Small businesses often rely heavily on technology so when things go wrong, having an IT expert speak in ‘plain English’ and fix issues quickly is a huge relief.
Lee Fowler has been coming to the rescue of Bay residents and small business owners for the past seven years to resolve their computer or smart device woes. He and his wife, Chloe, run their business, ComputerLiterate, from their Matua home so Lee can be as involved as possible in the lives of their three children while still earning a living.
“Clients will often just want to use their devices for their day-to-day tasks. But when things aren’t working as they should, or they need help to learn a new way of doing something, that’s when I can help,” Lee explains.
“I provide onsite help at the client’s house or business. I can also provide remote support, or the client can bring their device to me for troubleshooting or repair. I aim to make things as easy as possible for them, with a quick turnaround. I try to speak plain English rather than confuse them with tech talk. I like Steve Jobs’ saying about ‘living on the intersection of technologies and humanity’. I like to be the middle man that makes things easier for people.”
Prior to starting ComputerLiterate, Lee spent three years working as a computer technician for another firm, and a further three years as an Apple technician at Technology Centre. “Chloe was a stay-at-home mum, so we wanted to see if we could make more money this way, rather than working for someone else,” he explains.
“I love that when I complete a job, or help someone with something IT related, I have ownership of that as this is MY business and that was MY client who I helped. I didn’t do this just because I am working for someone and they told me to, I did it because I want to help people and provide for my family at the same time.
“I also marvel at how God has had his hand over our business. We were able to pay back our loan to start the business from Chloe’s mum in our first year of operating and we have always been busy enough to pay our overheads. We had faith that this business would be a success and God has come through for us.”
Running a home-based business, however, does not come without its challenges. Chloe is in her final year of study to become a primary school teacher so having to “switch to daddy day care mode” when she is on practicum at various Bay schools is difficult when 3pm rolls around.
Once Chloe graduates and secures a teaching role, Lee plans to focus more on small business support and build up his client base in that area.
“One of my first clients told me to ‘never sting someone on their first bill’. He said lots of tradespeople will charge the maximum possible on the first bill and because of this, miss out on repeat business. I’ve always tried to look after people on their bills when I can so that good will, will turn into word-of-mouth advertising.”
Lee says he loves the relationships he’s built with many of his small business clients over the years. “They enjoy my advice and support and we have built good relationships to the point where I would call some of them friends.”
The decision to base his business in Matua was an easy one, as it’s the suburb Lee grew up in as a child. “Chloe and I love this area and this city, and I can think of no better place to run a business.”