Welcome to my about page! There have been a lot of changes in the past years and I enjoy telling my stories. I’ll start by saying I am the sole owner of Call That Girl (CTG) Technology Support and what I offer is a remote support technical assistance (we do offer onsite visits in both Minneapolis & St Paul and Rochester) with six other contractors helping me get the jobs done. Our core services are general technology support, Outlook, Hosted Exchange, Microsoft Office 365 and we dabble a bit with helping small business set up simple websites and ranked in Google with blogging. I am working hard to find new talent to assist with growing CTG to offer our Premium Level clients a referral for any need that may arise.
In my side time, I enjoy writing eBooks and I also sell them online. I have always enjoyed writing and especially creating technical documents. To read more about these click here.
In regards to social networking, I have approximately 50,000 contacts via LinkedIn, Twitter, G+, Facebook and via my newsletters. LinkedIn is my favorite and I own the largest LinkedIn group in the state of Minnesota, “LinkedMinnesota” I am very active online and love sharing my stories and technical blogs.
Call That Girl Time Line
How did I get into computers? Easy answer. I had heard of the internet in 1994, played on AOL chat rooms at my aunt’s house, but didn’t really grasp it. I had a friend who wanted me to get on “Email” and bugged me to buy a computer to do email with him. I had no idea what email was, but in 1995 I was going to college and I asked an instructor if the school did email and they sent me off to the computer lab. The lab told me that I could have email if I had a computer class. I wasn’t happy with that answer and told a friend who went to Winona State University and he told me that every college student got email for free, so off to WSU I went the next quarter.
The day I got to WSU, I found the lab and fell in love. Between classes I was in the main computer lab and could not stop learning about Macs, Telnet and the old school internet. After just a few months, the students in the lab started asking me to help them with their issues because they thought I worked there. I eventually asked the lab manager to hire me on work study because I was helping so much. There begins in 1996 my love of doing tech support.
After graduating, I chose to not work in my field, but rather stay in tech support. I found out I was suited for “Helpdesk jobs” and applied for many positions, eventually ending up at Honeywell for the R&D division. I worked at Honeywell from 2000 to 2003, where I trained in Unix, Six Sigma and earned a HR Terminations/Hiring Green Belt. Yep, I championed that one!
2003, the dream begins when I was between jobs. After spending the summer looking for the next great job, my best friend and I collaborated thoughts and put together the first attempt at CTG. Call That Girl came from the past corporate helpdesk jobs I had when the employees would always say “Just call that girl at the helpdesk”…as I was always at my desk and ready for the next ticket to come in. My work ethic has always been fast, get it done and learn so I can support more.
With the website in place, business cards, logo stolen from Microsoft Clipart, we were off and running with my first marketing effort. I sent flyers to the Curves locations in the Twin Cities promoting my home visits for the ladies. After 8 clients serviced, Lisa was off to work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota.
2004, after finding the employees and physicians of the Mayo Clinic needed home support, CTG came back to life. Lisa signed up with the state of Minnesota as an assumed name and sole proprietor of CTG. Lisa worked with an east coast designer, created business cards and posted an ad in the Rochester Women’s Magazine. In 2006, Lisa left Rochester with 40 clients and then moved back to Minneapolis to work at her final corporate job supporting a contract for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) working for Multimax/Harris IT.
2007, After Multimax was acquired by Harris IT, Lisa opted to move on and restart her career by going on her own and building up Call That Girl on a full time basis. During her first five months of being on her own, she ended 2008 with just five clients. These first five months were full of ideas to market, networking events and brainstorming how to grow CTG.
2008, in January CTG launched at the Women’s Expo held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Investing $2400 turned out to be a large win for CTG, almost immediately after the event, she started getting calls in on a daily basis, thus growing her network and started the beginning of “personal networking” as her main stream form of marketing. Soon after Lisa starts utilizing LinkedIn as a new marketing tool to find new clients. Summer of 2008, Lisa is brought on as Manager of LinkedMinnesota. During the summer of 2008, Call That Girl found its first “home” on the corner of Franklin and Nicollet in downtown Minneapolis.
Fall of 2008, the recession starts and Lisa finds a need for the laid off professionals to see hope and learn how to network via LinkedIn. She founds Project Link It Forward and begins her six month adventure of hosting free one hour classes at Camp Get-A-Well-A. Shortly after the project began, it gains momentum quickly and the Star Tribune picks up the story.
First week of 2009, Lisa’s story is featured in the Star Tribune on the front page of the business, the first edition of the New Year. The project was a hit and even though she wasn’t full-time busy with clients, LinkedIn was keeping her very busy. Her pro bono efforts would show pay off in the summer where her business was starting to grow organically through word of mouth, social media and her community stewardship. In the summer of 2009, Call That Girl moves to the suburb of St. Louis Park. CTG closes with 450 clients.
In 2010, Lisa takes over as owner of the largest LinkedIn group in Minnesota, LinkedMinnesota. Lisa also decided to make a bold move and move her personal life down to Rochester, MN. Without publicly announcing this move, she worked for six months traveling back and forth from Rochester to Minneapolis until it got to be too much. She opened her Rochester location in September and was still outsourcing hardware and home visits if she could not make the appointments. Lisa also started the year off with writing an eBook on Social Media that was published in September of 2010. CTG closes with 850 clients.
2011 begins the year of growth for Call That Girl. With a fresh fully trained intern that was moved to full-time employee status and a FT employee in the St. Louis Park shop, she was ready to move ahead. Just a few months into the New Year, it was decided that Call That Girl would enterprise quickly and plans were in action to open a store in Winona, MN. The team secured a large contract and after four months of renovations, the Winona Service Station was fully functional in July of 2011. In November, She also moved to a new store in Rochester that year. Client count 1350.
2012 updates: This was the year that CTG grew and grew like crazy. The whole team were working on a contract that helped them grow to 16 employees and supporting 3 shops, 22 stores in 4 states. But just as soon as the growth was about settled down, in the summer of 2012, the company we contracted with went in house and the business found out in the 3rd quarter that people weren’t so excited to have hardware fixed when buying new was so affordable and with the explosion of smart phones and iPads, thus leaving the stores not making enough money to stay open. Winona was sold, and preparations to close St. Louis Park were underway. Client count 2500
2013 updates. This was the year the company slimmed down; Lisa closed all of the stores and went remote support only. In the middle of 2nd quarter, Lisa realized that she was building the wrong company, the one that wasn’t her dreams and desires and focused on what she loved doing, remote support, Outlook & email, Hosted Exchange and Microsoft Office 365 and business applications. Client count, over 3000 and well over 5000 jobs on the books.
Jan 2014 update. All is going quite well at CTG! Rebuilding her dream team and business services was just what the company needed. We are doing better than ever. Our core helpdesk services are very stable and growing, but our Microsoft Office 365 migrations and transition work are really where we are excelling. Not many companies just have migration/transition projects available without a managed IT contract, so our small business clients are enjoying getting work done without a commitment. Although, most do buy our support tickets for helpdesk assistance and other IT administrative functions. This year has started off strong and I only expect the best for this year. More to come…stay tuned!
April 2015 update. Wow, a whole year and some went by without an update! And I did a lot during this time! I’ll start by talking about first quarter 2014, the business was at this point, remote support only. Making a decision to change an entire business to be focused on supporting remote only, not only took a drastic marketing change, but change in our processes and services as well. The marketing continued in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, but then I found a secret sauce with Google. I started blogging more about my day to day fixes, created videos and changed the social networking. I backed off doing marketing via social media to focus on Google. The main reason was to market my services on a national level, so at the end of first quarter, I was seeing results from my hard work and moved at that point to supporting national clients. Which is huge for any business!
In the middle of 2nd quarter 2014, we changed our antivirus protection to not support a product, but rather a service. We found that many clients were calling in for a virus removal and then would need a great service to support their computers, keep them protected and monitored. This is when we created the “Daily Protection Plan” (now renamed “SuperMaxx”. Sales were awesome day we launched and even to this day of writing this update, sales are still great and we have 100’s of happy clients on our system! I also was doing a lot more Exchange migrations, so much in fact that I had to restructure my migration processes. When a business has to revamp processes, that’s a good thing!
In the beginning of 3rd quarter, I decided it was time for a life change, so I packed up all of my belongings and headed south for a few months. I proved a few things to myself, mostly that I could run and manage a business 100% remote, this is a goal for many business owners and not only did I do it successfully, I grew the company. In the fall of 2014, I finished my 5th eBook and started working heavier on YouTube videos.
By the end of 4th quarter, everything was going well with the business, I added on a QuickBooks Expert and started to see 2015 as the year that my business would completely make a difference for the good of CTG and all small businesses looking for support!
In the past few months, I moved back to the Midwest and found a small town in Iowa to plant myself at for awhile. I have been here for a few weeks and am getting settled in. Small town live is way different than Minneapolis, Rochester or Florida. Again, I am still in awe that I am running this business I have anywhere in the world. Is the world my oyster? Maybe! Either way, I am very happy with where everything is in my business, the expert level service and support we have (Btw…I just added on a Business Contact Manager Expert and Trainer) to offer.
June 2015 update. Made a major decision to start slowly ending the tech support side of Call That Girl (Windows fixing, virus removals, etc). After many years of doing tech support, moving to just Outlook and Office 365 consulting is happening. Leaving tech support was not an easy decision for me, but after thinking about how much tech support I was doing compared to my niche work, it made sense to just focus on the few things I really want to do and do it well. This ending will take a long time to close up, so if you are a new client calling and do not need Outlook or Office 365 help, you will be referred to a local computer repair company.
August 2015 update. July was probably the best month I’ve ever had! Relieving the business of the tech support was probably the best thing I could have done. There was a few things we had to figure out, but moving into August with those things figured out, has made this month awesome. Right now I am in Tulsa OK, en route to Las Vegas in Sept. Had to take a break of the traveling to work on some large projects. They will be done before I leave!
btw…August 17th is the 8th birthday of CTG. Started in 2007.
Update for 2016, June 3, 2016
Closed 2015 with moving to Las Vegas and getting to know a new community. The last 8 months was great in the fall/winter/spring, I only wore my hoodie just a few times, otherwise the weather was great. As I update this, it’s now 100+ degrees everyday, something I am now used to. The hotter it gets, the more used to it I seem to be OK with it. Never thought I would do that, but in the past the hot areas I lived in was water states and the desert is the desert. I am not an outside person anyway so aircon and me are friendly. I home office right now and it’s just making sure I pay the electric bill to keep me happy. Business is going great, with the new business changes, I have found many new referrals I need in my pocket. I get the weirdest requests and guess what? I know people to have help you. My spread of experts is getting bigger and new relationships are forming day by day. Doing niche work is alot of relationship marketing. It’s been very fun I have to say. I only like doing so much and so much I get is outside my normal.
Cannot complain, I have all my processes down pretty tight and all procedures, awesome clients and a good day to day. Capital venture clients are asking if I am ready to grow and I have to say no. I’d rather work on something else that I can give back to my clients and community of Outlook lovers. New videos will be released this summer. Very affordable, fun and good learning. Stay tuned!
Update Sep 17, 2016
The business I have found is turning out to be mostly now small business clients. One person companies who have Outlook issues. Many of them I turn over to using Microsoft Exchange. Their issues usually always include some type of syncing problem. Moving to Exchange fixes everything. I also have been helping small businesses with Office 365. Either full setup or aftercare. If they had another company do their migration, they hire me to help with quick issues. Also I have been working on more data recovery for Pc and Mac. Business is going well, might be time to think about adding on a junior tech, not sure yet! I love how my business works for me as is. I’ve also been helping more computer techs and MSP providers with Outlook. I’ve been doing so much work that I’m working on a Kickstarter campaign to help teach techs Outlook and Office 365. Very exciting!
Personally, I made it through my first Vegas summer and wow, it was brutal. Thinking I will go up north next summer! That’s it for now! 🙂 Lisa