"Thank you for having us, we really appreciate all the information you provided us definitely planning on utilizing the information as soon as we get back into town. , looking forward to attending more of your shows.Selling the first business (KPEnterprises) had a lot to do with a personal "perfect storm" involving the recession and a divorce. My service manager, Mike, was spectacular at executing my SOPs as outlined in my books. He bought the company (now America's Tech Support) and kept me on as a coach/adviser/manager/etc. I did a lot of client relationship work, ran some major projects, and helped with client roadmap meetings.
Just out of curiosity; you mention you sold your manage service company twice, Why would you sell a business that is making you money and then start all over again?"
When Mike sold the business two years later, I no longer had any connection to it. Many former clients contacted me for help. Some literally begged me to come back. When one of them had a huge system-wide failure due to firewall update, I jumped in to help.
That's when I realized that I could create an even MORE profitable business. All I had to do was wait until my absolute "A" clients from back in the day contacted me. One by one I took on a handful of truly perfect clients. They all took my advice, spent whatever I asked them to spend, trusted me, held roadmap meetings, paid their bills on time, and so forth.
I had one part-time tech and an administrative assistant who split time between that business and Great Little Book, my publishing business. All in all, it was a pretty sweet operation. We operated out of my house and it was a pretty easy, low-maintenance company.
But . . . I realized that I was not making the kind of progress I wanted to make on publishing new books. And I wanted to hit the road almost non-stop in 2017. So, with heavy heart, I decided to give up being a managed service provider (or working in a MS business).
My friend Tom bought the business and I introduced him around. He kept me around as extra help on an "as needed" basis. I've been called into a couple strategy meetings. But he's doing a great job taking care of my clients.
I ended December 2016 with a week in Hawaii with my daughter. I started January 2017 with a week in Key West. Then I hit the road for the big 2017 SMB Roadshow. In addition to speaking in almost three dozen cities, I managed to put out two books last year.
If I can just take time to sit at my keyboard, I hope to have at least one or two new books out this year. I have five books in the works right now (ALL new books - not second or third editions). I love writing and I am worried that I'll get old and die before I finish I the books I need to get out of my head.
I hope that answers the question.
Side note: I have a secret master plan that has been brewing for years. Step One was to create the four-volume set of SOPs. Step Two was to update the Service Agreements book as well as Managed Services in a Month. With those books all out, I felt I had a large enough "body" of work to make Step Three a reality.
Ruben, my web guy, is actively working on Step Three. It's been years in the making, so I'm going to be patient enough to make sure it's right before I let anyone see it.
More questions welcome.
Great post and informative as always! I am shoestringjng a MSP after being laid off recently and had a question; how did you hire a part time employee? I have concerns about handling customers, how was your support structured?ReplyDelete
Thanks in advance!
Thanks Matthew. As for hiring a part timer, I put out an ad on Craigslist. See http://blog.smallbizthoughts.com/2010/09/hacking-craigslist-for-job-postings.html.ReplyDelete
If you have the flexibility to hire someone hourly, that's the best scenario. But then really use them as much as you can. It frees up your time to make more sales and work ON your business.
I'm not sure what you mean specifically about handling customers and how support is structured. We introduce the new employee to clients and train them on our processes and procedures. Just like a franchise, we try to deliver our "brand" of tech support.