CONTACT: Lorraine Krenc
A DECADE OF DIGITAL
Santa Fe’s Capitol Computer Celebrates 10 Years in Business
A decade ago native Santa Fean Eric Montgomery started Capitol Computer, then under the name 180Networks. The owner recalls, “I’d end up with several computers collected throughout the day all lined up on my kitchen counter. I’d work on them overnight and deliver them in the morning.”
Much has changed since the kitchen counter IT days. Today Capitol Computer has a base of over 300 residential and small business clients in Santa Fe and the surrounding communities. Network setup, maintenance and remote monitoring have become the mainstays in addition to its original offering of PC and Apple repairs.
A major shift occurred when Capitol Computer opened its current downtown store at 518 Old Santa Fe Trail in 2012. It was a chance meeting with Lorraine Krenc, a marketing director and recent transplant to the City Different, who convinced Montgomery to make the shift. The two merged talents and created a store front offering in-shop, flat-rate service along with retail sales and computer consulting.”
“Having a tech come to your home could be intimidating,” says Montgomery. “Depending on the problem, the billable hours added up. The approach was out-of-reach to many people. Now we promise a guaranteed flat rate for a task at hand.”
Some of their largest business accounts were attracted by the remote monitoring and maintenance plans, while typical residential clients, or those businesses with only a few employees, enjoyed the flat-rate service offerings by coming to the storefront location. They liked what Eric and his technical staff did, and now use Capitol Computer for their residential and business technical needs. “There are so many small companies here that can’t afford an IT staff,” says Krenc. “We fill the gap. We cover the tech and they cover what they do best in their business.”
In an age when everything is going to the cloud, opening a physical store with real human interaction has proven to be the right move. During its first year on Old Santa Fe Trail, Capitol Computer saw 40% sales growth and expanded its staff to two full-time technicians, a full-time operations manager and three contract-based IT people.
“We’ve learned a lot in the last 10 years,” says Montgomery, “and it’s been a fun ride to evolve as technology has changed. We work on a lot of tablets, iPads, and the newer technology these days, but also continue to support all of the systems that drive Santa Fe businesses.”
Running a successful small business is a source of pride for Montgomery, but growth brings its own challenges. “There are days this business feels unstoppable, and I’m essentially an IT Tech,” says the 42-year-old. “It’s ready to move on to the next level, and that takes a different kind of talent.”
Capitol Computer is currently on the market for sale through Santa Fe business brokerage Sam Goldenberg & Associates (www.SamGoldenberg.com).
“This is the type of IT firm that makes sense in today’s market,” says Michael Greene, president of Sam Goldenberg & Associate. “It’s currently a great fit for the local market place with a proven model. With its solid profit margins and remote tech support services, however, it could expand to be a regional provider. It could either be a highly technically skilled individual or someone with a strong business and management background.”
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