A dream realised
It was all planned. College, degree, family business. A good, solid start for a college graduate.
At least that's what Dean Salmon, managing director, owner and founder of Computaz & Beyond Limited, thought when he graduated from UTech with a diploma in computer science in 1996. Young, bright and bursting with new knowledge and creativity, Dean gladly joined ranks in his family business, Salmon's Photo Studio, headed by his father.
Of course, it wasn't long before the dynamic and ambitious Dean saw opportunities to use his creativity to move the company in a more successful, albeit different direction. However, while his ideas were heard, his father could not accept a new model for doing business, having used his strategies for operating a comfortably successful business for 20 years. After multiple failed attempts to persuade his father, Dean made the difficult decision to leave the comfort of the family business in search of his own dreams.
Armed with his business knowledge and formal education in computer science, he began researching potential needs for which he could offer a service. The decision was taken to open a computer retail store and internet café in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland. After consulting with a family friend, he was introduced to a successful business operator, who surprisingly rubbished his idea, citing reasons for its failure.
Dean would not be stopped. He believed the idea was solid and sold the plan to his brother, Marc Salmon. They both scouted and found a shop at 115 Great George Street and opened to the public on October 11, 1999. The dream was finally becoming true and together they envisioned great success. After its first day of operation, the shop yielded a whopping gross sale of $35. Many would be daunted, but not the brothers. This simply motivated them to try harder.
And that they did.
Today, Computaz & Beyond Limited is a household name in Savanna-la-Mar, boasting a document centre, Internet café and computer retail outlet. Services offered include typing, printing, photocopying, faxing, laminating, spiral binding, scanning, emailing, desktop publishing - business cards, flyers, posters, tickets, invitations, programmes, et al.
The company also provides computer servicing, repairs, upgrades and networking, in addition to selling computers, laptops, tablets, printers, monitors, inks, speakers, computer accessories and stationery. They also carry a wide range of phone accessories. Their clients include students, businesses, churches, schools and tourists and they have built lasting relationships with some of their clients.
According to Dean, the journey has been a very fulfilling one.
"We have experienced our fair share of challenges, such as a struggling economy, the sliding dollar, inflation, fast-changing technology (when they started, floppy disks were the fastest selling item and today they are obsolete), and government policies. But we have met so many wonderful clients over the years, giving us the impetus to continue providing our products and services. We have also seen a few companies of our time come and go, but we are determined to stand the test of time. After all, winners never quit - they strategise new ways to win."
Computaz & Beyond Limited has made an indelible mark on the community of Savanna-la-Mar, and its founders express how humbled and grateful they are for the opportunity to serve.
"With God, we have weathered the storm and will continue to serve as long as 'Sav' needs us," said Dean.