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

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


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:

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

- - - - -

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 and check out Cloud Services in a Month.

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

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