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CMIT Solutions

FranchiseKnowHow Spotlight Franchise

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CMIT Solutions franchise network is a franchise company that’s on the right track, helping small business owners to manage their technology needs.  In addition, this franchisor practices what they preach when it comes to supporting their franchisees.

Over the past number of years I’ve seen a number of technology based franchises enter the franchise scene, however, none have really caught my attention as much as CMIT Solutions. It’s probably because most of them provide a specific product or service such as website design or network support. It just seemed to me that these franchises perform more like a vendor and don’t fully capitalize on the energy and entrepreneurial spirit of a franchisee. When I became aware of CMIT Solutions I was intrigued by their franchise model and approach, this made me eager to learn more about them. The Austin, Texas based franchisor was founded in 1996. After changing its focus to small business owners, the franchisor has experienced significant growth since 2007. Its home based franchisees provide services to a client base that averages nine PC’s and one server.

Recently, I interviewed Jeff Connelly; CEO of Austin, Texas based CMIT Solutions. I wanted to learn more about this rather unique franchise.

Jeff Connally worked for IBM as a systems analyst, where he acknowledged having had a great experience working for “Big Blue.” He left IBM for an opportunity to join a colleague in a new venture which involved software for the golf industry.  “That’s when my entrepreneurial juices really started to flow” stated Jeff.  Soon afterward Jeff was offered a seat on the CMIT Board of Directors and the rest is history.

Jeff told me: “CMIT is a technology company first and foremost. Small businesses focus on their own areas of expertise not technology. We can serve the technology needs of the small business owner as a valuable resource and advisor just as they would use an accountant or attorney.”

According to Jeff, a CMIT franchisee can establish a personal business relationship with the small business owner since they live in the same market area and both are small business owners.  One of the services that CMIT franchisees provide is what Jeff refers to as a Root Cause Analysis for small business owners. There is no cost for this service and the process serves as a commitment to solving problems.

“Our franchisees listen to their clients and want to be pro-active. This allows CMIT to prevent problems before they arise.”

With a network of 127 franchisees CMIT is able to obtain favorable purchase programs with leading software companies like Intuit, which provides Quick Books. In addition these vendors provide a dedicated support team for CMIT franchisees. According to Jeff, CMIT can take care of any technology problem that a small business owner may face. 

When we discussed the franchise program it was refreshing to hear Jeff’s philosophy and approach regarding franchisee training and support.  Jeff stated: “CMIT has a Demand Generation Engine that enables new franchisees to leave their 2 week training program with prospects that they can meet with when they go back to their territory. It’s important for a new franchisee to get off to a quick start and have the support of the franchisor. About 70-80% of our energy is focused upon helping our franchisees grow.”   When I asked Jeff about the traits they look for in a franchisee he told me that about half of their top 20 performers have some level of IT experience while the remaining half come from a broad range of backgrounds.  In addition, he values franchise candidates that “have a passionate focus on helping small business owners succeed.”

“This past year we turned down about 20% of franchise prospects after their Discovery Day visit. We are awarding franchises not selling them.”

Starting in 2009, Jeff has made a point of including CMIT franchisees in the franchisee survey and evaluation program provided by the Franchise Research Institute. He acknowledged that the results of the initial survey provided some valuable feedback that Jeff used to improve CMIT’s overall level of service to its franchisees. CMIT has earned the designation of “World Class Franchise” from the FRI, according to Jeff Johnson CEO. I would add the fact that a review of their FDD indicated no franchise litigation.

It’s obvious to me that CMIT has the right franchise concept to meet the technology needs of the small business owner and this is one franchisor that’s on the right track when it comes to supporting their franchisees.

You can visit the CMIT website at www.cmitsolutions.com

FranchiseKnowHow does not represent and is not compensated either directly or indirectly by CMIT Solutions.

© 2010 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He can be reached at franchiseknowhow@gmail.com

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