The ‘Partner Spotlight’ series explores partners operating in the local channel landscape right around the country, from Cape York to Hobart, Byron Bay to Fremantle and beyond. In this edition, we focus on Queensland and Brisbane-based managed services provider (MSP) TechPath.
Some people start a business as soon as they’re able, but for TechPath’s managing director Troy Adams, the journey started before he even left high school.
Adams’ career in IT started when he was about 14 years old when he did a two-week stint at an IT shop for work experience, which primarily sold and built computers for consumers.
At the end of the two weeks, Adams secured a job with the shop where he worked for the rest of his schooling life. During that time, he even started a bulletin board to help paying customers.
Halfway through year 12, he was asked if he could do IT services at a family member's workplace. It was from then that Adams, at the age of 17, started Better Computer Services.
Starting a business can be difficult even for an adult, so for someone who wasn’t one, this brought its own set of challenges to the table.
For example, Adams said that back in the early days of the business, he wasn’t allowed to own a cheque book or a credit card, so he’d have to pay in cash upfront for computer supplies.
In those early days, he also had people occasionally remark that he looked “a bit too young” to be doing their IT work.
“I guess they just don't expect the business owner to be 17,” Adams said.
The Better Computer Services name stuck up until 2013, when it was rebranded to TechPath.
Hiring the hierarchy
Today, the business has roughly 50 employees, but it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park for Adams to manage this many people.
In fact, he started to run into problems when the business got to around 18 employees in 2014, as TechPath had previously operated under a flat structure model.
“Everyone reported to me, I made all the decisions and that meant people were always waiting for me to come back to them with answers on things,” Adams said.
To fix this, team leaders were introduced, which worked for the business for a time. Then TechPath reached 45 people in 2020 and Adams was still taking on too much.
“[W]e hit another bottleneck where decisions were still waiting on me. I hadn't let go of enough of the operations. I was getting involved in service, in sales, in accounts, in finance. So, it was just a point where we had to change again," he said.
“That's where the leadership team came in, so we've got someone who's responsible for each department and clear lines of responsibility so we don't step on their toes, let them run the department the way they want to and we meet as a leadership team on a weekly basis. That's been an awesome change.”
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