There is a new sandwich shop in town!
Our last blog featured a brief write-up recently posted by Ralph Ellis on our new retail store, SNX Fix I.T., which will be opening this fall. A follow-up article has been written by Laura Haas at the Virginia Highlands Druid Hills Patch newspaper, and was sent out to their subscribers this morning. It is posted below, and can also be found online here.
The owners of a new high-tech repair shop opening soon in VaHi want to do right for the community.
After decades of working for large firms in the I.T. industry, Jeremy Anderson began to feel uncomfortable with common practices at the IT firm where he worked.
“The morals of the I.T. industry was hard for me,” Anderson said. “I had been asked before to draw out more time so we could charge more to the customer and a lot of that just didn’t sit well with who I am.”
“I just felt like if we built something from the ground up we could do it the right way the first time,” Anderson said.
Now, Anderson and Petri are reaching out to the residential market with their new brick and mortar store SNX Fix I.T., opening in half of the property that used to be Armour & Co. on N. Highland Avenue.
“This neighborhood is us,” Anderson said. “It allows us to grow in good ways with the neighborhood and us, we probably wouldn’t have done this is any other location in Atlanta.”
The store will offer installation and repair services for technology including computers and mobile devices, sell computers and other computer-related tools and offer advice to consumers about new or unfamiliar products.
”We’re trying to bring the same type of environment and expertise and knowledge to all of the other devices that aren’t handled by Apple,” Petri said.
This is key for SNX Fix I.T. because although they have the knowledge to handle Apple products, they do not yet have the certification required by Apple. For Apple users, using an uncertified technician will nullify the product warranty. SNX Fix I.T. is in the process of gaining certification and hopes to have it in a few months.
Also in a few months, SNX Fix I.T. will offer training classes so that customers can better understand technology and can even repair and install things on their own.
“We really want to run this from an education standpoint,” Petri said.
The two are not concerned that if their customers have the knowledge, they might not come back to the store for repairs.
“I’d rather them have the knowledge,” Anderson said, adding that he hopes to empower and educate customers, not take advantage of their lack of expertise.
These tech experts have been working with computers for most of their lives and are eager to give away tips and tricks to help residents of Virginia Highlands who aren’t technologically gifted understand the tools that they use every day.
“My brain works that way. I love puzzles, I like things that aren’t the same all of the time,” Anderson said. “I’d like to bring people to understand what that actual back-end of the problem could be.”
For SNX Fix I.T. helping others isn’t just good for community relations, it’s their business philosophy.
“You do right for others and the rest of it just falls into place,” Anderson said.
SNX Fix I.T. is still under construction but will be opening later this fall.
(Atlanta, GA – August 1, 2013) SNX I.T. is an Atlanta-based IT firm offering what many information technology companies have neglected: affordable networking solutions AND excellent customer service. Taking a service-oriented mantra one step forward, SNX I.T. was founded in 2008, and has been a go-to resource for companies looking to save money by outsourcing their IT staffing needs.
SNX I.T. CEO Jeremy Anderson created the company with the goal of making every customer equally important – knowing that each member of the SNX I.T. team is approachable and available, “Getting straight answers shouldn’t be something that requires pulling teeth,” says Anderson. “At SNX I.T., what I have tried to do is learn from all the different failed companies I’ve seen and build ours based on what they could have done differently. After nearly 20 years in the Information Technology industry, I decided to create a company based on morally sound principles – focusing on accelerating our customer’s business, and in turn, ours.”
For most people, computer literacy (beyond desktop publishing) is like speaking a foreign language. SNX I.T., however, speaks it well and offers services that are a truly reliable resource for small and medium-sized businesses. SNX I.T. does this by assisting companies to operate more efficiently and effectively. From IT strategy and consulting, hardware repair/ maintenance, and on-site staffing, SNX I.T. offers solutions for businesses of any size. Based on a predetermined hourly need, SNX I.T. will assign an expert IT professional for your project to provide regular routine services as would a regular employee. SNX I.T. clients benefit from this because instead of hiring an entire IT department – or paying someone annually – they instead pay for only the hours of service needed on a month-to-month basis.
SNX I.T. also offers network installation and integration, network security, and secure backup management, among others. A list of services can be found on their website at www.snxit.com.
SNX I.T. is uniquely geeky, but social. They have built a solid social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well as the introduction of the SNXProfessor, an online blog and learning resource. SNXProfessor.com is a platform for a myriad of topics relative (but not limited) to the IT industry. With blogs covering topics that range from the start of the company to the history behind the world’s first computer, the SNX Professor is built to arm prospects and clients alike with a myriad of useful technology tips and tricks. Let the SNX I.T. team of experts help make your business more efficient and affordable by doing what they do best, so you can do what you do best: run your business.
The business philosophy followed by Southern NetworX is somewhat different than those followed by most small businesses. Jeremy Anderson (CEO) and Michael Petri (CTO) have similar backgrounds in technology, and both have worked for a few companies in the past that might have had a good thing going (as far as products/services offered) but ended up failing due to poor management at top levels. This is something we strive hard to avoid at SNX.
The problem is actually quite simple, and it translates from the routine of our everyday lives and how we do things nowadays vs. how things used to be done in the past. Starting and growing a business has always been a big part of the “American Dream,” and entrepreneurs continue to pursue that dream every day. Unfortunately, a huge number of start-up companies fail very quickly and many fail much later while seemingly doing so well. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years. Why?
We believe a large part of this is due to the fundamental change that has occurred in the way people choose to financially fund and develop their businesses. Without a doubt, technological development over the past couple of decades has made us more connected than ever. The Internet has allowed us to gain access to information and data like never before, and it’s made us more productive in so many ways, so why are so many businesses failing? Some would argue that the same technology that has connected us and made information so easily accessible has also made us much more short-sighted, and infinitely reliant on instant gratification. This is especially true when it comes to funding our business ventures.
So, what does all of this mean for a small business? Here’s an example of how things used to work, vs. our current “have it all now” model that provides us with instant gratification:
1960’s: A small mom-n-pop auto repair shop in a small town has no other franchises, no debt, and is considered profitable. They keep their books in the black and enjoy life.
Today: Same business scenario in today’s economy would be considered unsuccessful unless they can now open 20 new franchises in neighboring towns, all within the first 12 months of start-up, on borrowed money, from banks or investors or what have you. This means that while the single repair shop may have started back in the ’60s and continued to be profitable and self-sustaining decades later, the same shop started today, using the wrong mentality, could easily over-reach too soon while at the same time being financially over-leveraged and end up having to close its doors because it can’t pay its bills.
Jeremy and Michael have witnessed too many of the companies that they used to work for go under, either going from true profitability to loss (due to waste) or never being profitable at all and only surviving because of investor funding, which was all based on promises to the investors that there was some magical return on their investment in the very near future.
At Southern Networx, what we have tried to do is learn from all these different failed companies and build ours based on what we would have done differently. The main thing that we always took away from the past experiences is this: to make sure that the company is always self-funded. At SNX we are not dependent on outside funding, which means that we do not answer to any investors or any other outside parties who may NOT have the company’s best interests in mind. This allows us to make our own decisions as to which direction the company goes, and allow us to ensure its survival and profitability. Thus far, it has worked beautifully.
What businesses do you know of that have used financial over-leveraging to start out? Has it worked for them, or have they ended up closing their doors?
4) What is your background, before SNX? How long have you been involved with Information Technology?
“Officially, I have been involved with IT for about 10 years. I say ‘officially’ because that’s about when my professional career in the IT industry started. I started messing around with computers sometime around the mid-nineties and then attended North GA College, pursuing a degree in Computer Science. In my Junior year I landed a Tier-1 tech support position working on run-of-the-mill PC and networking issues. I then moved into a similar position, but mostly geared toward VoIP services as the company moved to offer those services as the main product/service. That department grew into a full Network Operations Center (NOC) which I took charge of and was still running when we acquired the company that Jeremy was working for and he became part of my NOC staff. Over time, my IT background has developed more in the direction of network engineering and VoIP phone services, mostly centered around a Broadsoft soft-switch. During my tenure as a NOC manager, I also worked on developing more non-technical skills, such as business development, project planning, process development; skills generally more analytical in nature that would help me look at departments first, and then businesses as a whole, and try to figure out ways to make them better and more efficient.”
5) Where do you see the company going in the next 5 years?
“This is an interesting question, because I’m sure that if you asked it to Jeremy, you’d get something along the lines of ‘We’re all going to be sitting on the beach, sipping margaritas, with the company raking in $10,000,000 in profit per year’. And that, of course, is what I really like about him. I enjoy the juxtaposition of his grand ideas and visions and my feeble attempts at bringing them down to a tangible reality and it’s what makes our conversations, and our company, so great. It allows us to come up with all kinds of visions for the future and the direction of the company and then convert them to actual business plans and models that are reachable. Now, where do I see the company going in the next five years? Without throwing any numerical values out there, what I see is a stable, profitable company, that has grown organically, by offering our services with ‘quality over quantity’ in mind. I see us being a company that has built a brand, recognized for superior service above all. And, I see us, hopefully, diversifying that brand into other technology-oriented areas where we can apply the same expertise and quality service that we have become known for. Although, I suppose, sitting on a beach, sipping margaritas, while raking in millions is also nice. I’ll leave that to Jeremy, though.”