Thursday, March 15, 2018

WorldPay Releases 2018 Point of Sale Channel KPI Survey

I got a memo from my friend Jim Roddy over at WorldPay (Vantiv). They've released a three-part report on their annual 2018 Point of Sale Channel KPI Study. One more installment will be posted next week.

Here's what we have so far.

Part 1: Resellers report robust sales and profits in 2017, expect stronger 2018

Jim Roddy - WorldPay
A few interesting take-aways:

23% of respondents saw either flat or declining sales. This was a big improvement from the previous year’s study (37%).  experienced either flat or declining sales. Looking to the year ahead, the number of resellers and ISVs who expect their sales to decline in 2018 disappears almost completely (10% in 2017, less than 1% in 2018). So things are looking up!

Part 2: Resellers accelerate pace of recurring revenue transition

A few interesting take-aways:

About 42% of respondents have most mostly or completely to a recurring revenue model. Another 26% describe themselves as about half way there. All of them expect to dramatically increase recurring revenue as a proportion of their revenue in the year ahead.

Part 3: Resellers and developers share compensation, benefits data

A few interesting take-aways:

About 77% of POS resellers have very low employee turnover (10% or less), probably due in large part to the benefits they offer. Top benefits are:
  • Two or more weeks paid time off: 77.4%
  • Health insurance: 67.9%
  • Flexible work schedules: 50.9%
  • Dental insurance: 49.1%
  • Vision insurance: 43.4%

Less than ten percent of respondents offered no benefits. As Jim points out, you're going to have a tough time finding and keeping good people in this era of low unemployment if you don't offer good salaries and benefits.

Webinar on Key Performance Indicators

WorldPay is hosting a webinar on March 21st - “KPIs of Rich-and-Famous POS VARs and ISVs” - where they'll discuss the study in-depth and answer your questions about the state of the point of sale channel.

All webinar attendees will receive their own copy of the complete 2018 POS Channel KPI Study.
Register Here for the webinar.

. . .

and Thanks to Jim for the information.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Unbreakable Rules of PSA - Class Starts March 20th

The Unbreakable Rules of PSA

- IT Service Delivery in the 21st Century

- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific
You're guaranteed to learn something that will make or save you the price of admission!

Everyone needs a PSA - Professional Services Automation tool. But in addition to simply having a PSA, you need to set it up correctly and use it wisely.
Manuel Palachuk
In this course, you will learn how to double your value to clients and increase your profit with these powerful golden rules of PSA Service Ticket Systems.

Coach Manuel focuses on the direct connection between your service delivery system, the value you give your clients, and your profit, and how to maximize each. He also gives an overview of Agile Service Delivery, an emerging method you must learn to stay competitive.

Whether you’re a one-person shop or have fifty employees, to be consistently profitable, you must have guidelines for how to break down the work in an organized fashion and how you will communicate with the client along the way.

You don’t have to be an MSP or even use a PSA to work efficiently and be profitable, but you do need a system and a method. These "golden" rules can be the seed for your own system if you have none, or you can adopt them in whole to enrich your existing methods. Either way, this is your opportunity to take your service delivery and your profits to the next level.

The course includes a thorough discussion of the unbreakable rules of service tickets as well as covering quality communication with every client. It will be time well spent!

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!

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.

Register Now

Monday, March 12, 2018

Thoughts on a New Community

So I've been thinking about creating a new online community. Actually, I've been thinking about it for years. But I wanted to make sure that I felt I had enough "stuff" to make it worthwhile.

I've always tried to fill a void. So I want to do more than just have a place to distribute information.

One of the things the SMB IT Community needs is a place where we can all gather as a community. There was a time when that place was the annual SMB Nation conference. But as the community has grown, that conference has faded and lots of other events have take its place.

Now, there's a conference for Robin Robins, a conference for Datto, a conference for ConnectWise, a conference for CompTIA, and lots of smaller conferences. Then there are events for ChannelPro, ASCII, The Channel Company, SMB TechFest, and others.

So we have plenty of conferences, in my opinion. BUT different people attend different events. I just attended TechFest, ASCII, and ChannelPro events back to back. All were excellent. And maybe twenty people attended two or three events. Otherwise, there was basically no overlap.

We need a place to meet as a community. Yes, there are places online. But there are 100 places to get together on Facebook or LinkedIn. There are ASCII email lists, but that's not the same as an interactive forum. There are forums on Reddit, but mostly not focused on this community.

I Use The Term Community because that's the thing we need the most.

There are new-ish groups all over the place with people who are just getting into this business. They don't know about the channel. They don't know about managed services. They don't know that there are LOTS of people willing to help them.

How could they? If you're just getting into this business, you probably think you're a "computer consultant." How could you know the terms managed service or channel?

We need a community to help people who are new to our profession. And, to be honest, part of the role of community is to help show them that this IS a profession and to show them some of the standards.

As I travel around, I meet so many great people. Over time, I get to know them. I learn about their families and friends. I can honestly say that some of my best friends are people I met in our community.

But I'm afraid the community has become fragmented and will continue to fall apart. We need something where everyone can come together and interact with one another. The goal would be to add something we can't get anywhere else - not replace something that's out there.

- - - - -

Here's what I'm thinking about.

A new online community with three levels. One is free, two are paid.

1) Free. Includes all the free stuff I give away, plus an index to everything I've ever produced. So if you want to find something, you can.

2) Paid content. Basically, this is everything I've ever produced. AND a commitment to continue posting new stuff month after month.

3) All that, plus an interactive community. We'll have forums, special internal-only webinars, community meetings, member-only training, and more.

As for the interactive forums . . . My head is exploding with ideas. We can have SIGs (special interest groups) for specialty and vertical technologies, sales, podcasting, tools, and pretty much whatever people are interested in. We could even have a buy-sell-trade board.

I really think this would be a great place for a group learning experience. For example, helping people learn to create client-facing videos and marketing material. And once the group went through the learning process together, we could hold competitions for the best products that came out of it.

. . .  Anyway . . . I've been thinking about this for years. And I think it's time to decide whether YOU would find it worthwhile. I put together a super quick survey. I would love your feedback on whether we should have just one offering or two or three. And, of course, what you consider to be a reasonable price.

Please give your feedback here:

Thank you !!!


Thursday, March 08, 2018

What Do You Need to Charge per Hour?

I've seen a number of posts on social media recently that mention hourly tech support rates well below $75/hr. I find that shocking for a competent technician. Of course no one calls themselves out and says, ". . . I'm a total noob and have no idea what I'm doing."

When I started my first technology consulting business in 1995 I set my rate at $100/hr. The reason for this was very simple. I thought it was large enough to be taken seriously as a professional.

I also thought it would make me a lot of money. After all, billing 40 hours/week at $100 was a very cool $4,000 per week. Times 50 weeks = $200,000! Sign me up! Of course that didn't happen.

Lesson One: If you bring $100 worth of value to a job, no one will bat an eye at paying $100/hr for labor.

Lesson Two: You never bill 40 hours per week. In fact, you're lucky to bill 20, especially when you start out.

Click to Enlarge
You may not charge for travel, so take travel hours out of the possible 40 hours in a week. You certainly don't charge for sales meetings, or for putting together quotes and proposals. So take that out. Meetings, planning, and time spent actually running your own business are all not billable to clients.

A really, really good technician working for someone else and doing most work remotely can often be 80% billable. That's 32 hours per week. 65% is much more common. That's 26 hours per week. Managers are frequently in the 40% billable range. Owners who do sales are frequently 20% billable or less.

The point is: You cannot bill 40 hours a week. Track it. Be rigorous and honest, and you'll see that you're lucky to hit 50%.

Now consider your hourly rate. See the chart.

The average income reported in the U.S. is about $75,000 per year. The green blocks add up to about $75-99,999 per year. As you can see, there are two simple ways to get yourself in a green cell: Bill more hours or charge more per hour.

Plot the number of hours your realistically bill in a week. If you're starting out and you're a sole proprietor, you are probably billing 20 hours or less. As you can see, you'll never reach $75K charging $50 or $60 per hour.

If you're charging less tha $75/hr, I want you spend a lot of time staring at these numbers and being honest with yourself. What do you really, really charge? How many hours do you really bill?

If you use QuickBooks, I encourage you to invoice every hour - even if it's free. You don't have to send zero-dollar invoices to clients, but it's pretty good P.R. if you do. But I want you to do this for yourself: Invoice every single hour. At whatever rate. If you give hours away, write that down as well. QuickBooks will allow you to enter five hours at zero dollars.

When you do this, you'll be able to run report / Sales by Item / Detail (or summary) and see exactly how many hours you invoiced, and the total income. Let's say you work 50 hours per week. You bill 25 at $75/hr. And you don't send bills for another 25 hours at $0/hr. Your effective billing rate is $37.50/hr.

But again, I bet you're not billing that. In fact, many people tell themselves they're doing great - until they run the actual numbers. It's much more likely that you have an occasional great job and a lot of weeks very really bad numbers.

The market is excellent for technicians and everyone in I.T. Services. Be honest: If you can't earn more than $100,000 in taxable income on your 1040 income form, STOP playing around in this industry and go get a job.

When you're ready to commit to a career as an individual consultant, you need to do a few things. First, charge enough to be taken seriously. Second, get yourself enough of an education to be worth at least $100/hr.

I welcome all the new people joining this industry. But please know that there are lots of people who have a lot of experience and charge more like $150-175/hr. Make yourself worth that, and charge those rates.

It's a lot easier than trying to squeeze out impossible hours at almost-impossible rates.

- - - - -

BTW the other colored cells are as follows:
 Yellow = $100K - $124,999
 Blue = $125K - $149,999
 Orange = $150K - $174,999
 Gray = $175K - $199,999


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Five Week LIVE Cloud 5-Pack Formula Training Starts Thursday

In 2017 I literally traveled the world teaching my Cloud Strategies in dozens of cities across Europe, North America, and Australia. That was a wonderful experience. But I can reach more people over the Internet than I can in person.

So I got together with Mark Smith over at EH Media (parent company to ChannelPro Network) to put together my successful cloud training in a five-week live class. We have about 30 people signed up already - and we'd love to have you join us.

A couple weeks ago we held a live webinar to talk about cloud strategies. It went one hour and fifty-four minutes.  Mark and I answered answered 85 questions during the webinar. You can view the replay here: How I Built a 7-Figure Business Using the Cloud 5 Formula.

In case you missed it, we put the Q and A from those 85 questions into a Google doc. You can read it here:
Q and A from the Cloud 5 Workshop

The document is 22-pages long from one Q and A session!

- - - - -

Now, here's what you can do right now:

Sign up for my new, live, 5-Week course:

Making Money with the Cloud 5-Pack Formula!

Sign up now and get a bunch of great free bonuses! (see that page)

Class starts Thursday March 1st at 2pm EST. 

Sign Up Now

You can sign up here:

The course is designed to walk you through the exact process I used to build his 7-Figure MSP business selling Cloud Services, including:
  • What cloud services to bundle together
  • Where to buy them for maximum efficiency and margin
  • How to price and package them 
  • How to deliver them efficiently using your RMM
  • How to market and sell them And all the step-by-step checklists you need to build a successful cloud services business
One huge thing we learned from doing the webinar is that you have lots of questions! I will leave lots of time for questions in every class.

If you have questions, please contact me - soon.

All classes are recorded, so you can sign up after Thursday. But obviously, if you want to participate in live questions, you need to attend live.

Thank you as always for your support.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Jennifer Fields, Elizabeth Vanover, and Richard Tubb join the SMB Roadshow

I am happy to announce some very special guest speakers on the SMB Roadshow. 

NOTE before you get the wrong impression. There will be ZERO selling at the SMB Roadshows. You are paying for education that change your business for the better. You are not paying to sit through sales pitches.

More info at

Here's the roundup:

  • Dallas, TX – March 6th - in conjunction with ChannelPro SMB Forum
    – Sign Up Now
  • Charleston, SC – March 23rd - Special Guests Jennifer Fields and Elizabeth Vanover from Executive Marketing Collective
    – Sign Up Now
  • Honolulu, HI – April 24th - Special Guest  Jennifer Fields from Executive Marketing Collective
    – Sign Up Now
  • Maui, HI – April 26th - Special Guest  Jennifer Fields from Executive Marketing Collective
    – Sign Up Now
  • Baltimore, MD – May 7th - in conjunction with ChannelPro SMB Forum
    – Sign Up Now
  • Denver, CO – May 11th - Special Guest  Elizabeth Vanover from Executive Marketing Collective
    – Sign Up Now

About These Folks . . .
Photo by Joshua Liberman

Jennifer Fields and Elizabeth Vanover have each been helping Managed Service Providers implement marketing campaigns for more than five years. In late 2017 they joined forces and founded the Executive Marketing Collective (EMC).

For more information on EMC, see my interview with Jennifer and Elizabeth on the SMB Community Podcast.

EMC focuses on a very cool perspective to marketing: Helping you to position yourself as an expert in your field. In addition to that, they offer a full set of services.

Richard Tubb is a long time coach from the UK who just happens to be available in early April, so I begged him to join me and he agreed. Richard and I also have a segment on the Frankly MSP podcast called What's Going On.

Richard also has an excellent blog at You'll find a link to Richard's blog in the blog roll on the right side of my blog.

I've been very lucky to visit Richard in the UK several times over the last few years. And I'm grateful to him for joining me here in the States!

As you can see, The SMB Roadshow for 2018 has some amazing content. Please join us!

I just finished polishing my first slide deck for the roadshow and have more that a dozen slides that will EACH save your or make you enough money to pay for the cost of admission.

Sign up today at


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Join Me at the Phoenix AZ SMB User Group - March 8th

As long as I'm in town for the SMB Roadshow in Phoenix . . . I'm speaking to the AZ SMB User Group.

Topic: Checklists Will Save Your Business

You can find out more on the group's Meetup site:

Thursday, March 8, 2018
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Original Garcia's Las Avenidas
2212 North 35th Avenue · Phoenix, AZ

Before Six o'clock look in the bar area
After six we will be in one of the meeting rooms.

BTW - here's a picture from NASA that I'll show in my presentation.

That's a checklist on the arm of an Apollo astronaut. You need a checklist when you go to the moon . . . because it would suck to go 30,000 miles and forget to do one of the experiments!

If you're anywhere near Phoenix, plan to join us. Check out that site for further information.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Hear Ye, Hear Ye. Attend the Live Community Meeting - February 26th

PLEASE mark your calendar for a very different kind of public meeting for MSPs, CSPs, VARs, resellers, computer consultants, and everyone else in the SMB/IT and managed services communities:

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Live Community Meeting (online)

February 26th

1 PM Pacific

4 PM Eastern
8 AM the next day AEDT

. . . . .

I can already hear you asking

What's Up?

I am trying something new. To my knowledge, this hasn't been done in our community before.

I've set up a meeting that will take up to 100 participants. That means up to 100 people can be logged in at the same time - AND join the conversation.

Believe me: I'm quite prepared for there to be a bit of chaos! Everyone could be connected with audio AND Video. So wear your nice clothes and mute your microphone when we start.

Here's what I'm doing . . .

This is intended to be an open discussion about what you need. I want to talk about a possible new, interactive venture in the SMB IT and Managed Service community. BUT I promise there will be no sales pitch.

Over the last dozen years, I've been lucky enough to come up with products and services that you need and want. Lots of it is available for free. Lots of is sells for a price. But I can't read your minds!

I want an open discussion about what works and what doesn't work in our community.

I want to talk to you about a new project I'm scheming up and see how you think it should evolve. Setting my ego aside, I'm also prepared for the attendees to say it's the stupidest thing they've ever heard.

Who knows. This Community Meeting might work. Or it might bomb. But let's give it a try.


No registration is required. That means you don't enter your email. You just show up and get in. Zero barrier to entry. That also means, you won't get reminder emails.

Absolutely Free. No selling allowed. I promise.

Meeting Info
Topic: Karl's Community Meeting
Time: Feb 26, 2018 1:00 PM Pacific Time

UPDATE: View the recorded meeting here.


You will be muted when you join. Please unmute yourself whenever you wish. But please stay muted if you are just listening. This could go wrong a hundred ways.

Be patient and respectful. I've never done this before and I'll be learning along with everyone else. Let's not all talk at once.

Limited to 100 Participants. If we get more than that, I don't know what you will experience. My guess is, keep trying in case someone drops off.

Enter your name in Zoom. It could be your whole name, your first name, or just a handle you want us to use. I can't call on you if everyone comes in as anonymous.

This is a video call. Please use a camera if you have one. The screen will show 25 people at a time. In the upper right hand corner, select Gallery view to see everyone. If you select speaker view, the system will show you whoever is speaking at any given moment.

Note: I am going to talk for 5-10 minutes about my proposed project. I would love your feedback. But if you have other agenda items, we will try to get to you . . . and everyone else.

- - - - -

Please share this announcement with your groups on social media, forums, etc. I would love to jam the phone lines with 100 people.

Put this in your calendar and paste this "join" link into the appointment so you don't have to look is up:

I hope to see you at the Community Meeting!


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

This Year's Roadshow vs. Last Year's Roadshow

So . . . I created some confusion. Let me clarify . . .

Right now I'm promoting two very different things. But both include the word cloud, so there's some confusion.

Thing One: 2018 SMB Roadshow

The 2018 SMB Roadshow is a 3-hour intensive workshop on the most important things you need to know today to sell Managed Services and Cloud Services. Hence, the Killer Combo.


Agenda – Details 
Registration 12:30 PM – Seminar starts at 1:00 PM
Topic 1: The Absolutely Unbreakable Rules for a Successful IT Consultant
  • Deep dive into the 25 absolutely unbreakable rules of running a successful technology consulting business
  • Detailed examples with extra handouts, checklists, and examples
Topic 2: Cloud Services – 2018
  • Overview of cloud services today
  • Simplifying your offering – and making it more compelling
  • New clients versus existing clients
Topic 3: The Killer Combo – Managed Services and Cloud Services
  • Managed Services are Great; Cloud Services are Great; Together they guarantee extreme profitability
  • New bundles examples and price lists
  • Pricing strategies for the new era of MS + CS
… Followed by BeerFest 2018
Tickets now on sale at $199 for all cities.
- - - - -

Thing Two: The 5-Week Cloud 5-Pack Training

(How I Sold Millions of Dollars Worth of Cloud Services)

This is an updated and repackaged version of the 2017 Roadshow training on how to design, sell, implement, and manage an extremely profitable cloud service offering.

This 5-week course includes LOTS of downloads, checklists, and supplemental materials AND several bonuses.

This free webinar explains it all: 

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

February 15th
11 AM PST / 2 PM EST
Sign Up Now

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

The syllabus looks like this:

Week One – Setting the Stage for Cloud Services in Small Business
·         What is (are) cloud services?
·         What is not the cloud?
·         Where cloud fits in the history of computing
·         Where is the opportunity?
·         Attitudes and mind change
·         The future of your business
·         The 800 Pound Gorillas: Microsoft, Amazon, and Google

Week Two – Introducing the Cloud Five-Pack
·         The Core Technology you can sell to every client
·         Begin with fresh eyes
·         What goes in the box?
·         How much is the box?
·         Your offering – version one
·         Server Lite
·         Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
·         The evolution of your cloud offering

Week Three – Implementation, Sales, and Variations
·         Cloud “readiness” procedures and checklists
·         Quoting the cloud migration project
·         Managing the cloud migration project
·         Staying Inside the Scope / Staying Profitable
·         Walk Through: Cloud Migration Plans (per client)
·         Deeper client relationships (Example New Employee Orientation)

Week Four - Cloud Migration Strategies and Procedures
·         Cloud services and managed services – perfect together
·         Defining What’s Billable
·         The order of implementation matters
·         What do you sell – and who do you partner with?
·         Migrating one service at a time
·         Walk Through: New Cloud Service Client Checklist
·         Deep Dive: Robocopy

 Week Five – Maintaining, Evolving, and Integrating Cloud Services Over Time
·         The evolution of your staff – technicians and administrative assistants
·         Don’t worry that clients will do this themselves
·         Rethinking larger clients
·         LOBs – Line of Business Applications – Ugh!
·         Moving client OFF cloud services
·         Documenting Cloud Services
·         Building you sales line card
·         Your future: Technology
·         Mentality of Success
·         Working ON your business
·         Manage Time Every Way You Can
·         Working in Real Time

- - - - -


1. If you attended last year's Roadshow, then you have 5% of the information from this year's Roadshow. Action Needed: Sign up for SMB Roadshow 2018.

2. If you attended last year's Roadshow, then you have 95% of the information in the 5-week course listed above. No action needed for that.

3. If you missed last year's Roadshow, PLEASE do yourself a favor and attend this this year's Roadshow AND the free webinar tomorrow.

You can sign up for the free webinar here:

- - - - -

Post questions below. Thanks.

- Karlp


Monday, February 12, 2018

Free Webinar - Learn the Cloud 5 Pack Offering - Thursday

Free Webinar - Learn the Cloud 5 Pack Offering - Thursday

Subject: How I Sold Millions of Dollars Worth of Cloud Services

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

February 15th
11 AM PST / 2 PM EST
Sign Up Now

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

Last year, as some of you know, 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.

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:

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 delivers 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 admin, 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.

So, sign up today at:

- - - - -

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