Thursday, March 28, 2019

Erick Simpson's Best Books and Training - Now at SMB Books!

I am extremely pleased to announce that we have made a deal with Erick Simpson - one of the founders of the Managed Services business model - to distribute his best books and training materials over at SMB Books.

In fact, we have a special section just for Erick's Stuff!

AND we've got a special new price. Each of these books is currently available from us at only $39.95. And the bundle of all four is only $139.95!

Here's what we've got:

Guide to a Successful Managed Services Practice - What Every SMB IT Service Provider Should Know

The Guide to a Successful Managed Services Practice applies some of the most innovative and highly effective Managed Services techniques ever developed, and proven to increase long-term predictable revenue, thereby increasing an IT Organization's value. Leverage Erick Simpson's successful Managed Services concepts.

Best I.T. Sales & Marketing Book Ever! - Selling and Marketing Managed Services

Following up on the success of The Guide to a Successful Managed Services Practice - What Every SMB IT Service Provider Should Know...; the definitive book on transitioning a reactive IT business model to proactively-delivered Managed Services, Erick Simpson's The Best I.T. Sales & Marketing BOOK EVER! focuses squarely on one of the most challenging aspects of running a successful I.T. practice - growing through effective sales and marketing.

Best I.T. Service Delivery Book Ever! Hardware Warranty, Break-Fix, Professional and Managed Services

The third publication in Erick Simpson's best-selling Managed Services Series, The Best I.T. Service Delivery BOOK EVER! covers all aspects of delivering I.T. and technical services to end-customers through 4 types of service delivery models Hardware Warranty, Break-Fix, Professional and Managed Services. This comprehensive resource details best practices for service delivery, including a description of each service model and strategies for maintaining or maximizing each model, as well as migrating from one service model to another.

Best NOC and Service Desk Operations BOOK EVER! For Managed Services

The Best NOC and Service Desk Operations BOOK EVER! reveals how to build, staff and maintain a NOC and Service Desk effectively and profitably, along with best practices and techniques to increase efficiencies and net profits for these critical business service delivery business units.

Erick Simpson is the co-founder of one of the first "Pure Play" MSPs in the industry, and creator of the MSP Mastered™ Methodology for Managed Services business performance improvement.

He is a strategic technology business growth and transformation specialist and one of the most prolific, recognized and sought-after business improvement and transformation experts, authors and speakers in the industry.

Erick has contributed to numerous industry publications and events and authored over 40 business improvement best practice guides and 4 best-selling books.

With over 30 years of experience in the IT industry as an Enterprise CIO, MSP, Strategic Coach and
Consultant, Erick is a Business Process Improvement Expert with hundreds of successful IT Solution
Provider, MSP, Cloud and Security practice business transformation consulting engagement outcomes.

Visit the Erick Simpson Page at Small Biz Thoughts!

And learn more about Erick and his services at


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Join me at Sherweb Accelerate 2019 - October 10-11

Just got an email announcing Accelerate 2019. Here's the skinny:

Are you looking for new and competitive ways to grow your cloud business? Join us at ACCELERATE 2019, SherWeb’s annual cloud summit. This two-day event is being held on October 10-11, 2019 at the DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel in downtown Montreal.

5 Reasons to Attend:

• Hear key thought leaders, business and IT professionals share their industry insights

• Dive deep into sales and marketing strategies, emerging trends and challenges shaping the IT industry

• Explore IaaS, UCaaS, Cloud PBX, Office 365 bundling and more, and learn how to build your best offer around your managed services

• Expand your business network and go one-on-one with SherWeb experts

• Have fun in the beautiful city of Montreal

This is where you want to be for meaningful learning, networking and growth.

Register before May 17 and save $400 on your registration fees!

The SherWeb Cloud Summit is open to all, whether you are a SherWeb partner or not.

Official Site:


Monday, March 25, 2019

New Mini Class April 10th: Build an Excellent Client Onboarding Process

3-part mini class: Build an Excellent Client Onboarding Process

The 3-part mini classes over at Small Biz Thoughts have been very popular. In fact, the most popular so far has been on building a great employee onboarding process. So I thought perhaps you'd love one on creating a great Client Onboarding Process.

As always, this class is 100% FREE to Small Biz Thoughts Community Members and only $99 for non-members.

What could be better than adding a new client? Doing it consistently the same every time, building your culture, and setting a very high standard for your new relationship! That's what an onboarding process does for your company.

Any of us can set up a new workstation - but we would each do it a little differently. In the same way, each of us can onboard a new client a little differently from the rest of us. The problem is that we sometimes set up our own clients differently each time.

We don't control the experience.

That means we don't control the effect of a new client on our culture, nor the client experience and expectations going forward. If you want to create consistent high quality, a process is the answer! You can't control people, but you can control your processes.

Class includes a detailed Client Onboarding Checklist that you can customize for your clients and your business.

– – –

Client Onboarding Process Class – Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk

– Three Days: April 10, 17, 24

– All classes are recorded
– All classes start at 9:00 AM Pacific
– Classes are generally 30-60 minutes
– Includes a GREAT Client Onboarding Checklist for Managed Services, Cloud Services, or Break/Fix

Register Now - only $99

This class is FREE for Small Biz Thoughts Community. Community members.

$99 for non-members.

Members: Click Here to Register Free

Non-Members: Add this item to your cart.

Note: This class is only $99 here. 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. More info here:


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Webinar: How to Thrive Amid the M&A Frenzy

I am VERY excited about this webinar (and whitepaper) in association with IT Glue.

March 28th
9AM Pacific / 12 Noon Eastern.

Register Now

How does the current merger and acquisition (M&A) frenzy affect your business? Regardless of which side of the action you’re on, there are various opportunities at hand for you to take advantage of in order to build a thriving business.

To learn how you can avoid getting caught up in market pressures, join our webinar featuring IT Glue’s VP of Product, Luis Giraldo, and me. This is your opportunity to gain a new perspective on M&A, alongside techniques and strategies for running an efficient business regardless of what your competitors are up to.

Register to tune in live!

(Or to get the recording.)

Bonus: Attend the webinar LIVE to gain exclusive access to the official M&A Frenzy Whitepaper.

- - - - -

Are you interested in being a buyer? A seller? Just staying out of the way and focusing on your business? Whichever you choose, we think you'll love this webinar. We cover what goes on in an M&A deal, and how it affects you - even if you're just trying to survive during this period of "frenzy."

During this webinar we’ll tackle:

  • M&A is hot! 
  • What exactly does that mean for your MSP?
  • Opportunities you might be missing due to the M&A frenzy
  • Other means of driving profit: did you know documentation is profitable?
  • How to compete when some companies are not trying to make a profit
  • Survival techniques (SOPs and Culture)

Plus lots of time for Q&A.

Register Now - Free


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A Note to Our Friends in the UK and EU about Brexit and Our Supply Chain

I feel absurdly "corporate" having to write this notice. I will repeat it in my newsletter.

This note applies to all our our friends in the European Union and, to a lesser extent, the UK.

If the British Parliament does nothing, Britain will "crash out" of the EU on March 31st. As a result, our printers and shippers will be governed (to the best of our knowledge) by the trade rules of the World Trade Organisation.

Of course, any agreements or individual rules or laws by any affected nation will supersede the WTO rules. Right now, we are proceeding as if there will be no change and that Britain will Brexit with a crash.

To the best of our knowledge, here's how Brexit will affect book purchases from Small Biz Thoughts and SMB Books (

If you are in the UK:

- If you order directly from us, we will print books in England and ship them within England. We do not know how shipping prices will be affected, but book delivery will continue as normal. Expect delays at least through the end of April.

- If you order from Amazon or other online stores: You should see no changes, although there may be delays as Amazon and others determine their supply chain changes. Our best guess is that book delivery will continue as normal.  Expect delays at least through the end of April.

If you are in the rest of the EU:

- If you order directly from us, we will print books in Germany and ship them within the EU. We do not know how shipping prices will be affected, but book delivery will continue as normal. Expect delays at least through the end of April.

- If you order from Amazon or other online stores: You should see no changes, although there may be delays as Amazon and others determine their supply chain changes. Our best guess is that book delivery will continue as normal. Expect delays at least through the end of April.

Supply Chain Note

Wherever books are printed, our attempt will always be to minimize taxes and import fees. Having said that, paper, ink, glue, and other materials related to book production may cross international boundaries more than once in the production of books.

As a result, the cost of production will be affected. Supply chains may move, affecting costs again. In the best case scenario, we expect the changes to come in waves as various pieces of the supply chain figure out the best processes for supplying quality merchandise at a reasonable price.

We are in the odd position of having no control over any piece of the production except the final cost. So . . .

We Are Freezing Prices

We will probably lose money on certain purchases during the transition to a more stable business environment, but we simply cannot change prices every week in response to whatever is going on in the market. 

Therefore, we are freezing prices on all books in the EU and UK until everything settles down. I expect this will be at least four or five months. 

Once we believe things have settled down and we know what our new cost of production and shipping will be, we will adjust prices. In a perfect world, they will stay the same. But I certainly can't promise that.

Note also that we have no control over Amazon's pricing or shipping policies. Freezing our pricing at the print level affects one piece of their pricing model. Everything else is in just as much flux as the rest of the supply chain.

Consider an E-Book

Whether it's Kindle, Audible, or a PDF from our web site, please consider an electronic version of the book. While some taxes for online purchase might change, the product will remain exactly the same, and delivery will continue to be instantaneous.

As always, I thank you for your support over the years. This is just another little bump along the way.

If I can ever be of assistance, please let me know.

Cheers to all!
- Karl W. Palachuk
- President, Great Little Book Publishing Co., Inc. 
   dba Small Biz Thoughts


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Never Lose Money on a Project Again - Class Starts March 19th

Highly Successful Project Management

Taught by Karl W. Palachuk, Author and Coach

- Five Tuesdays - March 19 - April 16, 2019 -- Register Now!

- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

This course will cover the most important aspects of project management for small business. It is intended for computer consultants, VARs, and managed service providers. Whether you sell projects on a Time-and-Materials basis or flat fee, it is critical to manage them successfully. Successful projects are more than simply profitable. Successful projects make you look good. They make the client more productive and potentially more profitable. They help you build a positive relationship.

Tuition includes the book in PDF format along with all associated downloads.

This course is intended for consultants who are new to project management as well as those who have been running projects for years and would like to take a serious step up to a the next level of professionalism and profitability.

This is an intensive webinar course over a five week period. All assignments are voluntary, of course. But if you want feedback on assignments, please complete assignments during this course and email them to the instructor.

Topics to be presented include:

  • Different kinds of project management; What’s best for this job?
  • Tools to Use for managing your projects
  • Documentation at all stages
  •  - Pre-Discovery Process
  •  - The Discovery Process
  •  - Documentation and Communication
  • After the Project
  • Checklists of all kinds
  • Project Planning, Quoting, and Selling
  • Why Projects Go Wrong
  • The Scope is Everything
  • Closed Loop Project Management
  • How an Ant Eats an Elephant
  • Managing Projects in Your PSA
  • Microsoft Project
  • Client Training
  • The Evaluation Process
  • Managing Time / Managing Employees
  • Outsourcing Options
  • Creating Repeatable, Successful Projects
  • Building an Action Plan that works

Overview of the Course

  • Week One:     Introduction / Setting the Stage
  • Week Two:     Project Planning, Quoting, Selling
  • Week Three:   Closed Loop Execution
  • Week Four:     Repeatable Success
  • Week Five:      Implementing Your PM Process

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.

Only $259

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 calls will be recorded and made available to paid attendees only.
  • All calls start at 9:00 AM Pacific Time

Questions? Email 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Six-Part Video Series - Tune Up Your Service Board

Just finished posting part six of a six-part series on tuning up your service board.

Here's a quick summary:

Part 1 = How Tickets Get Into the System

Part 2 = Creating the Most Useful View of Your Board

Part 3 = The Flow of Tickets Based on Statuses

Part 4 = How to Make Sure Tickets Don't Get Lost

Part 5 = Make Sure Ticket Are Closed - Properly

Part 6 = Once Your Board is Set up Properly, You Need 
Processes to Keep it Working

Theoretically, YouTube will play each of these in order if you start with the first one. But I can't guarantee what they do, so here's the whole series you can click on individually.

Many people buy a service board and then don't get the amazing value they could - and often for some very simple reasons. They might have too many statuses to choose from, the flow of tickets through their system is poorly defined, or they don't have good practices to make sure it all works properly.

No software will make your company run more smoothly unless you configure it, fine-tune it, and keep an eye on your processes. So don't just invest in the software: Invest in your process as well.

Video #1:

As always, feedback is welcome.


Friday, March 01, 2019

Move Yourself and Your Clients to Managed Service – 3 Week Mini Class

This post is for everyone who is having trouble getting your break/fix clients over to managed service.

I did a webinar yesterday with Zyxel and LOTS of people had questions, including several on this exact question. How do I get my break/fix client to sign a managed service contract??? 

I also just completed a "Community Meeting" in my membership community last week in which we spent time on this very topic.

So I've decided to create a 3-part mini class on moving YOU and your clients to managed services. This class is 100% focused on getting you and your clients into the managed service model.

Please note: You have to change. You can't ask your client to change but keep giving them old stuff. If they're happy now, why would they change?

There are several reasons that B/F clients don't want to sign your managed service deal.

First of all, there are many myths about managed services. What it is. What it means. What's included. etc.

Second, many IT consultants aren’t really offering managed services. They are trying to shift the invoicing model without shifting the business model.

And third, it’s almost impossible to move clients directly from break/fix to managed services.

There are lots of smaller reasons. But those are the main ones.

In this class, we will:
  • Debunk the myths of break/fix and managed services
  • Show you (and help you calculate for yourself) why break fix will keep you struggling
  • Define very clearly what we mean by managed services
  • Lay out a maintenance program that makes sense to B/F clients
  • Show you the “Managed Services Two-Step” that moves YOU from B/F to to managed services
  • Show you the “Managed Services Two-Step” that moves your clients from B/F to managed services
And of course, we’ll have homework that will help you move in the right direction AND lots of time for questions.

– – –

B/F to MS Mini Class – Instructor: Karl W. Palachuk
– Three Days: March 11, 18, and 25

– All classes are recorded

– Classes are generally 30-60 minutes

This class is FREE for Small Biz Thoughts Community members.
Only $99 for non-members - still a great deal!