Thursday, May 30, 2019

You Can Also Make Money Fighting Against the Future

I'm a HUGE advocate of pushing as fast as possible into a new future. In fact, I'm a huge believer that you can help create the future as it unfolds - and make a lot of money doing so.

See, for example, the new Killing IT Podcast I've launched with Dave Sobel and Ryan Morris. https://killingit.smallbizthoughts.com.

But we also have to realize that opportunity is everywhere in a world of change. That includes the world of pushing back against future.

Being contrary is always a legitimate option. And when opportunity is everywhere, it can be a profitable option as well. Here's the recipe we see repeated time and again during periods of great change:

First, The future becomes clearer and clearer. Eventually it becomes an inevitable truth.

Second, Those with a stake in the present (which is to say, the past) have to make a choice. There are three options.

Option One: Play your end game. That is, double-down on the past while planning to get out of the business altogether. Thus, you capture large sums of money as everyone else transitions to the new future.

Option Two: Resist the future. Innovate against it (often a good strategy). Argue against it (never a good strategy). Make your products and services so appealing that people forget about the future inevitability because you make the present so enticing.

Option Three: Embrace the future. Learn it. Use it. Sell it.

In this post, I'm mostly interested in option two: Make money resisting the future. Here's what's going on in a few industries today.


Transportation

The future is autonomous, mostly-electric vehicles that are not privately owned. This is the inevitable future. Car manufacturers are resisting this by creating more and more super-cool features that entice people into buying one last car.

The average American keeps a car for about six years. Believe me, autonomous vehicles will be everywhere by 2025! So manufacturers are working hard to get you to buy two cars during that period by adding all kinds of cool features.

At the same time, Ford is moving out of the sedan marketing and heavily into trucks and delivery vehicles. With one exception: They're going to keep the Mustang around as long as they can. Their hope is to sell a lot of cars with the pitch that you need to experience a "real" car before they're gone forever.

In the meantime, all the car makers are adding features that basically wean us off of driving. Telsa has it's almost-autonomous mode. Everyone else has cars that keep you in your lane, help you park, brake automatically. Feature, feature, feature - all leading you into a world where you won't be the driver any more.


Delivery Services

As Amazon and other online services push faster and faster delivery, the delivery industry is exploding. Of course Amazon wants to own this market. How will FedEx, UPS, and the Postal Service fight the future? By overwhelming it with fast, affordable options.

On one hand, online shopping is expected to double in the next six years. So there's plenty of work to go around for delivery services. On the other hand, there are more companies working on autonomous delivery services than there are current players in market.

The "feature" here is delivery itself. More deliveries, more days per week, and more times per day. Robots and drones will have their day. In the meantime, we'll see at least five years of old-school services offering more and more options for almost-instant delivery.

Where they can make money from Amazon and other online retailers, they will. Where they make money fighting against them, they will.

Amazon has no problem buying up anyone they want to absorb into their collective. The fact that they haven't bought FedEx or UPS probably means that they think they can build something bigger, better, faster without any of the legacy technology or logistics. Fighting that monster will keep the major old school players in the game.


Servers and the Cloud

So what about your business? Are you still installing Exchange servers in offices? How much longer will you be able to do that? And even if you're installing servers in the cloud, how much longer will that last?

Cloud services - serverless architecture - is the inevitable future.

If you play your end game, you can make good money selling fewer and fewer servers for the next five years. So if you're about to retire or sell the company, that's a very legitimate strategy. Just remember that you've chosen to fight Microsoft both as a competitor (Azure) and as a supplier of server licenses. And here's a quick hint: Microsoft will win this one. The server will become a thing that is only available in the cloud.

Remember: This is a very legitimate business strategy. Just please have a strategy. Don't take this option simply because it means you get to do the same thing tomorrow that you did yesterday. If you go down this road, do it with intention.

If you choose to resist the future, you will need even more strategy. How will you entice people to keep servers onsite? Will you specialize in people who fear the future? (Again, totally a legit option.) Will you promise great security? Greater resilience in an emergency? Greater performance?

Just as BMW adds automatic breaking and lane-changing, you need to figure out what features you can use to get the most money out of onsite hardware sales. Someone's going to do this, and do it very well. Lots of money will be made. But you have to have that strategy.


You have to fight the future with features, not price!

There are two fundamental ways that companies fight the future. They either add features to keep people addicted to the old ways, or they reduce their prices in order to be cheaper than the future. Price cuts are never a winning strategy. You simply eat away at your own base while your potential client base shrinks.

The future always starts out expensive. What did you pay for you newest HUGE television? And how much more did you pay for the previous, not-quite-so-huge television?

Future technology always gets cheaper in leaps and bounds. Resisting it with price cuts is a short-term losing strategy. And then your business dies. There is no other long-term option when you use price to stave off the future.

Features are another thing altogether. Features actually cost money. And if there's some real appeal to a specific market that wants to fend off the future, then you can make more and more money going forward.

While it's true that you can buy a $3,000 horse saddle today, you will find it much easier to find a hundred options for $300 saddles. Yes, there are people making good money creating hand-crafted saddles. But there's not very many people making money in that market.

Interestingly enough, I think good technology consultants will be in more demand than ever. The cloud is big and confusing, and no one wants to juggle six or seven vendors. So your opportunities to make great money are better than ever. It just means you have to be a consultant rather than a technician.

But you need a plan.

You need to walk into your future with intention.

:-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Managed Services in a Month - 5-Week Course Starts May 28th

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

Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk

- Five Tuesdays - May 28 - June 25, 2019 -- 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 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!

For more information on the book, see www.managedservicesinamonth.com.


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!

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.



A Few Details . . .


  • Each course will be five one-hour webinars
  • 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 Time

Questions? Email concierge@smallbizthoughts.com

:-)
Check Out the #1 Best-Selling book on Managed Services ever!

Managed Services in A Month
by Karl W. Palachuk

3nd Edition - Newly Revised and Updated with TEN new chapters


Paperback - Ebook - Audio Book

Unlike some books with old copyrights that sell for $60 or more, this book is 100% up to date and is only $29.95.

Now includes information on making cloud services part of your managed service offering!

Learn More!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Free Webinar - Design and Sell Recurring Revenue Programs that Work - June 4th

Design and Sell Recurring Revenue Programs that Work


Albert Einstein said that “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.” Recurring revenue is a lot like compound interest. Join me for this webinar - How to Design and Sell Recurring Revenue Programs that Work - for an exclusive, educational and entertaining look at the world of recurring revenue.

June 4 @ 11 a.m. PST

Sponsored by Virtiant
Register Now

I have been a consultant since 1995 and I can honestly say that recurring revenue changed my life and changed my business. More than one person has told me that recurring revenue saved their business when the economy turned south.

BUT you can't just sell a flat fee contract think you're going to make money. Like everything else, you need to do it right! There's magic in building bundles that sell. And there's magic in creating the right 3-tiered price list.

There are also some pitfalls you need to avoid. You can't sell a service based on one business model and then deliver a service based on another.

Join me for a webinar jam-packed with tips, tricks, and best practices!

June 4th
11 AM Pacific / 2 PM Eastern
Register Free


Learn More about Virtiant at Virtiant.com


:-)

Photo Credit: Photograph by Orren Jack Turner, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=925243



Friday, May 17, 2019

Cloud Services in a Month - on Amazon

Today I approved the final, final printing proof for Cloud Services in a Month.

That means, with luck, that you'll be able to order it on Amazon next week. You can order the paperback today at www.smbbooks.com.

Find out more about the book at www.cloudservicesinamonth.com.


Please be patient with Amazon. We have no direct connection with them. In other words, they don't buy books from us. Our books are distributed by Ingram Books, the largest book distributor in the world. Amazon orders through them.

With a new book, Amazon almost never keeps stock. But the book is POD - publish on demand. So it's never really out of stock. They just have to order one and have it drop shipped to you.

After a book has been up a while, this all works very smoothly. But with a new book, it can take a bit of time before they start ordering as they should.

- - - - -

Update: The paperback is available at Amazon here:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1942115547

and the Kindle edition is available here:
https://www.amazon.com/Cloud-Services-Month-Successful-Business-ebook/dp/B07RRWYHFB/

The paperback is "back ordered" until Monday.

- - - - -

Anyway - Thank you all for all your support.

Please visit www.cloudservicesinamonth.com to learn more.

:-)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

SMB IT Pro Conference - Adelaide in October - Join me!

First of all, for you Americans: It's really NOT that expensive to get to Australia.

I just did Travelocity Searches from some U.S. cities for the period October 22-29. Remember, you lose a day getting there and gain one coming back, because you cross the International Date Line.


  • New York area airports start at $1,270
  • Chicago area airports start at $1,478
  • LAX starts at $1,098

Remember the exchange rate: Once you get to Australia, everything is 25% cheaper!


The SMBiT Professionals Annual Conference has become one of my absolute favorites. It is focused completely around the IT Pro, not around vendor presentations.

Plus, it's a lot of very friendly folks, with an over-abundance of Microsoft MVPs.

Friday-Saturday
October 25-26, 2019

Plus I'm SURE some of us will find an excursion on Sunday. Which may involve large plates of meat and some amount of beer in a local Octoberfest.

Here's the official promo into:

SMBiT Professionals 2019 Conference
There's strength in numbers. Join us!

We live in an age where information is available anywhere, anytime, always. Mainstream IT services have moved beyond break fix and Managed Services models. Where are the new frontiers for the modern IT business? How can we harness the new technologies currently available and coming in the future to enable the modern IT business to move into the new future of IT services? The SMBiT Professionals Conference 2019 will assist you in growing your business in fast moving and constantly changing environment.

Nestled among the serenity of beautiful beaches and rolling hills, Adelaide is a hive of multiculturalism with a pumping arts and live-music scene, and a burgeoning small-bar scene. In October, the hills are alive with the sounds of German Oktoberfest. For the lovers of the outdoors, Adelaide is a perfect location for a lazy stroll on the beach or a rugged run or bike ride in the beautiful Mt Lofty Ranges. A quick trip to the north or to the south brings you to some of the best wines in the world from the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale regions.

If you are looking for the right conference to attend in 2019, the SMBiT Professionals Conference 2019 in Adelaide should be on your calendar.


For details of Sponsors, Speakers and Accommodation see http://www.smbitpro.org.au/smbit2019/

To book Accommodation directly go to http://bit.ly/SPA-SMBiT1019/

You will need to meet your own costs for flights, accommodation and ancillary expenses.

Location
Stamford Plaza Adelaide
150 North Terrace
Adelaide


I hope to see you there!

https://membership.smbitpro.org/event-3303333

:-)




Sunday, May 12, 2019

Cloud Services in a Month - Available NOW!

I just posted the final PDF version of Cloud Services in a Month - 396 pages!!!

There are two ways to download this book right now:

Option One: Buy Now for only $49.95

  • Browse to www.smbbooks.com
  • ZIP file includes the book in PDF format and all the downloads (Excel spreadsheets, marketing flyers, checklists, etc.)



Option Two: Get it FREE in the Small Biz Thoughts Community

  • If you are an SBT Community member, just go download the ZIP file now
  • Visit www.smallbizthoughts.org and browse to the "Books" section
  • ZIP file includes the book in PDF format and all the downloads (Excel spreadsheets, marketing flyers, checklists, etc.)

Note on the Community: One of my pledges is that all of my books will be available in the community at no additional charge. This is the second new book I've posted this year (along with The Nonfiction Book Publishing Plan, co-authored by Stephanie Chandler).

Just the books inside the SBT Community are worth more than the cost to join. Find out more at https://www.smallbizhthoughts.org.

-- -- --

Cloud Services in a Month is a step-by-step, no-nonsense guide to building an extremely profitable cloud service business for the SMB (small and medium business) market. Filled with practical advice based on the author's experience over more than a decade, this guide is the playbook you will use for success in the Cloud.

Based on more than a dozen years selling and delivering millions of dollars of Cloud services to my clients. In this book, I share exactly how I did it.

I also give you all the details you need to build a Cloud Five-Pack™ - The custom bundled offering of services you will market, sell, and deliver to your prospects and customers. Chock full of additional assets such as spreadsheets, checklists, processes, and more, Cloud Services in a Month includes everything you need to hit the ground running – even if you’re not a Cloud expert.

Whether you have a time-and materials, professional services, or managed services practice, Cloud Services in a Month reveals how to incorporate Cloud services into your existing solution stack and up-sell and cross-sell the Cloud with your existing services in 30 days.

-- -- --

Table of Contents:

Author’s Preface
I. Everyone’s a Cloud Service Provider
1. Tip Toe into the Clouds?
2. My Company’s Move to the Cloud
3. Cloud Computing in the Small Business Space

II. Right Sizing Your Offering
4. One Size Does Not Fit All
5. Assessing Client Networks
6. Placing the X
7. Money-Making Homework - Network Assessments

III. Create a Cloud Service Offering
8. Sneak Peek: The Cloud Service Five-Pack
9. Server Lite
10. Plan Changes and Updates
11. Transactions, Customers, and Clients
12. Managed Services and Cloud Services

IV. Migrating to the Cloud
13. One Service at a Time
14. Managed Service Tools and the Cloud
15. Storage Migration
16. Email Migration
17. Microsoft Office
18. Money-Making Homework - Migration Plans

V. Backups, DR, and Continuity
19. Basic Backups
20. Cloud and BDR Backups
21. Business Continuity

VI. Running Your New CSP Business
22. The Right Partners for the Job
23. Your Standard Offerings (Your Catalog of Services)
24. Staff Requirements for Cloud Services
25. Selling Cloud Services
26. Final Thoughts: Cloud Services in a Month

VII. Resources: Checklists and Documentation
27. Cloud Readiness Checklist
28. Robocopy Samples
29. Client Onboarding Checklist
30. New User Welcome Package
31. Monthly Maintenance for Cloud Services
32. Cloud Documentation Sample
33. Removing Clients from Cloud Services

Appendix A: Alphabet Soup Cheat Sheet
Appendix B: Products and Resources Mentioned
Keeping Up With Karl
Index

Buy Now - only $49.95

Download Free in the SBT Community

Also available on Kindle from Amazon

:-)

Check Out the All New Book:

Cloud Services in A Month
by Karl W. Palachuk

396 pages - plus lots of juicy downloads


Paperback - Ebook

A great resource for managed service providers or anyone who wants make money selling and bundling cloud services.

Featuring all the details you need to create and sell YOUR custom Cloud Five-Pack (TM)

Learn More!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Reminder: "Cloud Hangout" today at 11AM Pacific

Reminder to members of the Small Biz Thoughts Community:

Special event for the month of May!!! 

Members Only “Cloud Hang”

Here’s what we’re up to: I’m going to turn on the camera and microphone and just hang out on Zoom. I’ll answer any questions you have. Or if you just want to chat about cloud services or your offering, I’m happy to talk about that. Any member who shows up between 11 AM and Noon (Pacific) is welcome to join us.

You can come with an agenda or without. I just want to make myself available to all members.Of course I hope some of you will be working your way through Cloud Services in a Month – so I’m happy to talk about the book, the philosophy, the handout, etc. Other than the general topic of “Cloud,” I’m not setting any limits on what we discuss.

Potential topics include:

  • Cloud Services in a Month (the book)
  • Pricing plans
  • Building your bundle
  • Working with vendors
  • How does M365 fit into all this?
  • Storage options
  • Transitioning clients to bundles
  • . . . Or whatever else you need

Note: I won't have slides, advertising, or any kind of promotion. This is just a value-add for members.

Here how to join us: Go to the Webinars/Meeting section and look for the “Members Only Cloud Hang.”

Members Access Here

You’ll need to register on Zoom. The password is on that page.

Strictly limited to Members Only. If you want to attend, you need to be a member.

Here’s the schedule:
Friday May 10, 11:00 AM (Pacific)
Friday May 17, 11:00 AM
Friday May 24, 11:00 AM
Friday May 31, 11:00 AM

Note: These meetings are NOT going to be recorded. If you want to be part of the Hang, you need to show up live.

If this works, we’ll do more stuff like this.

Non-Members: You can join for $999 USD. This includes one year of membership at no additional charge. See https://www.smallbizthoughts.org

:-)

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Episode 1 - The Killing IT Podcst

Well, after more work than you'd think, there's a new podcast in town: The Killing IT Podcast.

More Info and First Episode here: killingit.smallbizthoughts.com

I am joined by co-hosts Ryan Morris and Dave Sobel for a fun, irreverent, and thoughtful look at the industry we're in and where it's going.

In a month no one will care that it takes effort to jump-start the iTunes feed. But to get that process started, I produced a tiny Episode .9 a few days ago.

But the real Episode One is now live.

Please give it a listen and put any comments or questions in the form at KillingIT.smallbizthoughts.com.

We do have a Facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/killingITPodcast/
(or you can talk about us on Facebook with the tag @killingitpodcast.

Enjoy!

:-)




Wednesday, May 01, 2019

3-part mini class: Weeding Your Client Garden

One of the most important things you can do for your company is to Weed Your Client Garden from time to time. Just like a real garden, you need to trim your client base from time to time.

This seems very counter-intuitive to many people. But you have to get rid of clients who cannot grow with your company, as well as those who are difficult to work with, unprofitable, or don't fit your culture. In this three-part mini class, we'll look at several scenarios for growing your business by "weeding" out some of your clients.

This weeding is not random. It's not brutal. And you absolutely will not lose money. Some people hear my advice on this strategy and think I'm getting rid of clients you need to survive. Just the opposite is true. I'll show you how to find those clients who are costing you money, wasting your time, and holding you back.

We'll walk through the math of cutting out clients as well as various strategies for growth. Weeding your client garden is ALL ABOUT growing your business and making more money.


This class is FREE for Small Biz Thoughts Community members.

Only $99 for non-members.

Weeding Your Client Garden
Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk
- Three Days: May 9, 16, and 23
- All classes are recorded

- All classes start at 10:00 AM Pacific
- Classes are generally 30-60 minutes

Members: Click Here to Register Free

Non-Members: Add this item to your cart.

More information on the Small Biz Thoughts Community is available at by Clicking Here.

Note: This is a live class. Once it is finished, it will only be available at no additional charge to members of the Small Biz Thoughts Community.

:-)