Friday, March 27, 2020

SMB Books moving to a new site: Get your downloads now!

After eight years on our current platform, SMB Books is moving to a totally new web site.

But if you're one of the 11,000 people who has purchased from us in the past, you need to make sure you have your downloads !!!

If you have ever ordered from our book store - - please read this email.

We will be moving to a new platform soon. PLEASE make sure you have downloaded the handouts, PDFs, and audio programs from the old site before we shut it down.

Here’s how to get your downloads.

  1. Go to Scroll down and select the “Sign In” option. Log into your account. If you didn’t set a password, you can simply request a reset.
  2. Under “My Account” click on “Review orders / track packages”
  3. Click the Download Files link
  4. Click the file name to begin the download

Screen shots below.

Let me know if you have troubles.

-- -- --

Our old site served us well
. . . for 11,000 purchases!

But it is now old technology and more expensive than it needs to be.

As we have moved many people to our Small Biz Thought Technology Community, we have dramatically decreased the traffic on the old site (because members get access to pretty much everything inside the Community).

Thank you for all your support over the years! Please take care of this.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Manuel's Economic Storm Survival Guide

My brother Manuel is putting on a webinar to help IT consultants caught in the "economic storm" that's forming in response to the Covid-19 virus.

March 31st
2 PM Eastern / 11 AM Pacific

Register at:

Everyone already has a myriad of Coronavirus checklists and How-To-Work-Remotely best practices, but who’s helping you understand the economic implications of what’s happening and how to survive it?

Manuel is!

Sign up here:



Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Is Your Family Ready for You to be Self-Employed?

A note for absolutely new entrepreneurs.

If you have a family, you need to consider whether they are ready for you to make the launch into self-employment. It’s great that you are excited and have faith in your future. But a new business can be very difficult on a family.

Many new business owners un-balance their lives terribly. They believe they need to take every customer who walks in the door. They tend to work very long hours, leaving almost no time for their family.

This behavior compounds until something blows up. And that something is often the most important relationship in your life.

Take this very seriously. It’s important to talk about the long hours, and the struggles ahead, and all the things you’re not sure about.  When a partner knows what they’re getting into, it is much easier for them to support you when the going gets tough.

It’s also a good idea to set some limits on your work time. You need to have balance in your life if you’re going to make this business work in the long run. You need to spend time relaxing and recharging your batteries.

And remember: The more you talk about all these things with your partner, the smoother everything will go – the first year and every year after.


More juicy info for first time entrepreneurs . . .


The Small Biz Quickstart Workbook

Author: Karl W. Palachuk

Karl has worked with thousands of business owners and managers – and helped several of them make the move to self-employment. With this workbook, Karl will help you make the launch as well. This workbook is guaranteed to help you learn about what it takes to start and run your new business.

Available Now!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How to Help Your Clients Thrive During the Economic Downturn

Now's the Time for Client Roadmap Meetings!

I went "live" today on Facebook, talking How to Help Your Clients Thrive During the Economic Downturn.

That's here:

Now is the Time: Help Your Clients Make Good Decisions!

I have a few resources to make your life easier. First, if you need a place to start creating a Client Roadmap meeting, my 3rd edition of the 68-Point Checklist will help (It's free). You'll want to add some business and strategy questions to create your Roadmap Questionnaire.

For more information on that, here are some previous blog post links:

and followup

Plus an SOP Friday post:
SOP Friday: Quarterly Roadmap Meetings

And a Client Roadmap video:

As your clients tighten their belts in the months ahead, you need to jump in and help them save money and increase productivity through the appropriate use of technology. That includes helping them create a secure remote working environment.

When this downturn is over, you want to be remembered as a partner who helped them make the most of the situation.

-- -- --

If you're a member of the Small Biz Thought Technology Community, you have free access to the three-part mini-course. This includes my brand new 14-page Technology Roadmap Questionnaire. It also includes a four-page white paper on how to get the most out of the Client Roadmap Process.

Mini Class – Client Roadmap Deep Dive

Part One is an overview of the process and a deep dive into the questionnaire itself. Why do we ask these questions, where do they fit, and why do it in this order? We also talk about why you shouldn't worry about finishing all the questions. You probably won't, and that's great.

Part Two, we talk about using the Roadmap Questionnaire to close new clients. It's a very smooth transition from the 68-Point Checklist and a network assessment to a discussion about the client's business more broadly. We'll also touch on the first Roadmap meeting after you sign the client.

Part Three covers the ongoing, never-ending conversation you'll have with your clients about their technology. You'll see how we use this to get the client to engage in the overall health of their network, to make good decisions, and completely sidestep the sales process going forward.

Get sticky. Make clients love you. Improve their technology. And eliminate ongoing "sales" while selling lots of great stuff. It's not quite magic. But it's pretty close.

If you're NOT a member of the Small Biz Thought Technology Community, you should be. We have massive resources like this -- Everything's included.



Tuesday, March 17, 2020

New Class: Core Standard Operating Procedures for Small IT Providers

Core Standard Operating Procedures for Small IT Providers – W501

Taught By: Karl W. Palachuk

- Five Tuesdays

- March 24 - April 21

- Register Now!

- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

- All classes are recorded

You're guaranteed to learn something that will make or save you the price of admission!

This course will cover the most important procedures you need to have in place to run an efficient and highly profitable Managed Services Business.

Whether you're a new Computer Consultant or an experienced Managed Service Provider, you need to create successful processes that will propel your company forward. Nothing is more critical to making profit than having the right processes and procedures in place!

When I take on new coaching clients, they have many of the same issues over and over again. And almost all of them boil down to SOPs - Standard Operating Procedures. Or the lack thereof.

Everyone knows you need SOPs. In fact you probably know which ones you need. But where do you start?

You will learn:

  • A practical introduction to SOPs
  • The relationship matrix of SOPs
  • Clients
  • Employees
  • Vendors
  • Internal Organization
  • The Ten Most Important SOPs for your IT Consulting
  • Business
  • SOPs management, organization, and updates
  • Implementation strategies internally
  • Implementation strategies for clients
  • Service Department SOPs
  • Building
  • Training
  • Deployment
  • Upkeep
  • Avoiding the biggest pitfalls with SOP development and deployment
  • Building an Action Plan that works

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.

per person

-- -- --

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, March 16, 2020

You Don’t Have To Get It Perfect the First Time

A note for entrepreneurs.

Many people are stymied by the mistaken belief that they have to “get it right” before they implement decisions. This includes small decisions as well as large ones.

I encourage you to take a different approach: Accept that this is an iterative process. That means you will tackle the same decisions again and again. Eventually, you will get good at making decisions. The sooner you give up believing in perfection, the sooner you can learn to make decisions quickly, without fear of being wrong.

Consider your business five or ten years from now. You will have run many marketing campaigns. With each one, you will learn something about what works and what doesn’t. And, ideally, each campaign will be better than the previous.

The same is true with your price lists, your offerings, your strategies, and everything else in your business. Everything changes, all the time. It is simply impossible for you to keep doing exactly the same thing all the time.

So, you see, every decision you make in your business will be revisited at some point.

So just remember that  you need to go through this process, but execution is far more important than getting it right the first time.

The Japanese have a management process called Kaizen. It means constant, incremental improvement. Embrace that philosophy and relax: you have forever to get it right!

I promise you'll make mistakes. And you'll get over. With luck, you'll learn and move on.


More juicy info for first time entrepreneurs . . .


The Small Biz Quickstart Workbook

Author: Karl W. Palachuk

Karl has worked with thousands of business owners and managers – and helped several of them make the move to self-employment. With this workbook, Karl will help you make the launch as well. This workbook is guaranteed to help you learn about what it takes to start and run your new business.

Available Now!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Not Cancelled: Robin Robins' Big Boot Camp

Update March 16th: This event has gone virtual. Same link.

----- -----

Robin Robins has announced that she is holding her "Big Show" as scheduled:

The theme for this year is The IT Sales and Marketing Fight Club.

Special guest this year: George Foreman!

Nashville, TN
April 8-11, 2020

Details at


1) Given the circumstances, Early Bird pricing has been extended to April 8th! Visit that web site for details.

2) If you are a member of the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community, please contact me. Robin has given us a handful of free tickets to the first few Community members who contact us.

Let me know if you're interested. We’ll contact Robin’s team and make sure you work out the details. 

If you haven’t been to this event before, it is always an amazing event! Details and information at


Friday, March 13, 2020

YOU Are Probably the Actual “Product.”

A note for entrepreneurs.

Among the big decisions you have to make are the name of your company and your overall brand.

Over the years, I have owned several companies, including KPEnterprises Business Consulting, Inc., Relax Focus Succeed, and Great Little Book Publishing Co., Inc.

Within those companies I have had many products, services, and web sites. But I learned a very important lesson with three very different audiences: In the end, *I* was the brand. You may have the same experience.

In my service business, my clients always felt that they had a direct relationship with me – even when I had twelve employees. And when I developed online services and communities, I discovered once again that no one paid attention to the various brands I used.  Again, I was the brand.

If you do a good job of creating your brand by being an interesting and engaging marketer, then people will know you – and they may not know your various brands separate from you.

One way to know whether you are the brand is to look at your web statistics from time to time. Among the juicy details you’ll find there are the search terms people entered in order to find your site.

If people are searching for “Your Company” or “Your Brand,” then that’s a great indicator that your company is your brand. But if people are searching for “Your Name Company” or “Your Name Brand,” then people are really searching for your name. And that makes you the brand.

Why does that matter?

Once you determine whether your brand is you or your product, you can use that information in your future marketing and branding.  If your brand turns out to be you, they you need to start using that.
That’s all good when it comes to marketing right now, today.

You also need to look way down the road to your exit strategy. That is, how will you get out of this business? Will you sell it? Take on investors? Sell controlling interest and stay involved for a year? Or maybe pass the business to your children.

If you intend to sell your business someday, or even pass it along to your children, you will need to separate your company branding from yourself as an individual. You may not need to make any changes now. Just be aware of it when you start working on your exit strategy.


More juicy info for first time entrepreneurs . . .


The Small Biz Quickstart Workbook

Author: Karl W. Palachuk

Karl has worked with thousands of business owners and managers – and helped several of them make the move to self-employment. With this workbook, Karl will help you make the launch as well. This workbook is guaranteed to help you learn about what it takes to start and run your new business.

Available Now!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Not Cancelled: McKinley Training Institute's Dispatch & Service Management Leadership Certification Courses on April 29 - May 1 in Chicago

Not Cancelled!

I received this missive from my friend and mentor Josh Peterson:

- - - - -

McKinley Training Institute's Dispatch & Service Management Leadership Certification Courses
April 29 - May 1 in Chicago

More Info:


You are invited to register and attend the Bering McKinley Training Institute: Dispatch & Service Management Leadership Certification Courses on April 29 - May 1 in Chicago.

At the Dispatch & Service Management Leadership Course you will:

  1. Learn from expert instructors who have worked and mastered both the Dispatch & Service Management roles. 
  2. Connect with fellow Dispatch & Service Management leaders in your industry.  
  3. Take part in hands-on courses that provide templates, metrics, models & industry KPIs 
  4. Walk away with a detailed blueprint for doing your job or managing others who fulfill the role of Dispatch & Service Manager, much better.
  5. Receive industry certification demonstrating proven competency in the areas of Dispatching & Service Management Leadership.

View Course Details 

Survey Results from the Dispatch & Service Course Dec. 2019
92% of participants rated this course as 'very satisfied' with the content presented
82% of participants gave this course an 'excellent rating" for quality of mentorship & guidance
100% would recommend this class to their colleagues


Josh Peterson
Service & Financial Expert, BMK

Stephanie Kritnz
ConnectWise Manage Consultants, BMK

Rose Avila
ConnectWise Manage Consultants, BMK

Click to See Agenda, Details & Price

- - - - -


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Cutting Expenses in 2020 (from Live broadcast)

I "went live" today on Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Here's the recording:


We are in a very odd time. The stock market is "correcting." We don't know how long that will last or how bad it will be. We know it will end, but there's no way to know if it will end this week, this, month, or next year.

Then there's the Covid-19 virus. Lots of unknowns there. We know that will end, and probably in a few months simply because that's what happens with these viruses. But, again, we don't know.

Here's what we do know: This is a great time to look at cutting some costs. 

That's always a good idea, but it's particularly good if we have a longer-term financial downturn.

Best of all - here are ten tips that could permanently reduce your operating expenses without affecting your long-term operations. These tips fall into three categories: 1) Stop wasting money; 2) Take advantage of savings that are available; 3) Permanently reduce expenses going forward.

Here's the link re: Cancelled events:

Community link:

Online Conference:

Please like and share, if you like.

Leave comments on YouTube, Facebook, or here.

Thank you!


Join us Live Online: The CompTIA Communities & Councils Forum - March 17th

One of the biggest community events, professional events, and information events of the year is CompTIA's CCF - Communities and Councils Forum.

This year it has gone virtual. And YOU are welcome to join us.

CompTIA Communities & Councils Forum
17 March, 2020

11 AM-3 PM Central
9 AM - 1 PM Pacific
Noon - 3 PM Eastern

More info:


Official info from CompTIA:

- - - - -

Where Tech Innovation Meets Collaboration…Virtually

CCF Update

Every year, we look forward to connecting with our most engaged Community and Advisory Council members at the CompTIA Communities & Councils Forum (CCF).

This year, after careful consideration of the growing concerns around COVID-19, we’ve made the difficult decision to take precautionary measures and cancel the in-person meeting that was scheduled for March 16-18 in Chicago. Our top priority is the health and well-being of our members, staff, and the community at large.

Virtual Meeting

In place of the in-person meeting, we are excited to host a half-day virtual event from our headquarters on Tuesday, March 17 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Central time, where we can share much of the educational content and industry insight we had planned for CCF.

Check out the agenda (all times are CST):

11:00 a.m. – CCF Welcome & Special Announcement
11:30 a.m. – How Emerging Technologies are Delivering Business Outcomes
12:15 p.m. – Advancing Tech Talent & Diversity Community Launch Celebration
12:40 p.m. – Coffee Break with Q&A
12:45 p.m. – When Your Plan Meets Reality: MSP Security
1:15 p.m. – Social Media Best Practices, Tips & Tricks
1:30 p.m. – Making the Decision to Build a Technology Channel
2:00 p.m. – The Ultimate AI Power Panel
2:45 p.m. – CCF Wrap-up

These sessions are open to everyone at no cost! Current attendees will be automatically registered for the virtual sessions and will receive log-in instructions via email. If you’re not currently registered, it’s not too late!


Virtual meetings are also being planned for our appointed Advisory Councils on Wednesday, March 18. Please check your email for details.

We also invite you to collaborate and connect virtually in our CompTIA mobile app. The community and council forums in the app are a great place to share best practices and discuss common challenges with your peers. Download it now from your Apple or Google Play Store.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience the cancellation of the in-person event has caused. But with every challenge comes opportunity, and we believe the virtual activities outlined above will allow us to engage with an even wider audience.

Thank you for your commitment to CompTIA’s communities and councils. We look forward to connecting with you virtually on Tuesday, March 17!

- - - - -


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

AVANT Analytics Provides Original Research on IT Security With Release of Latest “6-12 Report”

Got a note from my friends over at AVANT Analytics, a new market research initiative from AVANT.

They just released their second 6-12 Report, which analyzes the state of cyber security preparedness in a  variety of industries. AVANT Analytics uses these reports to provide business tech leaders with an overview of the next-gen solutions that are expected to disrupt the IT market over the next 6 to 12 months.

AVANT compiled data from their Trusted Advisors, thousands of real-world customer assessments, and their actual purchasing decisions to highlight the state of digital transformation around security. This is unique in the industry - most research you’ll find on digital transformation comes from surveys or anecdotal analysis.

Key findings from the report include:

  • The biggest security threats facing enterprises with an under-developed security posture,  and the stalemates keeping them from developing a robust security plan 
  • How compliance plays a role in developing a security posture for industries like healthcare, financial services and enterprises with international operations
  • An in-depth look at the cyber attack landscape, with tangible advice for enterprises under-prepared for the new face of cyber terror -- plus, recommendations for where a Trusted Advisor can help protect 

Press Release:

AVANT Analytics Provides Original Research on IT Security With Release of Latest “6-12 Report”
Report is designed to help enterprise decision-makers evaluate their company’s IT security framework for the next six to 12 months

March 10, 2020 -- CHICAGO -- AVANT Analytics, the market research division of AVANT Communications (“AVANT”), a platform for IT decision-making and the nation’s premier distributor for next generation technology, today released its 6-12 Report for IT Security. The report leverages data collected by AVANT’s Trusted Advisors through the course of real world engagements in solving business customer technology needs. Insights are also based on customer surveys, external data, and extensive interviews with subject matter experts to provide an enterprise decision-maker’s guide to maximizing IT security.

This AVANT 6-12 Report is designed to help business leaders assess their attack surfaces, the most malevolent threats, and whether their current defenses are truly adequate for the task. Working in conjunction with their Trusted Advisors, readers can look to the 6-12 Report to help them maintain the security of their company’s data, enhance the confidence of their customers, and develop appropriate response plans in the event that a breach does occur.

To learn more and download the 6-12 Report, visit:

Key topics discussed in the report include:

  • The common types of attacks with which you must be familiar
  • The key building blocks of IT Security
  • The “People” aspects of IT Security
  • The benefits of compliance – even when it’s not mandatory
  • Defense-in-Depth vs. Zero Trust: Which approach is best for you?
  • Coordinating Technology, Policy, Operations and Response
  • Leveraging the expertise of Trusted Advisors and MSSPs

“Security is a value proposition unlike any other in the Information Technology industry,” said Ken Presti, Research Vice President of AVANT Research and Analytics. “Any other technology can be installed and tested to prove that it works. But, security is such a rapidly moving space that it’s difficult to know what the criminal element will be able to penetrate. And, if they can’t gain access today, perhaps they will learn how to gain access tomorrow. Since no guarantees can be made, enterprise decision-makers need to work with their Trusted Advisors to maximize the odds while at the same time developing effective contingency plans in the event that something bad does occur.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Ransomware, DDoS attacks, intrusion, and email phishing attacks are the threats about which customers are most concerned (69%)
  • Customers’ primary issues with their current security posture focus primarily on their fears regarding emerging threats (45%) combined with staffing (38%) and resource limitations (36%)
  • Preparedness for attacks varies somewhat by vertical market, with the highest levels of risk perceived by respondents in the Business Services (80%) and Medical (68%) sectors 
  • We have shifted from a world in which the IT security budget is to be minimized, in favor of an environment in which the very survival of the business depends upon embedding security into every facet of the infrastructure 

“Almost every day, we read press reports about companies that have been breached or otherwise used as unwitting pawns by cybercriminals,” said Ian Kieninger, CEO and co-founder of AVANT Communications. “Companies of all types recognize and fear the vulnerabilities they face. We designed this AVANT 6-12 Report to facilitate an understanding of what’s adequately defended and where the gaps might lie. Readers of this document will be able to sustain a higher-level dialogue around how to protect the very existence of their companies.”

This is the second installment in a series of 6-12 Reports designed to help business leaders assess whether the featured technology is a viable option for their companies over the next six to 12 months.
In AVANT’s inaugural 6-12 Report, launched in September of 2019, AVANT used primary data gleaned from actual technology assessments and decisions to highlight the market dynamics and state of digital transformation around Software Defined-Wide Area Networking, (SD-WAN). As AVANT’s most heavily downloaded report in the company’s 10-year history, our premier 6-12 Report helped business leaders to better understand the capabilities of SD-WAN, plus key considerations r when deciding whether an SD-WAN solution would meet their needs.

As the latest proprietary resource for IT decision-making, AVANT’s Security 6-12 Report complements a wealth of other data-driven tools for forward-thinking IT leaders -- including AVANT’s  2019 State of Disruption Report. This pioneering study leveraged survey data from 300 U.S. enterprise decision-makers to gauge  the rate at which newer technologies are displacing and disrupting older ones. The State of the Disruption is currently being refreshed for 2020.

To review AVANT’s market research reports, please click on the following links:

About AVANT Communications

AVANT Communications is a platform for IT decision-making and the nation’s premier distributor for next-generation technologies. AVANT provides unique value to its extensive network of Trusted Advisors with original research, channel sales assistance, training, and tools to guide decision-making around IT services that promote business growth. From complex cloud designs to global wide-area network deployments to the latest in security services, AVANT sets the industry standard in enabling its partners and clients to make intelligent, data-driven decisions about services, technology and cost-effective communications. For more information, visit, or connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Monday, March 09, 2020

Not Cancelled! James Kernan's Mastermind Event - March 26-27

My friend and fellow coach James Kernan is hosting a big Mastermind Event - March 26-27 2020.

From James' flyer:

Food, beverage and entertainment will be provided, along with valuable educational content that will help you GROW your business.   A handful of select strategic partners will also be there to share insight on industry trends and cutting edge technology. 

We will share best practices for Sales, Marketing, Leadership, Cyber Security and Business Growth!

You will learn more about Google ads, Social Media marketing, Security trends, Cloud, Professional Sales, M&A, Legal and "how-to" presentations from over a dozen successful business owners!

Great Speakers, Great Content, Unique Opportunity - You won't want to miss this! 

More info  at

Mastermind Event - San Diego
Kernan Consulting
Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 8:00 AM - Friday, March 27, 2020 at 5:00 PM (PDT)
San Diego, CA


James A Kernan
Kernan Consulting, Inc. Coaching, Advising and Mentoring

It is the people that market themselves better that win!


Thursday, March 05, 2020

Growing from One to Two, Three, and Ten

A note for entrepreneurs.

At some point you’re going to need help. That might mean outsourced contracts and services. Or it might eventually mean hiring employees.

Here are a few things to consider about employees.

It is best to start with a part-timer, for several reasons. Fulltime employees are very expensive. And I would recommend that you have enough profit or “spare” money in your business to cover an employee’s salary plus expenses before you hire.

A safe calculation is salary times 1.25. If you provide benefits, the cost will go up from there. You need to pay Social Security taxes of about six percent of salary. Plus worker’s comp, unemployment insurance, etc.

With a part-time employee, you can easily adjust hours when your cash flow changes. And don’t feel guilty about hiring people part-time. There are lots of people who only want to work 10-20 hours per week.

College students and stay-at-home parents are the best. They are educated and sincerely only want to work limited hours.

When it’s time to hire someone fulltime, please make sure that you have the cash flow to keep them. It is very sad and emotionally draining to have to lay off an employee because you didn’t have the money you thought you had!

Hiring your first employee is literally the greatest percentage growth your business will ever experience.

The very good news is that your new employee will double the number of hours available in your business. Maybe you will use those hours to sell services, or complete lots of administrative work. Whatever your new employee does, you will be able to expand your capacity.

I recommend that you hire an administrative assistant as your first employee. You will be tempted to hire someone to do your technical or primary work. That labor will probably be much more expensive than an administrative assistant. And an admin will free up your time to either perform the primary labor or make more sales.

Note: If you're thinking of hiring in 2020 (first time or tenth time), we have a special interest group in the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community. It's filled with IT service providers who are looking to hire and want to help each other do it right, and avoid some mistakes. Join us -


More juicy info for first time entrepreneurs . . .


The Small Biz Quickstart Workbook

Author: Karl W. Palachuk

Karl has worked with thousands of business owners and managers – and helped several of them make the move to self-employment. With this workbook, Karl will help you make the launch as well. This workbook is guaranteed to help you learn about what it takes to start and run your new business.

Available Now!