July 1, 2013 will mark the second anniversary of Bruner’s Computers at its permanent location. After humble beginnings at the flea market, Mary and Bill Bruner have formed a husband and wife team and built a business that supports them from the ground up. Mary started out fixing computers at a corner location at the Tallahassee Flea Market. Due to demand and need for better place to do repairs, as well as unpredictable rainstorms, Mary decided to move to a permanent location at 5113 Capital Circle (http://www.bruners-computers.com/). This location has been great for providing better space, security, and opening hours, but has been challenging due to road construction. Mary relies on excellent customer service and referral business to get people through the door. Bruner’s Computers specializes in helping people who feel completely overwhelmed by the rush of technology in our modern world. She is patient and explains to customers what went wrong and how not to do go down the same path. She aims to help customers maintain their computers so they will not have to buy a new one. Mary stays up to date by constantly reading and shopping around for the best deals. She has several computers for sale at her location, and is clearing a place for more inventory.
During the past year, Mary has been attending virtually every training class that the Small Business Development Center offers from marketing, accounting, networking, and social media. She has taken advantage of one to one consulting and on site reviews offered by the Center and her lead counselor Christine S. Urban. Mary says that the classes help her “stay in gear” and moving forward with the business improving its marketing efforts. She has recently embarked on a new social media campaign. One of the most valuable and unexpected outcomes that came from SBDC interaction is the connection to other entrepreneurs. Not only can they help each other when facing the same challenges, but Mary has gone on to do business with some of them. She also finds out about programs and services that are available to advance her business. Over the last year she has seen a 37% increase in sales, and continues to grow with further fine tuning and the help of the Small Business Development Center.