Parker Ledbetter is president of Computer Geeks, an IT and service firm focused on the SMB Market in Eastern North Carolina.
Computer Geeks has been in operation since 1995. President Parker Ledbetter thinks his company is like many others. “We have to make payroll every week, pay our vendors and ensure that we’re compliant with regulations,” he says.
Even with a successful business that has thrived for more than two decades, Parker knows he’s competing in a massive industry. As an employer, he’s going up against bigger operations, like the area’s regional hospital, every day to retain the technicians he spends time and money training.
“It’s a tough, competitive business,” he says. “But we always put our employees first. So, as a result, we have been able to maintain the best possible team – despite the great effort that takes.”
What drives Parker compete every day? “We have a lot of great clients that trust us and believe in us,” he says.
For Parker’s clients, backups are very important.
“When there’s a catastrophe, our clients look to us to figure out where their data is and how they can get their business back up and going quickly,” he says. “We’ve seen clients think they’ve lost everything—you know, years and years of customer data on servers that failed. Their businesses could have been greatly impacted. In 20 years of running this business, we have gone in and saved businesses like that on a few occasions. It’s rewarding when it works out, but, believe me, it’s a very stressful situation.”
In the past couple of years, a new issue has cropped up. Parker has seen ransomware spread like wildfire. “Recently, we had a financial institution client that was hit with a ransomware attack,” he says. “It almost brought them to their knees. We threw all our resources at it—all hands on deck—to get them back up and going.”
He stops and ponders the memory for a moment.
“I’ll tell you one thing,” he says. “Backups and ransomware attacks cause a tremendous amount of stress for our company because it really stretches our resources to handle something major like that. But this is important stuff—make or break for our clients. So we do what needs to be done.”
Parker believes that successes for the small businesses he serves are magnified. “Something that may seem insignificant to a big business can make a huge difference to a smaller operation,” he says.
But to Parker, success isn’t about filling his pockets. It’s about helping his clients keep their businesses running smoothly and making sure his employees are able to support their families.
“This can be a tough business—hectic, demanding, and unforgiving sometimes,” he says. “Our success has enabled us to make it a good place to work. We put our employees first in everything we do because if we do that, we know they’ll be there for our clients. And when a client has an emergency, no matter how big or small, they know we’ll be there at a moment’s notice.”
Asked if he has any words of wisdom for his colleagues, he says: “Take care of your customers, treat your employees like family and the rest will take care of itself.” We think that’s great advice.