TeamLogic IT Franchise Owner Dave Thompson Reflects on 5 Years of Growth
Adaptability is the watchword for this franchise owner, who says that staying ahead of trends has allowed him to build a steady clientele
As a former software executive, Dave Thompson knows the IT business well. He knows the value of staying ahead of trends, of being able to pivot when something new comes down the pike that everybody wants. 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 five years of success to look back on, he explains why he made the right choice.
How long have you been a TeamLogic IT owner? What were you doing before?
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, 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?
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. 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 ownerships 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 — 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.
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. We look at all their applications, all the time, to make sure they are running effectively. We 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 successful 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 out 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; 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 serve it. Once we have a client, their needs can change — so we have to be forward-thinking to make sure we can deal with those changes appropriately.
How do the tools offered by corporate help you market your business and serve your customers?
When I first began, I was caught up in staffing and a lot of other challenges. Having very good, solid marketing collateral, as well as information available to help me learn how to sell and market our services, was extremely helpful. I still use those resources, and I use the new tools when they come along. TeamLogic IT does a great job of preparing materials that will be valuable to me in the majority of sales or client-relations situations I face.
How helpful are other franchisees when you have questions? How do you work together?
When we opened, we were the sixth TeamLogic IT franchise within the San Francisco Bay area. As we got on board, we met with everyone else about how we could share information regionally, and we formed Bay Area TeamLogic, or BATL. We meet frequently, and we get franchise owners from Oregon, Arizona, Southern California, and even Texas who participate. We’ve built a solid reputation, and everybody gets a lot out of it.
I’ve also participated in calls with the corporate Mastermind Group, with businesses at the same stage as mine, and that’s been very beneficial.
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 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.
Would you recommend TeamLogic IT to someone asking your advice?
I do take those calls, and I tell people to run the numbers. It’s a great opportunity, but IT can be challenging, depending on where you are in the country. Have the proper mindset about the skills you need, and your team needs, for the businesses you’re looking to serve. Not just anybody can run this business, but if you’ve got the right people and can focus on the businesses in your market that need what you can bring to them, you can succeed.
Learn more about a TeamLogic IT franchise
TeamLogic IT is the technology franchise small and medium-sized businesses increasingly depend upon for turnkey support. TeamLogic IT’s managed services contracts give clients peace of mind around their technology needs, and provide franchise owners with a steady, predictable revenue stream. TeamLogic IT now serves a wide and growing variety of clients in every business sector, from tourism and hospitality to healthcare, legal and accounting. Along the way, TeamLogic IT has grown to more than 80 locations around the United States and continues to expand in new and existing markets.