TeamLogic IT 2019 Franchisee Of The Year Talks Managed IT Services & More
Award-winning franchise owner reflects on growing a small business while giving like-minded entrepreneurs the tech support they need
When Todd Harrell became a TeamLogic IT technology franchise owner in 2012, little did he know that less than a decade later he’d be claiming the brand’s top prize, Franchise of the Year.
But after opening in 2012, growing to two locations (Fairfield and Morristown, NJ) with a third on the horizon, and posting strong revenues all along, that’s just what he did at the 2019 Owners’ Summit. Now the former pharmaceutical marketing and advertising executive looks back on making the decision to go out on his own, and choosing a brand that was fairly new in the then-developing IT service and support sector.
So what was it like to win this award?
We have a trophy wall in our new office, and I can tell you, that one has a prime location among all the others!
Seriously, every year I think we have a good year and so may be in the running for this award. This past year was outstanding, though, and I believe that’s because of the way our team has gelled and come together. We are doing a good job with our business and have really come up to a whole new level. A lot of building your own business is working for that success and hoping that you can pull a team together like this.
What’s your client base look like?
We have a really diverse footprint. We have clients in everything from light manufacturing to law firms, nonprofits, health care and even advertising. I wanted that from the start. I don’t ever want to focus on just one segment, because that diversity has helped us grow.
How focused are you on selling managed IT services?
It’s our primary business; the vast majority of our customers are on those contracts, probably more than 80 percent.
When we began, we were drawn to that monthly-income idea. We didn’t want to just do project-oriented business, because that meant you were always focused on finding more business. We wanted to get clients and grow organically alongside them. Of course we do take project work, and we work to migrate those people into managed IT services contracts. For some, that might be a fairly small, limited plan that doesn’t include onsite hours, and then they grow from there.
A few years ago, we made a concerted effort to go to our older clients and recommend managed IT services to those who were not on a plan. We showed them how they could save money, and I’d say about 90 percent converted. That has been good for us and them.
How’s the support from the TeamLogic IT corporate team?
They are good partners. As you grow and change, and get larger, your needs differ from those of a startup franchise. You change and grow and ask for different things. They know that, and they work alongside with you as you develop to provide the support you need.
What do you say to potential owners who call you as part of their discovery process?
I tell them to expect the unexpected and be able to roll with the changes that happen on a day-to-day basis. There will be things you never see coming and that you never thought you’d have to deal with. Just be flexible and adaptable, and also maintain your focus even when you get pulled onto a side issue.
I also tell them to have a series of milestones. My first one was proving to myself that I could go out and talk to small business owners and convince them I had something they would want to buy. I had to prove to myself I could convince them I could do a good job managing their IT systems and security. I wanted to prove to myself I could get contracts signed.
Then I wanted to prove to myself I could break even. Could I build a business to cover its costs and provide an income for me? Too many times people get into that “fail fast” mentality, just to know quickly if something’s going to work or not. I tell people that this is a business where that approach isn’t the best, because it takes time, money and resources to build it. You can make this business work if you go all in, but it’s going to take time and effort as well.”
TeamLogic IT is the technology franchise smaller businesses increasingly rely on for turnkey support. TeamLogic IT’s managed IT services contracts give clients peace of mind about their technology needs, and provide franchise owners with a steady, predictable revenue stream. The company now serves a wide and growing variety of clients in every business sector, from tourism and hospitality to health care, legal and accounting. Along the way, TeamLogic IT has grown to nearly 200 locations throughout North America and continues to expand in both new and existing markets.