CMIT Solutions Keeps America’s Small Businesses Running
Immigrant entrepreneurs and the tech industry have done well by each other. Many companies launched by new Americans are globally dominant (think eBay and Google), but there are tens of thousands of others with similar immigrant origins and innovation. Meanwhile, as many reports on Immigrant Business can attest, franchising is rich with immigrant contributions.
So what happens when these two exciting markets come together? It’s a formula for success.
Our goal is to be recognized as the premier company providing information technology solutions worldwide.
Meet CMIT Solutions, Inc. (for Completely Managed Information Technology), a provider of IT services for small and mid-sized businesses. It offers packages ranging from 24/7 monitoring of networks, servers, workstations and mobile devices to off-site data storage, help desk support and cloud computing. It’s already passed 175 outlets nationwide, and is growing fast.
(IDC) estimates that companies with fewer than 1,000 employees spent $564 billion on IT hardware, software and services in 2016. In 2020, it’ll be $668 billion.
Running this operation from Austin, Texas, is President & CEO Jeff Connally. He says his role at the top came about almost accidentally, but hearing about his origins makes it clear the success is no accident.
This born-and-bred American is very aware, and very proud, of his immigrant ancestors. His great grandfather came here from Ireland with few skills and fewer resources, put down roots in upstate New York and eventually launched a small business. As with many immigrants who came after, that business was in groceries.
“At five, I believed I had a job at Connally Brothers Markets—I swept, did chores—but it was really a daycare arrangement,” he says now. Still, the work ethic set in. Over time he developed the milestone-rich path of many visionaries: learning programming in Vermont, a 26-year career at IBM (focused heavily on the SMB sector) and startups of his own. He’d settled into a comfortable life when he was invited to join the board at CMIT, which he eventually acquired.
Huge Market Growth
It’s a fascinating field with great opportunities. Despite its name, the small biz market is huge: Research firm International Data Corp. (IDC) estimates that companies with fewer than 1,000 employees spent $564 billion on IT hardware, software and services in 2016. In 2020, it’ll be $668 billion.
Perfectly Positioned to Serve the Market
CMIT Solutions is perfectly suited to serve this highly fragmented market. After all, a doctor’s office is
nothing like a deli, which is nothing like a gym, which is nothing like a fashion boutique, but they’re all small businesses. And while everyone seems like a tech wiz, the need for managed services is greater than ever. The simpler technology is to use, the harder it is behind the scenes—implementation, security, integration and other factors are very complicated. Trends such as mobile, unified communications tools and social media add to the complexity. The problem is even greater in industries that are heavily regulated, such as financial services, healthcare, etc.
“We do our own research, monitor analysts, stay in tune with market,” Mr. Connally noted. “Generally, we find our SMB clients more conservative” than other segments of the market. So CMIT offers knowledgeable partners, powerful tools and policy recommendations that enable SMB owners to keep their focus where it belongs: on the business.
Best of all, CMIT is a national company with a local orientation—and that means franchising. The company doesn’t own outlets but instead counts on entrepreneurs who can do a better job of serving business in their community. Mr. Connally says he tries to spot “a true desire to be an entrepreneur, people fed up with the corporate treadmill.” Only 10% of CMIT franchisees have previous entrepreneurial experience, although about half have a technology background.
Money Needed & Training
- Low Investment: Each franchise needs an investment of $150,000 to $200,000. The initial franchise fee ($50,000-$55,000) and the working capital needed to launch the business.
- Making sure there’s a Match : CMIT conducts extensive due diligence to make sure candidates have the capabilities to succeed before awarding a new franchise.
- Intensive Training: CMIT provides three weeks of pre-training (less when there’s direct experience) and two weeks of intensive instruction in Austin, with everything from live simulations to prospect meetings.
- Personal Coaching: New franchisees get a personal success coach.
- Benefits of Owning a CMIT Solutions Franchise
Great Fit For Immigrants
It’s working. Mr. Connally says numerous franchisees have opened multiple outlets and become wealthy. Of course, there’s a strong immigrant presence: CMIT’s local owners have come from Colombia, Syria, India, Russia, Venezuela, Egypt, Israel and many other far-flung regions.
The growth path is clear. As more businesses become more digital, the need for tech services will only rise. The company is expanding in the U.S. & Canada, and there are many choice markets available.
Why you should look at a CMIT Solutions Franchise
- Professional & IT services are in high demand.
- Low overhead, high-margin business
- IT experience not required
- Become a valuable member of your business community by helping local businesses reach their potential
- Corporate & peer support systems
- Multi-unit growth options available