RIVER FOREST — Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and reliable computers are the backbone of small businesses.
But what if that backbone develops a slipped disk?
Xavier Matesanz and CMIT Solutions are there to help. CMIT is an Austin, Texas-based managed information technology franchise serving about 2,000 businesses; most of those are smaller firms, typically with five to 99 employees.
“The strength of this is I am here in this community. I am a part of this community,” the River Forest resident said. “I can’t run away if something goes wrong.”
Matesanz set up shop in his home, opening for business at the beginning of the year. His independently owned CMIT franchise, one of 140 nationwide, covers six ZIP codes, a territory that includes Melrose Park, Elmwood Park and River Grove.
A native of Palencia, Spain, Matesanz moved to the United States as a child. A job transfer for a previous employer in 2001 brought the international business developer to River Forest from Miami Beach.
Late last year, Matesanz decided to strike out on his own.
“I’ve always been interested and intrigued with owning my own business,” he said. “What I do here will be predicated on my own performance, not what someone else thinks of me.”
As he researched CMIT’s business fundamentals, Matesanz said he was attracted not only to the prospect of future earnings but also to the potential for job satisfaction.
“It’s much more cerebral and interesting,” he said.
Small businesses tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to IT, Matesanz said. They often possess obsolete equipment; are clueless about effective ways to integrate new technologies, such as smart phones; and have no backup plan for their data.
“The amazing thing is that tech is changing so rapidly that small companies traditionally do not have the advantage of coming to people like us,” he said. “Eighty percent work on this concept of ‘break and fix.’”
That’s why CMIT developed a pricing model that puts managed IT services in reach, he added. Though CMIT offers package pricing, Matesanz hesitated to share examples because nearly every business customizes its program, which changes the base price.
However, Matesanz likely isn’t going to be the guy to show up when disaster strikes. For that, he will rely on CMIT’s network of 700 qualified IT professionals.
Matesanz said his primary goal will be to develop the business by meeting with other entrepreneurs, learning what their goals are and helping them meet their objectives.
Being his own boss also gives Matesanz time and resources for community involvement. One of his projects is for the YWCA’s project to encourage girls to explore careers in math, science and engineering, a commitment that one day may have positive results for his own business.
“I would love to hire a level one or level two technician who can go into a business with me and do an assessment,” he said.