From Intimidation to Innovation: Leslie Chiorazzi’s Journey with CMIT Solutions

Leslie Chiorazzi, Featured Franchise, July 2024

Leslie Chiorazzi, the dynamic owner of CMIT Solutions of Manhattan, Murray Hill, NY, is a shining example of how determination, networking, and a passion for community involvement can transform a seemingly daunting venture into a thriving business. Recently named the 2024 June Franchise Award winner, Leslie’s story is not just about her success but also about overcoming her fears and building a network that fuels growth and resilience.

The Early Days: Confronting Technological Fears

Eight years ago, Leslie Chiorazzi took a leap of faith into the unknown world of technology. Despite her initial intimidation by the tech industry, Leslie was driven by a desire to prove her capabilities not just to herself but to her children. Her kids, aged 10 and 14 at the time, playfully challenged her tech skills, doubting her ability to fix her own phone. This challenge became a pivotal moment for Leslie, igniting a determination to conquer her tech fears and demonstrate her prowess.

Leslie’s journey began with a steep learning curve, navigating the complexities of technology while managing the day-to-day operations of her new business. Despite these challenges, she remained steadfast, leveraging every opportunity to learn and grow. Her determination paid off, transforming her initial intimidation into a deep understanding of technology and its applications for small to medium-sized businesses.

The Power of Networking

One of the key factors in Leslie’s success has been her ability to network effectively. Understanding the importance of building relationships with vendors, partners, and even competitors, Leslie immersed herself in the local business community. Her approach was simple yet powerful: be present, be genuine, and be proactive in seeking partnerships.

Leslie’s efforts in networking bore fruit in 2023 when she made a significant acquisition of another Managed Service Provider (MSP). This acquisition was not just a business transaction but a testament to the relationships she had built over the years. She met her competitor at a nonprofit event, and a conversation about exit strategies eventually led to a deal that tripled her business. This acquisition was a game-changer, propelling CMIT Solutions of Manhattan, Murray Hill to new heights.

Building a Successful Franchise

Leslie’s success is built on several core principles that she believes are essential for any franchise owner:

  1. Time and Relationships: Leslie emphasizes that building a successful business goes far beyond just the operational aspects. It’s about investing time in relationships and networks that extend beyond the business. These relationships provide support, opportunities, and invaluable insights.
  2. Goal Setting and Belief: Leslie is a firm believer in setting clear goals and maintaining a strong belief in the value of the services provided. She often says, “Everyone needs what we do,” underscoring the importance of believing in your mission and communicating that conviction to clients and partners.
  3. Longevity and Reputation: According to Leslie, the longer you are in the business, the more people know and trust you. Building a reputation takes time, but it’s an investment that pays dividends in the form of trust and loyalty from clients.
  4. Accountability and Self-Improvement: Leslie advocates for finding an accountability group and making a list of areas where improvement is needed. Being accountable helps in staying focused and addressing weaknesses proactively.
  5. Community Involvement: Giving back to the community is a cornerstone of Leslie’s philosophy. She encourages franchise owners to get involved in local events, nonprofits, and other community activities. This not only enhances the business’s reputation but also builds a network of support.
  6. Learning from Others: Speaking with other franchisees about their successes and challenges is another strategy Leslie recommends. Sharing experiences helps in understanding common pitfalls and strategies for overcoming them.

Leveraging Systems and Support
Leslie’s success is also attributed to her ability to leverage the systems and support provided by CMIT Solutions. By utilizing the franchise’s resources, she has been able to streamline operations, access training, and get the necessary help to lift her business. This support system has been crucial in helping her navigate challenges and scale her business effectively.

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