Voted the No. 1 independent computer repair business for 10 consecutive years in a "Best of Lincoln" web-based survey, Schrock Innovations opened its Omaha Service Center near Village Pointe in the fall of 2010 and celebrated its one-year anniversary by being named No. 1 in a "Best of Omaha" consumer competition.
Founder and owner Thor Schrock says the input from the Nebraska Business Development Center's Omaha office and its director, Cliff Mosteller, has been instrumental as Schrock Innovations expanded from Lincoln into Omaha and, most recently, a Papillion Service Center that opened in 2011.
"Cliff served as a valuable liaison for us, reviewing our loan applications and connecting us with the proper sources to secure financing," Schrock says.
Schrock Innovations opened its Lincoln Service Center in January 1999. Now its three locations offer computer repair services, website design and hosting, data recovery, computer recycling, software development and a virtual help desk.
To chart the company's success just follow the numbers. "We've gone from one location to three in the past two years," Schrock says. "We've gone from seven employees up to 15, and we've grown from 6,000 customers in 2010 to 14,000 by the end of 2011."
He says his business follows a customer-driven model to build lasting relationships. That reputation in 2009 earned Schrock Innovations the title of Nebraska Retail Federation Customer Service Business of the Year.
Armed with a marketing background and skills he acquired in computer sales and service, Schrock began building computers at a table in his attic. His early sales quickly convinced him that he should open his own business.
"I had no entrepreneurial experience," he recalls. "I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. If I had connected with NBDC back then, I could have avoided a lot of problems."
He did connect with NBDC and Mosteller in 2005. "When we met with Cliff, he could see what we were doing is special and unique," Schrock says. "He's been a great source of knowledge and support."
The company has a loyal customer base in Lincoln and now the Omaha area and believes in doing all it can to give back to those communities, from participating in charitable drives to recycling old computers. "We have the largest refurbished component boneyard in the state," he says. "That keeps a lot of equipment from going to the landfills."
Schrock says his company has a bright future thanks to its partnership with NBDC.
"Different people are good at different things," he says. "You can be the worst bookkeeper in the world, but if you know people who understand financing better than you do, you need to use those people. We do."