Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Managed Services in a Month - Now on Amazon

At last! Amazon has found the newest version of Managed Services in a Month!

They haven't put a graphic to it yet. But they will. We have no control over how they list or price our books.

And the saddest part is . . .

Book reviews do not carry forward from previous non-fiction editions!

That means I have zero reviews. Will you please do me a favor? If you have anything positive to say about Managed Services in a Month, please post a quick review here:


The same goes for the Kindle Edition, here:


Thank you!

Notice the Kindle edition is linked on Amazon and has the front page graphic. I have no explanation. :-)

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And if you have nothing positive to say, please click below and enjoy these cute and humorous animal videos:


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Replay Posted: 2018 State of the Nation Address for SMB IT

I just posted the recording of my webinar from a few days ago -

The 9th Annual State of the Nation Address for SMB IT

In addition to discussing a bit about where our industry went in 2017 and where I think it's going in 2018, I spend over half of this webinar talking about right-sizing your company in the modern world.


Among the announcements in this webinar are:

  • SMB Roadshow 2018 Dates
  • Join me at four ChannelPro events
  • 15 classes at Great Little Seminar
  • Join me at four SMB TechFests
  • New book tease
  • Managed Services in a Month Peer Teams
    (See blog post on that)

The Myth of Expansion:

Many business owners have bought into the myth that you have to grow all the time - doubling the number of clients; doubling the revenue; doubling the employees; etc.

It doesn't have to be that way. You can grow with intention. With some thought, you should be able to figure out the "right" size for your business. That might be one person, two people, five people, or fifty people.

Whatever it is, the size and make-up of your company should be your intentional decision. Once you know what you want to do, and how big you want to grow, you can begin moving in that direction. And if you don't want to focus on doubling and doubling forever, you don't have to.

There are many ways to make money today without growing X% per year. You can reduce costs all the time. You can outsource tasks. You can replace your smallest client with your new largest client. And so forth.

Obviously, there's lots more juicy information in the 75 minute presentation. Check it out!

As always: I appreciate all your support and look forward to an amazing New Year!


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Webinar - Managed Services in a Month Peer Teams

This morning, on my 9th Annual State of the Nation address for small business IT, we announced the formation of Managed Services in a Month Peer Teams - in association with Bering McKinley.

What are "Managed Services in a Month" Branded Peer Teams? Basically, these are peer groups focused around the ideas and strategies outlined in the 3rd edition of Managed Services in a Month (MSIAM) - and in my other writings on processes and procedures.

The idea is to start with MSIAM as a framework for improving your business.

Questions? Of course!

Join Josh Peterson and me on Wednesday, January 17th for a live webinar. We'll explain the whole concept, introduce pricing, and answer all your questions. Register Here.

More information also available at Bering McKinley.

Bering McKinley is a Management Consulting firm specializing in IT Solution Providers. They have over ten years experience in consulting owners and staff of IT Firms. They proudly provide Blue Chip consulting to small business. Since they only focus on one industry, they have in-depth expertise in all three business units: Sales, Service, and Finance.

Josh Peterson has more than 14 years of management consulting experience.  He has run Bering McKinley for five years, focusing very heavily on the most important challenges facing managed service providers.

Josh is also very active as a Peer Team leader. Bering McKinley Peer Teams focus on accountability and constant improvement. He has helped over a thousand companies move to a higher level of success.

. . . Now he's bringing all that focus on success to the Managed Services in a Month Peer Teams.

This morning I also posted a 30 minute interview with Josh over at www.smbcommunitypodcast.com. You can check out the podcast there or just watch the video here.

Watch this video to learn more right now:

Then register for the live webinar January 17th - where we'll answer all your questions.

Or just Join a MSIAM Peer Team right now!!!

See you then.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Save Big with "Karl777" Discount for Bering McKinley Sales and Service Retreat in Las Vegas!

A while back I blogged about Bering McKinley's big Sales and Service retreat.

Well, they've set up a discount just for folks who read this blog.

Enter the code Karl777 at registration and receive $100 discount off the already great price for this seminar.

FREE Two Nights Stay at LINQ® Las Vegas*
+ 5 Jam-Packed Sessions in Sales, Service, Finance, and Culture + Parties + Lunches and MORE!

Las Vegas
February 5-6, 2018

This event delivers a jam-packed agenda across two and a half days with 5 breakout sessions led by industry experts and unparalleled networking opportunities starting on Sunday’s Superbowl kick-off and extending through Tuesday afternoon’s farewell wrap-up.

Excel your business acumen by attending our five critical pillars for growing your business.
Superbowl party, hotel rooms, High Roller happy hour and daily lunch are all included in the registration fee (while supplies last). 

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn, network and up your business game in 2018.

Let’s start this retreat on the right foot with our 3rd Annual BIG GAME at THE VEGAS SPORTS BOOK IN THE LINQ® . We will be taking bets to see which team will win. We will have complimentary specialty drinks, prizes and more!

Presenter: Josh Peterson, Bering McKinley

We’ll be training you on the 14 Key Financial Metrics. You don’t need 100’s of crazy micro detailed numbers. You need the fundamentals and you need to know the benchmarks. Oh, by the way, these are THE ONLY NUMBERS IN THE INDUSTRY you can trust. They are pulled right from your Quickbooks. No easily manipulated spreadsheets to skew the results. 

Join me live at SMB Techfest January 18th

Join me live at SMB Techfest in Anaheim!

Get in free - visit www.SMBTechfest.com/karl

Be my VIP guest and see me live at SMB TechFest.  SMB TechFest Q1 is coming up on Jan 18th.  See me present along with other industry experts in sessions to grow your business.  Also engage in the IT Mixer, Expo Hall, and prizes included in this exclusive no-cost VIP pass for you. 

You can attend onsite in Anaheim, CA or online from anywhere worldwide via the live video broadcast.  In-person allows you to network better so join me live.  I have a limited number of complimentary VIP passes and they're first come first serve. 

Limited free passes so register now

SMB TechFest Highlights Watch the 2 minute video

Our Lineup Focused to Kick-Off 2018      

·         Marketing Guru Kendra Lee
·         Sales Expert Gil Cargill
·         Power Talks
·         Business Coach Manuel Palachuk
·         Security
·         Partner Panels
·         2018 Platform Tools for Operations

Rated a Top 50 Channel Conference

·         Expand your solutions at the Expo Hall
·         Network with 250+ partners and Technical Professionals
·         Win Prizes
·         Hosted Bar and appetizers
·         Exotic Car.  Raffle.  130+ mph experience.
·         Parking Included
·         Includes breakfast, lunch and more
·         Great for Partners & IT Pros of all industry focus
·         Always a high-value packed agenda

One Day
Thursday Jan 18, 2018
8:00am - 6:00pm
Sessions, Expo Hall & Large Social Mixer

Onsite in Sunny California
1960 S. Anaheim Way Anaheim, CA

U.S. Wide & International
Remote Live Video Stream
All Sessions

See you at the Event!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Revised Class - Managed Services in a Month - Starts January 9th

Managed Services in a Month - Applying the Book - Newly Revised for 2017

- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific AND repeated live at 4:00 PM Pacific
  • GREAT for people in Sydney or those who want an evening class on the East Coast

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

This course will cover the process outlined in the book - to build your managed service practice in a month. In this case, five weeks. :-)

Managed Services in a Month is the best-selling guide to turning your "computer consulting" business into a recurring revenue machine!

This course is designed to walk you through the process outlined in the book. AND your registration includes a free copy of the book in the format of your choice.

Updated Information on Tools, Cloud Services, Per-User Pricing, Creating Bundles, and MORE!

It's not too late! YOU can get into Managed Services -- in a month.

Even if you decide not to become an MSP (managed service provider), this course will help you establish some great best practices when it comes to running your I.T. 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!
Managed Services in a Month

You will learn
  • Computer Consulting in the 21st Century
  • What’s Different About Technology Consulting Today?
  • Cloud Computing in the Small Business Space
  • The Managed Service Model
  • New Consulting Business vs. Existing Business
  • Managed Services in a Month
  • Integrating Cloud Services
  • Making A Plan
  • Starting Fresh with No Clients to Convert
  • Create A Three-Tiered Pricing Structure
  • Bundling Services
  • Per-User vs. Per-Device Pricing Models
  • Putting Your (New) Business Together
  • Weed Your Client Garden and Finish The Plan
  • Write a Service Agreement; Have It Reviewed
  • Overcoming Objections
  • Desktops and Managed Service
  • Executing the Plan
  • Client Sit-Downs
  • After The Sale
  • Key Points to Remember for Profit
  • Running Your New MSP Business
  • The Right Tools for the Job
  • Your Standard Offerings (Your Catalog of Services)
  • Building an Action Plan that works
  • and MORE!

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

Friday, December 22, 2017

Network Documentation: Start Somewhere

I can't count how many conversations I've had over the years about how to "get started" with network documentation. The truth is, everyone in this business has already started. That's not the challenge.

The challenge is to create a system that's scalable!

If you think you're at the stage where you don't have a system, that just means you're really at the stage where you need to start taking stock. Where you keep track of domain name registrations? Server IP addresses? Passwords? Client usernames and passwords for Microsoft licenses? Network maps? DNS configurations? etc.

If you have more than a couple of clients, you simply can't keep all that stuff in your head. So where is it?

There are three fundamental approaches to documentation that work:

1) Index where everything is kept

2) Create a tiered storage system

3) Keep everything in one place

No matter what people have tried, #3 is simply impossible. But it's still a legitimate goal because you CAN manage to get MOST documentation in one place. Generally, that place is either going to be a storage area (Server "X" drive, ShareFile, OneDrive, DropBox, JungleDisk, Achor drive, Datto drive, etc.) or a software package (IT Glue, Docusnap, Confluence, OneNote, PassPortal MSP, SharePoint, etc.). Some people even attempt this with their PSA or RMM tools.

If you can get most of your most important documentation in one place, then you just need to know how to access the rest of the documentation as needed. Some might be stored on individual client servers or or storage arrays. Some might be in various tools (e.g., You might store most network-wide information in ITGlue but keep individual PC information in the RMM tool.). Very often, license information is stored at paper documents for older licenses and electronic files for new licenses.

So, as you can see, the three "systems" all come into play. Keep as much as you can in one primary storage system or tool. Then keep other information where it makes the most sense. And that leads to the final element: Index it all or create a system so everyone can know where everything is.

One of the obvious weaknesses of "modern" education is that tests often require students to memorize arcane information. This is obviously a problem because you are rarely in a position in the real world where you cannot access books, tools, libraries, or the Internet. So the skill you need for success in the real world is not to memorize everything: It is to know how to find the information you need.

- - - - -

Now is the time to start building your Network Documentation Library for 2018. Create a ticket in your ticketing system to start gathering information.

Job One: Figure out where you have all this information now.

Write it down. If you haven't made an effort to be organized in the past, the information is probably in a different place for each client. That doesn't matter at this point. Just write down where it is located. At a later stage, we'll scoop it all up and put it where it belongs.

Also . . . start thinking about the information you need to keep and the information you don't need to keep.

Check in next Friday for another post on network documentation.

Feedback welcome.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Register Now: My 9th Annual "State of the Nation" Address for Small Business IT

Karl's 9th Annual Annual "State of the Nation" Address 

Thursday, January 11th
9:00 AM Pacific / 12 Noon Eastern

Register Here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sjmNKczNSRGKjJgLFaJjJw

Mark your calendar now and don't miss this once-a-year podcast. This will be my 9th Annual "State of the Nation" address for small technology providers.

Don't miss this year's webinar.

No cost. Just register and tune in.

Paste that into your calendar so you don't forget!

Topics Include:

  • Highlights (lowlights?) from 2017
  • Windows 10, Server 2016, Azure, . . . and what's next
  • Cloud Services - Report from the Road
  • The Economy
  • Building Your Business for the Long Term
  • Speculations about 2018

2017 was a great year for small business IT. And 2018 looks just as promising. As I look forward to the year ahead, I am committed to helping IT service providers build successful businesses that look to the future of technology and guarantee their success moving forward.

Business can be difficult in a changing environment. And we are certainly in a changing environment! That's always true for technology. But with the Internet of Things, and the adoption of TCP/IP for virtually all new technologies, our world will change at a dizzying pace. You need to make sure that get your share of the new technology money while keeping your share of the established technology.

I am going to focus on the most important things you need to do to build a profitable business - and lock in a very successful 2018!

Tune in to learn more.

Karl's 9th Annual State of the Nation Address for SMB IT
January 11th
9:00 AM Pacific
Webinar Registration: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sjmNKczNSRGKjJgLFaJjJw

- - - - -

Note: I have 100 seats. But don't worry!

One of the things I've learned is that there's about a 50% drop-off rate when things are free. If registration reaches 200, I'll buy the extra seats.

Plan to log in early, though, to guarantee your seat.

See you then.

This session will be recorded.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Point Your Clients to this IoT Explanation

One of my other blogs - Consultant or Amateur - is designed to be a place you can point your clients and say, "See. This guy's telling you the same thing I am." It's basically technical advice your client will understand. And it can help you convince them to make the right decisions about technology.

I just posted a new item there: Setting up an Internet of Things network. It's entitled "IOT - Internet of Things Basics for Small Business."

My advice is to isolate the IoT devices to a separate network segment. I give a very basic diagram and discuss the possibility of adding a firewall to separate the traffic.

But I'm also clear that business owners should contact YOU - their network professional - to help them find the right solution. I don't mention all the options because there are too many. For example, if they have the right firewall already, you can simply create a VLAN.

My goal here is to provide a site you can safely send your clients to, without fear that I'll try to get their business. I don't want their business. I want YOU to keep reading this blog. :-)

Your feedback is always welcome.


Monday, November 27, 2017

2018 Course Schedule Finalized - 5-Week Online Classes for Managed Service Providers

Small Biz ThoughtsWhite Board

Courses Offered 2018

Registration Information

Big Changes for 2018:

Classes repeated at 4 PM. Certain classes will be offered at both 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM Pacific time. We are trying this with some classes in order to see if there's a market for the 4:00 PM offering. Specifically, I'm hoping my friends in Australia will join us live across the international dateline. 

In addition, we are offering repeat classes for some of our most popular classes. For example, the Managed Services in a Month course is offered in January and again in July. So if you miss the first one, you can take the second. In addition, if you register for the first set of classes, you can also take the second at no additional charge.

And, finally, we have added some new classes. Obviously, "Managed Services in a Month - Applying the Book" is revised for the new book. And I'm introducing the all-new course, "Service Agreements for SMB Consultants - Applying the Book." And it late October I'll announce a new course on Cloud Services. Stay tuned.

Registration is Open NOW

If you need to spend some money in 2017 . . . education for 2018 is a great way to invest your dollars!

All classes are only $259 per person. Each class is five weeks. All classes are recorded for students and include related reading materials and assignments to help you get the most out of your investment. You don't have to turn in the "homework" of course, but you are encouraged to complete it. If you want feedback from the instructor, it is always available.

Register NowCourse 5W09 - Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk
- Five Tuesdays - January 9 - February 6, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific AND 4:00 PM Pacific

Register NowCourse 5W16 - Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk
- Five Wednesdays January 31 - February 28, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific AND 4:00 PM Pacific

Register NowCourse 5W07 - Instructor: Rayanne Buchianico
- Five Tuesdays - February 13 - March 13, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

- Five Tuesdays - March 20 - April 17, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

Register NowCourse 5W04 - Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk
- Five Wednesdays April 4 - May 2, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

Register NowCourse 5W08 - Instructors: Karl W. Palachuk and Manuel Palachuk
- Five Tuesdays - April 24 - May 22, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

Register NowCourse 5W14 - Instructor: Josh Peterson
- Five Tuesdays - May 29 - June 26, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

Register NowCourse 5W12 - Instructor: Rayanne Buchianico
- Five Tuesdays - July 3 - July 31, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

Register NowCourse 5W09 - Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk
- Five Wednesdays July 18 - August 15, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific AND 4:00 PM Pacific

NOTE: This course is on five consecutive Wednesdays
Register NowCourse 5W13 - Instructor: Manuel Palachuk
- Five Tuesdays - August 7 - September 4, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

Register NowCourse 5W15 - Instructor: Rayanne Buchianico
- Five Tuesdays - September 11 - October 9, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

Register NowCourse 5W16 - Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk
- Five Wednesdays September 19 - October 17, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific AND 4:00 PM Pacific

Register NowCourse 5W01 - Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk
- Five Tuesdays - October 16 - November 13, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific AND 4:00 PM Pacific

Register NowCourse 5W17 - Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk
- Five Wednesdays - October 31 - November 28, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific AND 4:00 PM Pacific

Register NowCourse 5W10 - Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk
- Five Tuesdays - November 20 - December 18, 2018
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific AND 4:00 PM Pacific


email concierge@smallbizthoughts.com