MSP 501 Profile: Entech’s Focus Is Enabling People to Do What MattersMSP 501 Profile: Entech’s Focus Is Enabling People to Do What Matters
Their mission: to be valued for making a positive difference in the success of a business and the lives of its people.
November 30, 2020
Company Name: Entech
Company MSP 501 Rank: 458
President: Jake Spanberger
Headquartered: Fort Myers, Florida
For more than 20 years, Entech has been focused on helping people do what matters. That means both clients and people in the local community. Ever since its founding in 1998, the company has incorporated the Golden Rule as a basic tenet of their business operations. They treat others the way they would like others to treat them.
Entech’s Jake Spanberger
“Applying the principles of the Golden Rule every day in our business provides us with a strong foundation upon which we can build lasting and meaningful relationships with our staff and clients,” said Jake Spanberger, an owner and the president of Entech. “Our strong foundation and core beliefs have provided Entech with the ability to provide support to businesses of all sizes on a local, national and global scale.”
Their commitment to helping people do what matters extends to for-profit and nonprofit endeavors. In addition to being an award-winning provider of IT solutions to the business world, Entech works with more than a dozen community organizations to provide technical support, strategy and oversight that allow them to achieve their goals.
Channel Futures: What is one thing you wish vendors would do that they don’t?
Jake Spanberger: Proactively reach out to partners to help them sell their products. I’ve been in this business for over 20 years and I can count on one hand the number of vendors that know how much I spend with them much less actively help us try to improve on that number. Even when I try to be proactive and try to develop a relationship with a vendor, it is nearly impossible to find one that reciprocates. It’s hard to form a relationship when it only goes one way. I would love to have a vendor say to me, “Here’s what you are currently spending, let’s figure out a way to get that higher.”
CF: What new opportunities and challenges came with the global COVID-19 pandemic?
JS: Obviously, transitioning to work from home then back to the office was an opportunity and a challenge. But a big challenge is communicating the risks and planning if it happens again.
CF: What do you love about the IT channel? What do you hate about it?
JS: I love that businesses rely on us for their success. Our best relationships are with those who consider us a part of their business. I also enjoy the camaraderie of the channel and all the opportunities we have to learn. Technology is fun, and we do it for a living.
My least favorite part is trying to convince certain businesses that technology is not an expense. It is a differentiator. Some people just don’t get it even if …
… you try your best to help them see the light.
CF: Tell us the story of the biggest pivot you’ve ever had to execute.
JS: In 2015, we acquired a business that was almost the same size as us. After several months of chaos, we invested in a strategic planning methodology called StratOp. With the help of our friends at HTG (now IT Nation Evolve) we were guided down a path of focusing on our vision and developing a path for the future. It helped us form a new mindset. It took “working on the business versus working in the business” to a new level. Today, strategic planning is the foundation of everything we do. It’s helped us get where we are. But more importantly, it helps us understand where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.
CF: Are the influx of private equity and increase in M&A activity impacting your business? How?
JS: They’ve re-emphasized the reason we strive to achieve best-in-class metrics to get best-in-class results. Regardless of whether employees are also business owners or have no equity stake, a major job of a leadership team in a for-profit business is to drive business value higher. In our industry the major ways we drive value higher are through client retention and satisfaction, business growth and, ultimately, delivering a profitable return to our bottom line. Private equity and M&A activity show that our industry is attractive to investors if you have a valuable business. And the only way to have a valuable business is to achieve those best-in-class metrics that achieve best-in-class results. If you do that, your hard work can be rewarded handsomely.
CF: Why are you a business owner instead of working for someone else? What is the allure of entrepreneurship to you?
JS: I started as an owner of Entech right out of college. It’s the only thing I’ve ever done. At first my pride of ownership was more of an ego boost. But over the last 20 years, I’ve learned that ownership is more than flexibility and ego — it’s about legacy. It’s about creating a vision or a “why” and seeing it through. Our “why” is to enable people to do what matters, and we’re so committed to it that everybody who works here is a part of it.
Our hard work has enabled us to do our part to make our community a better place. It has allowed us to partner with great organizations and nonprofits so they can make the world a better place. I like to think that we play a role in their helping them achieve their mission and play a role in their success. To me business ownership is a way of giving back.
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