Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Join me at ChannelPro SMB Forum in New York/New Jersey

Mark your calendars and join me at the 2015 Channel Therapy Tour by ChannelPro SMB.

One-Day Live Event in New Jersey November 3rd

Pre-Register TODAY!

As their marketing says, "We have the cure for what ails you!"

I've been to a number of the ChannelPro SMB Forum events over the last few years. They are always informative, and I get to meet a lot of great people. The panels are very action-oriented and focused on changes you can make to improve your business right away.

I will be talking about the central role of the Service Manager in building a successful business.

Join me in New Jersey!!

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From the ChannelPro invitation:

Give us one day and we'll send you home with the actionable sales, marketing, product, and operations advice you need to put your business on the path to a healthier bottom line.

The ChannelPro SMB Forum is a full-day, live event featuring presentations from industry experts and some of the top SMB VARs, Managed Service Providers, and IT consultants in the country.

Using an interactive format, presenters and panelists will share their insights on the hottest technology solutions in the SMB marketplace today. Each session opens with targeted educational presentations followed by an interactive Q&A discussion, or forum, that is led by a moderator to ensure a lively exchange.

ChannelPro SMB Forum sessions include:
Pricing and Bundling Your Services
Improving Sales and Marketing Tactics
Processes to Streamline Your Business
Today's Hottest Trends in Hardware
And More!

Attendees also receive numerous session-related resources, including white papers, analysis tools, and worksheets that add value to their experience. We will have dedicated time to visit with the channel's leading vendors and explore their solutions for your customers in the small business space.

GEAR AND CASH GIVEAWAYS: Lots of chances to win big with gear and cash giveaways throughout the day!

PLUS: There will be a technology area where you can have a hands-on experience with today's latest form factor gear, including tablets, ultrabooks, all-in-ones, and a variety of mobile solutions.

Register TODAY!


Friday, October 02, 2015

The Basic Service Call: What's Your Brand?

How do you perform service call?

Seems straight forward. But I hope you don't "just show up" at a client's office. That doesn't help building your branding. You should have a standard approach to a visit in order to maintain quality and give the client a consistent, reliable experience.

Here's my latest SOP video for Managed Service Providers:

SOP: Service Call Process

How do you prepare before you leave the office?

What are your guides for onsite etiquette?

You can watch all the SOP videos on my channel at www.youtube.com/smallbizthoughts. Please subscribe to the channel and you won't miss any!


Saturday, September 26, 2015

SOP Video: Employee Evaluations

There are two major kinds of mistakes people make with employee evaluations:

1. Not doing them at all

2. Tying evaluations to raises

3. Not giving frequent feedback

I'm a big fan of setting quarterly goals and then talking about them all the time. If your "evaluation process" is addressed once (or even four times) per year, people will never focus on these goals. They need to be reminded all the time.

This is not a test! Don't make it feel like high school grading. The big picture here is that you need your entire team working on the same "big picture" goals. That's how you build culture and improve performance.

Set quarterly goals and give constant feedback for maximum improvement. Building your brand - and help your employees move up to the next level.

This video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7ZoDOo3nic

See my entire YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/smallbizthoughts

From there you can view my entire SOP playlist!


Friday, September 18, 2015

More SOP Videos: Sales, Warranties, Habits, and (Not) Answering the Phone

The astute observer will note that I've started posting weekly videos on Standard Operating Procedures for Managed Service Providers. I've got about ten up so far and I'm posting one a week.

You can always see the latest video on my You Tube channel at http://www.youtube.com/smallbizthoughts. I recommend you subscribe to that so YouTube will let you know when a new one is posted. There's also a "Playlist" of all the SOP videos, so you can dive in and see them all.

Here are the postings from the last month:

SOP: Don't Answer the Phone!

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SOP: New Equipment and Warranties

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SOP: Habits on Habits

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SOP: The Slow Sales Process

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Enjoy the videos! Leave comments here or there. And remember the most important rule:

You Don't Have to Do It My Way

You should do things YOUR way. That means you have to have a "your" way to do things. You have to act with intention to create the company you want to own and run and sell to your clients.

Nothing Happens By Itself!

If you want a well structured, profitable company, you need to make that happen. I'm just throwing out ideas here.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

ChannelE2E Launch Promised to Walk You to The Exit

Joe Panettieri and Amy Katz are back!

After a period of silent pondering, they have launched ChannelE2E — a site to help you on "your business journey from Entrepreneur to Exit (E2E)." I did a quick podcast with Joe last week in which he hinted at this. The hints make sense now.

Listen to the teaser interview at SMB Community Podcast. Joe has agreed to a longer interview after the launch.

Basically, the site is filled with content for Value Added Resellers, Managed Service Providers, Cloud Service Providers, and Total Service Providers.

I recommend you start with the "Welcome to the Future." Joe and Amy spell out a clear evolutionary path for MSPs - and commit to helping you navigate the waters at every stage. Next, check out their description of the Five Stages of Your Business. That spells out their strategy for helping people at all stages.

As the site explains, "Overall our theme goes something like this: We’ll bring you the best of our blog-driven insights. And we’ll also leverage data-driven, crowdsourced information to give you business insights. And of course, my opinions will spill onto our pages pretty darn regularly."

There's quite a bit of content on the site, but you know there will be a lot more once Joe and Amy get cranking. So set aside some time and check out ChannelE2E.

You can also follow Joe on Twitter here: @JoePanettieri.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Few Seats Remain for Philadelphia Smart VAR Summit at Eagles Stadium

I got a memo from my friend Jim Roddy over at Business Solutions Magazine.

If you want to attend the October 14 Smart VAR Summit in Philadelphia, you need to act fast.

Larry Walsh, 2112 Group
For more info on the event, and Keynote speaker Larry Walsh, visit the VAR Summit Website.

Here's the memo from Jim:

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Hello Karl -

Because we want every attendee at Business Solutions events to network with speakers and exhibitors, seating is limited for the October 14 Smart VAR Summit: Age Of Intelligence - IoT, Cloud, & Mobility Convergence, powered by ScanSource, Zebra Technologies, and Business Solutions.

There is no charge to register, but only 37 complimentary passes remain for VARs and MSPs. The event will be held at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles.

You can reserve your seat at: www.bsminfo.com/topic/smartvarsummit.

The conference will cover the disruptive convergence of cloud, mobility, and IoT technologies. These three technologies are revolutionizing the channel and the NFL, and I think it's worth a day away from your business to learn about what's around the corner.

Your complimentary registration includes parking, lunch, a keynote address from a nationally recognized channel research group, an end-user panel sharing candid insights, plenty of time to network with peers and exhibitors, and (weather permitting) a live on-field demonstration of Zebra's MotionWorks Sports Solution.

For more information or to register for the conference, please visit the Smart VAR Summit website. Remember to reserve your space before registration is full.


Jim Roddy | President | Business Solutions Magazine

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ALSO: If you want to see me at the Business Solutions Channel Transitions show in Chicago next week, you can register at http://www.channeltransitions.com/.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Reporting from MAX 2015 in DC

Here's a summary of the blog posts I did reporting on the MAXfocus partner conference - MAX 2015 in Washington DC over the last week.

MAX 2015 - Leading the Way

MAX 2015: Day one – Big data, strategy, and motivation

MAX 2015: Ryan Morris – Strategic and steady wins

MAX 2015: Day Two – More big data, roadmap announcements, and practical applications

MAX 2015: Paul Dippell – Get narrow to get profitable

MAX 2015: Day three – Money, money, money. . . and strategies

PLUS I recorded a lot of podcast material. So stay tuned for a number of podcasts. Those will be over at SMB Community Podcast - www.smbcommunitypodcast.com.

The first podcast is already posted. It's a teaser from Joe Panettieri on an new thing he's launching Tuesday, Sept 15. Check it out here:

Joe Panettieri Spills the Beans on #E2E – Almost

. . .

And the world keeps spinning!


Tuesday, September 08, 2015

MAX 2015 - Leading the Way

I was quite surprised two years ago when I learned that MAXfocus (then GFI Max) was about to bust through 10,000 partners. That number completely dominates the competition. And at this moment they are busting through 13,000. This growth is phenomenal.

But leading in sales is not the same as leading an industry. You lead an industry with forward thinking, a commitment to evolution of the products and services, investment in future-focused technology, and a plan to bring partners along for a profitable ride. MAX lead their industry because they do all these things well.

When I started up my new Managed Service business two years ago, I signed up for a 30 day trial of MAXfocus. Since then I've been amazed at the fast evolution of the product. You can clearly see changes that result from market research, partner feedback, and actual analysis of how the tool is being used by partners.

The last piece of this is directly tied to MAX's "big data" initiative. I'll blog more about that in a day or two, but it's important to note that MAX has a big data initiative. They have a commitment, a clear strategy, and a program that ties data analysis to product development.

It's unusual to find a large vendor with a clear commitment to helping partners develop and execute a successful business model for the evolving business environment. It's not unheard of, it's just not all that common.

I was lucky to attend the MAX 2015 conference in Australia, so I know a lot about the announcements and initiatives to be made public in the U.S. in the next few days. If you're delivering managed services, I think you'll be impressed with what they've got planned.

I love to remind people that the future's going to get here whether you plan for it or not. You can let it happen to you, or you can help shape it as it happens. MAX is definitely helping to crate the future. Their service desk is now a full-fledged PSA. Their RMM tool is as good as any. And their partner program is untouchable - and getting better all the time.

If you're not attending MAX 2015, I encourage you to watch as much as you can on video. I think you'll be impressed with what you see.

The official conference site is: conferences.maxfocus.com/us-2015

Stay tuned to this blog for reports over the next few days!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

SMB Nation Offers Office 365 Mastery

Microsoft Office 365 remains the fastest-growing solution in the technology field, with what started as an enterprise solution becoming a vital component of the SMB and consumer markets.

Undeniably, it’s time to invest in building skills and relationships in the vibrant Office 365 community.

Despite its widespread use, Office 365 is the central component in a complex ecosystem of productivity solutions, and requires time and training for true mastery. With training and mastery, though, Office 365 transitions from a popular business solution to a key opportunity for profitability for MSPs and IT pros.

THE 2015 Fall Conference, held Oct. 2-4 at Microsoft Redmond in Redmond, Wash., is dedicated to attendees’ technical and business success, focused on best practices and key training provided by renowned industry experts. Attendees will have access to more than 30 hours of content and networking and leave with impactful Office 365 knowledge that can be implemented immediately.

SMB Nation and O365 Nation didn’t forget other key parts of the Office 365 ecosystem and Microsoft portfolio—sessions covering Azure and Windows 10 will supplement the Office 365 sessions and experiences.

THE Fall Conference 2015 website features information about key speakers and sessions, and offers resources for planning and registration. Visit fall2015.smbnation.com to find out what the buzz is about!

Take advantage of special early bird pricing or other exciting discounts, and don’t forget SMB Nation offers a money-back guarantee to all registrants.

Whether it’s time to earn a major in migrations or go back to school to learn about Microsoft’s latest innovations—and their impact industrywide—join technology leaders at THE 2015 Fall Conference.

Attend THE 2015 Fall Conference!

More Information Here

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Also, don't forget to sign up for my 4-hour SMB Preday show. www.smbpreday.com


Wednesday, September 02, 2015

SMB Nation Fall Conference Hotel Discount

Got a note from Jenny Hallmark over at SMB Nation.

Get a great rate on your hotel and join me there!

Visit SMB Nation / Office 365 Nation for more info.

For info on my big SMB Preday show, visit www.smbpreday.com.

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Here's Jenny's Note:

Final week for hotel deals! Book now to save $$$.

At SMB Nation, we strive to make our conferences and events accessible to the most industry pros possible, which is why we offer our alumni special pricing for registration and also secure additional discounts for your accommodations!

If you haven't booked your hotel stay yet, head to http://fall2015.smbnation.com/hotel/  now to get information about special event pricing at the Residence Inn by Marriott and finalize your stay. Our discounted rate of $137 per night will end this Friday, September 4.

Join the best jam session of the season after scoring the best deals of the year!

Come jam with the pros in Redmond,

Jenny Hallmark
SMB Nation President