From the July 2000 issue of Startups

Still wondering what this Internet thing is? Probably not, but a lot of consumers are. Here's hoping they consider joining the rest of the world by signing up for a class offered by PC Professor Howard Fellman, 34, became the first PC Professor when he began teaching computer training in Boca Raton, Florida, in 1989. When his tech-minded brother Steven, 32, came on, they expanded the business to include certified repairs. Youngest brother Robert, 24, joined them in 1995, adding his knowledge of advertising. Their new business model produced more sales in one month than Howard made in a year teaching.

Offering courses from basic computing skills to certification courses, the Fellmans have relocated several times to accommodate their growing number of classrooms. They began franchising in 1997, and they've expanded to include 52 employees- 18 Microsoft-certified technicians- two company-owned locations.

The Fellmans are now looking to spread their model through nationwide franchising. Start-up costs are $200,000, but the main requirement for prospective franchisees is that they espouse the Fellmans' belief in high-quality customer service. Whether it's no-charge service consultations when they can't fix your computer, free refresher courses or free practice time for their students on Fridays, PC Professor always has customer service in mind. It must run in the family.

Make The Call

PC Professor, (561)684-3333, www.pcprofessor.com.