Saturday, September 01, 2007

Managed Services in a Month

[ KP Note: The entire "Managed Services in a Month" series has been collected, collated, and indexed. Still free. You may access it now at ]

My last post got me thinking.

I always tell people: You can totally change your business around and become an MSP in a month.

So let's test that.

The next several posts are going to cover the down-and-dirty checklists you'll need.

If you've been thinking about becoming a Managed Service Provider, I honestly want you to try this.

And make me a promise: Send me an email when you sign your first managed service agreement.

By October 1st I want to be inundated with emails!


Many of my posts give pretty generic advice. Buy a book, write a contract, get a tool.

The "Managed Services in a Month" posts are going to take a different approach. Some people just don't want to make choices. They want to be told what to do. So that's what we're going to do.

Remember: you can always re-do it. I used to tell my students: You can't edit a blank page. Write something. Then edit. The same is true with your business.

Fair warning: To make this work you will need to be rigorous about having rules, sticking to them, and making adjustments as fast as possible.

Do Not put out a half-assed effort, drop out in the middle, and tell me the system failed.

Remember. Focus. Your one and only goal for the next 30 days is to sign that first contract.

Don't whine. Don't get side-tracked. Don't give up.



Go to and buy Erick's book and my Service Agreements book. If you own one, buy the other. Or you can buy both together here for $129.95.

No, this is not a ploy to sell more books.

Borrow one from a friend. Ask your library to order it. However you need to get these books, go get them now.

Oh, and start reading.

I know most of you already have one or both of these books. Now we're going to help you get VALUE out of them.

Besides, the first hour you bill on Tuesday will pay for it.

Stay tuned for Lesson One: Managed Services in a Month Part One.


Two Great Managed Services Resources:

Service Agreements for SMB Consultants: A Quick-Start Guide to Managed Services by Karl W. Palachuk

- Still the best Quick-Start Guide to Managed Services!

Now only $39.95 at SMB Books!


Managed Services in A Month by Karl W. Palachuk

- Check Out the #1 ranked Managed Services book at Amazon!

Buy it as a printed book or ebook!


  1. You are right. We want to be told what to do. Just like many of our clients. We do not want to make a choice as the choices are endless.

    Of course, the other matter...

    We want to know that we will have enough cash inflow to pay our bills during the first, second and third months after we jump in with both feet, as we get comfortable with the feel of the "new clothes". Its that fear of losing cash flow that first quarter as we transition.

    As mentioned in another post, if we present the "ultimatum" to our existing clients, we may lose half or more of our client base at the start.

    Grant us your wisdom, oh Karl!

  2. Because my response is long, it will be a separate post.
    -- karlp

  3. Karl,

    This series is excellent. Thank you for that!


  4. Anonymous10:23 PM

    Hi Karl,

    We have seen many VARs make the transition to Managed Services within 30 days. However, a company needs to be able to play both offense and defense in the early days of the transition with their existing install base of customers. Net new customers are the easiest to turn on within the first 30 days because there is not a fall back position.

    Our definition of Manged Services is Services deployed and managed remotely. Proactive response and contractually evergreen in nature.

    A story that I have shared with many others as they start to make their MSP journey is when I went to Home Depot to buy a shovel one day. I asked the sales rep where the shovels were? As he pointed me in the direction of the sholves he started asking me questions about the type of hole that I wanted to dig? As we turned the corner, I understood why he needed clarity as we turned to face the more than 30 shovles on the wall. The moral of the story is have a clear understanding of your job and the end result you seek before you choose a tool.

  5. You are a Gem Karl! That diamond in the rough guy Schrag directed me here.

  6. Hi, I have been in the computer field since the PDP8. One thing that I have heard about managed services is that you spend a lot of time on it but it is not very profitable.

    Thanks, Mark Berge

  7. Mark: There are a lot of people who never really implemented managed services. They sat on the fence for three or four years and never made any money.

    On the flip side, there are many companies that are thanking their stars they had managed services in place when the economy went to hell. We have guaranteed annuity income every month.

    We've seen a dramatic decrease in project (discretionary) work. But so has everyone else. In terms of managed service clients: Their stuff just works and we have essentially nothing to do except polish monitors.

    So right now we have very little work and the guaranteed income. At the same time, clients have guaranteed stability and predictable flat fees.

    We're very happy with the managed service model.


  8. Hello, i was wondering if you would be willing to link to the managed services page of Kaseya.
    my email is [email protected]

    please let me know


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