Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Webinar: Straight-forward, Straight-up Sales Talk on Building High-Performance Sales Teams - Stephan Schiffman

I got a note from Josh over at Bering McKinley. They're hosting a big Sales webinar with Stephan Schiffman. Here's the memo:

Straight-forward, Straight-up Sales Talk on Building High-Performance Sales Teams with Trainer & Author - Stephan Schiffman

Tue, Aug 21, 2018
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT

Hey Karl we have over 110 people registered where normally we only have about 50.  The speaker is my personal favorite sales trainer, Stephan Schiffman….

Check it out and see if it would be a good fit for you to throw out:

Please register for Straight-forward, Straight-up Sales Talk on Building High-Performance Sales Teams with Trainer & Author - Stephan Schiffman on Aug 21, 2018 12:00 PM CDT at:

Stephan Schiffman is well-known in the sales community as having authored over 50 books, worked with 9,000 plus companies (including IBM & AT&T) and having trained over 500,000 sales reps. But what you might not know is that he is taking time out of his busy training schedule to join Josh Peterson of Bering McKinley around a lively discussion on his best practices related to cold calling and building a performing sales force.

Learn from this well-known sales legend as he and Josh:
• Examine real-life holes in the Bering McKinley “sales game”
• Review select sales steps for successfully building a producing and profitable sales team, and
• Look at what selling looks like in 2018 and beyond

The bar is rising for all of us. Hear from the best on how to keep up.

P.S. And, you can be sure that Josh will ask Stephan, “Is cold calling is dead?” Let's see what he has to say about that!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

FREE 3-Part Course: Tune Up Your LinkedIn Profile

Business relies on LinkedIn. Not only should you be there, but you should be getting the most out of your presence. Starts Thursday August 16th.

I am offering a three-part mini-class on tuning up your LinkedIn profile.

This course is exclusively available to members of the Small Biz Thoughts Community.

In addition to improving your online presence and marketing, this course also has a "contest" built in. Everyone who attends will commit to updating their profile and improving their social media presence. Then each attendee will grade the others' profiles.

The winner will receive a great marketing prize: A six-foot pop-up banner to use when you hold local events, speak to the Chamber, etc.

The mini-class will meet three times. Each meeting will be about 30-60 minutes. I'll give a little information, do a demo, and then open the floor for a general discussion (and potentially a show and tell).

Learning from Fake Profiles
In this Thursday's class, I'm going to show you how to spot fake profiles. This is the process my administrative assistants use to determine whether to accept connection requests.

Here's the juicy goodness: Make sure YOUR profile doesn't look fake! Make your profile robust and professional. Make it a business tool!

To Register
You must be a member in good standing of the Small Biz Thoughts Community (only $99/month). Go to the "Classes" section and click on the Mini-Class: LinkedIn graphic to begin registration.

The Small Biz Thoughts Community
Great Content. Great Community.

Just because you're in business for yourself doesn't mean you have to go it alone.


Monday, August 13, 2018

New 5-Week Class - Core SOPs - Attend Free - Here's How

I posted a "News" update today on my YouTube Channel. Here's the big news:

First Free Class
My very popular 5-week course on the Core SOPs for Small IT Providers start September 11th. This live course includes lots of handouts and supplemental materials, time for Q&A, and office hours if you need it. A great deal at $259.

This course starts Tuesday September 11.

Now here's the real news: Members of the Small Biz Thoughts Community (only $99/month) can attend this class for FREE. Limited to the first 30 members who sign up. So don't delay.

If you're a community member, browse to the Classes section to get the free code.

If you're not a community member Join Today so you can attend this class free!

Second Free Class - Starts August 16 (Thursday)
We also have a free 3-part mini course on Tuning Up Your LinkedIn Profile. Monthly mini courses are always free to community members.

If you're a community member, browse to the Classes section to get the free code.

If you're not a community member Join Today so you can attend this class free!

Description for the 5-Week SOP Course:

Core Standard Operating Procedures for Small IT Providers
Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk

- Five Tuesdays - September 11 - October 9, 2018

- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific AND 4:00 PM Pacific

You're guaranteed to learn something that will make or save you the price of admission!

This course will cover the most important procedures you need to have in place to run an efficient and highly profitable Managed Services Business.

Whether you're a new "Computer Consultant" or an experienced Managed Service Provider, you need to create successful processes that will propel your company forward. Nothing is more critical to making profit than having the right processes and procedures in place!

When I take on new coaching clients, they have many of the same issues over and over again. And almost all of them boil down to SOPs - Standard Operating Procedures. Or the lack thereof.

Everyone knows you need SOPs. In fact you probably know which ones you need. But where do you start?

ChecklistYou will learn

  • A practical introduction to SOPs
  • The relationship matrix of SOPs
  • Clients
  • Employees
  • Vendors
  • Internal Organization
  • The Ten Most Important SOPs for your IT Consulting Business
  • SOPs management, organization, and updates
  • Implementation strategies internally
  • Implementation strategies for clients
  • Service Department SOPs
  • Building
  • Training
  • Deployment
  • Upkeep
  • Avoiding the biggest pitfalls with SOP development and deployment
  • Building an Action Plan that works

Delivered by Karl W. Palachuk, blogger and author of the very popular "SOP Friday" posts at

Join the Small Biz Thoughts Community Today

Just because you're in business for yourself doesn't mean you have to go it alone.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Which Photo Should You Use for Your Profile?

I stumbled onto an interesting site the other day called Photo Feeler at

The basic idea is pretty straight forward: You upload a photo and other people rate it on a few criteria. There are three categories: Dating, Social, Business. If you're patient, you can just patiently wait for people to vote via the "karma" system. You rate other folks' photos and they rate yours.

Or you can buy credits with cash and the votes will come in much faster. Plus you don't have to feel obligated to rate others' photos.

Not super scientific - BUT maybe as random as all the people who will see your picture on social media, web sites, etc. So it's something versus nothing.

Anyway, I decided to try out some photos in each category. This is primarily because you don't get measurements of all traits in all categories. The traits reflected in the voting are:

  • Confident
  • Authentic
  • Fun
  • Smart
  • Trustworthy
  • Attractive
  • Competent
  • Likable
  • Influential

  • Here are the photos I put up for the dating category.

    Lesson One: As women have been telling me for years, I'm just not attractive. So I need to work with that.

    Lesson Two: The playing around pictures dramatically impact the perception of intelligence. Throw on a suit and you look smarter.

    Lesson Three: No matter what I do, I look trustworthy.

    Actually, all of the pictures scored well on "trustworthy," which just leads me to wonder whether people are unlikely to vote others down on trustworthiness without meeting them.

    Another way to look at that is that people are trusting by default. I guess that's a good thing in the 21st century, but could get you in trouble on the Internet (or in politics).

    Next up, I posted my two most commonly used business photos.

    Note that "A" is the same as "A" above, but with different scoring. Both scored pretty well.

    I've always worried that the "E" pose looked too fake, but photographers always ask for it.

    Lesson Four: Listen to the photographer. If nothing else, let them take the picture and see if it works.

    I suspect that the suit is once again responsible for high ratings on competence and influence. So I guess Lesson Five (at least for men) is to go ahead and wear the suit. It does no harm and has a significant positive impact on impressions. I suspect this is also true for women, but I'd love to see some feedback on this from female readers.

    Note also that the only way for me to appear "attractive" up above was with a smile and suit. :-)

    Finally, on the "Social" front, I tested a few more. Note that "E" is the same as up above. And while it scored quite well for business, it didn't do so well for social.

    Lesson Six: What works for business may not work for social. But I think we all know that. The challenge is that I use "social" networking for business.

    Overall, "F" is one of my least favorite pictures. But I got talked into using it despite the Aloha shirt and over-orange face. Turns out, it's a great social media picture. But the odd pose of "E" is more business-like.

    Lesson Seven: What works on LinkedIn is different from what works on Facebook.

    Lesson Eight: I already knew that. "F" is my profile picture for Facebook and "E" is my profile picture for LinkedIn and lots of miscellaneous Google properties. And that's been true for about two months prior to doing this research.

    Overall, I think we tend to have a good idea of what works in various settings - but we can also be very wrong because we have to project our personal impressions onto others. And we're often surprised what works when we didn't think it would.

    In all, I paid just under $30 to get all the feedback above and more. There are also comments and voting breakdowns. So I think think this tool is a good place to do some A/B testing of your mug shots to determine whether they work for you. Or, more precisely, if they give off the impressions you want in various settings.

    If you give this a try, I'd love to get a report on your results.


    Thursday, August 09, 2018

    Have You Tried Meetup for Your Business?

    In case you haven't checked it out, hop over to and look around.

    I belong to several Meetup groups. In fact, it's my favorite "local" networking group. I am also the organizer for several Meetups. And, most recently, I created one for local Sacramento SMB IT Professionals.

    Our local group started out as a "Small Business Server" user group, as did so many local IT consulting groups back in the day. Bob Nitrio tells me we started the group in 2004.

    Bob and I have co-organized the group since day one. I was president and mostly ran the group until I sold my first managed service business. Then Bob became president and ran it until just recently.

    Bob is moving to Phoenix so all of his family can live close to each other. Good for him, but sad for me.

    Anyway, with all the changes over the last few years, I'm going to try to re-start and re-fresh this group. We had a list of about a hundred people who technically belonged to the old group. But, as with so many such groups, we tended to get the same five people at all meetings.

    Time for a reboot!

    So I started a new Meetup group. I added a picture and description. And then I wandered off to Comptia's ChannelCon. I figured I'd send an email and invite all the old folks to join the new group.

    In all, the Meetup group was up and open for business, but ignored for about ten days. When I checked in again, we had over 30 members - mostly complete strangers!

    Of course I was very pleased. Now I have to organize a meeting. It would be great to get them all together, along with the older members. At any rate, it's great to see the interest is still out there! We just need to make sure we provide value to the members so they'll show up.

    If you are looking for a tool to organize people locally, I highly recommend It is particularly powerful at making you look like an expert if you can appeal to your small business clients and you are the organizer/presenter.


    Wednesday, August 08, 2018

    Free Webinar - Learn the Cloud 5 Pack Offering - August 21st

    How I Sold Millions of Dollars Worth of Cloud Services

    (How I Built a 7-Figure MSP Using the Cloud 5 Pack Formula)

    August 21st
    11 AM PST / 2 PM EST

    I am very proud to be working with ChannelPro Network to offer a great webinar based on my Cloud 5-Pack Offering.

    Last year, I traveled the world teaching IT Service providers how to create a 7-Figure Managed Service business using the Cloud 5-Pack formula.


    1. If you attended last year's Roadshow, then you have 95% of this information. No need to attend. (But please tell your friends about it.)

    2. If you missed last year's Roadshow, PLEASE do yourself a favor and attend this webinar.

    NOTE: We have held this training twice already in 2018 - and helped almost 100 IT professionals to become successful Cloud Service Providers already!

    I will lay out a program that could literally become your business model for the next five years. And best of all, this program will pay for itself with the FIRST client you sign up!

    You can sign up here: Register Here Today!

    What You Will Learn In This Online Workshop

    • Cloud 5 Bundling: How to create a profitable bundle of cloud services that will give you a competitive advantage and deliver tremendous value to your customers.
    • Cloud 5 Pricing: How to price your offer to achieve a 73% or more margin.
    • Cloud 5 Delivery: How you can setup your business so that it can be supported by an administrative assistant, freeing you up to work on your business instead of in your business.
    • Cloud5 Marketing: How to get your ideal prospects to sign up to meet with you and close them quickly.

    - - - - -

    Hundreds of people attended my Cloud Roadshows last year. But millions missed out. Here's what one attendee says about the Cloud 5-Pack seminar:

    Ken Shafer - Portland, OR


    Tuesday, August 07, 2018

    IoTSSA Named Best Start-Up at ChannelCon

    I had a great time at ChannelCon. And please note for the record that IoT is now clearly a technology you should be paying attention to in our space. How do I know? Because IoTSSA was awarded the Best Start Up at the show.

    Press Release:
    - - - - -

    IoTSSA Named Best Start-Up at ChannelCon

    Washington, D.C. ‒ The IoT Security Services Association (IoTSSA) announced it has been voted the Best Start-Up by attendees of CompTIA ChannelCon, the annual industry tradeshow and collaboration event.

    “Our team is thankful for the outpouring of support from the channel community and value our industry partnership with CompTIA. In collaboration with our partners, we will continue building, strengthening and delivering a variety of cyber security resources for MSPs and MSSPs.”

    CompTIA ChannelCon 2018 is the technology industry's premier annual education, networking and partnering event. The award for Best Start-Up is determined by attendees and presented at the conclusion of the trade show expo. 

    About IoTSSA

    IoTSSA is a community of IT Channel Partners connecting industry security experts and vendors with IT service providers. Through a combination of live and online events and resources, the organization delivers resources that help improve MSPs increase their cybersecurity knowledge, expertise, and revenue opportunities.

    About CompTIA

    The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $4.8 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the more than 35 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world's economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. 

    Visit to learn more.


    Monday, August 06, 2018

    Cool Tool for Creating Video Ads

    I'm a little embarrassed to say that I subscribed to a new tool around the first of the year . . . and completely ignored it until last week. I knew it was super cool, and I knew I wanted to use it, but I was just too busy to dig into it.

    Luckily, I dropped a shortcut on my desktop. I literally have ZERO icons on my desktop except the recycle bin. But for the last eight months I've had this one icon staring me in the face and reminding me that I already paid for it, so I should learn it.

    Anyway, right before I left for ChannelCon, I finally dug in and created a few videos with VideoScribe. Here's my first:

    Overall, I'm pretty happy with it. I was trying for 30 seconds. I think I got it to 35. But I wish it was 60 because I feel like the drawing is zipping around too much. So far, people I've asked say it's fine. But I suspect they're just being nice.

    Anyway, I'm trying to follow a story arch here. You have a problem. Things are changing fast. Clouds are everywhere. Technology is changing super fast. You have to be good at business as well as technology. And so forth.

    Basically, the story takes time. And I haven't got it. :-)
    But I'll keep practicing.

    Anyway, I've recommended this tool to several people. And I'm going to have some folks start using it in-house for my own marketing. So what did I have to do? I had to document my work! As part of my documentation, I created this super-quick VideoScribe video:

    Notice: 26 seconds. ;-)

    There are LOTS of good YouTube videos on creating cool stuff with VideoScribe. One of my favorites is Sarah Dewar's channel. She has ten VideoScribe tutorials. The first is here:

    I particularly like her stuff because she actually shows how she makes an animated cartoons with this tool. AND she has some killer educational examples. So look around her channel.

    VideoScribe is pretty cheap - $144/year. There are a few minor annoyances, but I'm sure they will be improved soon. Also, there's a 7-day free trial available.

    So far, I love this tool.

    Feedback welcome.


    Tuesday, July 31, 2018

    Class Starts Aug. 7th: Getting to the Next Level - Business Strategy Kickstart

    Getting to the Next Level - Business Strategy Kickstart

    Instructor: Manuel Palachuk

    - Five Tuesdays - August 7 - September 4, 2018 - Register Now

    - All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

    You're guaranteed to learn something that will make or save you the price of admission!

    This course intends to step the entrepreneur and business owner through designing (or re-designing) their ideal business from the top down and then prepare them to build (or re-build) it from the bottom up. With a focus on identifying significant competitive advantage, the concepts, materials, and coursework presented are all based on the instructor’s most recent book Getting To The Next Level: A Blueprint for Taking You and Your Business to the Top. A complete copy of the book is included in the course materials for reference. These are the same time-proven methods employed by Manuel in his international coaching programs.

    This course is intended for every entrepreneur, from those starting up a new endeavor to those seasoned business owners. Every business strategy can benefit from this course. The concepts and tools employed in this course are universal in their application regardless of the business maturity. With the completion of this course, the entrepreneur should have:

    Solid understanding of the framework used to define a complete business (The Pyramid of Purpose and Value).

    Familiarity with a variety of tools required for breaking down and analyzing the current or desired business.

    Basic comprehension of business strategy, how it should relate to the business vision, and how it can be developed and tracked using a simple balanced scorecard.

    Follow through example of basic business strategy development for an IT company using the concepts, tools, and methods from the book.

    Functional understanding of Business Agile Strategy Execution, the most powerful method for driving business strategy for success.

    Topics to be presented include (but not limited to):

    • The Enticing Picture and Compelling Story
    • The Pyramid of Purpose and Value
    • o Business Culture
    • o Business Compass
    • o Business Roadmap and Strategy
    • Competitive Advantage and Competitive Strategy
    • The Market and Going Vertical
    • Business Analysis Tools and How to Use Them
    • The Balanced Scorecard and its Perspectives
    • o Finance
    • o Customer
    • o Internal Process
    • o Learning and Growth
    • Generic Business Strategies
    • o Sell More
    • o Spend Less
    • Tying Strategy to the Company Culture
    • Agile Project Development
    • Agile Applied to Business Strategy

    Course Content Outline:

    Week One: The “Why” – Ten Value Aspects – Business Maturity – The Pyramid Framework

    Week Two: Market – Competition – Strategy – GAP – SWOT

    Week Three: Balanced Scorecard – Strategy Maps

    Week Four: Example Strategy Development – The Goober Group

    Week Five: Business Strategy Meets Agile Execution

    Delivered by Manuel Palachuk, author and business coach.

    Includes five weeks of webinar classes with related handouts, assignments, and "office hours" with the instructor.

    This course is intended for business owners and managers. It is particularly useful for the Service Manager or Operations Manager.

    Only $259
    Register Now

    A Few Details . . .

    • Each course will be five one-hour webinar calls
    • There will be handouts and "homework" assignments
    • If you wish to receive feedback on your assignments, there will be instructor office hours
    • Class webinars will be recorded and made available to paid attendees only.
    • All calls start at 9:00 AM Pacific Timex

    Wednesday, July 25, 2018

    Three Cities Only! Killer Combo: Managed Services and Cloud Services

    love the content of this year's SMB Roadshow.

    We've only got THREE shows left this year. So if you haven't signed up yet, now is a great time. Here's what we're up to:

    First, I cover a massive - but extremely important - topic: The 25 Absolutely Unbreakable Rules of Running a Service Business. These are literally the rules I created in my own company. They are phrases and beliefs that summarize how a successful business works.

    And I'll bet there are some real surprises in there.

    I have tried to keep this presentation under two hours and I can't do it. Too many questions - and great audience participation. Plus - there are several slides that will pay for the cost of the seminar if you just follow that one piece of advice.

    Second, I am working with Jennifer Fields of Astek Marketing ( to bring some great marketing information to the Roadshow.

    Our overall theme is about moving to the future and living in the new world that's emerging so fast. If your marketing used to work and hasn't performed so well lately, you might want to look at some of the new tips and techniques available today.

    Finally, I close with a presentation on merging Cloud Services and Managed Services to create the Killer Combo. Again, I am sold on the exponential nature of change in our world today. This topic has been super fun because huge changes are happening all the time. I update my slide deck after every show!

    How do you adopt exponential change into your business today?

    - - - - -

    FAQs . . .

    So, we get questions. Here are a few answers.

    Q. Are there downloads?
    A. Yes! Including slides, there are about 75 pages of downloads, including exercises and checklists.

    Q. Is the seminar recorded?
    A. Yes! We have audio recordings of the seminars - not video. In fact, some people like to listen to different cities. My material is a little different each time. And the Q and A is always different. So we'll post up several cities' recordings.

    Q. If I signed up for one city, can I switch to another?
    A. Yes! In fact, if you paid for one city, you can attend any other city at no additional charge. Not sure everyone needs that, but it's a "feature" we offer.

    Q. If I sign up for a future city, can I access the downloads now?
    A. Yes! When you sign up for any city, you'll receive information on accessing the attendee downloads page for the 2018 Roadshow. You will have access to all handouts, slides, and MP3 recordings.

    Q. So do I have to show up?
    A. No! You can treat this like a virtual seminar and I promise you'll still get your money's worth!

    Q. I only see three more cities. Will you be adding cities?
    A. No. At this point, we have added all the cities we can for 2018.

    Bottom line for you: Sign Up NOW - that way, you won't miss this great show no matter what happens. Scheduled Cities:

    • Boston, MA - September 5th
    • Minneapolis, MN - October 12th
    • Long Beach, CA - November 5th
    - - - - -

    Registration is only $259 per person!  Register Today!