Meet TeamLogic IT Franchise Owner Brent Wagner
Businesses need IT support from someone who gets how their systems work and understands what their needs are. This team does that and more.
Businesses in Nottingham, just north of Baltimore, Maryland, don’t have to look far for serious tech savvy when their IT systems need repairs or upgrades. The TeamLogic IT franchise team that set up shop early in 2015 has the depth of experience to tackle just about anything that comes its way.
Owner Brent Wagner, who came to TeamLogic IT from a federal value-added reseller that grew out of the former Sun Microsystems, has joined forces with Lester Davis, a career small-systems IT support professional. Between them and their growing roster of techs, Brent says, they’ve got the business tech spectrum covered.
How long have you been a TeamLogic IT owner? What were you doing before?
I was a sales engineer, and it was great work. When I was with Sun, we worked with the U.S. Navy and the Department of Labor. But when various acquisitions began to happen, our team was let go. So I got some certifications and branched out into work with identity management systems for the Department of Defense.
I had been doing some work with Lester, as well, really the kind of thing that TeamLogic IT’s managed services model is all about. He had built a good following of loyal clients, and my dad, Chris, who has bought and sold several businesses, asked us what we thought about franchising. We already had the list of software tools we needed to provide enterprise-level knowledge to small businesses, and so we began to look around. Nobody even came close to what TeamLogic IT offered in terms of quality and obvious professionalism. We began to talk with Patrick Spaan, Director of Franchise Development, and things began to move pretty quickly.
What attracted you to the business?
It completely fits our skill sets. Lester has had the same 10 clients since he went into business, keeping it small so he could spend time with his kids. Now his daughter is in college, and so he has more time to work. He’s never done any real marketing, but he’s amazing with customer care. All I have ever wanted is to be pointed at computer problems, because I love doing tech support and fixing issues. I’ve always had a saying: “Don’t ask the person questions, ask the computer.” TeamLogic IT is not a computer-support business alone; it’s also a sales and marketing business with a computer support project. All that complements our skills.
Why do small and medium-sized businesses need your help? What are their challenges, and how do you meet them?
We’ve learned through our coaching process with the corporate folks that the best way to sell anything is through research. We find out how they have handled IT issues in the past. Most of our competition only does support; they don’t offer something like managed services, and they don’t have a nationwide network of techs and very smart people in a corporate office who can jump in as well. People tend to be very reactive, or only proactive enough to keep the status quo. But they want to maintain that IT investment, and they want to make money. We align well with both of those business objectives.
We ask a lot of questions, and we find out how they want to respond to issues. Then we dig deeper and begin to talk about service agreements to find out what they’ve done in the past. They often ask about rates, and so we can pivot into a conversation about rates vs. value-based pricing. Once they see that with managed IT they’re not paying an hourly rate, but have us available whenever they need us, they become very interested. They like the idea that we can come anytime to take care of a problem or work on an upgrade, and that we can also reach out to 300 people if we need some additional support.
How have you helped a customer out of a jam, or helped them dramatically improve the way their business functions?
Lester has a healthcare facility client that we transitioned over to TeamLogic IT. I was up late on Saturday and Sunday nights recently for them because they needed a software change done during their slow period. They dispense medications to people who are recovering from substance abuse, and so they are there seven days a week. I found an issue on their database server, untied that knot, and got everything tested and running.
That kind of service is a big part of every proposal we are putting out there. We offer 24/7 support. We are trusted advisors. We want to make sure that clients know there’s no limit to our services — that we are part of their team.
What personality or values do you think are needed to succeed as a TeamLogic IT owner?
The ability to bring the right people together is key. A savvy person will have the right techs, but also have a good sales side to the business. He or she also needs to have strong values, because the client relationship is everything. If you’re placing more value on the nickels and dimes you’re bringing in versus managing that customer, then you’re doing it wrong. TeamLogic IT doesn’t do it that way, but the competition does. Lester’s had clients for 18 years, people who invite him to barbecues at their homes. One client flew him on a golf vacation — paid for the whole thing! That’s the kind of gratitude you can get for delivering excellent service.
How large is the opportunity for your business to grow?
Our opportunity for growth is very good, based on the fact that we are starting with some good business in place. Now we have to work on letting other people know about us, and so we’ll be doing some calling and networking.
This market is dense, and I think once we get our sales side operating we’ll explode with growth. We’re close to Washington, and so a lot of the economy here is protected as a result. It’s a unique place to be doing what we are doing, and it’s an ideal business climate. We’ve got 2,400 businesses in our territory, which is amazing. Other franchise owners tell us they doubled their business every year, and there’s no reason why we can’t do that here. We’re looking for 25 percent growth in our first year, and I am sure we’ll hit that.
How do the tools offered by corporate help you market your business and serve your customers?
We have gotten great coaching from TeamLogic IT. We needed that help, because we didn’t really know how to make presentations effectively. That gets me to a seat in front of the keyboard, where I can do what I’m really good at. We also really like the culture. Everyone I talked to at other TeamLogic IT franchises was friendly and responsive, and they said that the relationship between them and the corporate office was very beneficial.
What do you enjoy about the business?
Obviously I like the nuts and bolts of the work itself, but I also am finding that I really enjoy meeting with clients. Once the ice is broken, I like learning about what they do and what their goals are. I’m also attending networking events and exhibitions, because we get to meet an even wider variety of business owners.
Is TeamLogic IT helping you meet your personal and professional goals?
My grandfather was an entrepreneur; my dad is, as well. TeamLogic IT provides so much support — you name it, they spell it out. I wouldn’t be able to do this otherwise.
Would you recommend a TeamLogic IT franchise to someone else? Why?
Absolutely. They take what is impossible to my mind — running an IT business — and make it easy. They tell you how to market yourself to the community, how to plug in and engage, how to make cold calls — everything that supports the computer maintenance and repair. I’m able to do what I love, bring my skills to the people who need it, and succeed. The model is brilliant. Most small businesses can’t afford to hire someone with the skills and knowledge I have; it’s just out of their reach. This way, they get the high-quality IT service and support they need, and we do good work and build a brand that everyone involved can be proud of.