Brett Beveridge, Founder & CEO of T-ROC, talks about how T-ROC combines the power of people and technology solutions to optimize its customers’ omnichannel retail shopping experience.
1. Could you tell us more about T-ROC and what was the inspiration behind starting this company?
T-ROC is a retail managed services provider that combines the power of people and technology solutions to optimize its customers’ omnichannel retail shopping experience. I founded T-ROC in 2000 and today we have more than 6,000 employees and 30,000 gig workers. During my time in the retail industry, I recognized many challenges, particularly at big-box retailers where consultative sales people aren’t equipped to help customers understand and choose the latest in technology, such as cell phones and rate plans. That sparked the idea to start The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC), a parent company that houses six, stand-alone companies that each focus on a specific retail solution.
2. Could you elaborate on your entrepreneurial journey?
I’ve had an entrepreneurial spirit since I was a kid and start-ups feel natural to me. Believe it or not, my career started by selling cell phones out of a van, during my senior year at the University of Miami. In less than a year, my business partner and I opened our first retail store that later became the largest independent mobile wireless retailer in the country at that time with close to 300 stores; eventually, we took that company public and later sold it to Nextel. My personal experiences sparked the idea to start The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC), a parent company that houses companies that each focus on a specific, retail solution. In the first year, we generated close to $500,000 in profit, and T-ROC has now become a leader in the wireless, electronics, software, and retail industries.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve founded more than 20 companies and used my experience to help national wireless and technology companies with reorganization, profit turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions, and initial public offerings.
3. How does your typical day at T-ROC look like?
My days are action packed. My calendar is usually filled from early morning until the evening with a mix of standing one-on-one and staff meetings, as well as those that address the current goings on of the business. I enjoy progress updates on pre-determined initiatives learning what is working and helping resolve roadblocks preventing faster success. We often have Hurricane Sessions whereby we completely take a project apart and put it back together with a focused plan of initiatives that will improve results. We focus on stopping things that aren’t working, solving problems, sharing best practices, and creating new ways to improve performance.
4. Can you highlight some of the features that set you apart from the competition?
One standout that sets T-ROC apart is our recent introduction of VIBA. It stands for Virtual Interactive Brand Ambassador. We spent years creating it and then introduced it during the pandemic. VIBA provides a new paradigm shift for connecting customers with expert agents and/or with a bot named Valerie (think Siri or Alexa) who can answer questions, discuss particular use-cases, play videos, product specs, discounts, display and print relevant paperwork, and broadcast product demonstrations. VIBA brings a completely new customer experience for shoppers that need immediate answers on a particular product or service in-store or even from home. VIBA’s all-new website is now live at VIBAconnect.com and includes video demonstrations and the ability to book a demo where business can learn how to improve conversion rates, drive revenue, increase coverage, strengthen brand loyalty and improve customer satisfaction – all while lowering costs and elevating current team productivity.
5. What are the pain points that customers approach you with?
We are blessed that the largest and most respected companies in the world engage T-ROC to help them increase market share, launch new initiatives, significantly increase sales while reducing expenses, and scaling large projects. We are good and have fun solving their biggest problems, always optimizing and increasing efficiency and productivity.
6. Could you give us a sneak peek of your upcoming book?
I’m taking readers on a journey into my own past, some shocking and dramatic moments, with the lessons I’ve learned about business over the years and what it took to succeed as a young entrepreneur. While sharing my own experiences, I also give readers an in-depth look at the evolving world of retail.
7. Let us in on T-ROC’s work culture. How would you describe your team?
The T-ROC family is entirely a team of entrepreneurs.
Innovation and creativity are probably our most highly prized attributes and every “T-ROCer” is encouraged to dive into problems, big or small, and find ways to solve them.
My business motto is to invest in people — I’m committed to giving T-ROCers the training and tools they need to succeed and be promoted from within. Decisions don’t come down from the top; team members are encouraged to use their own sound judgement and make decisions according to their own knowledge and understanding of how the company would react. Through a variety of initiatives and efforts, we are very fortunate to have been voted one of the “Best Places to Work” for multiple years by the South Florida Business Journal.
8. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to company leaders?
I’ve always been passionate about embracing the importance of accomplishing great things as a team, not by yourself. I owe my success to longstanding relationships and a team of diverse and talented people. I would suggest other company founders and leaders follow that advice as they work to build.
9. Where do your passions lie? What do you think defines you as a person?
I’m passionate about relationships. It’s something that has stuck with me as I’ve built my career. For example, I met my recently retired COO in the ‘90s when we were a national dealer for Nextel. I have at least a dozen examples of previous business associates who have now joined us at T-ROC.
Personally, I have a commitment to mentoring kids and molding young lives to be successful in the world; I’m the past chair and current member of the Foundation Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami and serve on the Orange Bowl Committee, which not only drives tourism and economic development, but strongly supports students and athletes in the community. I am also a new member for the United Way’s Tocqueville Society, which has a deep focus on the under privileged younger population.
10. What is the message you want to spread with this interview?
I would share the power of saying “yes” and how far it can take you.
As a serial entrepreneur, you’re always faced with the frightening statistic that 99 percent of new businesses fail. In the beginning, I took an initial risk and used my own money to start many different companies. After much hard work, I generated close to a half a million dollars in profit in my first year, and T-ROC has now become one of the largest companies of its kind.
I also said yes to many projects that I had no idea how I would execute them. I intuitively knew that I ultimately would. In order to complete the projects on time, I would immediately get to work and sometimes spend large amounts of money before a contract was fully executed. I based those decisions on intuition and trust in my relationships. Maintaining relationships, working with passionate people, being authentic and transparent, as well as doing the right things for the right reasons is ultimately what led me to success; and can lead you, too.