Monday, December 31, 2018

The Concept of "Team" in the Gig Economy

As the New Year rolls over to the new year, I am struck by the amazing team I work with.

I also had an amazing team ten years ago, but it was very different. Back then, my team consisted of twelve people and about half a million dollars in payroll. I had an office staff, technicians, graphics designer, dedicated programmer, and lots of administrative assistants.

Fifteen years before that, I managed a team of more than twenty-five people, broken into three primary responsibility roles. Each individual team consisted of specialists who excelled at one thing

Today I have one employee on payroll. My administrative assistants are outsourced. I work with two accountants, both outsourced. I have two web programmers and two graphics people - both outsourced. When needed, I hire specialty programmers, voice over talent, layout designers, and UI designers. And, of course, I outsource some instructors for our five-week classes.

Today my team is about . . . twelve people. But total expenses and payroll are under $50,000.

I also have a life coach, who doesn't "work for me" per se. But she helps me make good decisions.

Finally, I have three different unofficial advisory boards in the mastermind groups I belong to. These are all unpaid. But we help each other out, keep each other in line with our stated goals, and brainstorm about the future.

I loved the days when I saw my team every day. I loved walking into the office with a new scheme to change the business or develop a new product. Work would be delegated quickly and everyone buzzed around making stuff happen. And my team loved being my team. It was a great time.

Today I am probably more productive and certainly more "lean" than ever. Most members of my current team have never met each other in real life. In fact, there's a few *I've* never met in real life. But it works.

It's important to think of your team as a team - whether they're local or remote. You need to conceptualize them as a team in order to maintain a picture of the Big Picture. You also need to recognize that most members of your remote team don't see themselves that way. They see you as a client and only know your business in terms of your interaction with them.

You need this centralized vision in order to maintain your branding to the outside world. And choosing outsourced resources is just as important as choosing employees. You need to remember to hire based on your overall culture and fit with the branding you want the rest of the world to see.

I firmly believe that most IT consultants will find themselves down-sizing their teams while taking on more clients in the years ahead. We really are the masters of automation, if we choose to be.

If you haven't broken out of a business model that emerged fifty years ago, maybe 2019 is the year to consider how "else" you can run your business.


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Mark Your Calendar for My 10th Annual State of the Nation Address for SMB IT

Mark Your Calendar for My 10th Annual State of the Nation Address for SMB IT Professionals

January 16th, 2019
9:00 AM Pacific Time

Register here.
Free of course.

No politics. Just a quick look at 2018, 2019, and some advice for moving ahead.

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For those of you who missed the first nine years . . .

This is a webinar focused on YOU and on our industry.

I give my summary of the year just passed and my ideas for what we face in the year ahead.

After that, I present a 100% business-focused discussion of the challenges and opportunities in the year to come.

2018 was a great year for small business IT. On one hand, 2019 looks like it will start with some economic turbulence. On the other hand, there's a vast amount of opportunity in emerging technologies.

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.

I've mentioned in recent presentations that I wish was ten years old again. There's more opportunity in technology today than at any time in the last hundred years! To take advantage of it, you need to embrace some new business techniques and abandon some strategies that have been very successful in the past.

It's time to leave the past in the past.

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 2019!

Join Me!

10th Annual State of the Nation Address for SMB IT Professionals
January 16th, 2019
9:00 AM Pacific Time


Saturday, December 22, 2018

New 3-week Class: Tune Up Your Employee Onboarding Process

Employee Onboarding – Mini Class

Want a great way to kick off the new year? Tune up you employee onboarding process.

Many companies don’t have a formal employee onboarding process. Why do you need one? Well, for starters, it makes you look more professional to potential employees and new employees. It also gives them confidence that your company is legit. After all, if you fumble around and don’t seem to know what you’re doing, that might scare off a lot of good people.

We’re in an interesting environment right now. Almost any employee you hire will have come from another managed service business. They will probably know about ticketing, PSAs, remote monitoring, and even standard operating procedures. So if your onboarding process is sloppy or haphazard, you’ll have a tough time keeping new employees. Remember – first impressions are very powerful.

Most importantly, a good onboarding process helps you get the best out of your employee “investment.” It takes a lot of time and effort to hire the right person. You might as get your money’s worth.
A smooth onboarding will promote you company culture, build your team, and prepare your new employees to get to work faster.

And, let’s be honest, a simple checklist can go a long way to make sure you did everything the right way with regard to taxes, payroll, employment laws, and all the other “stuff” you need to take care of.
Even if you have some kind of employee onboarding process, it might be time for a tune-up. Join us for this three-session mini class that’s guaranteed to be full of tips and tricks you can put to work right away!

And of course we’ll answer all your questions.

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Tune Up Employee Onboarding Process – Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk
– Three Days: January 9, 23, 30 (2019)

– Note: No class January 16th due to my Annual State of the Nation address.

– All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific
– All classes are recorded
– Classes are generally 30-60 minutes

This class is FREE for Small Biz Thoughts Community members. Members: Go to the Classes section and check out the Tune Up Your YouTube mini-class. Follow instructions to register for the webinar portion of the class.

Join Me for one (or more) of the 2019 ChannelPro SMB Forums!

ChannelPro will hold events in FIVE cities next year. I plan to be at all of them.

A free, live event in a city near you!


Who Should Attend?  
  Local area IT integrators, consultants and Managed Service Providers

Why Attend?  
  The ChannelPro 2019 SMB Forum features an all-star cast of top industry experts, a unique interactive format that puts you in direct conversation with them, and a fast-paced, information-packed agenda covering topics you care about:

Sales Tip Shootout!—Which sales expert is the best of the best? Decide for yourself as three leading sales consultants vie for your votes while providing concrete advice on challenges that channel pros face every day, from landing appointments and overcoming objections to cross-selling services and beyond.

Peer to Peer: Winning in Cybersecurity—Join ChannelPro's Colleen Frye as she talks one-to-one with three of your channel pro peers about proven best practices for launching a security practice, selling security services, and more.

IoT Playbook: Getting Started in the Internet of Things—If you're like most channel pros, you know how big the Internet of Things will soon be but don't know how to make your way into that market. We've got the answers you're looking for!In these three fast and furious mini-sessions, IoT authority Benson Chan will offer actionable advice on what services to start with, the skills you'll need to deliver those services, and the most successful techniques for finding prospects and closing deals.

MSP Pain Point Clinic: Having trouble getting your pricing right, hiring good technicians, or getting your clients to pay on time? Managed services consultants Karl and Manuel Palachuk have the cures you need to those and other operational pain points. Join them as they help members of our audience tackle real-world business challenges live and on stage!

Hardware Tech Trends: Let ChannelPro's Matt Whitlock take you on tour of the latest trends in SMB hardware while you explore a selection of this year's hottest new laptops, tablets, and more.
Get Ready for Managed Everything—If endpoint management and cloud-based email are the only subscription-priced services you offer, you're missing out on a wide world of additional as-a-service recurring revenue opportunities. Our panel of experienced MSPs will prove it too in this fast-paced panel discussion of real-world opportunities in hardware-as-a-service, communications-as-a-service, disaster recovery-as-a-service, and other cloud and non-cloud solutions.


And more!

If you're looking to break into managed IT services, or to grow your IT business to the next level, this event is perfect for you. The event is free to IT pros, and you are encouraged to bring your staff with you so you can all benefit from the learning and networking during the event.

Reserve your seat today!

- March 6 in Atlanta

- May 2 in Chicago

- September 5 in San Jose

- October 3 in Toronto

November 6 in Newark
My brother and I are planning a really fun and educational presentation. Join us!


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Binge Watch: 6-Episode Series on Making More Money with Take Control

Well, another big project is "in the can" as we posted the final video podcast in a series today.

Today's podcast over at SMB Community Podcast is: Go To Market with Remote Support Service.

This SMB Community Podcast is the sixth in a six-part series on improving your business and making more money with SolarWinds MSP's "Take Control" product, featuring Dave Sobel, Senior Director of MSP Evangelism at SolarWinds MSP.

Dave makes an excellent point that you can move away from fear-based selling that is so common with security products. With Take Control, you can engage clients and prospects with a product that they’ll want to buy. As Dave says, no one likes to be sold, but people love to buy! Show them a cool tool that they will want to have in their company. It’s a great way to get started with SolarWinds Take Control!

If you haven’t seen the entire six-part series, you can binge watch today at SMB Community Podcast.

Podcasts in this series include:

1. What to Look for In a Remote Support Tool

2. Making Money – Break Fix vs. Managed Services

3. Implementing Your Cloud Services Bundle

4. Take Control – A New Hope for Security

5. Manage the Customer Experience/Manage the Customer Relationship

6. Remote Control as the Ultimate Sales Tool


ASCII Announces Keynote Speakers and Content for 2019 ASCII IT Success Summits


My friends at ASCII asked me to pass this along.

Note: All of these event dates are in my weekly newsletter calendar. Now you know who the speakers are:

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Keynote Speakers and Content Announced for 2019 ASCII IT Success Summits

Bethesda, Maryland – December 20, 2018 -- The ASCII Group, the leading and oldest membership-based community of independent North American MSPs, VARs and solution providers, is pleased to announce the line-up of speakers for its 2019 North American ASCII IT Success Summits. The agenda for the Summits reflects an enhanced focus on education, providing attendees with strategies and best practices on how to grow their IT companies while best servicing their customer base. The events will be highlighted by more MSP-led education sessions and speakers in 2019, bringing even more value to attendees.

Keynote Speaker - Adam Steltzner, Technology Is Not the Obstacle: Described as “Einstein brilliance meets Johnny Cash cool”, Adam Steltzner helps companies harness the power of curiosity to spark innovation and collaborative leadership across their entire organization. From aspiring rock star going nowhere fast to a history-making PhD rocket scientist, Adam Steltzner is recognized as one of NASA’s leading – and most unique – innovators. For nearly a decade, Adam led and inspired the breakthrough team that invented the ingenious “sky crane” landing system that so spectacularly landed the Mars Rover, Curiosity, on the Martian surface 300,000,000 miles from Earth in 2012. Next, Adam will lead NASA’s Mars 2020 Project that will gather core samples of Mars for scientific discovery.

Additional MSP peer education speakers include:
Leo Bletnitsky, LBA Networking - MSP Merger Concerns? Learn What NOT to Do!
Mergers and acquisitions are one way to fuel growth but you need to tread lightly. Much of what is being touted when evaluating partnerships is numbers, but there is so much more to it. This session will detail specific questions you need to ask as part of any merger or acquisition evaluation. Leo has been involved in two mergers in his career – one was incredibly successful and the other failed miserably. With nearly 25 years in the IT industry, the lessons learned will certainly help your next business evaluation.

Robert Boles, BLOKWORX - Security Business Service Transformation
Our industry continually adapts, and as we have evolved into a managed services provider role, the ability for each of us to offer deeper levels of service as it relates to cyber-security will become the standard in the near future. How can MSPs make this transition into a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) role and effectively present the value to their clients. With over 20 years in providing IT services, fellow member, Robert Boles has successfully made this business transformation.  This session will help define, deliver and breakdown different strategies on how MSPs can successfully make this transition.

Rayanne Buchianico, ABC Solutions - Key Financial Red Flags MSPs Miss
Rayanne has been working with MSPs for over 15 years, helping them gain better clarity on their finances. With so many moving parts and constant change in our industry, it’s hard for MSPs to stay focused on the financial side of their businesses. By leveraging key MSP “sanity check points”, you can quickly see if there is a problem that needs investigating in your business. The session will help you better understand how balance sheet accounts work with the P&L and provide valuable insight into your business and key metrics you should be tracking.

Angel Rojas, DataCorps Technology Solutions - Approaching the Home Services Market: HVAC/Plumbing/Electrical

With a US market size of $60 billion, there is a healthy amount of money to be made in this vertical. In this session, we’ll cover the keys to serving the Home Services Market. It might seem trivial, but HVAC, plumbing and electrical companies have unique needs that, if not understood ahead of time, will absolutely kill the deal after the fact. When approaching this market, you need to be prepared and understand what is unique about it. DataCorps has had great success with the home services vertical and enjoys a niche in this industry that is made up of excellent, great-fit, value-oriented clients.

The Success Summits are the leading conference in the channel, and bring together over 1,500 IT solution providers and MSPs, innovative technology vendors, and key industry thought leaders in a two-day format. With nine events across the U.S. and Canada, the series will focus on areas that will help MSPs advance and move their businesses forward through the power of community and its offerings.

“As ASCII celebrates its 35th anniversary, we are proud to provide an environment where MSPs can learn from each other, discover new ways to leverage technology, and network with leading channel vendors,” said Jerry Koutavas, President, The ASCII Group.  “Members leave the events with new ideas to grow their business and new partnerships with today's top vendors.”

The Summit series is designed for qualified industry IT professionals, and is targeted towards those looking to increase revenue and enhance their current business model. MSPs and solution providers interested in attending the Summits can visit

For more information, follow ASCII on Twitter @asciigroup and #ASCIISUCCESS.

About The ASCII Group, Inc:

The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, VARs and solution providers. The group has over 1,300 members located throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national and international reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more.  ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs and VARs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit



Tuesday, December 18, 2018

All new MSP Toolkit simplifies security awareness program delivery for ASCII members

My friends over at ASCII sent this press release and asked me to pass it on.

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The ASCII Group and InfoSec Institute Partner to Provide Members Essential Business Tools
All new MSP Toolkit simplifies security awareness program delivery for ASCII members

MADISON, Wis., Dec. 14, 2018 - Managed service providers (MSPs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs) can now easily and efficiently administer security awareness training for their clients thanks to a new MSP Toolkit developed by InfoSec Institute.

InfoSec Institute, the leading provider of information security education and workforce security awareness solutions, today announces a partnership with The ASCII Group, offering a tailor-made MSP Toolkit for ASCII MSP members seeking an efficient way to manage their clients’ security awareness training needs.

The MSP Toolkit is built upon InfoSec Institute’s SecurityIQ platform. SecurityIQ makes it easy to provide security awareness training that engages employees and motivates them to detect, avoid and report security threats like phishing.

“It speaks volumes when a company such as Infosec Institute works hand-in-hand with the ASCII MSP community to design necessary resources,” said Jerry Koutavas, president at The ASCII Group. “The MSP Toolkit incorporates the best practices and implementation strategies our members are seeking. This is a welcome addition to an already strong offering by the company and its ability to help MSPs in the ongoing battle against the fraudulent practice of phishing.“

The MSP Toolkit features:

  • Clear step-by-step guidance illustrating critical steps and recommended best practices for implementing the process. 
  • Automation tools equipping MSPs with easy-to-build security awareness training programs to deliver the right content to the right learner at the right time.
  • Delegated administration enabling centralized management of multiple clients’ security awareness programs. 
  • Automatic report generation for tracking and sharing training performance.  
  • Customizable learning experiences using more than 300 modules, including critical training in phishing, suspicious hosts, ransomware and password security.

“ASCII is the trusted leader in the IT and security MSP community, and we’re thrilled to offer our MSP Toolkit to its more than 1,300 members,” said Mike Nobers, director of Global Channel Sales for InfoSec Institute. “Our goal when developing the MSP toolkit was to provide our partners guidance on creating a great security awareness program and delivering it efficiently and effectively with our platform.”

ASCII members already using the toolkit give it positive reviews.

“Our partnership with InfoSec Institute has been invaluable in helping us deliver accessible, engaging and effective cybersecurity awareness education to our clients. The MSP Toolkit allows us to use the SecurityIQ training platform to its fullest potential,” said Vanessa Reimer, manager of Corporate Administration and Communications at CarefreeIT.

“We have a trusted partner in the education space for technical training. The training is well-received by our clients and strikes the right balance of engaging and educational. It provides a well-rounded offering in terms of cybersecurity services. The MSP Toolkit provides a structured method of engaging with our clients and takes the guess out of proper process and procedure,” said William Chan, founder and president of Syzygy 3, Inc.

Learn more about InfoSec Institute’s MSP Toolkit

InfoSec Institute recently announced Gartner positioned it as a Challenger in the 2018 Magic Quadrant for Security Awareness Computer-Based Training. Additionally, the company is also recognized as a 2018 Best Security Awareness Computer-Based Training as Reviewed by Customers.


About InfoSec Institute

InfoSec Institute fortifies organizations and their employees against security threats with award-winning security and privacy education. Recognizing cybersecurity is everyone’s job, we provide skills development and certification training for IT and security professionals while building the entire workforce security aptitude with awareness training and phishing simulations. InfoSec Institute is also a Training Industry “Top 20 IT Training Company” and the Security Training & Education Program Gold Winner in Info Security Products Guide’s Global Excellence Awards.

About ASCII Group, Inc.

The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, VARs and solution providers. The group has over 1,300 members located throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more. ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs and VARs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit

Gartner Disclaimers

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings, and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Gartner or its affiliates.

About Gartner Peer Insights 

Peer Insights is an online platform of ratings and reviews of IT software and services that are written and read by IT professionals and technology decision-makers. The goal is to help IT leaders make more insightful purchase decisions and help technology providers improve their products by receiving objective, unbiased feedback from their customers. Gartner Peer Insights includes more than 70,000 verified reviews in more than 200 markets. For more information, please visit

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Channel Partners CPExpo - Registration Open for April 2019

Got a memo today.

The last Channel Company event ended this week. So it's time to register for 2019!

I've registered already. Hope to see you there.

- - - - -

Here's the 411:

April 9-12, 2019
Mandalay Bay
Las Vegas


What to Expect at #CPExpo 2019

We're heading to Mandalay Bay this Spring with one goal in mind — help you drive your business forward. To do so, we've packed the agenda with opportunities for you to network with peers, learn from the best in biz and explore the hottest innovations.

Here's what's happening April 9-12 in Las Vegas...

3-day Expo Filled With 275+ Key Vendors

Get down to business with top suppliers, master agents and distributors including Avaya, CallTower, Fuze, Jive Communications, Netsapiens, Tech Data, Telarus and Verizon. VIEW THE FULL LIST

Four In-Depth Conference Tracks

Continued education is key to success. What you've learned in the past isn't always relevant in the future. This year's conference focuses on business strategy, cloud and colo, marketing and technology and revenue and supplier portfolio. EXPLORE SESSIONS

Multiple Networking Opps

It's the #1 reason you come to #CPExpo, so we have events including: Opening Reception, Alliance of Channel Women Networking Event, Millennial Meetup, First-Time Attendee Reception and you can count on lots of after-hours parties, too! VIEW THE AGENDA

100+ Channel Experts and Leaders

We're bringing you some of the top-rated experts in the industry including IDC Rearch Fellow's Michelle Bailey, Turbonomic's Mor Cohen and Bowman William's John Davenjay. SPEAKERS LIST

Business Success Symposium

It's time to invest in yourself and your employees. Why? Because success is a team effort. Our pre-con equips your team with the tools it needs to seize new opportunities.

Want in on the action? Register today to join 6,200+ channel pros and to take advantage of best rates.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

New Podcast: Building Customer Service Excellence in Your RMM

This morning I posted a new SMB Community Podcast with Dave Sobel, Senior Director of MSP Evangelism at SolarWinds MSP. It's the fifth installment in a six-part series entitled Remote Control Deep Dive: Build and Grow Your Business.

In the series, we're talking about how to get the most out of your remote control tools - and make more money.

In this episode, we touch on many features of the Take Control tool designed to help you improve and manage the Customer Experience with your technology consulting business. Some of these features are built in (and configurable/customizable). Others come into play as a result of agreements or policy decisions you make with the client.

As we mentioned in another podcast, you can use the Take Control app to help the client create terms of service. This is great for setting expectations with your primary contact as well as with end users.

Plus lots more good information.

Available as either a video or audio download.

Check it out today at or on iTunes. Just look for SMB Community Podcast.

The topics in this podcast series include:

- What to Look for In a Remote Support Tool
- Making Money - Break Fix vs. Managed Services
- Implementing Your Cloud Services Bundle
- Remote Control – A New Hope for Security
- Manage the Customer Experience/Manage the Customer Relationship
- Remote Control as the Ultimate Sales Tool

Tune in next Thursday for Episode Six . . . Remote Control as the Ultimate Sales Tool.


Report from NexGen Conference and Expo - with HarryBBB

NexGen is always a great event. And for the last two years, it's been the last big event of the year.

My overall feeling about this event was that it was relaxed. Vendors were relaxed because the next thing they get to do is go home and enjoy the holidays. And pretty much the same thing was true for attendees.

The keynote speaker, Nancy Giordano, was excellent. She have a lot of great information about newer technologies and trends. Maybe I enjoyed it a lot because I've been preaching this message for a year now. The future is coming - fast - and you better be prepared for it.

And of course that's the actual focus of of the NexGen conference and expo.

Harry Brelsford and I managed to take half an hour to participate in a discussion about future technologies, the flow of business, SOPs, and some tips about 2019 for your small business IT consulting. View the program on YouTube.

The recording here is from the folks at Northwest Digital News, Kevin Hunter and Kyle Torgerson.

I hope you'll find it interesting. And I think it's a really good fit with the forward-looking nature of the NexGen conference.

If you want to keep up on events at the Channel Company, follow this link:

Note that the 2019 events calendar is on a link there. Also note that NexGen is moving to October in 2019. Get on their list and don't miss it!


Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Great Marketing Info: Tune Up Your YouTube Channel!

Starts Thursday. FREE to Small Biz Thoughts Community members.
Only $99 for others.

Introducing the all new
Tune Up Your YouTube Channel – 3-Week Mini Class.

Following up on the very popular mini-course on maximizing your Client Roadmap Process, this class is focused entirely on using YouTube effectively.

If you don’t have a YouTube channel, we’ll show you how to set it up right. We’ll talk about the graphic sizes you need for background images, how to set up playlists, and much more.

Most people don’t take advantage of all the features of YouTube, and therefore don’t get the great results they should. We’ll walk you through the process of posting your videos so you maximize visual appeal, keywords, and links back to your web site or other social media. With a checklist, of course!

If you don’t post a lot of videos, that’s okay. I'll give you a checklist for posting so you don’t forget to take advantage of all the options.

We will also walk you through the process of telling Google (YouTube’s owner) which Internet properties are yours so that you can link to them from your YouTube channel.

Finally, we’ll walk you through the process of using a video in your Google advertising. This boosts your video performance dramatically at almost no cost. And of course we’ll answer all your questions.

Three Days. All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific
  • December 6
  • December 13
  • December 20

This class is FREE for Small Biz Thoughts Community members. Members: Go to the Classes section and check out the Tune Up Your YouTube mini-class. Follow instructions to register for the webinar portion of the class.


Free Webinar: Five Greatest Challenges of Larger MSPs and Growing MSPs

Please check out my next FREE Webinar:

The Five Greatest Challenges of Larger MSPs and Growing MSPs

Wednesday, December 19th
9:00 AM Pacific / Noon Eastern

Most small business start out with one or two people and often stay at the one-two-three level for many years. But we've seen a great deal of growth among IT providers in the last few years.

As more and more MSPs grow their revenues to $1 million, $2 million, $5 million, and more, they also face some major challenges.

Join me for a look at the Five Greatest Challenges faced by growing MSPs. December 19th.

I've worked directly with dozens of IT companies, and indirectly with hundreds more. I've managed teams with millions in payroll. And I've seen the problems, challenges, and mistakes that keep them from achieving their best results. Plus, I've collected data on the challenges of thousands of MSPs worldwide.

I grew my first MSP business to just about one million ($960,000 revenue to be exact) with twelve employees before I sold it.

The largest team I've worked with was at HP's Roseville, CA plant. I managed the internal software support team there. I had 25 technicians on my team. We supported 5,000 desktops with a total of about 7,000 machines.

And as a coach I've worked with companies ranging from very small to just over fifty employees. I've helped companies grow significantly. And I've refused to work with a lot of companies that don't have what it takes to grow their businesses they way they say they want to.

The point is: I have experience working with IT consulting businesses of all sizes. And I can tell you, there are some challenges common to businesses that start to grow. You are familiar with your own challenges, but might be wondering whether everyone else goes through the same thing - And how to get through to the other side.

Join me for a look at the challenges of growing your IT company beyond the invisible (psychological) barriers at $1 million, $2 million, $5 million, $10 million, and beyond.

Most companies above $1 million/year in revenue are a lot less profitable than they should be. But that's not one of the five big challenges! It's just a result.

Join me to learn the five biggest challenges of growing your business - and the five changes that will get you un-stuck.

Sign up today and join me live on December 19th.

Note: Let me fast-forward to the last slide. I'm not trying to sell you coaching. I probably don't want to be your coach. I only take 1-2 coaching clients per year. I can refer you to a coach. But it's not me.

I just want to help you to become even more successful so you'll tell everyone else to buy all my books, take all my classes, and join my community.

-- -- --
Wednesday, December 19th
9:00 AM Pacific / Noon Eastern

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Sunday, December 02, 2018

ALL Managed Services Operations Manual Books Now Available in the Community


It's finally done. I just posted Volume Four of the Managed Services Operations Manual in the Small Biz Thoughts Community. This is the audio book version.

That means you can download the entire 4-volume set in the SOP series as audio books.

. . . And that takes us to more than a dozen books you can download as audio programs or PDFs.

The audio programs each include the related checklists, SOPs, and other downloads that you would get if you purchased the books separately.

- - - - -

Please Note: I really want people to join the Community so they can interact, ask questions, attend classes, etc. But I know that some people just want to make sure they will get their money's worth.

Well . . . downloads in the Community now exceed $4,500 . . . and will soon top $5,000.

And we're not stopping. The web site is growing and growing. Traffic is skyrocketing. And Ruben and I are monitoring to make sure it all keeps working. So far, things are smooth.

If you're still unsure about the SBT Community, click this button to watch the intro videos:

I also have a bunch of Community videos on my YouTube Channel at

Membership has really started to grow. Stay tuned for announcements about some major changes coming soon. I'll be launching a quick monthly newsletter in the next week. There you can learn about the special Community Members Only deals for 2019.

Most of the "deals" really consist of "Available to members at no additional charge." As membership grows, we can afford to shift the business model to be more and more focused on providing additional benefits.

Note to Members:

Within the Karl's Korner forum, there are codes to get 20% off anything you need at SMB Books. And a code to get a massive discount on the 5-week classes.

But remember that 100% of everything you find in the Community can be downloaded at no additional charge.

Dig in and grow your business today!


Saturday, December 01, 2018

Make Someone's Life Healthier - Join Small Biz Thoughts

For just over a year now, we have been making regular contributions to provide clean drinking water to families in Cambodia. It's amazing what you can do for a few pennies here and there. We provide these contributions through a program called B1G1 - Buy One Give One.

As of December, we are adding another "giving" option. Whenever someone joins the Small Biz Thoughts Community, we are donating money to feed orphaned children in Thailand. Specifically, we'll donate enough for 50 meals.

We also commit to a minimum of 60 meals per month. You can see our giving stories at B1G1 by clicking in on the image. We also display them to the right on our blog site. As you can see, we have over 100,000 giving "impacts" in the last 15 months or so.

In the big picture, we are all one world. And I think we need to make it better in the ways we can.

If you want to contribute more to these causes, or see how you can get involved with B1G1, please follow that link.

. . . And if you want to join the Small Biz Thoughts Community - we'd love to have you!