Photo by Beth Wade
Company gets by with a little help from friends
For the past seven years, Bill Schubert has been making friends in Georgetown—at least that’s how he sees his customers.
Schubert opened Friendly Computers with his wife, Dana, about a month after moving from Florida. The business offers in-store and on-site computer repair, networking services, virus removal, data recovery, and builds custom computers for individuals and small businesses.
Schubert retired from the Navy in 1997 before going to work with Prudential Financial. At the time he had limited knowledge of computers.
“I didn’t know anything about computers, but I learned about computers while I was there and worked my way up to being network administrator,” Schubert said.
Afraid he could be replaced by a younger workforce, he decided to go into business for himself. So the couple packed up their things and moved closer to Dana’s family in Texas.
Schubert said prior to opening his own business he had never considered it as an option.
The inspiration to open a computer repair business came after his son, who was living near him in Florida at the time, experienced some computer issues. Schubert said he noticed a lack of locally owned businesses offering that service.
“Small computer companies are becoming more critical,” he said.
He opened Friendly Computers as a mobile business in September 2005, a month after arriving in Georgetown. In the first few months, he ran the business out of the RV he was still living in with his wife.
“There are some advantages with age [in] starting a small business—it’s having some experience—and that’s worked out pretty well,” he said. “The business side has worked out well. It’s amazing how much you have to learn, but I had the background,”
He opened his first storefront in The Rivery shopping center, and about two years ago Schubert purchased his current location on Williams Drive.
Since opening, Schubert has been able to expand the business and now employs three technicians. He has also been able to add services for small businesses.
“The household side is starting to go away,” Schubert said. “I started seeing that about a year ago, and so we are focusing more on small businesses because they will always have computers.”
Schubert said as computers have gotten cheaper and tablet computers have become more popular, fewer individuals have needed help with computer services, which has caused that side of the business to decrease.
“People really want to see you succeed in Georgetown,” Dana said, adding that Georgetown was the best location for the business.
“People back small businesses here,” Schubert said.
Friendly Computers, 4134 Williams Drive, 931-0303, www.friendlycomputers.com/georgetown