What a New TeamLogic IT Franchise Owner Learned While Looking into the Technology Franchise
Bill Galinsky, one of the newest members of the TeamLogic IT franchise family, discusses why he thinks TeamLogic is poised to grow and what he likes about the technology franchise.
Bill Galinsky is one of the newest members of the TeamLogic IT franchise. He did a lot of homework before making the decision to join our technology franchise. The senior executive was looking for a business that was in demand and would allow him to stay close to his family’s dream home on a lake in South Carolina. A franchise consultant introduced him to TeamLogic IT, and Bill started calling franchisees to see if we were a good company and if he would be a good fit.
“The more franchisees I talked to, it just confirmed to me that TeamLogic IT was something special and I wanted to be part of it,” he says.
This is his story:
What were you doing before TeamLogic IT?
I started my career working at a company that did direct mail for American Express, and they wound up buying the company. It was a pretty low-level position, but I got interested in programming while I was there. I eventually set my sights on a company called CA Technologies (formerly Computer Associates), that was also in New York and was up and coming in the mid-1980s. I landed a job there, and over the years rose up through the ranks and eventually became Senior VP in charge of the global IT infrastructure.
Several years ago, we purchased a lake home on Lake Keowee, which is about 50 minutes from Greenville, S.C., and I knew that was where I wanted to retire. After I left CA in 2011, I relocated to Atlanta, Georgia and worked at First Data Corp, which performs debit and credit card transaction processing. I would drive home to the lake on the weekends. I did that for two years and I simply got tired of doing it and wanted a change.
I started working with a franchise consultant who presented me with several opportunities. At the time I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay in the field of IT — I wanted to explore other options, too. Most of the options she presented me seemed quite good initially, with potentially lucrative earnings and balanced lifestyle. Anyhow, I discovered TeamLogic IT while researching opportunities. I liked the idea of it being something I was familiar with. I’m very comfortable with technology, I’m a bit of a gadget geek and like things that make my life easier, and when I went out to meet the team at corporate, that solidified my decision. I like their model — I think it makes sense for small and medium-sized businesses to have a reputable firm they can rely upon. I also liked the model of managed IT services, with the recurring revenue stream.
What do you hope to accomplish with your business?
I want to build a business that allows me to have my weekends with my family. Debra, my wife, is working at a nearby university, which provides us financial stability and benefits while I ramp up the business. Once I get the business fully established she may join me later.
How did you find Lake Keowee when you were living in New York?
In 2005, Debra and I were going to a party in Atlanta for one of her relatives, and on the way we stopped to visit with some old church friends who lived on the lake. We really fell in love with the lake and decided to buy a house the following year. I like boating, water sports, and fishing. Coming from the East Coast, I am used to the salt water, and one of the things I love about living on a freshwater lake is you don’t have all those worries about dealing with saltwater — cleaning out your boat and engines constantly. Also, the water is pristine, and boating season is much longer. I can swim from May to November. I’ve got a couple of toys, a bow rider, a pontoon boat, and a Jet Ski. When we bought the house, at first it was going to be a retirement vacation spot. I realized that I don’t want to wait until I retire to enjoy this full time. My sister recently bought a house on the lake too, and is just a mile down the road. We have a lot of family come down here during the Fourth of July and have plenty of room for our kids and family.
You launched in December, which isn’t the easiest time to reach people. Was that hard?
It actually gave me time to get the office operational. Within a few weeks I had the business looking like we’d been here for a year. I think I’m in a good position now — the marketing plan is done, the walking people are out there, I have direct mail, Google AdWords and telemarketing going. That helped me hit the ground running in January and focus on getting business.
What do you think makes TeamLogic IT different?
We have a national network. That means I can leverage a lot of the legwork the franchisor and other franchisees have done. For instance, there is a very deep and wide portfolio of IT services that we can offer clients. Most of the competition are mom-and-pop businesses, or trunk slammers who don’t have a full range of skills and aren’t always responsive. If I was a small business owner, I would want to make sure I was getting involved with someone reputable who has staying power and professional materials and collateral. The independents just can’t compete on that level. And they won’t be able to leverage the types of relationships that we can to offer, like a 24/7 service desk and NOC. Thanks to our nationwide network we can offer that.
What was your experience like investigating the franchise opportunity?
The franchisees were very approachable and extremely forthcoming. Most of them were an open book, even with their numbers, and were honest about what the difficulties are in the beginning. Going through the due diligence process you want to speak to at least 8 to 10 franchisees. That’s a rule of thumb — the more the better. However, what you find is that at a certain point, you start to hear a lot of the same things, which helps you know what the commonalities are. I asked mostly the same questions of everybody, and asked specific questions to people who had been part of the franchise longer and were past the grind period. The more franchisees I talked to, it just confirmed to me that TeamLogic IT was something special and I wanted to be part of it. Everybody raved about Chuck (Lennon, TeamLogic IT’s president) and how great he was, and of course, they don’t have to say that.
What impressed you about the corporate team?
Coming from corporate America and having worked for Fortune 500 companies and seen the very orchestrated, polished and buttoned-up events they hold, when I went to my first owners summit, I had an expectation that it wouldn’t be as professionally done since TeamLogic is a smaller organization. I was surprised to find that it was very, very well done. It was top-notch, really. And of course they were giving out awards, too, and that gives you something to aspire to. To see how well some franchisees have done, it lets you know what is possible.
How was the initial training?
University is a week-long training, and it’s really designed to make sure that from day one, you’re going to be prepared. Now, there is only so much you can learn in a week, but it was pretty well-rounded in terms of the things that are discussed there. We talked, for instance, about the importance of networking, especially early on. It is a very important aspect of building my business — and they talked about how to get out there and create awareness of your offerings. That’s important to understand, especially for someone coming from more of a technical background. My role has changed. I knew when I bought this franchise that I would not be the technician — my role is to be the rainmaker, so my focus is different. In order to be successful, I bought a franchise, and I bought this one because I believe in the systems, so I am going to follow the plan. There is a playbook for how Year One is going to go: the networking, the first-year business mix (which is more reactive work when you are getting your name out there), then getting the managed IT contracts. Most of your early revenue will come from break fix work and hourly-type projects. At university we also discussed HR issues, what to expect when hiring, what you need to have ready. Some of it was a refresher from what I learned in corporate America, but they did a really good job. Overall, I was quite pleased with the training.
How do you see your role in your business?
I see myself going out and making sure that I am working all the different channels I have at my disposal, following up on leads and making proposals to potential clients. I plan to get out there and meet as many people as I can to let them know what we have to offer. My role is to make sure I give my employees the tools they need to do their jobs and also make sure customers understand what we’re all about — why they need us, and the things we can do to help them.
Who is your target customer?
Certainly, we’re not the Walmart of the IT world. That’s not our value proposition. In any kind of market, there are people who will just be price-conscious and view this as a commodity — that’s not the customer I am looking for. We are looking for customers to whom we can articulate our value. Most of these small to medium-sized businesses, the ones who need our services, they are not technologists, even though their business often relies on technology. They need to have somebody behind them who will worry about that and make sure their IT is humming. We allow them to focus on their core competency, and we’ll focus on keeping you running.
What personality or values do you think are needed to succeed as a TeamLogic IT owner?
Well, I did this because I believe I’m going to be successful. Failure is not an option. Chuck and the team awarded me the franchise because they think I will be successful. I think they are looking for people who have business savvy. Having a technical background is not a prerequisite — in some cases, it can actually be a detriment. When I was working with the franchise consultant, she was very adamant that just because you have a passion for something, it doesn’t mean you will be successful in business at it. The old adage is, if you are working in your business, you are not working on your business. And I get that. I understand it — and I’ve talked to some franchisees who early on were working in their business, as the technician, which makes it hard. If you are out there serving customers, how are you going to have time to grow the business through marketing and proposals? What I see right now, where TeamLogic IT is going, is they are not looking for people who are wanting to be the technician in their business. They are going after people who have business experience. You need to be able and willing to hire technicians. I already have one technician hired and two part-time marketing people who are walking to businesses to establish contacts. I have a second technician who works for me on a contract basis, and I’ll bring him aboard as soon as I can.
What was the general attitude of the franchisees you spoke with during your interviews?
Overwhelmingly positive. One question I made sure to ask was: Knowing what you know now, would you make the same decision? People were brutally honest, and I got resounding yeses from everyone — but I also learned things they would do differently. And that helps me as I get started.
Learn more about TeamLogic IT
TeamLogic IT provides managed IT services to small and medium-sized businesses. Its 50 franchise units and 200-plus technicians give the technology franchise a nationwide footprint and a massive knowledge-base with which to provide exceptional service to clients. TeamLogic helps its clients become more productive and secure, and that focus has helped franchise owners earn double-digit average same-unit sales growth for three years in a row. To learn more about the business, including start-up costs for a franchise, visit our research pages. You can read interviews with TeamLogic franchise owners on our blog. For even more information, fill out a form to download our free franchise report and start a conversation. We look forward to hearing from you!