Catching Up With TeamLogic IT Franchise Owner Dave Thompson
12 Years in, this TeamLogic IT Franchise Owner Talks Growth
As a former software executive, Dave Thompson knows the IT business well. He knows the value of staying ahead of trends, and being able to pivot when something new comes down the line and everybody wants it. That’s why, when he opted to head out on his own, TeamLogic IT had the model in place that made sense for him. Now, with 12 years under his belt, the 2021 TeamLogic IT Franchisee of the Year winner talks about how his business, and the TeamLogic IT brand, have evolved and adapted over time.
What were you doing before you opened your TeamLogic IT franchise?
I was with IBM in their software division. Our particular product helped application developers with the development life cycle, and my role was to support our service organization that got that product installed in client systems, and then trained them how to use the tool effectively.
Basically, I made sure that everyone, both in terms of IBM and the clients, had all the tools they needed on a project, so that knowledge could be shared effectively.
Why did you want to change careers and do something different?
Being a self-starter is in my DNA. My Dad began his own business when I was in elementary school. I can remember him running it out of our dining room, and then he moved into the living room because he needed more space. My Mom’s father also had his own business, and there were a lot of family stories around it. So, it had always been a wish of mine to have my own company, and so when the opportunity arose, I jumped at it.
How did you find out about TeamLogic IT?
I worked with a franchise broker. There was a seminar on small-business ownership that I became aware of, and the gentleman there talked to us about franchising. After that, I went to a franchise fair at another location, because it featured franchisors and franchisees talking about their experience, and TeamLogic IT was one of the concepts that was there.
What attracted you to the business?
It was the technology. A couple of their concepts were very interesting to me, because I’d been around high tech for most of my working career at that point, and so they offered a service platform that I understood. When I went to visit them for my discovery day, I saw a franchisor focused on building the franchisees’ business, not the other way around. That deepened my level of interest. Although IT is an interesting subject matter for me, and I understand it, I don’t want to do that hands-on work as much as I want to build a business around offering those services.
How did you adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic? How did the business change during that time?
We did OK, in all honesty. Our year-over-year revenue was flat in 2020. We came in at nearly the identical number to 2019. A lot of people certainly couldn’t say that. Some of our clients grew in that period, and we did lose some smaller ones.
One of our clients, a pool construction company, was just on fire. We grew with them, so our wallet share increased there. Then we filled in the gaps where we could. One thing we didn’t do was raise or lower our prices. We held steady, which people appreciated.
What is your franchise footprint now in terms of physical space, people, and revenue growth?
We’ve got 10 people on staff and are hiring. Our growth for 2022 was about 15% over 2021, and 2021 was about 12% over 2020, so we’ve come out of the pandemic on an upward trajectory. We’re hoping for between 20-25% growth this year, and that’s going to come through new client acquisitions and doing some pricing increases.
Since I began, I’ve added another territory, so now I have both San Ramon and Pleasanton, as well as Dublin and Livermore.
What are the industry verticals you’re supporting now?
We have a few different ones. We’re still not doing much in the area of retail and hospitality, but we do have one restaurant chain that we support. That’s kind of new to us. We’re not necessarily supporting the restaurants themselves, but rather the back-office and managers who operate more during normal business hours.
We also support a home-development company, which is a national account we’re now managing. That is new to us as well, and we’ve been expanding alongside them. So far, they are in California, Arizona, and Texas.
Why do small and medium-sized businesses need your help? What are their challenges, and how do you meet them?
The needs are all across the board, and any industry sector needs what TeamLogic IT can offer. We don’t do government work because I haven’t gone through the process of obtaining eligibility for submitting RFPs, but that’s an area that needs a lot of help. Restaurant and retail are another big segment that some of my fellow franchise owners do very well in, but we’ve mostly set our sights on businesses that operate Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., because there’s plenty of work to be had there.
We meet our clients’ challenges because we know where they’ve invested in their technology, and what that system can do for them in terms of being an asset. We make sure they are getting the most value out of what they have as possible, and look at all their applications, all the time, to make sure they are running effectively. My team and I make sure the IT backbone infrastructure is adequately maintained, and if necessary, we recommend and install certain applications that can speed their business up.
We also remove the worry every business has about their data being safe. There are a lot of avenues out there to access that data — mobile, cloud, internet. We make sure the physical machines are as protected as they can be.
How have you helped a customer out of a jam, or helped them dramatically improve the way their business functions?
The scenario we typically see is a business owner working on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and something’s not working appropriately. They are pulling together a big presentation or report, and something’s just not syncing right. I get those calls and find that it’s usually a fairly straightforward problem-solving exercise and might involve a short site visit. If there’s more to it, I reach out to one of my techs and we get the issue fixed. It’s just part of the business for us, but the client is very pleased that we’re always reachable.
What personality or values do you think are needed to succeed as a TeamLogic IT owner?
Rarely do I ever see a TeamLogic IT franchise that doesn’t operate as a partnership. By that, I mean that one person is running the business, handling the daily operations and the financial side, and the other person is handling business development. When you have someone who is great at operational efficiency, and someone else handling sales and marketing, you’re going to do well. An owner needs to be able to either be one of those people or find the right people to make that happen. It may not all be there at first, but you have to slowly empower people and grow them into those roles. It’s part of building a business. But in my case, I can’t be a practitioner out there doing the work. I have to be operating other aspects of the business.
How large is the opportunity for your business to grow?
Our ceiling has always been tied to our ability to onboard skilled and experienced resources and individuals. When we have the tech capacity to match our customer-service needs, we’re in good shape. There’s plenty of business to go after here, but I have to make sure that we can service it. And once we have a client, their needs can change so we have to be forward-thinking in order to make sure we can deal with those changes appropriately.
What do you enjoy about the business?
I still like being in charge of my own destiny, and that’s going to be my biggest driver. I like what we do, I like that I am growing something. I’ve had to learn different ways to hire and manage people than what I did before, and I will admit that I underestimated the HR function of owning my own business. Getting better at that has allowed me to spend more time growing the business.
Join the Industry-Leading IT Franchise
TeamLogic IT’s managed IT services contracts give clients peace of mind around their technology needs, and provide franchise owners with a steady, predictable revenue stream. TeamLogic IT has grown to more than 260 locations around North America and continues to expand in both new and existing markets.
For more in-depth details about the TeamLogic IT franchise opportunity, visit our research pages here. To start a conversation about becoming a TeamLogic IT franchise owner, fill out our form here, and one of our team members will be in touch!