La Jolla computer-service business runs on organization

La Jolla entrepreneur Markham Speros is well organized. That and a strong work ethic have combined to make him successful in a number of different business ventures, one right after another.

“I have a fetish about organizing because I learned the hard way,” said Speros whose latest enterprise is The PC Help Desk, a computer repair, graphics and Web site development and maintenance enterprise which just celebrated its first anniversary at 1010 Pearl St., Suite 10, in La Jolla. “I did tremendous work, got really good at what I was doing over the years. But one problem I had was organizing efficiently. I got more organized and more organized, until I understood the necessity of the foundation of a business is that it needs to be organized well.

“I have an aptitude for developing businesses. Now people come to me and ask me how to develop businesses.”

Speros has started and owned his own businesses since age 22 when he created an automotive body paint shop. He did that for many years until he sold the car shop and got into graphics. He has been making ticket jackets with advertising used as a sales strategy by major airlines. He also has gotten into producing pharmacy bags with ads on them carried by local firms such as Burns Drugs in the Village, as well as big grocery chains operating throughout Southern California such as Ralphs.

“My new thing is PC Help Desk,” said Speros. “That’s what I really enjoy. I’m learning something.”

Speros likes computer repair because, like automotive repair, few people can do it themselves. So there’s an increasing need for troubleshooters like Speros to come in and fill the repair void.

“It’s a great business,” Speros said. “The potential growth is tremendously exciting. There’s a spread that’s increasing between technology and the general consumer becoming even more in the dark, because the technology’s getting even more sophisticated.”

Speros says he also likes computer repair and related services such as Web site development and maintenance because they are on the leading edge of technological development. “Anyone will tell you that Web sites and computer technology service is quite an expansive business.” he said. “We’re kind of at the beginning to developing this business.”

With Speros though, what’s made him successful at whatever business he has been involved in over the years has never changed. “The one thing I’ve done in all my businesses,” he said, “is I’ve always given my best shot, always did my best work possible.”

Richard Wright of La Jolla, a client of The PC Help Desk, has been won over by Speros’ business methods. “I was very much impressed,” said Wright. “I had a computer at home that had just fallen apart, and they got it back to life again. They transferred all the data out temporarily, then put it all back in after it was repaired, and it was done efficiently. I’d give them a big “A” on adhering to schedule. I believe you get more for your money with these guys. They were able to weed through the products and pick out the best ones for my application. I’d go back to them. I consider them a resource now.”

Speros noted there are a number of common problems people develop with their computers that they can avoid with just a little planning and forethought. He said one of the biggest oversights PC owners make is failing to backup their data. “They wait and wait until the last minute to do that,” he said, “and then a disaster happens and they’re really hurting.”

Speros added recovering lost data from hard drives can be a time-consuming - and extremely costly - procedure if the unit needs to be sent out for special repairs. Another common ailment with PCs is not running them with enough RAM memory to allow them to operate as efficiently as possible. Not enough attention being paid to spyware and computer viruses is another pitfall PC owners can fall into.

“Viruses and spyware, a lot of it automatically comes down from Web sites, cookies and stuff,” Speros said. “It’s like a contageon. You happen to be on the wrong Web site at the wrong time - and you’re in trouble.”

One of the keys to virus and spyware issues, said Speros, is to address them early on. And to do that properly, you need to consult with someone well versed in computer repairs. “Some of your anti-virus programs out now,” Speros said, “and I’m not going to name any names, can do more damage than good. They will utilize all the workforce capacity of your computer just running the anti-virus program, and it isn’t all that efficient. Some viruses and spyware can actually circumvent firewall protection on your computer. People’s computers get infected, and they don’t know how to repair them, and they come to us and usually, by that time, it’s a little too late. It can take several hours, and a big chunk of money, to repair, and it’s something they could have prevented if their computer was maintained properly.”

Speros promises not only to repair a client’s dysfunctional PC at The PC Help Desk, but pledges to educate them on how not to repeat mistakes which have led to past computer glitches. “We’ll clean up a person’s computer and make it run like a new computer,” he said, “as well as make recommendations on how they can keep it functioning efficiently.”

For more information about The PC Help Desk call (858) 551-8965 or visit