Superior Technical Solutions founder John Siggard owes his successful IT career to his father — and a firm reprimand he received as a child.
It all began in 1982 when Siggard was born, and his dad was working for NASA. The space agency had given his father a 50% stipend to purchase a new computer, which they knew would be the wave of the future. “While most people were buying cheap computers, my dad saw that he didn’t have a spending limit,” Siggard remembers. “He went ahead and bought a cutting-edge computer for $4,000, which was a lot of money then. I grew up with that computer and learned DOS and simple programming.”
Fast-forward to the ’90s when Siggard recalls that his friends were playing computer games that his family’s old computer would not run. “So, my friends and I figured out how to upgrade my dad’s computer without telling him,” he says. “It all seemed to be going well at first.” Famous last words.
Six months later, Siggard says his father walked by and heard the whirr of a modem. He didn’t have a modem, or so he thought. “When did we get a modem?” he asked me. “Needless to say, I got in a bit of trouble for not getting permission.”
He remembers his dad walking him down the street to a neighbor who owned a local business, Allen Technical Services. “He told him, ‘Have him work for you for as long as you need him, but don’t pay him a penny.’ That was my punishment for messing with his computer without telling him.” And it was probably the best thing to happen to the then-12-year-old computer whiz.
Siggard went on to work for the company for two years, likening his apprenticeship to a Johnny Tremain experience. “I got paid in pizza,” he says. “It was great. All I did was type codes and insert floppy disks, and in between, we’d play video games. I remember thinking, ‘This is the life for me.’”
After graduating high school, Siggard moved to northern Utah where his uncle lived. “He worked at a children’s primary medical center, and I asked if I could see the IT department,” he says. “I spoke with the department’s director and asked if I could volunteer at the hospital in his department.”
After a week in the hospital’s IT department, a staff member called Siggard to the main office where the director informed him that he was closing more tickets than the paid help. He was offered a full-time job on the spot. “I was only 17,” says Siggard, “and I said, ‘Absolutely!’”
Siggard says the experience was a learning opportunity. “I learned how enterprise-level support worked,” he notes. “There was a team monitoring the health of the network. If there was an issue, a system was in place to get support within 10 minutes. It was a very efficient system. I realized how important this is to keeping customer systems safe.”
He stayed with the department for two years, after which he volunteered to go on a Latter-day Saints mission for two years. Six months before his expected return, he received a letter from the medical center stating they would need to give up his position if he didn’t return in six weeks.
When Siggard returned to the U.S., he soon discovered that he could only find a new job once he got a formal education. He went to technical school and managed to complete two years of work in six months. He worked for several IT companies but noticed that when customers called in for support, it would take hours, if not days, before they got service. “It was at this point that I realized this was not how clients should be treated,” he recalls.
If You Want To Succeed In Life, You Should Be An Entrepreneur
Moreover, his parents had instilled in him the value of entrepreneurship. “I was raised with the mind-set that if you want to succeed in life, you should be an entrepreneur,” he says. “I guess I took that to heart.”
In 2009, he founded Superior Technical Solutions. “I knew that providing enterprise-level support for small businesses would be one of my main drivers,” he asserts.
As Siggard’s business expanded, he identified areas that required expertise beyond his grasp, like bookkeeping and financial reporting. Hours vanished as he grappled to manage them solo. It was only after acknowledging the value of specialized knowledge that he chose to enlist experts. “I soon recognized I wasn’t unique in this. Many business owners, including myself, can’t claim expertise in every domain. The hallmark of a prosperous business is discerning when to bring in seasoned professionals,” Siggard remarked. “It’s my aspiration that STS becomes the go-to for businesses seeking top-tier IT and cybersecurity solutions.”
Siggard says that when he attains a new client, he becomes part of their team and believes that sets his company apart from other IT services. “Whenever I’m making suggestions to the client, I’ll use the pronoun ‘we’ instead of ‘you.’ We want to be part of the company, not just the IT guys,” he asserts.
Who is Siggard’s ideal client? “Customers who are at that point in their business where they want to start doing things the right way,” he explains. “Now, they want to continue to do the right thing and are ready to move forward with IT support. They’re saying, ‘Yes, it is an expense, but it’s also an investment to have stability and security.’”
Siggard says he’s most proud that his team has a 93% retention rate. “Our clients don’t want to leave us, I guess,” he laughs.
Moreover, the company has a less than 5-minute response time with an average resolution time of less than one hour.
What does he envision for the future of the company? “In the next five to 10 years, our goal is to launch multiple franchise locations,” he shares. “I’m deeply committed to cultivating the growth of my employees. For those with the drive and aspiration, we plan to train them intensively, preparing them to head their own franchise. By doing so, they won’t just be managers; they’ll be stakeholders, owning a piece of the STS legacy they’re building.”
These days, Siggard is thankful for getting into trouble so long ago. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my dad’s intervention,” Siggard surmises. “I love what I do and appreciate that I can help others protect their businesses.”
For more information on Superior Technical Solutions visit www.stsutah.com