Thursday, July 28, 2022

Help NSITSP Choose a Logo!

The National Society of IT Service Providers is searching for a new logo. We collected nominations and the Marketing Committee has whittled the field down to three options.

Voting is on right now! 

So, if you're a paid member, head over to and vote. The direct link is

 All paid members may vote now. There are two steps to the process.

First: Should we keep the existing logo?

Second: If not, which of the proposed logos should we adopt?

Cast your ballot today! Voting ends August 15th.

Vote Here

. . .

On another note . . . The Board has suspended the requirement for two letters of reference for Professional members. The Governance Committee is working on a newly revised membership program for 2023. The Board will take further action pending recommendations from the Governance Committee.

What this means: Effective immediately, all paid members may vote in NSITSP elections and run for office.

So, if you’re a paid Professional member – please vote!

And if you’re not, please join today – and vote!

Thank you all for your support.


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Join the Big Coaches "Hands-On" Workshop at ChannelCon

 ChannelCon is back . . . LIVE!

I got together with some of my favorite coaches and we're inviting YOU to join us for a great session at ChannelCon 2022 next Tuesday.

Meet the Coaches

I will be joined by
  • Amy Babinchak
    from Third Tier 
  • Chip Reaves
    from Bigger Brains 
  • Dave Seibert
    from SMB Techfest 
  • James Kernan
    from Kernan Consulting
  • Manuel Palachuk
    from Manuel Palachuk International

We're going to pack a lot into this session. Table Topics include
1) Modernizing Your Service Offering
2) Building the Team of the Future
3) Business Challenges Beyond Fifteen+ Employees
4) Lead Generation
5) Service Delivery Process

Here are your action steps.

FIRST: Make sure you're registered for ChannelCon. Even if you can't be there in person, you should register so you get links, downloads, etc.

ChannelCon is in Chicago, August 2-4

Click here: to register right now. 

Use the code CC22SmallBiz to register free. Just to be safe.

SECOND: Browse to this item on your agenda -
(after you're registered and logged in)

Click on the button to add this to your personal agenda.

THIRD - We'll see you in Chicago!

Our event is listed in the agenda as

Small Biz Thoughts - Work ON Your Business: A Hands-on Workshop (Solutions Providers Only)

10:30 AM - 11:30 PM Central Time 
Missouri Room - Level 2
on Tuesday, August 2

Official Session Description

Don’t do it alone! Solve your biggest business issues with help from peer groups, mastermind programs, and coaching. Join us for an interactive, hands-on session by five of the best-known coaches in IT: Amy Babinchak, Chip Reaves, Dave Seibert, James Kernan, and Manuel Palachuk.  Bring your problems! 

With luck, we'll all see YOU in Chicago next week.


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Do Unto Clients as You Would have Vendors Do Unto You

I'm sure you know the golden rule:

Do unto other as you would have then do unto you.

Here's how that applies to IT consulting:

Do Unto Clients as You Would have Vendors Do Unto You

I read a lot. And I try to keep up on the general advice that goes around in our industry. I've noticed two interesting topics recently that should be discussed together, but tend to be discussed without regard to one another.

1. Many people are very angry that Kaseya has purchased one of the "tool" companies they work with and is forcing everyone into three-year contracts. The general response is anger and indignation. "Those evil, greedy bastards are trying to keep me as a partner by forcing me into a three-year contract."

Forsooth, shame on them!

and the other common discussion . . .

2. More and more, MSPs are encouraged to sign three-year, auto-renewing contracts with their clients. The benefit of this is obvious. Recurring revenue is better than break/fix because it's treated as if guaranteed.* And, obviously, one year is better than thirty days. And three years is better than one year.

Ultimately, both moves are plays to increase the value of a company for buyers and investors.

Let's lay our cards on the table here. Seems like the general wisdom is . . .

1. Vendors are evil and greedy if they force partners to sign three-year contracts that auto-renew.


2. Managed Service Providers are wise to get clients to sign three-year contracts that auto-renew. 

There are handy cliches that could be applied here. You can't have it both ways. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Instead, let's look at what's really motivating all of this. One way or another, it comes down to money and innovation.


Many vendors, of which Kaseya is one, find themselves in a market where they need to provide predictably high profit for their investors. One way to do that is to tie the hands of their so-called partners in order to show greater long-term guaranteed* revenue. Growth is a separate story. For now, they check the box that says guaranteed* revenue.

Is that necessarily evil? No, of course not. Many of us have signed 1- and 3- and 5-year contracts for consulting or jobs. Pretty much everyone signs a 30-year deal for a house and a 5-year deal to buy a car (or a 3-year deal for a lease).

But this is a service business. While there are many ways to get out of a contract, and anyone can sue anyone for anything, pressuring so-called partners into a three-year contract feels unfriendly. It makes people say things like "so-called partner" instead of partner. 

Historically, vendors have not been successful at tying the hands of their partners. They had to prove the quality of their products and customer service year after year to grow a family of dedicated partners. Thus, the value of their company was based on the loyalty of their partners/users/resellers. In a very real sense, the partners were devotees - not prisoners.

A three-year contract feels very much like being held prisoner. It's not inherently evil, it's just not the way we've done business until recently. As a minimum, it's not a very friendly way to do business.


In technology, more than half of everything we do will have changed in three years. It's about two processor life-spans. And pretty much everything we do will change in five years. So a three-year contract hurts an IT service provider's business if it keeps them from using newer, better technology.

And, as the last ten years have demonstrated, it probably means that the vendors will be less responsive on the customer service front, less innovative on the technology front, and FAR less interested in the partners or end-users except as a measure of "units" that translate into revenue.

Now, about Those Clients ...

If it feels un-friendly and un-partner-like to be pressured into a three-year contract, how does this feel to your clients and prospects? 

Yes, it might make some good financial sense if you can guarantee* your recurring revenue to a potential investor. But why would your clients have any less anger and frustration than you do when it comes to three-year contracts?

Are you evil for proposing this? Of course not. 

But are you unwise? Possibly. 

In my managed service businesses, I tried several things (including one-year contracts) and settled on contracts that auto-renew forever, with a 30-day notice required to stop the contract. That amounts to 30-day contracts. It put the pressure on my company to provide excellent service. To my knowledge, we never lost a client because it was easy to leave. More commonly, clients literally never left. They stayed for decades.

We also settled on three-year contracts for HAAS - hardware as a service. This made sense because hardware was involved. And clients did not consider it unfriendly because they were often considering a three- or five-year lease as an option.

Today, everyone seems obsessed with mergers and acquisitions and market value. That's fine. But your clients deserve a level of commitment and service without regard to the length of a contract. One way that you show your commitment to service is by not requiring long contracts. 

At a minimum - Don't be a hypocrite. If you think forcing your clients into three-year contracts is the right thing for your business, please don't claim that it's a horrible thing for your vendors to do to you.

Just my two cents.

Comments welcome.

* Nothing's guaranteed. We're not going down that rabbit hole right now.


Friday, July 15, 2022

Heads Up, PayPal Users!

Per the PayPal "Changes" Page . . . .

Effective July 28, 2022:

- U.S. business accounts will not be able to receive personal transactions from U.S. PayPal accounts.

- U.S. PayPal accounts will not be able to send personal transactions to U.S. business accounts.

- The rate for the “Send/Receive Money for Goods and Services” payment type will be 2.99% (with no fixed fee). This pricing change will result in fee increases for some transactions. You can preview the Merchant Fees page that will be effective on July 28, 2022, following such changes.

What this means for you business:

If you pay US (Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community, ITSP University, etc.), be aware: U.S. PayPal accounts will not be able to send personal transactions to U.S. business accounts. I'm sure this has to do with regulations around keeping business and personal straight.

But, to be honest, it's a really great idea to keep business and personal expenses separate as much as possible, even for a small business. 

The rate for the “Send/Receive Money for Goods and Services” payment type will be 2.99% (with no fixed fee). This pricing change will result in fee increases for some transactions. You can preview the Merchant Fees page that will be effective on July 28, 2022, following these changes.

It might help to go to PayPal now (ASAP) and review all recurring purchases. Make sure you know what might "break" at the end of the month. You can then make alternate arrangements. If you wish to continue paying with PayPal, you'll need to update your account. If you only have a personal account, you may need to set up a business account, and vice versa.

Obviously, there will be more details. Just be aware that the change is coming. And follow that link to learn more as details are released.


Friday, July 08, 2022

NSITSP Election Kick-Off Meeting July 13th - Join Us!

 The National Society of IT Service Providers is holding elections for ALL positions: Every committee position and every board of directors position.

Please join us for a live Zoom meeting 

July 13th

9:00 AM

Register Now for the Zoom meeting.

Join us for an educational meeting and Q&A. We’ll cover the election guidelines, candidate requirements, and the timeline for filing, running and voting.

Right now, our Board and Committees are filled with people who have been appointed, with the understanding that this arrangement is temporary. In September, every single position on our Board of Directors and standing committees will be elected by the membership.

This blog post will give you some information, but we’re also going to have a general meeting to go through the entire election process and guidelines. 

Everyone is welcome! 

Election Timeline

Here’s the basic timeline for our election “season.”

July 2022: Announce elections. Educate membership.

August 2022: Filing period. Professional members can submit forms to file for office. This will create a customized campaign profile page.

September 1-15: Campaign for office. Use our forums to answer questions and promote your candidacy.

September 15-23: Voting online!

September 23: Winners announced.

Note – You can start preparing now by writing your candidate statement and collecting a list of your associations, social media links, etc. Basically, we’re looking for the kind of stuff you probably have on your LinkedIn profile. We recommend you compile your information in a Word or text document and then copy/paste into the application.

Lots more details . . . in the meeting!

Register now. And please share with your online network.



Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Final Call - Attend ChannelCon - On Me!

MyTie and I are busy packing for ChannelCon - Join Us!

In case you haven't seen the vendor hall at ChannelCon . . . it's pretty amazing. The one defining factor is: It's a very egalitarian setup.

When booths are "open" to vendors, each vendor picks a table space on a first-come, first-served basis.

That means that any vendor has an equal spot at a table. All booths are the same size. So a billion-dollar company, a million-dollar company, and a $12 company all have the same size booth.

But you want to visit OUR booth because we have . . . badge enhancements. And MyTie. Add a few badge tags to your attendee nametag . . . and grab a selfie with MyTie.

Everyone should attend CompTIA's ChannelCon event. Seriously. If nothing else, register so you can get the content that's streamed and all the related materials.

Please use the code use the code CC22SmallBiz to register free.

ChannelCon is . . .

in Chicago, August 2-4

Click here: to register right now. 

Use the code CC22SmallBiz to register free. Just to be safe.

Please watch this video with blue sequins:

I am a member of CompTIA and have been on various councils and forums for years. THE event of the year is CompTIA's ChannelCon event.

This is literally one of those events where it seems like "everyone" is attending. So your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter will explode with pictures of everyone you know at ChannelCon. 

Check out the whole agenda here:

MEET US at booth 517!