The Dialogue with Charlie and Victory Harbin
This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 116th installment visiting with Charlie and Victory Harbin, owners of Tech Nav, which exists to empower the people of East Tennessee to live their best life with technology.
Describe what Tech Nav does. Tech Nav provides traveling tech support which means a professionally trained computer technician comes to your home or small business to provide computer repair or computer lessons. We serve Knox, Blount, Sevier and Anderson counties. How did you get started in this business? In both of our previous careers, we commonly worked with people who felt left behind by technology. We identified the need for people to have a patient and knowledgeable person sit down with them to show them how to do the things they need the most from their technology. From there, Tech Nav was born.
What is your background? Charlie has a Bachelor's in computer science from ETSU and a MBA from King University. He has almost ten years experience working on and teaching computers. Victory has a Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration and eight years experience in healthcare offices. With Charlie's experience with computers and Victory's experience with running an office, when the need for traveling tech support was identified, it just made sense!
Who is your mentor? Throughout both of our careers, our biggest supporters have always been our families. Since the beginning of Tech Nav, Teresa Sylvia with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center has been our most valuable mentor. We met her within a month of getting our business license and she has been there for every step of the way since. She has helped us navigate so many difficult and stressful decisions and she's also celebrated with us for every victory. She is basically an undercover superhero! We are so thankful for her and all her guidance.
Describe your customers. Our average customers are between the ages of 55-85 and living independently. Generally, they have family members or friends who are encouraging them to use a computer, smartphone or tablet. Once they have the device, they generally need a little bit of assistance setting it up, maintaining it or learning how to use it. Of course, we serve plenty of customers outside of this demographic - anyone with tech needs - but this is our average customer.
What impacts your business environment? With social media being such a core part of society right now, the primary use for technology with the clients we work with is usually social. They are using their computers, tablets, and smartphones to see pictures of their grandchildren, email their friends, and be on Facebook to keep up with loved ones.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. - Write a business plan! - Your business cannot be all things to all people. - It's ok to make a living doing what you're passionate about.
What do you enjoy Tech Nav? We truly enjoy seeing people be able to connect with their loved ones or have independence because of technology.