Sunday, April 12, 2015

Server 2003 Goodbye Forever - "Year of the Migration" Webinar

Mark your calendars and join Harry Brelsford and me Thursday for a great webinar.


Year of the Migration: What You Gonna Do and How You Gonna Do it? 

Thursday, April 16, 2015 
11:00-11:30 AM PDT

Presented by: Harry Brelsford, Founder and Chairman, SMB Nation, Inc.
and Karl Palachuk, President, SmallBizThoughts

Register Now - Free

- - - - -

This year will be a true watershed year for small business IT consulting. Whether we like it or not, change is HERE. The entire Server 2003 generation of software will be gone. Office 365 is taking off. Windows 10 is much more than a new operating system - Its release will spell the end of Windows 7.

We're going to look at the business side of making money in a world of change.

You know you have the technical skills to get you through. How do you stay profitable while helping  your clients to make good decisions?

Join us for a great strategy session - and an open Q&A session!

- - - - -
Here's the official description:

As you know – the animal kingdom naturally migrates to geographies where the lifestyle opportunities are greatest. Witness coyotes migrating down form the mountains to drink water out of pools in Santa Barbara California given the severe regional drought. Join us for this life-changing webinar and be the migration animal that lives inside you.

The academic webinar will lay it out for you. You will learn what the migration opportunities are over the next year: W2k3 Server EOS, Office 365, Win10. Hosted by Harry Brelsford, the main speaker is Karl “Mr. Migration” Palachuk who will provide the high-level migration mindset you need to assure success. His popular Network Migration Workbook will be featured and you will also discover additional opportunities to interact with Karl in the future.

One of our top webinars for 2015. Be there!
- - - - -

Register Now - Free!

:-)

Friday, April 10, 2015

There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser . . .

I had a great coaching session with a new MSP this week. He's been in business for many years, has signed one managed service deal, and is about to sign his second. That's what makes him a new MSP.

The call was "great" because he showed up during a crisis. He has a new client whose office was flooded. His company is replacing all hardware - and the old IT service provider. The client is truly in the middle of a disaster recovery. And while Roy (my guy) had told him that they'd finish the job on Saturday, the client is putting a lot of pressure on them to be done as soon as possible.

Roy has always provided amazing service. He's proud of it, as are his employees. Amazing service is part of their brand.

Normally, that would mean that Roy would cancel a non-emergency appointment to take care of this client. But he also knew that he could send his lead technician over to the client and take an hour with me to work "on" his business. This commitment is new to Roy. He has always known that he needs to take time to work on his business, but he has always been tempted to stay in the trenches - working IN his business.

As he expressed to me, "There's always an urgent client issue."

It made me think of the dialog from the original Men in Black movie. Agent Jay has just shot up the street with his noisy cricket weapon. Agent Kay provides some perspective:

Kay: "We do not discharge our weapons in view of the public!"

Jay: "Man, we ain't got time for this cover-up bullshit! I don't know whether or not you've forgotten, but there's an Arquillian Battle Cruiser that's about to..."

Kay: "There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!"


Just like Men in Black, your business has to look at the big picture. There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser threatening to destroy the earth. There's always a server that's having problems, or a failed update, or a bad backup, etc. There's always something going on that seems urgent - or IS urgent.

You have to rise above the urgency and set aside time to improve your business.



Nothing Happens By Itself


Working ON your business needs to be a priority. In fact, it needs to be your highest priority. Even in an emergency, you need to maintain perspective and realize that you can take an hour here and an hour there to work on the most important piece of your business.

You're never going to be able to take a week off, shut the doors, and revamp your service offerings (or tune up you service board, or revise the statuses you use in your PSA, or figure out how to clean up old time cards so you can begin tracking payroll in your PSA, etc., etc., etc.).

There are HUNDREDS of things you need to do to improve your business. You will never be "given" the time to do these things.

You have to TAKE the time.

You have to make that happen.

You have to set aside an hour to work ON your business.

... And don't let anything get in the way.

If you don't make it a priority, no one else can.

Improvement cannot happen by itself. You have to do it.

There will always be excuses.

There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser . . .

:-)

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Special Webinar: Channel Transitions Conference Preview - April 14th

Jim Roddy
President
Business Solutions Magazine



  • RSPA Chairman of the Board 2014-2015
  • 16 years experience educating channel executives
  • Education presenter at key channel events including RSPA RetailNOW, Blue Star’s VARTECH, ScanSource conferences, and Ingram Micro conferences.
  • Mike Monocello
    Editor In Chief
    Business Solutions Magazine



  • 14 years in the channel, including 5 as a VAR
  • Interacts with hundreds of VARs, MSPs, ISVs
  • Regular contributor to RSPA publications
  • Karl Palachuk
    Owner, Small Biz Thoughts
    President, Great Little Book Publishing Co.


  • Author of 15 books, including "Managed Services In A Month" and the 4-volume "Managed Services Operations Manual"
  • Former executive at a POS and inventory management company
  • Global experience as a writer, speaker, and IT business consultant
  • Register Now

    - - - - -

    I am honored to be speaking at the conference in Chicago and look forward to all of these events.

    Join us and learn more about what Business Solutions is putting together for you!

    :-)

    Thursday, April 02, 2015

    Join Me at Business Solutions' Retail IT VAR of the Future Conference - May 12-13

    I am very honored to be giving the keynote address at Business Solutions' Retail IT VAR of the Future conference next month. Here's a chance for you to join me for FREE.

    The conference is

    May 12-13
    Bally's
    Las Vegas, NV
    More Info at: www.retailitvarofthefuture.com/registration


    Here's the official memo from Abby at Business Solutions:

    - - - - -

    The forward thinking education Business Solutions has planned for the Retail IT VAR Of The Future conference is worth a few days away from the office. The event is just a few weeks away, and more than 200 channel executives have already registered.

    Click to view our event preview webinar. The agenda on May 12-13 at Bally's Las Vegas will give actionable advice on Mobile POS, Customer Experience, POS-as-a-Service, and Payment Processing/EMV.

    Use the promo code SPRING by April 9 to redeem a complimentary pass at www.retailitvarofthefuture.com/registration


    This complimentary registration offer only applies to active VAR, MSP, and ISV executives. Questions about the Retail IT VAR Of The Future conference can be directed to Abby Sorensen at 814-897-9000x243 or abby.sorensen@BSMinfo.com.



    - - - - -

    Join me live in Vegas!

    :-)

    Wednesday, April 01, 2015

    SMB TechFest Free to the First 100 Attendees !!!

    I am sorry I won't be at the next SMB TechFest. Just got this announcement from my friend Dave Seibert. 

    But my brother's going to be there! Doh!

    It's okay - I'll be in Nashville at Robin Robins' Big Seminar.

    SMB TechFest is a great event. I highly encourage you to check it out. Great value for the money - whether you're there in person over attend over the internet.

    Dave's announcement:
    - - - - -

     SMB TechFest
    California's Largest Quarterly Technology Conference
    Register now for 12th Conference

    Free to the 1st 100,  Thanks to our Sponsors
    Onsite or Remote live video broadcast   

      

       
    Growing Your Business

    Learn with the best 
    industry experts on
    Business, Sales & Technology

         Thursday & Friday, April 23-24th, 2015
    8:00 am - 4:00 pm

    Located in Sunny California at the
    BUSINESS EXPO CENTER
    1960 S. Anaheim Way, Anaheim, CA


     as the event sells out 
       
    Option 1
    $99 after the 1st 100
    Includes all Expert Sessions
    (Includes Option 2)

    Option 2
    Free IT Mixer & Expo Hall
    with free Beer, Wine, and Food
     
    (Perfect to social network and build more business)
      
    Bags of Money
    Win Cash and more Sponsor Prizes!
     

    Don't miss this great jam packed event
    A $2195 Value Compared to other Industry Events 



    Highlighted Platinum Sponsors

    MAXfocus, RapidFire Tools, & Microsoft

     


    Here are the event highlights: 

    Leading industry speakers include:

    Rex Frank - PSA & Service Operations Expert
    Manny Palachuk - Business Growth Coach
    Gil Cargill - Business Sales Expert
    Justin Sagle - Microsoft & SCORE Mentor
    Dave Seibert -  Industry Expert, MVP, and Speaker
    Partner Panel - 3 Leading Partners review how to scale
    Mike Pettus - Gigabit Wireless Expert
    Nick Cavarra - Social Media Expert
    Mark Winter - MSP & Assessment Expert
    Clarence Mcswain - RMM, Backup, Service Desk  
         And more expert speakers and content

    .  
      Also Included:   
    • Free Breakfast, Lunch, and snacks
    • Free Parking
    • Free beer, wine, drinks, etc.
    • Peer-to-peer networking time to gain more business   
    • Expo Hall of 20+ leading vendors and their solutions
    • IT Mixer to social network and meet other partners
    • High speed wireless Internet available throughout the day
      
    or attend the IT Mixer totally Free 
      
    See you at the Event!
     

    SMB TechFest 
    Need more information?
    Or call us at 949-266-1650


    New Refund Policy - Almost

    For 20 years I've had a very simple return policy. It goes like this:

    Yes. You may have a refund.

    No questions asked.

    Some things aren't a good fit.

    - - - - -

    But every once in awhile somebody just takes advantage of my good nature.

    Every once in awhile someone makes a purchase, downloads the content, and immediately requests a refund. It normally includes a statement to the effect that the material isn't useful or isn't valuable.

    I try not to be arrogant, but when I look at the hundreds (or thousands) of hours that go into the products I create, I find it hard to believe that an experienced managed service provider can't save one or two or three hours labor with these products.

    So I firmly believe that these people are intentionally ripping me off.


    Some People Value What You Do - Some Don't


    A few weeks ago I wrote about hiring an electrician. I was completely suspicious of the low bidder because I valued the work that needed to be done. I chose the high bidder because I had faith that the work would be done. And I wrote a big check because that's what it takes to get the best.

    One of the great principles of my business is that I do business with people I like. Another is that I do business with people who value what we do.

    Recently, a client asked me to install some software that I think he doesn't need. It became a troublesome install. After 26 hours, the ticket was closed. I had a talk with the client because I felt guilty charging him for all that time.

    He said, "I asked you to do it. Bill me."

    That guy is my client because he values what I do.


    I am honored that so many people in the SMB community appreciate what I do. And almost no one ever asks for a refund. But every once in awhile I feel truly ripped off. That happened recently.

    It pissed me off and I spent hours trying to figure out what to do. I drafted various return policies and asked friends for advice.

    In the end, the best advice came from my brother Manuel: Don't change a 20 year old policy. Just add a clause that says, "... unless you're found to be abusing this policy."


    I sincerely thank you for your support.

    It is because of your honesty and willingness to invest in our programs that we can continue to provide them.

    Our "new" return policy is here: http://www.smbbooks.com/returns.asp

    I quote:


    "Our policy is that we want you to be 100% happy. Any product sold on this site may be returned for a full refund, unless you abuse our good will. 

    Those who buy an electronic product, download the contents, and immediately request a refund will not be granted a refund without a strong justification."

    . . .

    [set grumbling = off]

    :-)

    Tuesday, March 31, 2015

    Semel Consulting Offers HIPAA Business Associate Workshop

    Got a note from my friend Mike Semel. They're putting on a great 6-hour workshop for Business Associates. Starts Thursday! Check it out.

    Here's Mike's announcement:
    - - - - -

    HIPAA Business Associate Workshop

    April 2, 9, and 16 
    11am EDT/8am PDT

    If you have medical clients, or clients who have medical clients, you must comply with HIPAA. Beyond signing Business Associate Agreements, you must implement policies and procedures, train your staff, and deliver HIPAA-compliant services. This proven workshop will give you the knowledge and materials you need. Taught by Mike Semel, a former hospital CIO, HIPAA courseware author, and certified HIPAA expert, this workshop is the fastest way for you to learn about HIPAA and get the tools you need to comply.


    Training, Materials, Expert Advice

    6 Hours of Training

    Three 2-hour Webinars

    Recorded in case you miss one, want to review, or share with your team.

    PLUS Policies, Procedures, Checklists, Business Associate Agreement templates, and 1-to-1 guidance from an industry leader

    For companies with up to 100 employees

    Not for Medical Practices

    Testimonials

    "I think the session was perfect."

    "This course was a great investment."

    "The best money I've spent on education."

    "...like an oasis on a desert.'

    "You know your stuff and how to teach it, too."


    Special Offer
    Regular Price - $ 1299
    ONLY $ 999 courtesy of
       
    SAVE
    $ 300


    Sign Up Now

    E-mail questions to:  hipaa@semelconsulting.com
    888-997-3635
    www.semelconsulting.com

    :-)

    Monday, March 30, 2015

    Join Dave Sobel and Me March 31st - Globalization of SMB

    One registration gets you into the entire series of webinars for FREE.


    Next Show:

    March 31, 2015 - Dave Sobel - MAXfocus


    Ken Edwards, Maverick Mesa
    In March, Dave Sobel from MAXfocus joins us. Dave is the Director of Partner Community for MAXfocus.
    MAX - formerly GFI Max - is a truly global company. Based in Scotland, they have operations all over the world. Dave is constantly traveling between the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, and many other countries.
    We'll talk to Dave about the benefits (and challenges) of working with a global company.
    From his unique position as a former-Managed Service Provider and now a vendor, Dave will give us some insights about what IT professionals can do to leverage the resources of the global economy.
    Check out MAXfocus Here: www.maxfocus.com
    and the MAXfocus blog at: www.maxfocus.com/max-iq
    Join us for a great webinar!

    - - - - -

    For all in the info on the Globalization of SMB series, visit http://www.smallbizthoughts.com/events/global/
    :-)

    Sunday, March 29, 2015

    Promotion Monkey - Affordable Promotional Strategies for SMB


    After a great deal of preparation, we are pleased to announce the launch of a wonderful program for SMB IT Professionals. Promotion Monkey provides a simple program to help you keep your company's name in front of your clients and prospects.

    One of the greatest weaknesses for small companies is marketing and promotion. Even if they know what to do, they don't have time to do it. I love Robin Robins and have received her materials for more than ten years. But I have to admit that I don't always do all the things I know I should be doing.

    Our goal with Promotion Monkey is to help you 1) Commit to regular promotional activities, and 2) Make is easy for you to step up to the next level of professionalism with your company brand.

    Promotional products are items branded with your company’s name, logo, or message.  Some you see all the time, like pens and notepads. Some you never think about, like coasters or t-shirts. Look around your home and office and you'll see lots of examples.

    Problem #1: Most money spent on promotional products is literally thrown away. You know this is true. Just look around your office. How many “great” give-away gifts do you keep, display, or use? One? Two? None?

    Most promotional products that people KEEP end up in one of two places: Their Kitchen or Their Office. And here’s the really good news: Where do most small business decisions get made? The home kitchen, or the office.

    A bad give-away gets thrown away. A good one will be around forever.

    Problem #2: Getting started can be a confusing mess. And therefore . . . most people never get started.

    Anyone can go on the internet, search for a product, and find 10,000 items to buy. And you can guess which is the best deal, and which is the best company to work with. And you can fiddle with your logo, find out about production schedules, and go through all the details. You'll talk to people who don't have time to answer your questions about printing options, dealing with low-res images, etc.

    Lots of people do it all the time. So can you.

    But you’re busy. And you end up NOT doing all that work to get a great promotional item because there’s a steep learning curve. And you don’t know if you’re working with a company you can trust.

    Please let us take the hassles away. We’ll vet the products. We’ll order them with your logo and tagline. If there’s a problem, we’ll take care of it. If it’s the wrong color, wrong size, or your logo’s printed backwards, that’s our problem. We’ll handle it.


    Bundles Make It Easy

    We started out with a simple premise: We want to help you find good, usable products at a reasonable price with no hassles. There are two major components to that.

    First, we've create "bundles" so that you can get started without doing massive amounts of research. We have two kinds of bundles. Quarterly bundles change every three months. You buy in at a specific price point (e.g., $500) and you will receive a different selection of products with each shipment. Unless you change your logo or tagline, we've got what we need to automate the process.

    Event Bundles will focus on specific marketing activities you might engage in. For example, I'm writing a white paper on how to plan and execute a successful educational seminar for your clients (such as a lunch-and-learn event). I'll be giving away the white paper and we'll have pre-packaged bundles of branded merchandise to support your seminar.

    This is great for you because WE'LL do the work to find products that make sense in small quantities. After all, you don't need 100 coffee mugs for a 15-person seminar. We're also developing bundles for golf tournaments, client appreciation, and more.

    The second thing we're doing is taking on the hassles and details. We'll take your logo and tagline, and WE'LL order the best products and manage all the details of production and delivery. We deal with manufacturers. If something goes wrong, we argue with the printers or shippers or whoever.


    Yes It Costs Money

    Most small businesses don't have a budget for marketing - but you should! It doesn't have to be large, but you need to do something.

    One of the great weaknesses in marketing is the tendency to stop and start, and to be inconsistent. We want to provide you with a regular stream of marketing materials that’s just the right size for your business – at an affordable price.

    Our bundles are priced at $300 per quarter and above. That's less than one hour of labor per month for a technology consultant! We think that's a very easy way to get started with regular marketing. That means you do something every month, every quarter, all year long.

    Remember: Most people don’t need your services most of the time. How will you make sure they think of you on the day their other I.T. Consultant disappears? With promotional products!


    Free Gifts

    To demonstrate the quality of the branded items we're looking at, I want to send you a a great free gift.

    It’s NOT a cheesy, crappy gift you’ll throw away. It’s a nice gift that you might pay $20 for—plus shipping. But we don’t even charge for shipping.  Just go to www.PromotionMonkey.com and look for the “special offer” on the right side of the page.


    In addition, we have a great introductory offer. For the first one hundred people to sign up, we are offering a 10% discount on the published prices PLUS 100 pens imprinted with your company's name and tagline. To get that discount, you need to enter the code Promo2015 at checkout.

    Sign up today and save!

    www.PromotionMonkey.com


    Goes Great with Everything

    Even if you are already signed up for a program from Robin Robins or another marketing coach, Promotion Monkey can be a great place to buy your branded products.

    Take you lumpy mail to the next level!

    :-)

    Join Me on the ChannelPro SMB "Channel Therapy Tour"

    From my friends at ChannelPro SMB. We already did the tour in Baltimore. It was great. Please join us for one of these citiies: San Jose, Chicago, or New York.

    I'm doing a panel on Cloud Computing and a special presentation on the special duties of the Service Manager in a small I.T. consulting business. 

    Sign up today!



    Join us for the 2015 Channel Therapy Tour

    One-Day, Live Events in Baltimore, San Jose, Chicago,and New York


    Pre-Register TODAY!


    We have the cure for what ails you!

    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.

    :-)