Techie family supports small businesses

By Shari Goldstein Stern

“Yikes! I just spent three hours on this document that’s due tomorrow, then my screen froze up, and now I can’t find it!” Big business has the luxury of depending on its IT department to keep it afloat. Whew! But how does a small business without that specialized department stay above water?

According to Carmen Parra, president of Completely Managed Information Technology Solutions White Rock (CMIT), her new family business supports clients by limiting their downtime, addressing problems and avoiding major catastrophe through the skills of their own IT professional.

Parra’s husband, Jaime Rodriguez is the chief technology officer.

Small business owners eventually learn that a long-term, trusting relationship with an IT professional who understands and addresses your computer needs can be the wind beneath your wings. Depending on a retailer or big-box store with an IT staff that assigns a different techie to you each time you call for support can be deadly to your business while draining your budget. Those are the retail service providers who charge the same size arm and a leg regardless of your business’ size. Staying afloat with that as your only life jacket is a risk to your business and can be your worst nightmare.

The numbers of contract and freelance workers operating from their home offices are increasing, and they are taxed with the same conundrum as any business.

Having their computers as a reliable tool is essential to their work. A serious glitch arises, and they may be out of business.

Parra is a native Texan from El Paso and a graduate of Texas State University. “I began working with numbers as a 7-year-old on my parents’ cash register in their El Paso store, La Chiquita Sales,” she said.

“I worked with inventory and just about everything else, including mopping the bathroom floors. Small business is in my blood.”

Rodriguez said: “I am lucky enough to work for the best corporate president, my wife, I have ever met and have the smartest and most thoughtful kids I could ever ask for. I was born in Colombia and my parents emigrated to the U.S. when I was four. From an early age I was motivated to pursue the American Dream. In my case, it was to rise into the middle class and have a home with a green lawn, a family and, maybe one day, have my own business.”

Parra brings more than 20 years of experience in business management to CMIT. Rodriguez has more than 20 years of IT experience.

On a national level, 20-yr.-old CMIT SOLUTIONS has been ranked number one in its category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list for six consecutive years. The company has community businesses, many family-owned throughout the country. “We identified with the core values of the parent company and IT is second nature to Jaime,” Parra said.

CMIT is based in the heart of White Rock. The business focuses on White Rock community by supporting clients ranging from construction, real estate, food service, business contractors and many small home businesses in managing their technology systems. Its officers have the skills to be helpful to small businesses in most industries. Keeping their geographic commitments focused enables them to serve the White Rock community thoroughly with 24/7 tech support.

“Our focus is on building relationships within our small businesses community.” Rodriguez said.

“We are not here to sell you products. Our service is to help you focus on your core business by bringing IT to your fingertips.” Service packages can be designed especially for you with your budget considerations in mind.

According to Parra, “Colleagues, friends and neighbors refer each other through word-of-mouth recommendations.”

Instead of, “My screen is frozen” a colleague might ask, “Has Carmen ever taken care of your frozen screen?” and she answers, “She can do that remotely.” CMIT becomes an extension of the client’s business.

Setting CMIT apart from some traditional computer-geek services is their specialty of serving small and medium size businesses, along with working within one community. Also unique is 24/7 remote services with on-site support also available as needed.

One client said, “There are times I’m so frustrated with what’s happening with my computer that having an expert sitting in the chair in front of my computer is all I want.”

Parra and Rodriguez have owned their home in Casa Linda for 10 years. They are members of the East Dallas Chamber of Commerce, White Rock Business Network, Lakewood Area Women in Business, and the East Dallas Referral Networking Group. They are Board Members of Casa Linda Estates Neighborhood Association and the White Rock Montessori School. They are active members of St. Pius X Catholic Parish in Casa View.

The couple is in the planning stages of a mentorship program for local college juniors and seniors looking for experience in the IT arena.

For more information about CMIT and the services it offers, visit cmitsolutions.com.

Carmen Parra (right) and Jaime Rodriguez with thier children.
Their family-owned small business provides other local small businesses with 24/7 remote IT services, along with on-site services as needed. Photo courtesy of CMIT SOLUTIONS WHITE ROCK

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