Geeks on Call: Making an IT Services Franchise Comeback?
Geeks On Call apparently has overhauled its IT services franchising model. At its height in 2007, Geeks on Call claims it had more than 300 IT services franchises across the United States. But by 2009, the company fell off a cliff and SEC filings revealed deep financial problems. But by late 2010, there were signs that new owner Glenn Davis was overhauling Geeks on Call. Fast forward to the present and Geeks On Call is introducing a new IT services franchising model. Will VARs and MSPs give it a look?
In a prepared statement, Geeks On Call President Rich Artese said: “We took two years to build a new model, and we believe the result is an opportunity that is unique to our industry and attractive to entrepreneurs.”
The new model involves the following:
- Geeks On Call offers a range of third-party telecom and Internet services to its IT services franchises.
- IT services also gain back-end support services like national brand marketing, sales advisors, a national call center, and access to a national network of technical experts.
- IT service providers pay $20,000 for a Geeks on Call territory. There is no royalty fee based on revenue. Instead, Geeks on Call charges a flat monthly membership fee of $500.
Geeks On Call isn’t the only game in town. A range of companies have offered IT services franchise opportunities in recent years. Key names that come to mind include CMIT Solutions, TeamLogic IT and The Utility Company. Many of the companies have executive teams that include familiar names. At CMIT Solutions, VP of Product Strategy Melanie Fricke is an Autotask MVP; TeamLogic IT President Chuck Lennon is an active CompTIA member; and The Utility Company President Mark Scott previously was CEO and co-founder of N-able Technologies.
In recent years, many of the IT franchising organizations have promoted remote monitoring software and PSA (professional services automation) software to franchises as a way to increase automation and standardize best practices.
Still, we encourage readers to closely study the IT services franchise model before signing on the dotted line. Some models may certainly work, but check in with existing franchisees to see if they’re satisfied with the franchise parent, support, cost and profit structures, and more.
Additional reporting by Nicholas Mukhar.