Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Be Supremely Honest with Yourself

A note for new entrepreneurs.


Starting a business, or a new adventure? Be honest as you assess yourself and your commitment.

Human beings have an optimism bias. If we didn’t, we’d never have children. But most of us are predisposed to believe that good things will happen to us and bad things won’t.

You can’t fool yourself in business. You have to be honest with yourself about your level of commitment, your self-discipline, your skills, your abilities, and your knowledge.

If you’re not committed, you need to accept that. If you are unsure about whether this is right for you, be honest. If you are paralyzed by fear, accept that.

All of those things can change. But if you are not committed, not sure, and feeling more fear than excitement, you need to go work on those things. All of them are reversible. You can address your fears and short-comings.

When you work on a project long enough, all that hesitation will disappear. At some point, you’ll be so excited about opening your business that nothing will stand in your way.

Starting your business is a lot like getting married. If there’s a doubt, it’s best to stop and go address that before you proceed.

When you believe that you have all the skills, ability, and ambition, then it’s time to start working fulltime on your new business.

:-)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Make Good Habits and Become Their Slave

A note for entrepreneurs.


Much of life, as well as your business, depends on your developing good habits. And really, not just good. Good habits will make you good at your business. Great habits will make you great.

One of my favorite lines is from Og Mandino’s book The Greatest Salesman in the World: “I will form good habits and become their slave.” The reason this is true is that we are all ruled by our habits. But we get to choose the habits we form.

As you begin operating your business, you should constantly evaluate the habits you have and the habits you need. For example, I hate calling people and making sales. Hate. Hate-hate-hate. I hate it so much that I refuse to do it.

So, I’ve built an entire business process that does not require me to ever call someone on the phone and ask them for money. I’m so dedicated to this process that I’ve built a half-million dollar business that requires zero outbound sales.

To achieve that, I’ve had to be rigorous about the habits of marketing, blogging, social media, and newsletter writing that create a massive in-bound marketing machine.

Business is like that a lot. If you don’t like a specific activity, or you refuse to do it, then you need to figure out alternatives that help you achieve the same result as those activities.

And when it comes to all the basic tasks of running a business, there’s a long list of things you need to be good at. Most of them are not difficult at all – like invoicing on time, writing press releases, and paying the rent. They just need to be done.

Those are perfect examples of habits you need to learn to execute consistently and flawlessly. This is not a matter of skill or ability – it is purely a matter of habit.

As a coach, I help many companies figure out why they’re stuck and how they can get to the next level. In every single case, over more than ten years, the client knows exactly what their problem is and what they need to do to fix it.

It always boils down to this: They have bad habits; They need good habits. And the reason everyone knows that we’re talking about habits is that it’s 100% about behavior. The problem is rarely about strategy. It’s always about execution.

Make the formation of habits your work and your success is guaranteed.

:-)


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Cloud Services in a Month – New Class Starts Feb. 18th

Cloud Services in a Month – Applying the Book – 5W17

Taught By: Karl W. Palachuk

February 18, 2020 - March 17, 2020

Tuesdays, 9:00 AM PST

Based on the best-selling book Cloud Services in a Month, this course will give you the information, forms, processes, and motivation to move full force into providing Cloud Services.

Much of the focus is on designing and developing a package of services you can sell to every single client.

As Karl describes it: The core technologies that every client needs.

Tuition for this course includes the ebook version of the Cloud Services in a Month! That includes all the downloads from the book as well.

Register Now!


You will learn:


  • Everyone's a Cloud Service Provider
  • Tip Toe Into the Clouds?
  • The Latest Tools and Options
  • Cloud Computing in the Small Business Space
  • Right Sizing Your Offering
  • What is the Cloud?
  • Assessing Client Networks
  • Money-Making Homework - Network Assessments
  • Create a Cloud Service Offering
  • Sneak Peek: The Cloud Service Five-Pack
  • The Absolute Basics
  • Plan Changes and Updates
  • Transactions, Customers, and Clients
  • Price Strategies
  • Managed Services and Cloud Services
  • Building a Bundle that Works
  • Break/Fix and Hybrid Models
  • Create A Three-Tiered Pricing Structure
  • Migrating to the Cloud
  • One Service at a Time
  • Managed Service Tools and the Cloud
  • Storage Migration
  • Email Migration
  • Microsoft Office
  • Money-Making Homework - Migration Plans
  • Backups, DR, and Continuity
  • Basic Backups
  • BDRs
  • Business Continuity
  • Running Your New CSP Business
  • The Right Tools for the Job
  • Your Standard Offerings (Your Catalog of Services)
  • Staff Requirements for Cloud Services
  • Client Onboarding
  • PLUS lots more. 
This class is filled with great advice and tips on running your I.T. company and moving into the world of recurring revenue with cloud services.

Delivered by Karl W. Palachuk, blogger and author of the very popular "SOP Friday" posts at https://sopfriday.com.

Includes five weeks of webinars with related handouts, assignments, and "office hours" with the instructor. All classes are recorded for download.

This course is intended for business owners and managers. It is particularly useful for the Service Manager or Operations Manager.

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




-- -- --

Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community Members: Register for only $99. See the Deals and Freebies forum for the code you need.

Members with annual subscription attend for FREE. Email the Community Concierge to get started.

Details at https://www.smallbizthoughts.org.

:-)

Monday, February 10, 2020

Launching Your Business: Full Time, Part Time, or What?

A note for absolutely new entrepreneurs:


Full Time, Part Time, or What? (Professional, Semi-Pro, or Amateur?)

Many people make the mistake of believing you can start a business part time in your basement. One in a hundred thousand business owners make that work. (I just made that up, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.)

If you keep your job and start your business on the side, you will literally break your own heart. You will work hard all day for “the man” you hate, then work six or eight additional hours trying to build your business.

But you’ll be giving your tired, worn-out self to your new company. And you’ll be trying to do it after hours when you can’t return phone calls, prospect for new business, and even begin to understand how good your new business could be.

Alternatively, you could work on your business during weekends. You’ll have more energy and do a better job, but you’re basically in the same situation.

Oh, and did you have a family somewhere along the way? Do they get any of your time?

Obviously, I am very biased. I believe that you should make a clean cut when the time comes. Do the Planning work! Go through the Launch work. Embrace it. Love it. Bring 100% of your energy to your new job – and be a professional!

If you haven’t read Steven Pressfield’s books Turning Pro or The War of Art, take time to read them. In the end, you are either a professional or an amateur. Decide.

:-)

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Webinar: Build a Successful IT Service Business in 30 - Really!

Build a Successful IT Service Business in 30 days


I am VERY pleased to be working with Zyxel for this educational webinar!

Discover how to become a successful managed service provider. Really.

Providing managed services can help you to scale your business, thanks to repeatable revenue, reduced maintenance costs, increased “stickiness” into your customers, and much more!

(This one's timed for our friends in the UK, but everyone is welcome to join us.)

Thursday February 13th
14:00 GMT

That's 6:00 AM Pacific / 9:00 AM Eastern


Join me for a presentation based on my book Managed Services in a Month.

We will explore how you can successfully implement managed services into your reseller portfolio quickly and effectively. We’ll also show you how you can use Zyxel Nebula to start offering managed networking services to your customers without high investment or major changes to your infrastructure.


Topics Include:


  • Best pratices to build a successful managed service
  • How to transforme your business step by step ?
  • How to include the Cloud technology in the managed service ?
  • How to run the service department ?




For those new to me . . .
I am an Author, Blogger, Entrepreneur, and MSP Consultant

I have been an IT Consultant since 1995, and I'm one of the pioneers of the managed services business model. I've written twenty books, including several of the best-selling books on Amazon for the topic "managed services".



:-)

Thursday, February 06, 2020

So you want to be self employed . . .

A note for absolutely new entrepreneurs.

Congratulations on taking the plunge! As scary as it seems right now, quitting your job to start your own business will be one of the highlights of your life. 

A few notes of caution are in order. First, please be very sure that you are willing to take the plunge. I know it’s a good decision, and I’ve never met you. But you need to know it’s a good decision. You need to be completely committed so you will move forward and not look backward.
I’ve always said that bad managers have created more entrepreneurs than any other force in nature. Everyone wants to quit their job sometime. But when you want to quit your job all the time, then you don’t have any choice.
Second, is your family ready for you to take the plunge? You will probably have to work longer hours in the beginning. And you may take a cut in take-home pay for quite some time.
But most importantly, you will fall in love with your new job. Your family will enjoy many benefits from your new freedom, but they need to be prepared for you to spend a certain amount of emotional energy in a relationship with your work.
Third, you need to make sure you are the kind of person who will be successful as an entrepreneur. That means you are self-motivating, you can work effectively alone, and you are good at organizing your work.
If you’re unsure, that’s okay. The Internet is full of resources to help you learn about what it takes to start and run your new business. Just be care of the advice you stumble upon. One of the oldest jokes on the Internet is: On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. In other words, be careful not to take advice just because you found advice that seems to make sense.
One of the advantages of belonging to a larger community is that you can meet people who have actually built businesses and found some success over the years. Their advice is probably worth taking.
Congratulations and good luck!
:-)

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

CompTIA Posts Diversity & Inclusion Plan for Technology SMBs

I am proud to serve on the Executive Committee for CompTIA's NEW Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity Community.

In December 2019, the Advancing Diversity in IT committee completed the Diversity & Inclusion Plan for Technology SMBs document.

This initiative is now part of the mission of the Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity Community.

Please download this document and share with your networks, colleagues, local chambers, etc.

As a small business owner, could your diversity and inclusion efforts use some help? Download CompTIA’s Diversity & Inclusion Plan for Technology SMBs for tips, checklists, resources and more. Download Here.

Study after study shows that diverse workplaces are highly impactful, driving productivity and profitability—don’t let your small business miss out on those benefits. Download CompTIA’s Diversity & Inclusion Plan for Technology SMBs and get started on your D&I initiatives today. Download Here.

Diverse and inclusive companies are innovative and empower employees to bring their best and authentic selves to work. Learn how your small or medium business can implement best practices for diversity and inclusion. Download Here.

CompTIA’s Diversity & Inclusion Plan for Technology SMBs offers tips, checklists, resources and more for recruiting, retaining and engaging a diverse workforce. Download your copy for free. Download Here.

More information is on the CompTIA site at: https://www.comptia.org/content/guides/diversity-and-inclusion-(d-i)-plan-for-technology-smbs

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The State of Diversity in Tech
  • Planning for Diversity
  • The Importance of Inclusive Cultures
  • Resources

:-)


Tuesday, February 04, 2020

How To Build A Valuable Local LinkedIn Network - by Amy Babinchak

Yay! Amy is on FIRE!

I am VERY pleased to announce that Amy Babinchak has released a new white paper called

How To Build A Valuable Local LinkedIn Network
- Plus Amy's four hottest tips on improving your LinkedIn Profile!

Only $19.95 at SMB Books.


How To Build A Valuable Local LinkedIn Network - by Amy Babinchak, Microsoft MVP and owner of three technology-related businesses.

Long-time community member Amy Babinchak shows you her strategy for building a local LinkedIn network that you can use to build your client base - and fill your local events. Amy's strategy will help you make great contacts without making people feel like you're a spammer. And, as a side benefit, you'll improve you LinkedIn Sales sore.

Includes Amy hottest four tips for setting up a LinkedIn profile that works!

11 pages, delivered as a PDF document.

Contents Include:

  • Make sure that you're connected with your current customers
  • How to search
  • Customize Your Invitations
  • Connect with your customers network
  • Make cold connections
  • Clearing your unaccepted invitations
  • Build a relationship with your network
  • Establishing your expertise
  • Hashtag it
  • Four tips for brushing up your LinkedIn profile
Available now at www.smbbooks.com.

- - - - -


About Amy Babinchak

Amy is the owner of three IT related businesses: Harbor Computer Services, Third Tier and Sell My MSP. She has been working in the small and medium business IT field for more than 20 years. She is a technical person with advanced skills in networking design, management, and implementation. She values technology for what it does for people and the success it brings to business.

Amy is also a Microsoft MVP for 14 years. She has received numerous leadership awards and is a valued member of various boards. She is on the executive council of the Managed Services community at CompTia.

- - - - -

NOTE: Also see Amy's white paper on How To Hold a Hugely Successful Event.

:-)

Monday, February 03, 2020

Cloud Services in a Month - Available on Audible

It has taken much longer than it should, but Audible ha finally listed Cloud Services in a Month.

If you're not an Audible subscriber, it's one of the absolute best investments you can make. Great for general education, keeping up on your chosen field, and just plain entertainment.

Check it out!

Audible subscriptions start at just $14.95 per month.

Personally, I love their educational program, which are sometimes 18-20 hours of programming for one credit!

Please Visit www.Audible.com and check out Cloud Services in a Month.

Details:
Cloud Services in a Month
Build a Successful Cloud Service Business in 30 Days
By: Karl W. Palachuk
Narrated by: Greg Zarcone
Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Language: English
Publisher: Great Little Book Publishing Co., Inc.
Regular price: $19.95

Cloud Services in a Month is a step-by-step, no-nonsense guide to building an extremely profitable cloud service business for the SMB (small and medium business) market. Filled with practical advice based on the author's experience over more than a decade, this audio book will show you how to achieve success in the cloud.

Karl W. Palachuk is one of the most well-known and respected authors and pioneers in the managed services industry and has sold and delivered millions of dollars of cloud services to his clients. In this audio book, he shares exactly how he did it.

Palachuk spells out all the details you need to build a Cloud Five-Pack™ - the custom bundled offering of services you will market, sell, and deliver to your prospects and customers. Chock-full of additional assets such as spreadsheets, checklists, processes, and more, Cloud Services in a Month includes everything you need to hit the ground running, even if you’re not a cloud expert.

Whether you have time, materials, professional services, or managed services practice, Cloud Services in a Month reveals how to incorporate cloud services into your existing solution stack and up-sell and cross-sell the cloud with your existing services in 30 days.




Also check out these books on Audible.com:


Managed Services in a Month: Build a Successful, Modern Computer Consulting Business in 30days


Relax Focus Succeed - Revised Edition




:-)

Sunday, February 02, 2020

How to Hold a Hugely Successful Event - by Amy Babinchak

I am VERY pleased to announce that Amy Babinchak has released a white paper called

How to Hold a Hugely Successful Event that Results in New Clients for Your Business


Only $29.95 at SMB Books.

In this white paper, Amy spells out the strategy she used to double the size of her (already successful) managed service business in eighteen months.

This white paper covers all the detail of creating an event, marketing, training employees to make presentations, and more. Amy gives you all the details for every aspect of creating and executing live events as a way to nurture new clients.

On webinars and in live presentations, Amy has described the process of using events to grow her business. So I asked her to take the trouble to write up her process - and she did a great job!

In this white paper, she spells out the details of her process. And those details include several smaller goals that Amy builds into the whole "event production" process. For example, she invites both clients and prospects, so the clients end up endorsing her company in front of prospects. And she engages her entire team, forcing them to learn some presentation skills while demonstrating to both clients and prospects that everyone on the team is knowledgeable.


About Amy Babinchak

Amy is the owner of three IT related businesses: Harbor Computer Services, Third Tier and Sell My MSP. She has been working in the small and medium business IT field for more than 20 years. She is a technical person with advanced skills in networking design, management, and implementation. She values technology for what it does for people and the success it brings to business.

Amy is also a Microsoft MVP for 14 years. She has received numerous leadership awards and is a valued member of various boards. She is on the executive council of the Managed Services community at CompTia.


White Paper Contents:


  • Set Some Goals
  • Who Should You Invite?
  • Marketing Your Event
  • Getting People to Attend
  • How to Build Your Local LinkedIn Network
  • Creating and Posting a Great Event Flyer
  • Creating and Mailing a Great Postcard
  • Obtain a Venue
  • Organization of the Day
  • Create a Website
  • Developing the Content
  • Summary

Available now at www.smbbooks.com.

:-)

Sunday, January 26, 2020

SMB Online Conference - Early Registration is Open Now!


Mark your calendar - and plan to join us for a unique online event - May 19 and 20, 2020.

Lots of great information and details at: https://www.smbonlineconference.com/.

This is a two-day live online conference. It's better than most conferences you might attend for several reasons:

Jay McBain - Principal analyst for
global channels, partnerships,
and alliances at Forrester
Great Speakers - including some of the biggest movers, shakers, and thinkers in the IT consulting industry today!

Unique Content - Not just the same presentations you see again and again, city after city. You might travel as much as me, but you'll never see all these amazing presentations in one place - except here.

It's NOT a vendor-focused pitch-fest. We figure you're paying to get a seat, so speakers will not be selling from the "stage."

PLUS
  • No travel
  • No hotel bills
  • No hotel food
  • Everything is recorded  - And you have perpetual access! So you can re-watch a presentation any time you want

11 Hours of great information!


  • Half-hour introduction and warm-up each day.
  • A new presentation every hour, each day.
  • Lots of time for Q&A!


You can't get this great content anywhere else.


Register Now

and Save

Registration: Only $399

Early Registration: Only $299



Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community Members: 
You pay only $99 per seat.

Annual Subscribers attend for free! 
Contact Kara in the Community.





Great Speakers!


Jay McBain - Forrester

Dave Sobel – MSP Radio / The Business of Tech

Ryan Morris – The Morris Agency

Nigel Moore – The Tech Tribe

Amy Babinchak – Third Tier

Richard Tubb – Tubblog

Rayanne Buchianico – ABC Solutions

Manuel Palachuk – Manuel Palachuk International

Karl W. Palachuk from Small Biz Thoughts


Join us - I promise you'll love it!


:-)

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

CX - Your Magic Pill or Poison Pill?

CX - Customer Experience - is becoming more important every year. Why? Primarily because of two factors: 1) The Cloud and 2) Clients have more choices than ever.

We used to talk about customer service. Trust me, it's still important. In fact it's critical. But the meaning of customer service changes as your interaction with clients changes. If you have a storefront, most of your customer service is face to face and in person. If you have an Internet-only business, then most of your customer service is reflected in the shopping experience, the email experience, and the overall experience when things go wrong.

Thus, the Customer Experience is something you need to think about - and create with intention. If you don't "create" an intentional CX, you will still have one. It just might not be the experience you were hoping for.

Let's start by making this 100% relevant to your company today. What is your clients' experience?

What do clients "hate" about modern tech support? Well, for starters, they don't like entering tickets in your system - especially if they've been your client a long time. They also don't like seeing a different face every time they have work done. They don't want to be shuffled around between technicians.

Clients have never liked being taken for granted. How much of your current CX makes them feel special?

A few major variables are play here. First, we have to acknowledge that the way we deliver service is changed by the fact that we are delivering more products and services over the Internet. O365 supported remotely is different from MS Office installed from a DVD and supported by a technician who sits in the client's chair while working.

Note that newer, younger clients probably prefer the remote support. They are not interrupted. They can sit at their computer and do other things while you work. They appreciate quick support over the personal touch.

Bus a second factor is your history with the client. History always matters! Clients have a right to say, "I've paid you tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars over the years. I deserve to be treated like I'm important." When clients don't feel important, it hurts a lot more when they know they've given you a lot of support and money over the years.

One of the absolutely unbreakable rules of business is:

Don't be more loyal to vendors than they are to you.

Think about it. When your cell phone company pisses you off (or your favorite distributor, airline, or supplier), you make a calculation in your head. You have have been loyal to them due to quality of products, quality of service, and a sense that the two of your are in this together.

Until you're not in it together. At some point you realize that you're in it long after they've stopped caring about your business.

I had this experience with Verizon. I had them for almost 18 years, starting when they bought my old cell phone provider. CX got worse and worse over time, but I didn't pay much attention. And then, one day, I had a truly horrible experience. No one would help. Top to bottom. In the store or online. Supervisors, managers, and up the chain.

That's when I realized that I had been loyal to them long after they had stopped being loyal to me. So I moved to another carrier - and wondered why it took me so long.

Well, in this case, you're the vendor.

What is your client's experience with your company? Do they brag about you? Do they love you? Are they grateful to be in a relationship with you?

What does it feel like to be your client during an urgent situation? Let's say a laptop fails at the moment that the sales manager has to make a live presentation in front of their biggest client, for a project that might increase next year's revenue by 20%.

How do they get a hold of you? How do they get service? What do they do? Does it feel good? How would you like to go through that experience?

I used this out-of-the-ordinary example because those are the kinds of events that make people question their whole relationship with you. Uninstalling and reinstalling a driver has (probably) never caused a client to question a relationship into which they have pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A great CX will strengthen a client relationship.

A bad CX will make a client question the relationship.

A horrible CX will make a client go looking for your replacement.

Stay tuned: There ARE ways to fix your CX with standard operating procedures.

:-)

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Join Me at XChange San Antonio and Learn How To Get Out of Your Own Way

Join me at XChange – March 1-3 in San Antonio, TX!

My topic is How To Get Out of Your Own Way and Start Implementing Your Decisions. I'll also be at the MSP Breakfast Monday morning. Would love to see you there.


Many people can't make decisions for their business. This ends up costing them money in the long run. For example, the longer you don't have an RMM tool, the longer you give up the revenue you could be earning with that tool.

But more importantly, many people make a decision - and then never implement it. They know what they need to do. They want to do it. They intend to do it. They know they need to do it. They even know that not doing it is holding them back. But they just don't execute.

We've all done it for a number of reasons. I'll talk about how you get over the bump and move ahead quickly. Don't miss it!

Xchange 2020
March 1-3
San Antonio, TX
Find Out More and Register Today


For Solution Provider executives looking to grow your organization, build stronger relationships with vendor organizations, and network with peers, XChange is the ideal event. Taking place March 1st-3rd at the JW Marriott in San Antonio, TX. XChange 2020 will bring together 225 Solution Provider Executives with 75+ sponsoring vendors for 2 ½ days of peer networking, educational content on business strategy and market trends, and vendor interactions in a hosted experience (your travel and hotel are provided with no conference fee).

See the full agenda here: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/website/6834/agenda/

Register with this coded link for my readers: 


Your travel, hotel, meals and event access will be provided in exchange for your time and participation.

This is a great event. Please join us!

:-)

Saturday, January 11, 2020

My "State of the Nation" Address is Wednesday - Register Now

Karl's 11th Annual Annual "State of the Nation" Address 

Wednesday, January 15th
9:00 AM Pacific / 12 Noon Eastern

NOTE: This webinar is recorded and you can view at MSPWebinar.com.


Mark your calendar now and don't miss this once-a-year webinar. This will be my 11th Annual "State of the Nation" address for small business technology providers.

Don't worry - No Politics Here!

No cost. Just register and tune in.

Paste that date into your calendar so you don't forget!


Topics Include:


  • Highlights (low lights?) from 2019
  • Windows 10, Server 2019, Azure, Cloud Everything . . . and what's next
  • The Economy
  • The Unbreakable Rules of Service Delivery
  • Podcast updates
  • Speculations about 2020



2019 was a great year for small business IT. And 2020 is looking good as well. As always, I'm going to spend the year committed to helping IT service providers build successful businesses that look to the future of technology and guarantee their success moving forward.

Tune in to learn more!

Technology is always a changing environment. And with IoT, drones, Cloud Services, and all the other emerging technologies, it's no exaggeration that there's more opportunity in our business than ever before..

Are you getting your share of all the new recurring revenue opportunities?

Tune in to learn more.

Karl's 11th Annual State of the Nation Address for SMB IT
January 15th
9:00 AM Pacific
NOTE: This webinar is recorded and you can view at MSPWebinar.com.

- - - - -

This is always a very popular webinar - but don't worry. I have 500 seats available and and will buy more if we need them.

One of the things I've learned is that there's about a 50% drop-off rate when things are free. If registration reaches 1,000, I'll buy the extra seats.

Plan to log in early, though, to guarantee your seat.

See you then.

This session will be recorded.

:-)

Friday, January 10, 2020

Quick Hit: "I need leads!"

I get emails and requests. When I give advice, no matter how small, I like to share it more broadly in case someone else is having the same problem.

Here's a recent response to the plea for more leads.


(I've said many times, the most common request I ever get is how to get more leads and more prospects.)

Marketing is one of those things you have to do all the time and never stop.

My favorite ways to get new leads are direct mail and speaking at local events.

I particularly like local speaking gigs because there are hundreds of opportunities. In addition to business Meetups, there are clubs, associations, and professional groups. They are all filled with business people. And many of them (e.g., Rotary and Kiwanis) share an approved speakers list.

Here are some notes about speaking at public events.

Step One: Log into www.meetup.com (or whatever the equivalent is in your country).

Enter a search for "business" within 25 or 50 miles from your location. Whatever you're willing to drive. You will probably get at least twenty hits.

In addition, there are all kinds of Kiwanis and Rotary and other clubs. They all need a presenter every week or every month.

Step Two: Put together a 15 minute presentation on how to protect yourself from viruses or ransomware, or a related topic. Make it very practical and business focused. Zero techno-babble.

Ideally, such a presentation will be welcome everywhere.

Step Three: Prepare a handout that you can distribute to the group. It should have “Ten Top Tips” or something like that – and your contact information in the footer. Make it look good so people might photocopy it and put it on their bulletin board.

And your only ask at the end of your presentation is: If you know someone else who needs this presentation, please give them my name.

Take questions. Take business cards. And stick around afterward in case anyone wants to talk.

You might even have a sign-up sheet for people who want you to follow up, visit their offices, etc.

Step Four: Follow up with every single contact you make. Call them and email them (minimum one call and one email each).

- - -

As with all marketing, there's no guarantee that you'll get invited to someone's office. But this was one of my favorite methods of getting new clients. Associations and professional groups are the best.

Remember: Most of the time, most of the people you meet do not need what you're selling. So you need to talk to a lot of people. And you need to be top of mind on the day they DO need someone.

Also remember: This is a never-ending process. Don't put off marketing until you need new clients. Start and never stop.

:-)



Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Chris Wiser Announces a New 7 Figure MSP Live Event Series

This press release flew in through the transom . . .
 

For Immediate Release

- - - - -

- 7 Figure MSP Live Event Series is the world’s first MSP event in the industry with an exclusive focus on a sales-first mindset.

- These live event series take place quarterly, alternating between different locations. The first event in the series will take place in Phoenix, Arizona.

Austin, TX – 7 Figure MSP announced their quarterly Live Event series by kicking off the first quarter for “Spring Break” in Phoenix, Arizona at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino. The 7 Figure MSP Live Event series are designed to teach entrepreneurs how to add seven figures to their revenue by focusing on a sales-first mindset through this sales and marketing focused event.

The event is the world’s first Managed Service Provider (MSP) event in the industry with an exclusive focus on a sales-first mindset. Over the course of two days, attendees can meet with 7 Figure MSP Founder and CEO, Chris Wiser, along with some of the top MSPs, vendors, and experts in the world.

While the MSP industry tends to focus on a tech-first/engineer-first mentality with low to zero budget and thought process around sales and marketing, the two-day packed live event series equips entrepreneurs with the proper resources to discover and understand relevant and proven sales strategy, sales execution, marketing systems, in addition to networking opportunities.

For more information, visit live.chriswiser.com.


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Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Managing Your Service Board - Class Starts January 14th

Managing Your Service Board - Setup, Core SOPs, and Daily Procedures

5-Week class starts January 14th

- Five Tuesdays -January 14 - February 11 , 2020 - Register Now

- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

This course covers the most important pieces of making your PSA (Professional Services Administration) service board work effectively. Your PSA is the brain center of your entire operation.

Most Managed Service Providers don't use their PSA systems efficiently. In fact, most of them only use 10-20% of the capabilities of their PSA. This costs you money because you have the tool to run everything in your business more effectively. But if you don't put the right information into the tool, then you can't get the reports you need to improve your business.

This course covers the daily operation of a managed service business - or any IT shop with a service board and a one or more technicians who execute the service. It assumes you have a service board or PSA (Professional Services Administration) and a service manager.

Whether you sell “break fix” or flat fee services, a service board will take your company to the next level – if you use it right. In addition to covering setup and core standard operating procedures, we'll get into the "nitty gritty" of running a service board and managing the service department.


Which PSA?

I used ConnectWise for four years in my business. Then I switched to Autotask and used that for five years. Eventually, I moved to LogicNow (SolarWinds MSP) and used that for four years.

On top of all that, I've worked closely with coaching client who have used all of these products. This course is intended to apply to all PSAs. I will point out areas where differences are most obvious.


You will learn

  • How tickets should flow into, through, and off of the service board
  • How to set up the core components of a service board
    • Priorities
    • Statuses
    • Workflows
    • Time Estimates
  • The most important processes and procedures for making the board work effectively once it's set up
  • Introducing new processes to you employees
  • Getting clients to understand the new processes
  • Time tracking the right way
  • The most important reports you need to run
    • Every Day
    • Every Week
    • Every Month
    • When it's time for client renewals
  • Avoiding the biggest pitfalls with service board management
  • Building an Action Plan that works


Additional Topics include:


  • Welcome to the Service Department
  • After Hours Work
  • On Call and Night Staff
  • Managing Internal Administrative Tasks
  • Assign Techs or Rotate Them?
  • Approved Tools
  • Employees in The Tech Department
  • Technician Daily Time Management -- includes daily work flow
  • Time Tracking for Employees
  • The Tech on Call for The Day - Managing Daily Workflow
  • How to Maximize Billability of Technicians
  • Email Rules and Etiquette for the Consultant
  • Technician Supplies
  • Final Friday Training
  • Troubleshooting Guidelines
  • Troubleshooting and Repair Logs
  • Service Delivery Policies and Procedures
  • The First Client Visit
  • Guide to a Service Call
  • The Network Documentation Binder - NDB
  • Response Times - Guarantees and Delivery
  • Time Entry and Note Entry in Service Tickets
  • Information Sharing
  • Service Board Backlog Management
  • Daily Monitoring of Client Machines
  • Patch Management Philosophy and Procedures
  • Setting Up Alerts in Your PSA and RMM
  • New PC Checklists
  • Server Down Procedures
  • Third Party Tech Support - Documenting Calls
  • Third Party Tech Support - Rules of Engagement
  • Document Pouches
  • Service Focus: Monthly Maintenance
  • Why We Do Monthly Maintenance
  • Scheduling Monthly Maintenance and On Site Visits
  • Checklist for Major Scheduled Maintenance
  • The Monthly Maintenance Checklist
  • Monthly Single Checklist
  • Outsourcing (some) of Your Monthly Maintenance
  • Backup Monitoring, Testing, and Management
  • Disaster Recovery - An Overview

Delivered by Karl W. Palachuk, blogger and author of the very popular "SOP Friday" posts.

Includes five weeks of webinars with related handouts, assignments, and "office hours" with the instructor. All classes are recorded for download.

This course is intended for business owners and managers. It is particularly useful for the Service Manager or Operations Manager.

Only $299
Register Now
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Managed Services in A Month
by Karl W. Palachuk

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