Get to Know Tom Kunath
Owner of 702it

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tom Kunath, Owner of Good Helper LLC and 702it, delving into his background, business ventures, and the driving inspiration behind his role as a Managed Service Provider (MSP) catering to small businesses in Las Vegas.

I grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Could you share a brief description of your dad’s work and how it influenced your work ethic as a young man?

n 1969, my dad co-founded J&R Concrete Construction with his cousin. After his cousin’s departure, he independently managed concrete pouring and finishing until January 2020, when he retired. As a youngster, exploring construction equipment and playing in the dirt was thrilling, though chores instilled a robust work ethic. His shop, conveniently close to our home, facilitated vivid memories of watching construction crews and trucks rush past while waiting for the school bus. Witnessing my dad’s dedication left an indelible impression, reinforced by the invaluable lessons imparted by his employees, which accelerated my maturity beyond my age.

Did you go to college or university? If so, which one? What did you study and what degree did you obtain?

While employed at Zion Nuclear Power Generating Station, I pursued studies at UW-Parkside University in Kenosha. The plant’s closure in 1998 prompted me to take action. Aged 25 and passionate about computers, I enrolled at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, graduating with an associate’s degree in Microcomputers in 1999. Concurrently, I began servicing computers for friends and family. Nearly two decades later, enriched by extensive technical expertise, managerial roles, and leadership training, I resolved to complete my education. In 2017, I attained a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a technology emphasis from WGU. Immediately thereafter, on May 24, 1997, 702it was established.

Describe how you began your career in the IT industry and elaborate on your first role, detailing how it influenced the trajectory of your career.


I experienced remarkable luck during Spring 1999. Following graduation, I cherished a summer with my newlywed wife. Come fall, I applied for a systems administrator role at the Barbershop Harmony Society. A pivotal moment arose during the interview, where my HTML proficiency shone through. Given the scarcity of technical skills at the time, I stood out. The Society, set in the distinguished Harmony Hall on Lake Michigan, proved to be an exceptional workplace. Moreover, my boss, a Virginia Tech alum and tech virtuoso, displayed immense patience and mentorship. Despite frequent blunders, his guidance shaped my professional trajectory. Spending my formative years at the Barbershop Harmony Society remains a source of gratitude.

Share your journey with us that led up to the establishment of Good Helper LLC and 702it.


In my career, opportunities to strike out on my own arose several times, but 2017 was ideal. With over 20 years of experience aiding friends, family, and small businesses globally, I recognized our capacity to provide superior care to a select group of businesses compared to my previous employers. Supporting small businesses drives my daily motivation. Working for others, why would I continue this support elsewhere?

What inspired you to start your own IT services business, and how did your early experiences shape your approach to entrepreneurship?


As a student, I struggled, but I found solace in sports. My upbringing offered invaluable insights through my parents’ business ventures, exposing me to various challenges like unions, loans, and payroll from a young age. Raised as the eldest in a family rooted in concrete construction, I harbored a profound desire to delve into the realms of computers, networks, and VoIP. By 2002, I had installed my first VoIP phone system. My journey instilled in me the confidence of being the ultimate problem-solver—”The last in line, the buck stops here” mentality. This blend of technical prowess and leadership skills embodies the essence of a successful business owner: being a subject matter expert, adept manager, influential leader, and nurturing mentor.

Can you describe some of the key milestones and challenges you encountered during the formative years of the company?

Starting from scratch, I began by leveraging my network. The goal was to announce our business launch to everyone. During my initial sale, while conversing with a lawyer friend loyal to his current IT support provider, I seized an opportunity. Upon noticing his dissatisfaction with his phone system, I offered a solution. Swiftly, we replaced his outdated system. Remarkably, they remain our clients today. By consistently providing essential services, we continually attract small businesses in need.

Do you have any licenses or certifications?

I’ve held many certifications over my career, including:

  • Microsoft MCP, MCSA, MCSE, Azure
  • CISCO CCNA
  • Comptia PC, Network, Project

How long have you owned Good Helper LLC and 702it?

I founded Good Helper LLC dba 702it in 2017. 

What do you consider the pillars of your success?

Continuing education and staying abreast of technological advancements have been the cornerstones of my success. Transitioning everyone to the cloud has proven highly gratifying. It eliminates numerous technical issues associated with managing hardware independently.

 

 

What is the aspect you appreciate most about working as a Managed Service Provider (MSP) in the IT industry?

As an MSP, the diversity and amount of technology we get to work with daily is amazing. You never know what crazy issue is going to pop up on any given day.

Could you describe your wife's profession and her contributions to Good Helper LLC and 702it?


Melanie manages the finances for 702it. Throughout her career, she has worked in office roles exclusively.

To differentiate 702it from other IT service providers, and to ensure consistent alignment with your clients' needs, how do you employ specific strategies?

The technical approach involves conducting regular business reviews to ensure that the meticulous setup done during onboarding remains intact. The genuine essence lies in having employees and vendors who genuinely care. With a track record of vigilance and responsiveness, I prioritize meeting our clients’ needs.

How do you strike a balance between supporting innovative technological solutions and providing personalized, customer-centric service?

Switching products poses significant challenges for us. We excel at crafting straightforward solutions, emphasizing manageability, security, and value delivery. While our clients occasionally steer us towards new territories, our focus remains on support, security, and service provision. We thrive in simplifying complex processes and integrating meaningful components to optimize outcomes.

Share any memorable anecdotes or success stories from your early years in the industry that have left a lasting impact on you.

Joining the Barbershop Harmony Society marked a pivotal moment. In my early career, I operated in what today would be termed an MSP, albeit without the understanding of MSP practices. I had the privilege of hands-on involvement, from relocating companies to establishing and overseeing data centers, collaborating closely with owners and managers. I witnessed the inception of the Internet, navigated the Y2K scare, rode the wave of the Dotcom boom, embraced virtualization, and transitioned to the cloud. Now, I’m immersed in the realm of AI. Ask me again next year, and there will undoubtedly be more to recount.

How do you actively stay current with industry trends and advancements, and how do you integrate this knowledge into the services you provide?

Working as a Managed Service Provider (MSP) ensures that our technicians and managers remain current. Our workload expands due to our diverse client base, exposing us to a variety of scenarios. This exposure enables us to stay abreast of new developments and technologies. Consequently, integrating these innovations into our services becomes routine, as we apply our knowledge gained from one client to the next in need. Compared to being employed by a single company, staying current is notably simpler within the MSP framework.

As you look ahead, what visions and goals do you have for the future of Good Helper LLC and 702it, and how do you intend to maintain delivering exceptional value to your clients?

A couple of years ago, we introduced Huntress Endpoint Detection and Response. This year, we’ve expanded to include email filtering as an option for our clients. Moving forward, we will continue integrating best-of-breed products into our offerings. One critical need for 702it clients is digital marketing, presenting a significant growth opportunity, especially given our existing website hosting services. By incorporating additional website services like SEO and digital marketing, we can capitalize on this opportunity. With the evolving landscape shaped by Artificial Intelligence (AI), individuals lacking skills may face challenges, but proactive individuals can leverage AI to significantly boost efficiency. As AI-driven technologies such as kiosks and robots become more prevalent, we are uniquely positioned to adapt and thrive while providing support for current IT needs.