Q&A with New TeamLogic IT Franchise Owner Scott Pauli
Consulting and management backgrounds merge to create perfect fit for entrepreneur looking to build a business close to home
As a consultant, Scott Pauli saw the struggles businesses of all sizes have with their computer systems. He spent years with major public and private sector entities, and over time learned the value of having a problem-solving team member when it comes to IT networking, upgrades and infrastructure. That’s why, when he began looking around for opportunities to open his own business, the TeamLogic IT managed services model had a great deal of appeal. He recently opened his TeamLogic IT location in Arcadia, California.
How long have you been a TeamLogic IT owner? What were you doing before?
I opened in October 2014, so am still pretty new! Before this, I worked as a construction manager for Parsons Corp., and also as a computer and networking consultant for different organizations that included the Los Angeles Unified School District and Southern California Edison.
Why did you want to change careers?
When I was in construction, I got tired of traveling. So I shifted focus and became a network consultant, and then I became interested in seeing what else I could do within IT and how I could begin my own business.
What attracted you to the technology franchise business, and to TeamLogic IT?
I’d been going through some online searches, and one asked me to check off what I was interested in. I chose ‘franchising’ from the menu, and soon I heard from TeamLogic IT. I looked into them, and they seemed to be one of the best companies out there for the kind of work I was doing.
Since then, I have found that to be true. They are very supportive and want their franchise owners to succeed. I knew how to provide services, but there were a lot of other bases to cover in setting up the business. Everything from getting the doors open to documentation and marketing, there was so much I could never have done on my own. They helped me hit the ground running.
I’ve also become very appreciative of the network, of being able to tap into the expertise of other techs and owners. Even though I haven’t built a very large base of clients yet, it’s helpful to know that I have a team of people behind me now and as I grow.
Why do small and medium-sized businesses need your help?
Even though I’m just starting out, I know that there’s a strong need in this area — the market is not anywhere near saturated for IT support. I brought a client with me, so I already have work, and I’m finding that the people calling in for information have the same “pain points” as that client.
Cloud computing is big here, but I believe there’s a strong market for managed services in general. People are too small for an IT department, or they don’t have one any more, so they need help in a good way. Nothing’s broken, but they need service and upgrades. They don’t have the qualifications and the “stick to it-iveness” that I have, and they appreciate those qualities.
How can you help a customer out of a jam, or dramatically improve the way their business functions, based on your IT background?
My background is very helpful. I’ve worked in many types of companies, offices and environments, and I have that experience to draw upon. I see things the customer may not have noticed, or that they haven’t experienced before — but I have. I don’t do a lot of second-guessing; instead I listen to their problem and then identify what I think is the best solution. I know how to ask questions that lead to the information I need to solve their problem.
What personality or values do you think are needed to succeed as a TeamLogic IT owner?
The ability to listen is key. I really do want what the customers want and need, and I focus on their issues as opposed to any other agenda. If I can provide exactly what they want, and then they become a managed IT services client, it’s the best of both worlds. You have to want to help the customer, and you have to want to take the proper steps — even if it means stepping back and not selling, to grow that relationship.
How large is the opportunity for your business to grow?
The economy is still shaky, but businesses have to function, and function on computers. I see more need for IT services every day, and as long as my name is out there and good word of mouth is spreading, I’ll do OK. Arcadia has the seventh-highest median income of any city in the United States, and so I feel that I’m setting up in a very good market as far as people who can afford to invest in their businesses.
How do the tools offered by corporate help you market your business and serve your customers?
Now that I’ve opened my office it’s all coming together. There are a lot of marketing materials that are just great, very appealing and professional. I’m eager to get those out to the people I’m talking to about what TeamLogic IT can do for them. I have no experience with marketing, really, and so if I’d had to create these it would have taken forever, and it wouldn’t be nearly as well done and designed.
What does your typical day look like?
It’s just me right now, so I’m pretty busy. I do have one tech on staff, but he’s focused on the client I brought to the business with me, so I’m handling everything else. I do hope to begin adding some staff now that we’re in our office space.
A lot of time has been spent on getting the office going. We’re in a renovated shop, so I had to pick out wall coverings, carpet, even baseboards. But we’re in a great place in the downtown area, surrounded by small businesses and restaurants. I’m looking forward to going out and introducing myself to all of them and getting some really good exposure.
What do you enjoy about the business?
IT support is ever-changing and surprising. There are different things for us to do each day, and we never know what the next challenge will be. I’m always eager to show someone something new they can do with their computing system, and seeing them maximize their operation with that knowledge. In fact, I think showing people how they can use what they have better is just as important as repairing and maintaining those systems.
Would you recommend a TeamLogic IT franchise to someone else? Why?
I definitely would. If you want to start your own business, and even if you aren’t a career IT person, the pathway is still there. The guidance and support is second to none. I’ve never heard of a franchisor who takes care of its people in such a good way, from training to always being willing to listen and help any way they can. If you’re looking to start a business, and IT is of any interest at all, do this. It’s a very good company to work with.
Learn more about starting a TeamLogic IT business services franchise
Got your interest? Get more info by reading interviews with TeamLogic IT franchise owners on our blog and discover more about our business model and our niche within the IT industry by checking out our research pages. For even more information, including some hard data, download our free franchise report.