|Location Sylvan Lake||Owner Mark Custance|
|Employees 5||Founded 2006|
★ The Business
At first glance, Lakeview Computers looks just like any other small computer repair shop. But owner Mark Custance, whose parents were also entrepreneurs in Sylvan Lake, brings a level of attention and innovation to the business that sets Lakeview apart from its competitors. He grew his operation from a home-based business to a storefront location, and has consulting contracts with high profile local clients like the Sylvan Lake Walmart and the David Thompson Resort. He’s not stopping there, either, as he recently expanded the business to include selling robotics kits and other electronic gadgets and started putting computers into houses that local real-estate agents stage in preparation for sale.
★ The Case
You may have taken your computer into the shop a few times over the course of your life, but you’ve almost certainly never been to a place like Lakeview Computers. The dingy grey carpeting that seems to be a staple of every computer repair shop is instead the kind of wood-grain flooring that you’d see in a show home, and the furniture is arranged according to the principles of Feng Shui. There’s usually both fresh coffee and good help on standby, and if you come in between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on a Monday during Lakeview’s “walk-in clinic”, you can even get your computer fixed for free. “If we can fix it in 15 minutes, it’s free,” Custance says. “If it takes a little longer, we’re usually pretty good about it.”
His take on the walk-in clinic is just one of the innovations that have come out of his regular Wednesday morning brainstorming sessions with staff, for which he closes the store until 1 p.m. One of the more recent ideas to emerge from those meetings is the installation of an oxygen bar – another first, surely, for a computer repair shop. “You can get your computer fixed anywhere,” he says. “But I can guarantee that you’ll never find a place that’s quite like ours.”
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