Daily News photo/ALY GIBSON Andrew Murphy, left, and long-time friend Chuck Allen own PC Bros. in Dowagiac.

Duo offers tech-savvy skills

Published 11:29pm Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When Andrew Murphy and Chuck Allen, both lifetime Dowagiac residents, first met at Union High School, they didn’t quite get along.

So they went into business together, but not before finding a common interest and passion for all things electronic.

Murphy and Allen, both 21, had eventually become close friends through a love of video games, and formed the computer repair and customization business PC Bros. more than a year ago without a cent funding their endeavor.

Now, after trial-and-error marketing strategies and “learning from the mistakes,” the duo has turned their part-time business into 100 percent profit.

“We were glad to get the mistakes out of the way early,” Allen said Tuesday. “It’s a slow process, but one thing led to another.”

With a growing clientele base, and room for expansion, Allen and Murphy pride themselves and their business on always finding a solution to any technology-based problem they encounter.

“We have never abandoned a job,” Allen said. “We finish everything we start and if we don’t know an answer, we work to find it.”

With a range of expertise, Allen and Murphy have gone from installing simple software programs on clients’ computers to customizing and hand building an entire PC from scratch. Other calls have included installation of security systems, home theater systems, computer repairs, parts replacement and even some “light” car audio installation.

“We love to learn and we’re constantly finding cheaper, more efficient ways to offer our services,” Allen said.

Currently, the pair is taking business as it comes. There is no five-year business plan, but Allen and Murphy agreed they hope to make the business their full-time, gainful employment. Murphy works at Honor Credit Union, while Allen is a professional tutor at Southwestern Michigan College.

“We’ve taken classes in technology and we’ve studied the field,” Murphy said. “Our experience, though, comes from actually doing the work ourselves, not a textbook.”

The areas that bring in the most customers so far have included Buchanan, Three Rivers, Niles and Marcellus. Allen said he hopes that more people in Dowagiac will catch on and skip out on the trips to big-box stores for their electronic needs.

“We can customize and build a computer to fit anyone’s needs that will last for years for the price that they would pay to buy a generic computer that will last maybe a year and will have stuff on it they don’t want or need,” Allen said.

Murphy agreed, saying that while they can’t always please everyone, they never stop trying.

“It’s a trust factor,” Murphy said. “Once people give us a chance though, they’re always happy.”

The business owners set up a booth recently during Dowagiac’s Summer in the City festivities, showing off custom products they’ve built and allowing passersby to play a racing game, which helped get the word out about their business.

“It’s a passion for us to build nice things,” Allen said.

Murphy said the joy they get from getting all the parts for a client’s machine and putting it together fuels their motivation to be professional business owners.

“When we’re done putting a new computer together and you turn it on, there’s this new computer smell,” Murphy said with a laugh. “It’s awesome.”

For more information about PC Bros., email sales@pcbros.net or support@pcbros.net; call (269) 783-5015; or visit www.pcbros.net.

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