If you did business with me this time last year (or up until July of this year) you would have seen me operating out of a little house with a green front door. This used to be my home office. After pretty much cramming this tiny house to capacity, my fiancee was either going to leave me and take the dogs, or I had to move the business out. (Just kidding, honey) A very exciting location became available and suddenly, I was actually separating my home and my business. (Well, sorta, I mean, I still have a home office, how else would I get work done from home?)
When I was absolutely certain I was moving into the new shop location, I got to work on preparing it for business. But this is what it looked like at that time…
So I got to work on pulling all these bars out of the wall, patching the holes, painting over the name WEEKENDER, and turning this place into a fully equipped repair shop. The first thing I wanted to take advantage of pre-move in was that I now had a window that could literally advertise to people 24/7 as long as they were driving through Midtown Market. I searched and searched for a solution and I found this amazing piece of technology:
More affordable than a neon sign and extremely low operating costs for the SpellBrite! I have NO IDEA how much business this sign alone has brought in the door but people tell us all the time they specifically saw this sign.
After putting the SpellBrite in the window (and putting up a blue tarp in the window to cover up the crazy mess) I was ready to start moving stuff in.
Here’s some of the equipment and workbenches.
The night the above picture was taken, I wanted to start hanging the curtain but my drill bits weren’t doing the trick. So I went across the street to Home Depot to get some stronger bits and when I came back, I was greeted by quite a sight. The police had my shop surrounded!
Uh, whaat?! Maybe I’d set off some crazy silent alarm my landlord didn’t tell me about. That was not the case. It turns out, someone crashed their car into the wall outside my shop. Crazy, right?! I’m not even open to the public and I got people trying to drive through my walls!
I can’t imagine if I had been standing on that ladder when that car hit the side of the building that I would’ve maintained my footing. So thank you burnt out drill bits for possibly saving my life! I honestly don’t know if the driver was OK but I maintain that I’m not helping the situation by walking up and going, “Hi, I’m the owner of this shop. Everyone OK?” When there’s already 4 (or more?) police cars, an ambulance, and a fire truck, I like to infer that things are 100% under control. So, I’m going to stay out of everyone’s way. It’s also worth noting that I have very mild anxiety and I don’t feel comfortable burdening people with unnecessary conversation.
The next day Signs First showed up to install the exterior sign. When I saw this sign outside for the first time, I shed several tears of joy. And I’m not talking metaphorical tears, real salt water tears y’all. It was so touching to see my life’s working becoming more real than ever before.
It took a bit longer than originally planned estimated opening day, July 5th, actual opening day, July 8th. Around 2PM. (getting permits will do that to you, you know?) But we finally got the OK to fully open. This piece of paper set me back 2 days. It was the fire inspection that took a little longer than anticipated. I think I missed them coming by so I got rescheduled! After I had this sheet of paper in my hand I could legally turn on the open sign at the shop and officially begin to conduct business at the new location.
Since then we’ve helped hundreds of clients and we’ve had to create and develop new ways to track jobs and stay accountable to deliver the quickest most effective solutions possible. Let me just say, it has been crazy adjusting to the volume. It’s exciting, exhausting, exhilarating, and every bit of what I’ve always wanted. We help so many people every day we don’t even know what a “slow day” is anymore. (We had quite a few of those at the home office.)
About a month ago the good people of University Mall offered me a chance to get my logo on the BRAND NEW digital sign. When I saw mine up there I was just again overcome with gratitude like when I saw it mounted outside on the building. I never thought I’d be next to all these other huge, well established businesses. But I am. And I’m so happy to be doing it.
I want to assure you that I never take what I have accomplished for granted. For the last 14 years I’ve been my own web designer (can’t you tell?!) graphic designer, consultant, IT guy, motivator, educator, researcher, accountant, mechanic, innovator, marketer, and I love what I do every day. I have no idea how many people actually read my blog, but I felt like I should share at least the last 4 months with you and thank everyone for their continued support.
Since opening the doors there have been many exciting changes in my life. I’ve been on the news, I go on the radio every week, and I am able to serve many more people than I ever thought possible. I want to express my gratitude to each and every client who has supported my business. Thank you for being a part of my life long dream as I watch it become a reality.
Jeremy A Thompson, Computer Doctor
Hattiesburg local, father of 4 doggies, soon to be husband, and lover of all things technology.