TeamLogic IT Franchise Owner Succeeds in Fort Myers
From getting stuck with IT problems to helping businesses solve their tech issues, this former engineering professional has come full circle
For many years, Bob Roloff helped other people take care of problems. When he was with an engineering firm, he worked on many real estate-related deals as the company’s CFO and Director of Finance and Operations. Then came the economic downturn, and he found himself with a greatly reduced staff — and the job of managing the IT network, among all his other duties.
At first, he tried to tackle things himself. Then he tried to outsource IT maintenance and repair. What he found lacking in the vendors he found made him take a hard look at the value of an operation like TeamLogic IT. That, coupled with an interest in being his own boss, led to him setting up his own shop in Fort Myers, Florida, in early 2015.
Why did you want to change careers?
As I got to know IT systems and understand how they work, I felt as though I was being taken advantage of a little bit by our vendors. I learned what our engineers did and got better at analyzing our IT issues myself. That really sparked an interest. I thought about going into business for myself, but it seemed like too much of a jump. When I found TeamLogic IT, I saw that they would help me set up a website and provide a lot of back-end support in terms of marketing and collateral materials, and so my two interests really married up well with their business model.
How did you find out about TeamLogic IT?
I searched franchise opportunities in the tech sector and was focusing on managed services. TeamLogic IT was right up front, and I was very excited about all they had to offer.
What attracted you to the business?
For me, it really is the managed services model. I knew a couple of people who were providing that kind of service and saw that they had both done very well. I wanted to be in the IT service business, but not as a break-fix operation. I really wanted the recurring revenue that I know from experience comes from offering managed services. I really wanted that dependable income, month in and month out.
Why do small and medium-sized businesses need your help?
I lean more towards a niche approach, specializing in specific industries. I really don’t think people want to buy from too much of a generalist; they want a specialist who knows their business and their market. I’m not going to compete with some guy working out of the back of his car — you can’t make a business out of that. I want to rely on my own business history as a strength, as well as the work my senior engineer has done before he came to work for me. In our case, that means working with architectural and engineering firms.
That doesn’t mean that we’re ruling out expanding in other directions. Another vertical industry we are chasing is the resort and leisure sector, with a focus on country clubs. We also are looking at private and charter school systems.
What personality or values do you think are needed to succeed as a TeamLogic IT owner?
The No. 1 thing is the ability to be persistent. Keep on pushing when you hear “no” from a potential client. There are always going to be hurdles going in, because people have very high expectations. You have to prove you can meet them.
I can remember from my own background, when I first was looking at managed services for my employer. I knew what I wanted as a client, and so that helps me now that I am on the other side of the desk selling services. I know how clients think, and so now I am working on getting better at selling what TeamLogic IT has to offer and closing deals.
How large is the opportunity for your business to grow?
We are still pretty new, so it’s hard to say. But we’ve created a marketing campaign for country clubs that included an email push followed with cold calls, and we got two solid appointments right away. That led to two proposals. We also have gotten appointments with engineering firms, so our approach is paying off. And if we are doing this well by specializing on a few industries, I think we’ll do well when we broaden out to other industry sectors.
How do the tools offered by corporate help you?
They provide a lot of marketing templates that you can modify to your preferences, and that really helps us leverage our own marketing efforts. There’s also a lot of training both at the beginning and in ongoing calls and meetings. It’s nice to know that I can pick up the phone and call anyone there for help. I use their expertise a lot.
How helpful are other franchisees when you have questions?
I really like to see what other people are doing with their marketing, and other owners have been great about sharing that expertise. We email a lot about other issues, as well, so I’m able to learn very quickly when I have a problem come up. I promote that in my own outreach, too: TeamLogic IT has 80 locations and 300 employees across the country, so it’s not just me coming to take care of a client. I have that huge network of support. Nobody else in the area can offer that, and it’s a huge advantage.
What do you enjoy about the business?
I was getting really bored with what I was doing before, and that’s not the case now! I greatly enjoy the diversity of our clients, and I enjoy that my boundaries are being pushed. Sometimes I’m uncomfortable, and that keeps me pushing ahead. I’m excited to come to work now, and that’s a great change from where I was before.
Is TeamLogic IT helping you meet your personal and professional goals?
Right now my focus is only on the business and building the business. I want to hit the targets we’ve set, so it’s all about figuring out how to do that. But down the road, I see this as a company with 15 or 20 people working here, and me not quite as involved as I am now. And when the time comes, I’ll have a great business that I can sell, which I could never do when I was working for someone else.
Would you recommend a TeamLogic IT franchise to someone else?
I would do so for a couple of reasons. A huge benefit is being able to pick up the phone and talk to anyone at corporate about whatever I need to know. They provide that support — as well as training and marketing — to get you going and help you be successful.
I have to do the work, but I have a ton of support from other franchise owners, as well. This is not a franchise where you set up shop and are out there all by yourself. There is so much support with TeamLogic IT, and I think that’s why they are so successful.
I also was drawn to the managed services model. I had seen it before and knew it worked, but the way TeamLogic IT is built around the concept takes it much further. I believe this really is the way to do IT repair, maintenance, and sales, and I believe that it’s a formula for success.