Recession, rapid tech advances, need to do more with less fuel CMIT Solutions’ record same-office sales

CEO Jeff Connally CMIT Solutions

CMIT Solutions President and CEO Jeff Connally.

CMIT Solutions’ same-office sales figures rise consistently every year.

Over the past year, from October 2010 to October 2011, revenues for CMIT Solutions franchises that have been open for two years or more rose an average of 36.5 percent. For franchises that were open before the end of 2007, revenues over the past year rose an average of 29.4 percent, a strong indication that CMIT Solutions’ services satisfy a nearly insatiable demand.

So how has CMIT Solutions, the managed IT provider for small businesses, thrived as the overall economy slumped in those years?

CMIT hasn’t grown despite the economic downturn, says President and CEO Jeff Connally. The company has grown because of it.

“In late 2008, just as the economic crisis came to a head, we told all our franchisees — 108 at the time — to call their top 10 customers and ask them what the uncertain economy meant for their businesses,” Connally says. “Within hours, we received 1,000 reports. The common thread was that small and mid-sized businesses expected to have to do more with less.”

Unlike their corporate counterparts, most businesses employing five to 99 people couldn’t slash their staffs and expect to remain efficient and competitive. The only way to increase efficiency was to improve their technology.

“That’s really what’s driven business in the last four years,” Connally says. “Technology is the only thing businesses trying to stay afloat have had in order to do more with less.”

That need will only grow. Advances in cloud computing and other other web-based platforms will make outsourced IT — CMIT Solutions’ specialty — a necessity for small and mid-sized businesses in the years to come.

Many small businesses have been able to scrape by with internal servers and an inefficient “break-fix” approach to IT. But as increasingly complex enterprise-level technology becomes affordable to small and mid-sized businesses, they will find it more and more difficult to operate their IT in-house and stay competitive.

“Small business owners don’t have a choice or even options. Small businesses have to be successful. No one’s going to bail them out,” Connally says. “CMIT Solutions has positioned itself to meet this critical need. We are doing something really transformational for small businesses.”

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