Regi John is an engineer who’d been at Microsoft for 21 years. He reached a point where he had an inner urge to do something different. Even though Microsoft is a fantastic place to be, his inner urge wouldn’t be ignored, and then kept getting stronger. “I wasn’t sure how to figure it out, so I started exploring different things, including the idea of starting a business. No one in my family is in business, and I don’t have a biz background; this was completely foreign to me.”
Why did you choose franchising?
I explored two traditional paths to business ownership: startup and consulting. I realized quickly it’s extremely difficult to create something from scratch. You’re building a brand, a network, including non- tech aspects that you have to build in order to be successful. And this would be true for both business paths. I discovered franchising when I attended Charlie’s Summit. The part which struck me was Charlie’s anecdote. He described working in the corp world, travelling a lot, but wanting to spend more time with his family. In one instance, he was able to surprise his son by making it to a science fair. This story really resonated with me – it was pivotal. I knew I was going to do it! But I just wasn’t sure what.
I underwent the process with Charlie and began to drill a little deeper into the things I was passionate about. During this process, I discovered Charlie’s superpower is his ability to be a patient guide. He’s a great listener. I’m used to working about hyper caffeinated, type A people, so I really appreciated this. He was helping me with my journey, regardless of where I landed.
As soon as we sat down, Charlie asked me, “Regi, how are you in sales?”
I thought that was a crazy question! However, it was an awesome leveler. Charlie changed my mindset about sales by posing this single question. Had I not been comfortable with the sales motion, there was no reason for me to be doing this. It’s really important to recognize that sales and marketing are one of the most significant parts of entrepreneurship.
I started researching a small set of franchises to help discover what I liked and didn’t like. Gradually, I started to understand the franchise model, and it seemed to be the right fit for me – I could leverage the infrastructure, and plug into an existing system. I wondered if there might be a franchise that involved tech. I then discovered Team Logic IT. As we went through the due diligence process, Charlie provided good guidance including helping through the FDD, and recommending an attorney and an accountant, and providing good questions to ask when I contacted franchisees. The pieces started falling into place, and after I completed the due diligence, I entered a three month “waffling” period. I was still working, and I also drove my wife crazy.
Finally, the “click” for me was that I realized I could potentially provide the same level of IT support which I, as an employee of a fortune 10 company, receive. I finished waffling, and flew down to corp HQ to sign the franchise agreement. It felt awesome that day! The next day, well, I was scared as heck!
Have you experienced any surprises?
I’ve had realizations rather than surprises. There are so many things to deal with including employee management, business licensing, office leasing, financial management, and the actual business – and everything has equal priority.
The tech part is natural for me, but my areas of discomfort are the sales, marketing, business management; everything is brand new.
I attended the Annual Owners Summit last week and met other owners, many who are like me – they reached a point when they needed a change, and then they took this leap of faith. This group of people is going to be a deep resource!
What’s in your future?
I get to build the kind of company I personally want to be a part of. I can build an environment and culture that matters, and be a positive force in the community. I want to make sure my team has a great place to come to work, and have great careers. In addition, deep satisfaction for me is to help small and medium sized businesses effectively use information technology to unleash their business potential.