liked it and initiated a pilot project. The retailer gives the veteran-owned franchise space in its stores.
“We have two locations in the pilot phase, which means they are being designed, painted and equipped and will be ready to go in just a few weeks,” Wannemacher said. “It’s just $7,500 for the build-out phase with a total cost to the veteran of less than $25,000 and they will have their own business inside the retailer with guaranteed customers.”
Wannemacher said the interested veterans don’t necessarily need to be tech-savvy to own a PC-ER.
“They don’t need to have all the computer skills necessary to work on them. They can hire techs for that,” she added. “They just have to want to own their own business and be willing to put in the work on their end.”
Wannemacher said a wide variety of services being offered by the PC-Er franchises including computer, lap top, cell phone tablet repairs; manufacturer’s warranty work; and classes offered to the public on a variety of topics.
Wannemachers says she is on track to have 20 PC-ER locations up an running by this time next year. Locations include Sydney, Piqua and other cities along the I-75 corridor south of here and also north toward Toledo.
Veterans can gain assistance in purchasing PC-ER locations through the Small Business Association, county revolving loan programs and GI-Bill incentives.
Call InterMedia 3 at 419-692-8211 or the Van Wert County Commissioner’s Economic Development office at 419-238-6159 for more information.