Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Introducing Taylor Business Group

For the last thirteen months I have been a member of the HTG partner groups. I have been lucky to be a member of HTG 13 -- the best group ever. Our members have included a great collection of business owners from all over the U.S.

In addition to meeting together for two-day business improvement sessions, we've had many meals together, a few nights at the bar, a few outings we won't discuss in public, and some great side trips. For some reason, we've managed to have 60% of our meetings within a few miles of a casino. ;-)

I just had my last meeting with these great guys. A few of us finished off with a little trip out on the ocean on a scuba boat. What a great weekend!

And unfortunately, that was my last HTG meeting.

The HTG groups have decided to focus on a set of tools that my company does not use.

My company, KPEnterprises, Sacramento's best I.T. Consulting Company, uses Autotask and Zenith Infotech to deliver cutting edge technical support and managed services.

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Did you ever hear that saying that when God closes a door, He opens a window? Or maybe He closes one door and opens another. Or whatever.

All I know is that there's a bunch of doors and windows opening and closing all around us. It's a time of great change.

Now, in response to the changes in our business, Taylor Business Group (TBG) has stepped forward to offer some VERY cool offerings, both in the U.S. and Europe.

TBG offers a variety of peer-to-peer groups for the executive team of any VAR. The goal is to assist you with issues surrounding profitability. Their core groups are called Business Improvement Groups (BIGs).

The cost of the BIGs is $1,500 annually. Any HTG member joining the group will receive 50% ($750) off their first year enrollment.

BIGs consist of the same members each time you meet. Your BIG will become a close network of counterparts that you can call upon when you have any business issue facing you. Sometimes you just need input from outside the company. Everyone signs non-disclosure agreements so group discussions are confidential.

A few additional notes:

  • BIGs are not management retreats. They are executive management-focused reviews and conferences.

  • BIGs are not member led. They are facilitated by consultants trained in facilitating effective group meetings.

  • BIGs do not involve techno goober speak. They focus on best practices to implement efficiencies and processes to drive more profits to your bottom line.

  • TBG does not restrict your participation in the BIGs based upon the PSA software you are using.

  • BIGs, unlike other peer groups, are prescriptive not just descriptive. Through the use of the financial charts and the alternative Roadmap to Profitability Financial Dashboard service, you will discover not only where you are in your business but where and what you need to fix to reach your goals within your business.

  • And in order to remain vendor/organization neutral, TBG does not accept sponsorship money from vendors or organizations.

BIG meetings are one and half days long. The agenda for the meetings generally consists of the following:

  • Financial analysis - You will be asked to fill out and send in a spreadsheet that reflects your numbers. This information is then put more than forty charts with the other members and some targeted benchmarks to give you a view of how your financials compare to others in the group and to the benchmarks.

  • Special topics - There will be one or two special topics that the group identifies to cover in your meetings. Examples include: annuity revenues, compensation plans, business systems, specialty products, pricing, sales issues, service issues, disaster recovery, managed services, manufacturer/distributor issues, etc. Each groups decides what they are.

  • Objectives - you will be asked to develop company/departmental fiscal year objectives and activities, and present them to the group. At each meeting, you will discuss your success in implementing those objectives and activities.

  • Board presentation - Two members at each conference (with the exception of the first conference) will be asked to present their company's performance to the rest of the group as though they were presenting to a board of directors. This is a very positive experience garnering ideas from other members on how to better improve your business.

  • Roundtable discussion - Of course there's time during the meetings and around the dinner table/bar to discuss all the "other" stuff that didn't make it onto the agenda for the quarter.

  • You will receive a bound copy of the charts that are presented and any materials that were provided by either the other members or on the special topics up for discussion.

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News - What's New

KPEnterprises is proud to be a member of TBG. I've had my first call with the new team of partners.

Our first get-together is in Chicago in September. A week before SMB Nation, but what ya gonna do?

Also: I got a ping from Rob Franklin in the UK yesterday asking about TBG, so I asked Larry Schulze about plans for Europe.

Well, guess what? Taylor Business Group is starting their first Business Improvement Group in Europe. Most partners are from the UK, but not all.

Just a couple hours after I post this, they're having their first conference call to discuss meeting date and place. Partners signed up so far are from
- Clifton, Bristol
- Bidford on Avon, Warwickshire
- St. Albans, Hertfordshire
- Netherlands
- Cardiff
- Roslin, Scotland
- Ashford, Surrey
- Kingston
- Knaresborough

Whether you're in the U.S. or Europe, visit www.taylorbusinessgroup.com to learn more and sign up.

While I found out about TBG from Autotask (thanks), you do not have to be an Autotask user to sign up, participate, or get value from this group.

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I posted a note about TBG in my Weekly SMB Email this week and I've been getting lots of unsolicited responses about them -- all positive.

If you want a direct-connect with TBG, contact:

Larry Schulze
Co-Founder and Principal Consultant
Office: (816) 737-3681


Comments welcome.


  1. Great post Karl and thanks for putting me in touch with Larry, as you say "as one door closes another one opens"!

  2. great Article Karl.. Will be sad to see you leave the world of HTG.. Your link "Sacremento's best I Company" is broken by the way.. Its pointing to http://www.kpenterprise.com/ (no s on the end of kpenterprises).. Thought I would let you know

  3. Link fixed.

    I'm having problems with links today.


  4. How much crossover is there between something like MSPU and TBG? I'm happy with my relationship with MSPU and have limited dollars to split between my business coach, MSPU and other continuing business education.

    I'm really interested in TBG (WAS interested in HTG but I use Autotask also) and am trying to keep education spending at reasonable levels.

  5. The Consultant: I think you summarized it best. If you're happy with MSPU, I wouldn't change.

    As for a comparison, I think they're two different animals. But to be honest, I haven't been a member of either. :-)

    MSPU provides a massive amount of education, best practices, and access to resources. To my knowledge they have not had a virtual board of directors.

    TBG (business improvement groups) are that virtual board of directors. On top of that they offer other coaching type services.

    When I had dinner with Josh from TBG a few weeks ago, one of my strong impressions is that it was like spending time with Erick Simpson. (That's a compliment to all involved.)


  6. Anonymous7:43 AM

    Hi all;

    Thanks for the compliments. And thanks Karl, for inviting me to comment on this post. You're right to note that MSP University is a completely different animal - from any other organization we've come across over the last 5 years of pioneering this business model.

    MSP University focuses on 360 degrees of IT Solutions and Managed Services business transformation for success in reducing costs, improving efficiencies and increasing profitability from an organizational, sales & marketing and service delivery perspective.

    We achieve this through several levels of membership, with our most effective members receiving access to our hundreds of training webinars, forms, tools and collateral, as well as all of our Pricing and Marketing calculators, books and audiobooks and IT Audio Sales Training course.

    We include Service Leadership financial benchmarking, Organizational Structure evaluation and in-depth member profiling in order to identify pain and prioritize areas to address through our CEO Task Execution Checklist. We work directly with our Members on a weekly or monthly basis to hold them accountable to task execution.

    In addition we conduct free 3-Day IT Solutions and Managed Services Sales & Marketing and Service Delivery Boot Camps quarterly, with our next one coming up beginning August 12th in Southern California.

    Sorry for the long post, but there is simply so much that differentiates us from any other resource in the industry...maybe the best way to gain a complete understanding is to join us on a live tour of our training portal and services. We schedule these several times a week at http://www.mspu.us/tours.

    Thanks again!

    Erick Simpson
    MSP University

  7. Thank you 6p00e008c3ab968834 -- IF that's your real name.



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