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Corporate & Tax

Client Success Story – Network Coverage

Interview with Terry Ledger, Founder of Network Coverage

Tell Us About Your Journey

I grew up in upstate New York in a very small town. I was lucky enough to have a high school friend whose dad was a tech entrepreneur, and I kind of got to live their Rich Dad Poor Dad life. That my father worked really hard, had a relatively successful construction company, but my best friend’s dad had a bunch of tech companies and a bunch of real estate. And he took me under his wing and mentored me into the path that I took to proceed through life.

Something that did spark me into it because he hired me when I was in high school to work in the summers at one of his tech firms doing board level computer repair. I was the kid that could take a toaster apart and put it back together without spare parts. And he saw that in me, and he put me to work for his Director of Manufacturing, helping really fix computers with a soldering iron. There weren’t such things as viruses back in those days.

What is the History of Network Coverage?

I took a traditional path, went to college, graduated. I graduated from college in 1989. It was a horrible time to graduate. We were in the midst of a recession, so I did what any normal college kid would do, I went and bought a three-family house in Lake Placid, New York, and became a ski instructor.

After a couple of years of doing that, which I had a great time, I took a job in Albany, New York, working for General Electric doing IT work. It wasn’t really my background, but I knew I could do it just from my previous work for my friend’s dad. And I worked doing that for a few years, and I just didn’t like sitting in a cubicle or sitting in a fishbowl office. I got a call from my mother-in-law, mother-in-law to be rather, and they had just fired their IT guy. And she was asking me if I knew anybody that wanted an IT job. And I loved what I was doing, I loved where I worked, and so I said no. Then when I got back from lunch that day, my boss’s boss came in, went up one side of me and down the other about something that I didn’t do. I got very upset, so I took the afternoon off, had a long conversation with my steering wheel on the way back to my house, and convinced myself that I could be an IT guy.

The next day, I went in, interviewed with her boss, and he hired me on the spot. I stopped at a bookstore, bought a Novell for Dummies and a Fox Pro for Dummies book because I had no idea what I was doing. And that night, actually, I was the IT guy for that company as a contractor, and that was 27 years ago. And I just built the business from that because I didn’t want to sit in a cubicle or sit in a lab anymore.

What Are Some Inspirations That Motivate You?

Some of the things that have inspired me and have driven me were just growing up with my best friend’s father, who was my Rich Dad Poor Dad that took me under his wing, mentored me and helped me see that there was more that I could do.

It’s really funny that when I called my father to tell him that I had started my own company, he told me how disappointed he was that I had done that because I was the only child to have a corporate job and have a career path. And then I drove to my friend’s father’s house, and he hugged me and told me how proud he was that I was taking a step out of my own.

Other things that have inspired me, just a drive for success. I’ve always wanted more and was willing to put in the time and effort to get more. Not that it’s just about money, but it was financial success, freedom for my kids and my wife and me, eventually. My dad worked a ridiculous number of hours. He was out of the house by seven every day, didn’t get back till seven every night, six days a week. And I didn’t want to be my dad. I wanted to be a better father. It was really fun when each of my children graduated from high school, I said to them, I apologize for not being there.” And both of them in different times said, what are you talking about? My friends were all jealous because you were the only dad that was always there. So that just motivated me to work hard and create the free time that I had so that I could be the dad that I really wanted to have when I was young.

What Challenges Have You Faced?

The biggest challenge that I had in my business is sitting in this chair. It was me getting out of my own way. I was a micromanager. I needed to know everything going on all the time. And as soon as I stopped being as hands-on as I was, my business truly accelerated. That was really the biggest challenge that I had. And then once I got over doing the technical work and being involved in everything every day, I started to focus on the numbers of the business. And once I started focusing on the numbers, the business really accelerated and just had amazing growth, amazing profitability. Because I actually was focused on profitability, not just about the money that was in our checking account. I could actually see where the money was coming in and where the money was going out. But ultimately it was I had to get out of my way and let other people do the everyday tasks so I could focus on growing the business instead of working in the business.

What Advice Can You Offer Other Entrepreneurs?

The advice I can offer is to get out of your own way. Don’t get stuck in the mundane day-to-day of whether it’s a technical aspect or whatever it is, the favorite thing for you to do. Your job as an entrepreneur is to grow the company, grow the business. And if you’re in the way micromanaging all the processes, you’re never going to get there. Well, you’ll get there, but it’ll take significantly longer than it would if you get out of your own way. Do the things that you’re good at, let other people do things you’re not good at, and the business will just accelerate and grow.

What Value Has Gesmer Updegrove Provided to Network Coverage?

The value that Gesmer Updegrove has provided was they just know the transaction space. They know how to sell a business. I knew how to run it an IT business. I did not know how to sell a business. They made the process so simple. They reviewed the agreements that I had with all the different investment banks that we looked at. They ultimately reviewed all the agreements and streamlined the process of selling to private equity and just answered every question to make it so that I wasn’t taken advantage of throughout the process from just a lack of knowledge. And they were able to answer questions quickly at two o’clock in the morning, at ten o’clock at night, at two o’clock in the afternoon. They were there for me and really the partner that I needed to get the deal done.

Why Do You Go With Gesmer?

Why Go With Gesmer? I was very fortunate. I have a serial entrepreneur friend that referred me to Gesmer. I really had no idea even where to look to find the firm to walk me through the transaction process. And they were available all hours of the day or night. This is what they do. They help get deals done, they help get transactions done, and they help get the best result for the owner-entrepreneur of the company. And I couldn’t think of anybody else to go with because they had the answer to every single question, every single time, no hesitation, and really just made it as simple of a process as it could be for me to get my deal done.

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