What's the best business to be in during a recession? Bar-tending or debt collection are decent bets, but Marlene Jones, an entrepreneur in Webster, TX, is thinking it's a good time for repair services too. Marlene and her husband Ron purchased a Friendly Computers franchise in 2006 and have been hard at work since selling at-home (or business) computer repair and networking services to their target market, the suburbs of Houston. She says they are busier this year than ever.
"We expected a slowdown, but we did not get it," said Marlene Jones. "We've actually grown the last couple of months. People are fixing their computers here instead of buying a new one."
Best Buy's Geek Squad and Apple's Genius Bar may be the best-known sources of home/office computer service, but the fast-growing Friendly Computers chain (with 130 stores in 39 states currently) tries to differentiate itself with lower pricing and speedy response.