Tuesday, October 03, 2023

The Four Dimensions of Customer Service

 I considered calling this post, The Four Dimensions of Service Delivery. So keep that in mind as you read.

Way back in 2010, I had my designer create the "Can Do, Will Do" poster. The message is pretty straight forward.

1. The base of your success is determined by your processes. Everything else is built on that. This is a known, stable element.

Note that great, well-documented, well-implemented processes are the foundation for unlimited success. And, of course, sparse and poorly documented process that are not implemented are the foundation for nothing.

2. The capacity (the limit) of your company's success is defined by your ability to achieve specific goals or execute specific tasks. 

A great example of this is hiring employees who can do the job you assign to them. If your company lacks the ability to do something, you can solve this by hiring or training. But the good news is that you can always increase your capacity for success.

3. Ultimately, the volume of the triangle - the measure of your success - depends on the third side of the triangle: Willingness to do the job before you.

You, as an organization, may choose not to take on a job for a variety of reasons. Once you decide that you will do something, you need good processes and you need people who have the skills and abilities to be successful. But, most importantly, those people also need to be willing to do the job in front of them.

So . . . those are the first three dimensions of delivering good service. Good processes. Skills and ability. And willingness to execute.

But we also have to remember the fourth dimension: Time. Time brings the natural decay or entropy of all things. Unless you act.

I love the documentary series Life After People (see https://www.history.com/shows/life-after-people). It starts with the assumption that all human beings disappear. Then, each episode looks at what will happen to buildings, monuments, our greatest structures, and our everyday world.

The big lesson of that series is that water and air cause everything to decay. They examine what will happen after a day, a week, a month, a year, etc. It might take 10,000 years for something to decay altogether. But that is always the end result.

Your service delivery is very much the same.

Anything you ignore will begin to decay almost immediately. People you ignore will change in ways you don't see. Processes you ignore will decay. Skills you ignore will grow old. But it doesn't have to be that way!

You can create an alternative future! You can use time to your advantage. And the way you do this is already well known to you: Create a maintenance program! Examine your processes, your skill system (hiring and training), and your culture (the ultimate determinant of willingness). ALL of those things need to be maintained.

You know my motto: Nothing Happens by Itself! That includes the regular maintenance of your service delivery process. You need a system to maintain your documentation, your skills, and your culture. 

Unfortunately, you can't buy a service that relieves you of these tasks. You can buy tools to store your documentation and SOPs. But those tools cannot maintain and constantly improve you processes. They can't train your people. They can't keep your team together and focused on what's important. 

You have to do the maintenance. And there really are three kinds of maintenance: Processes, Can Do, and Will Do. And it's a lame excuse to say you don't have time. Think about your clients who don't have money to maintain their systems: They better have time to recover from a system failure or cyber attack. Your business either takes the time for service maintenance or you'll be taking time to rebuild after something goes wrong.

Feedback welcome.

ALSO: In case you're not a reader of my Monday newsletter, check out the article I wrote Monday on How Do Processes Disappear? 


Sunday, October 01, 2023

Small Biz Thoughts Community - Biggest Announcement in Five Years!

We are introducing a new membership level!

Members: Don't worry: Your price will never go up.

The first major change to the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community in five years!

New Membership Level

Since day one, we have worked hard to keep adding new products, new programs, and new content. Members always get new books free of charge (see below). And all members have traditionally attended all of our 5-week courses for free.

But we noticed that some members take very few - or no - classes. So we're creating a new membership level that includes just one class and one certification exam over at IT Service Provider University. Everyone can use one free class, right?

So . . . Starting December 1st . . . the classic membership will become:

Community PLUS Membership - Includes all courses at ITSPU (currently 25 classes). 

New benefit: Each paid member now receives three free certification exams. That means for, Teams, that all members receive up to three free certifications for each team member.

Important: Current members will be elevated automatically to the PLUS membership AND continue at your current membership price for life. Your cost is locked in for life, no matter which benefits we add.

The new Community Membership: - Includes one course and one certification exam.

The key differences between the classic membership (now Community Plus) and the lower-priced Community Member are:

Price. The new program is $799.

  • Includes ONE course and one certification exam. Value: $598.
  • Includes 50% discount on all classes and certification exams at ITSPU. Potential value: $4,788.
  • Plus all of my books, checklists, trainings, audio programs, workbooks, weekly community Zoom meetings, and special members-only classes. Value: Over $10,000 if you take advantage of the programs.

Actions Needed

Members: Do nothing. You are automatically upgraded to the new Community Plus membership. Your price will stay the same . . . forever.

Non-Members: Check out the SBT Technology Community. If you join now, it will be at the Community Plus level. You'll automatically be upgraded to the higher level.

. . . or wait until December if you can only take advantage of one 5-week class per year. That will save you some money - and lock you in at that price for life.

-- -- --

All Members Receive the New Book Free

New Book: The IT Consultant's Year of Intention (see this blog post) will be released to the general public on October 10th.

Very shortly, it will be released inside the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community. Members, please stay tuned to the "What's New" section. Don't worry - you won't miss the announcement.

AND we have a new class dedicated to the new book.

You can register now. Members, sign into the Community and then go to https://www.smallbizthoughts.org/event-calendar/year-of-intention-class-and-breakout/ to register.

Class will be November 9th and 16th, and December 7th and 14th. No charge to SBTT Community members. Non-members may join if they wish to attend.

Please email me if you have any questions.

. . . and Thank You to all members for their support!


Thursday, September 28, 2023

The ASCII Group Launches New Initiative with Worklyn Partners for the Future of IT Services

I got this press release from my friends over as ASCII . . .

The ASCII Group Launches New Initiative with Worklyn Partners for the Future of IT Services  

Bethesda, Maryland – September 28, 2023 – The ASCII Group, a renowned membership-based community of independent North American Managed Service Providers (MSPs), is set to announce an exciting initiative with Worklyn Partners, a prominent investment firm that specializes in cybersecurity and IT services companies.

With this program, The ASCII Group and Worklyn Partners aim to bridge the gap between private equity investors and MSPs. The ASCII Group is providing a resource to its community of IT business owners who are looking to sell their companies, gather insights from sophisticated financial investors, or simply want to stay informed about industry trends and opportunities. 

Worklyn Partners seeks to build relationships with IT business leaders outside of the context of M&A process, sharing best practices with and learning from the ASCII community. As an investment firm, Worklyn is unique in its singular focus on IT and cybersecurity, its focus on long-term growth over short-term business flipping, and its flexible mandate. Worklyn does not require MSPs to standardize on certain technologies, allowing each IT business owner to maintain their own unique characteristics in how they serve the market. 

With a shared commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving needs of businesses today, Worklyn and ASCII together seek to redefine what it means to be a successful MSP. This collaboration presents an exciting opportunity for ASCII members and other MSPs alike to gain valuable knowledge and guidance from industry experts.

 “We are excited and honored to partner with ASCII, Alan, and the entire community,” explained Zack Miller, Co-Founder and President of Worklyn Partners. “We look forward to sharing our experience and learnings gleaned from the IT and cybersecurity businesses we have already invested in, and from participating in hundreds of M&A transaction processes over the past three years. But most of all, we look forward to learning from the ASCII member community.”

“By understanding the private equity landscape and being prepared for potential future opportunities, MSPs can position themselves for success,” said Alan Weinberger, CEO and Chairman of The ASCII Group. “This collaboration will provide ASCII members with insights into mergers and acquisitions, investment strategies, valuation considerations, and more.”

Through this educational initiative, The ASCII Group continues its commitment to supporting its community of managed service providers by providing them with valuable resources that can help them thrive in an ever-evolving industry.

About The ASCII Group, Inc:

The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, MSSPs and Solution Providers. The Group has members located throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national and international reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more. ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of leading and major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit www.ascii.com

About Worklyn Partners, LLC:

Worklyn Partners is a unique investment firm headquartered in New York, NY and focused exclusively on the Cybersecurity and IT services markets. Worklyn has assembled a group of partners and advisors with extensive investing and sector expertise to help grow technology companies at the rapidly expanding and evolving intersection of cybersecurity and IT services. The firm’s ultimate goal is to build a constellation of businesses that together serve as a one-stop-shop for cybersecurity, data analytics, cloud and IT services for customers that need support to modernize and secure their technology stacks. Worklyn Partners currently has investments and offices in New York, NY; Jacksonville, FL; Denver, CO; and Walnut Creek, CA. For more information visit worklynpartners.com.


Monday, September 18, 2023

New Book: The IT Consultant's Year of Intention - A workbook dedicated to your success!

The IT Consultant's Year of Intention - A workbook dedicated to your success!

Pre-Sales have begin. Launch date is October 10th. Full price is a great deal at only $29.95. Order before October 10th and you'll save an additional $5. No coupon. Just order at Store.Smallbizthoughts.com to get the price.

100% focused on your success.

This workbook is designed specifically to help IT Consultants to plan - and evaluate - the year ahead. Unlike a basic business book, this workbook focuses on the activities of a successful IT Service Provider.

Yes, you’ll document your goals and financial picture for the year ahead. But there’s much, much more. Running a managed service business is not the same as other businesses. You need to plan how you’ll work with vendors and new technology. You need constant training to keep up on constant changes.

You’ll examine:

  • Your plans 
  • Your finances 
  • Your vendors 
  • Events you might (and might not) attend 
  • Webinars and online training 
  • and more

Plus essays, forms, and exercises designed to focus on success. In other words: There’s a lot of work that goes into a successful year

As Karl likes to say: Nothing Happens by Itself

Plus - Lots of forms and checklists to help you build a successful year ahead - with intention!

Table of Contents:

Forms Galore!

As a workbook, of course, you will get a lot of forms to help you plan, execute, and evaluate your activities in the year ahead:

  • Budget Sample 20xx.xlsx
  • Company Goals for Next Year.docx
  • Conference Notes.docx
  • Event Evaluation Notes.docx
  • Event Follow-Up Checklist.docx
  • Monthly Performance Notes.docx
  • Monthly Tune-Up Notes.docx
  • Monthly Tune-Ups.docx
  • Prime Questions.docx
  • Report on Goals from the Current Year.docx
  • Webinar Notes.docx

Learn more and order today: 


NOTE: Members of the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community should NOT order this book as you will receive a free copy. Stay tuned for the Community newsletter.




Sunday, September 17, 2023

NSITSP Voting Ends Friday - Do IT Now

The National Society of IT Service Providers elections are on now! Vote by Friday, September 22nd.

Members: ALL positions are open - both Board of Directors and all committees.

Check out www.nsitsp.org/elections.

Voting is super fast and easy.

It literally takes sixty seconds.

All position openings are for a full two-year term. Nominations were last month. Voting goes through September 22nd and results will be posted as soon as possible after voting closes.

I am proud to say that we have five candidates for three open board seats. That’s a great indicator that folks know we’re growing (almost 1,000 members) and that being on the board means being influential in our industry as we strive to improve our professionalism and reputation to clients, vendors, regulators, and the media.

You can view all of the candidate profiles at https://nsitsp.org/elections. Then vote!

If you are not yet a paid member, now is a great time to join - and then vote. It's too late to run for office, but you can certainly vote . . . but you need to hurry.

Thank you to everyone who helped us get this far - and to making the NSITSP a strong and growing organization!

Now go vote!


Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Service Agreements - Revised Class starts September 19th

Revised Class Starts Soon!

All About Service Agreements for I.T. Consultants

  • Five Tuesdays: September 19 - October 17
  • All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific
  • Taught by Karl W. Palachuk, author, Managed Services in a Month 

Service agreements are not about the services you provide – they’re about your relationship with your clients

We’ll also look at various options, including a 2-page “terms of service” as well as managed services, programming agreements, and more.

Based on the best-selling book Service Agreements for SMB Consultants, this course covers everything you need to know about developing your service agreements. And the book subtitle is important, too: A Quick Start Guide to Managed Services.

Most IT Professionals sign – or don’t sign – contracts for the wrong reasons. Most think contracts are intended to draw battle lines for when you have a disagreement with your clients. In fact, that piece of the relationship is almost always outside the contract! We’ll explore why you really need contracts or service agreements.

Service agreements are not about the services you provide – they’re about your relationship with your clients. We’ll also look at various options, including a 2-page “terms of service” as well as managed services, programming agreements, and more.

Tuition for this course includes the ebook version of the newly revised and expanded Service Agreements for SMB Consutants! That includes all the downloads from the book as well.

You will learn
  • Defining Yourself and Your Relationships
  • Define Yourself
  • Define Client Relationships
  • The Language of Service Agreements
  • The Service Agreement Construction Kit
  • A Sample Credit Agreement
  • Boilerplate: A Sample Service Agreement
  • Flat Fee or Managed Services Part
  • The Managed Service Agreement
  • Getting Help and Managing Agreements
  • Getting Help – Lawyers, Accountants, etc.
  • Managing Your Service Agreements
  • 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 managed services.
  • Define great offerings
  • Attract your perfect client
  • Guarantee a profitable relationship
  • Address the challenges of Security, Insurance, and managing employees
  • Managing client

Weekly Topics
Unit 1 Introduction and Defining Relationships
Unit 2 Money, Money, Money
Unit 3 The Parts – Part 1
Unit 4 The Parts – Part 2
Unit 5 Managing Contracts ... and Relationships

Karl W. Palachuk

Series Organizer & Principal Instructor

Karl W. Palachuk has built and sold two managed service businesses in Sacramento, CA. He is the founder and president of the Sacramento SMB IT Professionals Group, and author of many books, including The Network Documentation Workbook and Managed Services in a Month.


Friday, September 08, 2023

What does it take to be get a Service Manager Specialist Certification?

We get mail . . .

Steve sent me a not about certifications over at IT Service Provider University . . .

Subject: Service Manager Specialist Certification Completion Timeframe


I’d like our Service Manager to complete the Service Manager Specialist Certification as one of his goals for next year. What is a realistic timeframe to complete this certification?


Steve ...

-- -- --

Thanks for a great question, Steve!

The short answer is that it depends on how much time the service manager has to commit to taking classes.

The details are:

A specialist certification requires that a student complete the one-hour informational Foundations class (free) and five 5-hour courses. See https://www.itspu.com/pathway/service-manager/. Then, the student must pass the associated five certification exams.

The five courses can be live or on demand. If on demand, they can be “consumed” pretty quickly. Of course, the more time taken to absorb the information, the better. 

Each unit has a Quiz with 10-15 questions. The associated certification exam consists of fifty of these questions. In other words, if someone goes through all of the five units and takes all of the five quizzes, they will have seen every question that is on the certification exam. SO: passing is not difficult. It’s just a process.

We have one eager member who manages to complete 1-2 units per week and has achieve several certifications, including multiple specialist certs. His employer bought a team membership to the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community, so there’s no additional charge for taking the classes. And certification exams are half price.

If you do this, it’s absolutely worthwhile to join the SBT Technology Community (www.smallbizthoughts.org).

Regular pricing at ITSPU:

Foundation Class = Free

Two core classes at $399 = $798

Three elective classes at $399 = $1,197

Five certification exams at $199 = $995

Total = $2,990

With Small Biz Thoughts Membership:

Membership for one person = $1,299

Five courses = No additional charge.

Five certification exams at $99 = $495

Total = $1,794

. . . and, of course, Community Membership includes one year’s access to all of our books, audio programs, checklists, forms, exercises, recordings, and live events.

I know that’s a LOT of information. I am happy to answer further questions, or schedule a Zoom call to discuss.

Thank you for the inquiry!

-- -- -- 

Check out the web sites:

IT Service Provider University https://www.itspu.com

Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community https://www.smallbizthoughts.org

More questions? Ask below or send me an email.


Thursday, September 07, 2023

Recorded: Manuel Palachuk talks about The Culture Imperative - on the SBT Roundtable

Over in the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community . . .

Every month, on the first Thursday, we have a special "Roundtable" meeting where we take a special guest off their script and chat about something important. In September, we talked to author and coach Manuel Palachuk about The Culture Imperative.

See the longer description and details here: 


and members can go straight to the recording here:


Manuel is a lifelong student of culture, having studied it up close in both the public and private sectors, in hundreds of organizations across four continents. He has run several successful companies and mentored many more around the world.

Manuel is the Founder & CEO of the International Culture Initiative, a foundation focused on helping organizations and teams get their culture right. His passion for helping teams and organizations build a healthy, cohesive culture is driven by his desire to see the world turn in the right direction, on balance.

He is an award-winning martial arts student and certified instructor, and as a COPE instructor and Sea Scout Skipper, he has taken teams and crews to top-level honors in their competitions.

Manuel is the author of Getting To The Next Level, where he shares his unique culture-centric framework that redefines how every business should approach the development of their business strategy. In his upcoming book, The Culture Imperative, Manuel put’s culture squarely at the heart of the subject. Manuel is positioned at the intersection of culture, strategy, leadership, and transformation is his work.

In general . . . it was a great discussion, followed by our regular meeting. Members should definitely check it out now. Start here.


Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Save Big on Two Great Fall Classes! Plus a FREE Class Everyone Should Take

 Over at IT Service Provider University, we offer ten live classes each year (five weeks each). Over the last ten years, we've developed twenty-five courses designed to help IT service providers to be better at the business side of running an IT business.

This fall, we're having a special promotion on three class. One classic - on Service Agreements; one new - designed around implementing Profit First in your business; and one free to everyone who runs a managed service business. Here are the details.

Best of all - we have a special discount code that give you $50 off either of the five-week courses. In fact, you can use the code FallBlog23 to take $50 off any courses you wish - live or recorded.*

Head over to ITSPU.com to view the courses.

Service Agreements for SMB Consultants

This five-week course is always popular. Whether you are just starting, need to tune up your business, or feel like it's time to revise you service agreement, you'll find this course very helpful. 

The course includes a free copy of the first book ever written on managed services: Service Agreements for SMB Consultants - A Quick Start Guide to Managed Services. Of course, it's much revised and updated from the first edition.

One of the biggest mistakes that many MSPs make is to grab a random "free" contract from the Internet and think it's good enough. That was a bad idea ten or twenty years ago. Today's it's perhaps the worst thing you can do for your business. A good, relevant contract based on your business is critically important to the long-term success of your business today.

See more information at IT Service Provider University.
Use code FallBlog23 to save $50 on this course.

-- -- --

Profit First for MSPs

This brand-new course is taught by one of our most popular instructors, Lori Hardtke. Lori is a Profit First coach and managed service provider who runs a multi-state company with no employees. As you may know, Profit First is title of a book by Mike Michalowicz. This course title is used with permission.

This course will guide you through a process for taking control of your finances and virtually guaranteeing that you take the age-old advice to "Pay yourself first." Lori has lead many MSPs through this process and developed this course based on years of Profit First coaching.

If you run your business paycheck to paycheck, or find yourself  stressed out every month worrying about how you’ll pay your bills, this class will be perfect for you! 

See more information at IT Service Provider University.
Use code FallBlog23 to save $50 on this course.

-- -- --

And that one Free class that everyone in your business should take . . .

Business Foundations of Modern IT Services

Learn what makes managed service different from other types of IT consulting (value added resellers, integrators, hourly labor, specialty tech, and so forth). We’ll cover the philosophy of service delivery that separates ongoing, maintenance-based support from so called “break fix” support.

This course is intended as a “level set” understanding of managed services for all employees in all departments (service delivery, management, sales, marketing, front office, and finance).

You will learn the core components of the managed service business model – and alternatives to managed services. Free to everyone!

See more information at IT Service Provider University.

Get started on your path to certification today!

-- -- -- 

* Note: Members of the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community should not use this code. Grab your special code inside the community to attend these classes free of charge. 

Start in your dashboard at https://www.smallbizthoughts.org.


Friday, August 25, 2023

Let Technicians Focus on Service Delivery - Not Whether a Service is Covered or Extra

We get mail . . .

Reader Mr. B asks . . . 

How can I set up a way for my techs to just record their labor in our system, and the system recognize that it’s included labor or it’s extra?

Great question! Ideally, technicians should be focused on delivering service, not trying to figure out which tickets are covered (included) or extra (not covered).

Depending on your tools, much of this process can be automated.

Much of this is covered by the processes outlined in my book Service Agreements for SMB Consultants and the 5-week class on Managing  Your Service Board over at ITSPU.com.

First: What PSA are you using? In a perfect world, you will be able to create multiple contracts per client AND set one contract as the default contract in the PSA.

The basic plan is this:
  1. Create a standard (time and materials) contract inside your PSA for Client A
  2. Create a managed service agreement contract inside your PSA for Client A (*)
  3. When a new ticket is created, it is automatically assigned to the managed service contract. If it turns out to be not covered, then the service manager needs to move it to the time and materials contract.
  4. Depending on your ticketing system, you may also have specific time that is not covered, so that time would be applied to the T&M contract, not MSA.

  1. Your managed service agreement must cover the maintenance of the operating system and software. Thus . . .
  2. All adds/moves/changes are not covered 
  3. Your technicians – and especially the service manager – must understand the difference between maintenance and A/M/C

Thus, a technician gets a ticket (service request) and works it. If the ticket is properly triaged before the technician sees it, then it is assigned to the correct contract already. All the tech needs to do is work the ticket. They don’t need to know whether it’s $150/hr or covered or $300/hr. The rate is not something they need to worry about. They might need to worry about maintenance vs. A/M/C, but a well-triaged ticket will eliminate even that.

 (*) Note: this is true even if the client only signed one contract. Your ticketing system needs two contracts. Every ticket that’s “covered” should go on the MSA. Every not-covered ticket should go on the T&M contract.

Note to former students at IT Service Provider University

If you’ve previously taken the courses on Service Agreements or Managing the Service Board, you can re-take those at no additional charge. Just log into ITSPU.com and access them. If they’ve been revised since you took them, you’ll get the revised version.

Leave questions below.


Wednesday, August 23, 2023

All New Roadmap: The Basics of TCP/IP, DNS, and Networking

Over in the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community, we have an overwhelming amount of content. We know that. But I can't help myself, so I'm constantly adding new, fresh content.

One way we help you filter the content is through "Roadmaps" on specific topics. Basically, instead of sending you off to search of just browse til you find something, we give you some choice resources that get you started.

AND because of the unique nature of our content, this might include a book chapter, a video, a 90-minute class, and some documentation forms. And, usually, it includes all of these.

NEW - Basics of TCP/IP, DNS, and Networking

This Roadmap is all about the "Basics" of networking, starting with the most important protocol in the world. Experienced techs can use it as a reminder before jumping into the serious training needed for a career in security. Entry level techs can use it as a great introduction to TCP/IP, DNS, and Networking.

You know the old line: It's always DNS. Well, maybe 95% of the time. The rest of the time, it's some kind of TCP/IP misconfiguration. Either one is a typo.

This roadmap is your "starter kit" for learning the basics of TCP/IP, DNS, and networking. Contents include (see links to the left):

  • Documentation Forms for Networks
  • Using TCP/IP to Take Over the World - a strategy and marketing webinar
  • Glossary for TCP/IP Basics
  • Understanding TCP/IP - A Very Practical Introduction Class
  • DNS Training: What You Need to Know - A Primer for IT Service Providers Class
  • TCP/IP Troubleshooting - A Very Practical Workshop Class
  • Building the Basic Small Business Network - A Very Practical Workshop Class
  • Using TCP/IP to Take Over the World - a strategy and marketing webinar
  • AND a few book chapters with more documentation


The public "What's New" description is here: https://www.smallbizthoughts.org/new-roadmap-basics-of-tcp-ip-dns-and-networking/

Members can access immediately here: https://www.smallbizthoughts.org/member_content/roadmap-basics-of-tcp-ip-dns-and-networking/

And, of course, the new Roadmap is listed on the Roadmaps Menu at the top of the page.

-- -- --

Note: This whole project is by request from a member. He's new to the technology biz and wanted some basic training on networking. So I created three new 60-90 minute courses, and then collected up some of the most important related resources. Along the way, I updated a lot of the forms on network documentation so they're up to spec for 2023 and cloud services.

If there's a resource YOU need and can't find, contact us. If we don't have it, we might just create it. Cuz that's how we roll.

Feedback welcome.


Thursday, August 17, 2023

Coaching with a Twist: Is it Right for You?

Coaching Programs with a Twist

Coaching can be a great investment for many IT Service Providers and MSPs. But it's NOT a good investment for MOST of them. I go into some depth on this in my Monday newsletter, but the reason is simple: Most small businesses need a little coaching, not a long-term program.

Most small businesses can quickly identify their major problems. A coach can help them develop plans and processes to address their problems. At that point, it's up to them to work the work and implement the changes. But here's the key: Most small businesses cannot make massive changes all at once. So, they can only change one thing at a time. They can only focus on one thing at a time - because they're busy running their business.

Someone has to take action or there will be No Change!

Peer Groups and Mastermind Groups are often a better choice for small businesses. These groups provide ongoing support and accountability without overwhelming the business owner. 

Today our industry has more peer groups and mastermind groups than ever. Whether peer-led or coach-led, these groups also provide a nice social element - introducing business owners to others facing the same challenges. They work best with companies of similar sizes.

SO . . . I have a coaching program. And I want to be super clear from the beginning that it's not a good fit for most small IT companies. But if you're considering coaching, you might be interested.

Because of the programs I run - the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community and the IT Service Provider University - I am able to offer a coaching program with a huge benefit that no one else can offer.

I only take one or two coaching clients at a time. Here's what my program looks like. Note: As you'll see right away, this is NOT a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all coaching program. It is customized to your team and you business as this moment in time.

1. SWOT Analysis - To start coaching, your team needs to participate in a SWOT analysis. This includes having your entire management team fill out thorough profiles. Each of them completes a DiSC profile and an interview with me. After that, I write up a length report and meet with the owners to deliver my analysis and begin the process of setting goals for the coaching program.

2. The Core Coaching consists of online meetings at a pace that makes sense for you. It might be once a month or more frequently, as needed. There is a four month minimum, which can be extended as needed. But I am not a big fan of intense coaching that never ends. 

Experience has shown that most people use a variety of coaching programs over time, gaining maximum  value from each. Then they take a break to execute all the work created by the coaching. After that, they find a good coaching program to address the next level of challenges they have.

3. Massive Resource Center - All coaching programs include a team-level membership to the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community. This service sells every day for $3,599 for your team. (And is a good alternative to coaching for most companies.) 

Here's why I include this: Very often, in coaching, I want to give folks a process that will move them forward. So I point them to written processes, standard operating procedures, forms, training, spreadsheets, etc. that will help them come up to speed more quickly and get headed in the right direction. The Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community contains ALL of my processes, procedures, etc. It's where I store that stuff. So if just makes sense to make all that material available to coaching clients.

Bonus: While your coaching might last six months, your access to the SBTTC lasts for a full twelve months. For information on the SBTTC, see https://www.smallbizthoughts.org.

4. All the Training All The Time - All coaching programs include unlimited access to all of the five-week courses at  IT Service Provider University. ITSPU offers more than twenty-five 5-week courses, all 100% focused on the business side of running a successful managed service business. 

The key here is that we have five pathways of training. So each person can get the best training for their position - or a position they're moving up to. Pathways include Management/Owner, Technician, Technical Manager, Sales & Marketing, and Front Office. Everyone on your team will benefit from certification on their job!

More information at https://www.itspu.com.

The Bottom Line

IF coaching is right for your business, no one offers more content and resources to support the coaching you receive. I never have to nickel-and-dime you by sending you off to buy this, buy that, and buy some more. It's all included. PLUS we have a great community you can participate in if you wish.

As a rule, my coaching works best with companies that have tiers of management. That’s simply because work can be delegated and the company can tackle change from several angles. Companies that can only work on one thing at a time are better off working inside the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community.

My coaching is not intended for the masses. It's too personalized. But I can help a handful of business owners to make great progress in their personal and professional lives. If you think I might be able to help you, let’s schedule a call.

Make an appointment for a free 30 minute coaching session to determine what we can do for you. Email karlp at smallbizthoughts.com to arrange an appointment.


Tuesday, August 15, 2023

NEW: Basic Documentation for Small Business Networks

Talk about going back to your roots . . . 

Many of you know that I started my writing with a book called The Network Documentation Workbook, which included a series of documentation forms, best practices, and examples on how my first IT consulting business operated.

That book changed a great deal of our industry and standardized the way many people - especially in the SMB community - documented networks. It was published in 2005 and sold many thousands of copies all over the world. Harry Brelsford and SMB Nation were instrumental in helping this book reach a massive, world-wide audience.

Much of that book is now obsolete. But much of it is not!

Over in the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community, I've been teaching a series of courses on the fundamentals of DNS, networking, TCP/IP, and troubleshooting. Tomorrow - August 16th - I'm holding the last of these classes live. After that, all of these courses will be posted in the member content area along with a "roadmap" that pulls them altogether for each download.

This is a members-only class.


Link 1: Members check out the class here.

Updated Documentation Forms

As part of tomorrow's class, I created a special download with  a series of updated network documentation forms that everyone who serves small businesses will find useful.

This handy ten-page document covers what you need to know to document the basic TCP/IP-based network for small business. It includes the following contents:

- Network Specifications

- Network Diagram

- Network Summary Page

- IP Address Allocation

- Hard-Coded IP Addresses

- Router Configuration

- Firewall Configuration

All of these are accompanied by explanations. Most are also accompanied by examples of the forms when completed. This handout goes great with the mini course on Building the Basic Small Business Network.

Link 2: Members Download the Documentation handout here.


Friday, August 11, 2023

Appeal for Community Member Uli Kirkegaard

 Sometimes we - as a community - need to support one of our own.

I have a habit of sending $100 to the Red Cross or another organization when there's a big natural disaster. But this time, with the insane fires on Maui, I contributed to a long-time community member who lost both his house and business to the fires in Lahaina.

Many of you know, or at least you've seen, Uli Kirkegaard from various SMB IT community events over the years. 

Uli did not ask me to post this. But I highly encourage you to contribute to his Go Fund Me account. https://gofund.me/b9c99deb

Uli and his wife Neide live in Lahaina, HI. They both survived the fires - but their house did not. As Uli posted, he can rebuild the business. But in losing the house, they literally lost everything. The pictures he posted on Facebook are heart breaking. Absolutely everything is gone.

This is a picture of his "house" in Lahaina.

Please note: ANY small amount will help.

You might not be in a place where you can give much. But $25 or $50 or $100 would help a lot. If everyone who reads this give a little, it will add up quickly.

Please contribute something at https://gofund.me/b9c99deb.

As you know, I basically never write a post like this. And I would love to never feel like I need to do it again. But here's the deal:

We are a community. We - the SMB IT community - are made up of individuals. We are a family, and sometimes we need to help each other out. If you've shared a meal, or a drink, or a smile with Uli, please take a minute to drop him a note on the Go Fund Me page or Facebook. And contribute a little something if you can.

And if you have some spare prayers for the people of Maui, contribute those as well.

Be safe, my friends!


Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Surviving the Success of Your Growing Business - NEW Class Starts August 15th

Surviving the Success of Your Growing Business

Taught by Larry Mandelberg, Author and Coach

- Five Tuesdays - August 15th - September 12th

Register Now - Only $399

BONUS: I am buying a copy of Larry's book for everyone who attends this course!

Every business that has failed did so because of leadership’s inability to adapt to change. Learn how to prepare for the inevitable changes your successful business is racing toward now, and the changes continued success will impose on you in the future.  

In the business world, change lurks around every corner. And the more successful you are, the more change your business will face. But no business ever failed due to external forces or finances. External forces can be anticipated and deflected, and finances are always lagging indicators of prior bad choices. Businesses always fail because success always brings change and unfamiliar problems without instructions on how to handle them. Without knowledge, experience, or instructions, leadership is forced to guess.


  • Learn how to create a sense of ownership, engagement, and buy-in from your staff without manipulation or exploitation.

  • Recognize the three operational imperatives of leadership and why they are imperatives.

  • Expose the most urgent and impactful priorities for your business’ success by completing an mBMRI Index survey.

  • Realize why business failure is self-imposed.

  • Understand why a business that isn’t growing in some manner is dying.

Course Outline

Unit 1 Growth and Maturation

  • Recognize why business failure is self-imposed and why a business that isn’t growing in some manner is dying. 
  • Understand the basics of business lifecycle theory and the concept of organizational maturity.
  • Learn the three operational imperatives of leadership.
  • Prepare for the problems with success.

Unit 2 Youth and the First P: Clarity of Purpose

  • Be clear about your purpose and the power of communicating it.
  • Embrace the power of stories and learn how to leverage them.
  • Change the way you recruit staff and customers.

Unit 3 Adolescence and the Second P: Consistency of Performance

  • How to transform your team from a ‘more is better’ mindset to a ‘better is more’ mindset and why that is so important to your future success.
  • Understand the difference between roles and goals and how misusing them can cripple your business.
  • Recognize the difference between wants and needs and learn how to leverage both.
  • Discover the big business advantage small businesses can use.

Unit 4 Adulthood and the Third P: Engagement of People

  • How to create engagement, the holy grail of human resources, without manipulation or exploitation.
  • Create a sense of ownership and buy-in from your staff.
  • Ensure information passes smoothly and seamlessly through your business.

Unit 5 Putting it all together to become a sustainable, extraordinarily spectacular organization

  • Understand the primary challenge most businesses face and how to deal with it
  • Learn the three ultimate outcomes for every business
  • Expose the most urgent and impactful priorities for your business’ success by completing an mBMRI Index survey
  • Create a personalized evaluation of your business’s ability to create sustainable, profitable growth using the Mandelberg Business Mangers Reality Index survey(mBMRI)

Register Now - Only $399

-- -- -- 

Instructor: Larry Mandelberg

Larry owns Mandelberg Consulting. As a 5th generation business owner with a total of 13 businesses under his belt, Larry mentors SMB leadership teams. His book, Businesses Don’t Fail, They Commit Suicide explains why businesses fail. With his partner, Nancy of 42 years, Larry has a Drexel MBA and serves as Board Chairman for Innovative Education Management.


Saturday, July 22, 2023

Is Microsoft Trying to Poach Your Clients?

M365 "Business Assist" is the latest attempt to maximize the money Microsoft gets from your clients. But there's good news, too!

I've received a few emails, and been involved in a few online discussions about Microsoft's new service offering. Please note: This is NOT managed services. 

The basic plan is described here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/office/business-assist-for-microsoft-365-37deb8fe-61cc-4cf9-9ad1-1c8d93475070. That link is guaranteed to change, so you'll need to Google "Microsoft Business Assist" when the link stops working.

Basically, the program is available to businesses who 

1) Already have a Microsoft 365 account, and 

2) have 25 or fewer users. 

So, it's intended to focus on small business, and that means 95% of all the businesses in the U.S. and a higher percent in the other countries where it's available (Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa).

Note: I bought one license for this service even though our company has five M365 licenses. The commitment is for one year and may be paid $60 up front or $5/month. The one license must be associated with a specific user.

I could not find any written agreement or formal description for the service, so I may actually have purchased nothing but empty promises. I did find a link to the general Microsoft Online Subscription Agreement. See https://res-h3.public.cdn.office.net/admincenter/admin-content/commerce/mosa/mosa_gcc_us_govt_v1.htm. It makes no mention of the service I ordered.

I'm not a genius, and have never had luck finding the details of any offering at Microsoft (or most large corporations). But I have been around the block a few times. So I feel confident that your clients will not be able to find a clear description of what they actually get for their $60 commitment.

On a separate topic: Transparency of agreements with large corporations have not improved during my lifetime. And I'm old enough to remember 8-track tapes.

The Promise . . .

The info page linked above has a video with lots salesy, feel-good promises. It's only ninety seconds, so you can go consume it above.

The video basically says, We [Microsoft] understand your challenges around growing your business, managing your staff, and serving your clients. Microsoft is here to help you with expert advice, dedicated support, and personalized guidance.

The "engagement" begins with a contact where Microsoft will learn all about your business, then help you with

  • Geting devices up and running
  • Setting up branded email
  • Setting up an Online customer booking web site
  • Ensuring your data are protected

Plus lots of great advice on other Microsoft products and services that will help you to give even more of your money to Microsoft.

The Reality . . .

Obviously, Microsoft cannot fulfill any of those promises. They stopped trying to understand small business about fifteen years ago. But O365 has almost 350 million users, so if they can get an extra $60 each out of ten percent of those, that's a cool two billion dollars. Chump change to Microsoft, but every billion counts!

Why do I say that Microsoft can't deliver on these promises? Because even if they outsource the human labor to the lowest qualified, cheapest call centers on earth (which they will), five dollars just doesn't go very far. My guess is that this is their attempt to see how far they can take scripting, large language models, and AI chat bots.

My guess is that the customer experience here will be horrible. And, unfortunately for the customer, it's all good news to you.

This Is a Win For You

First, and foremost, you have - or should have - a real, legitimate relationship with your clients. They should recognize you, your team, your logo, and your way of delivering excellent service. They want to call YOU. They've been able to call on Microsoft (Dell, HP, Intel, Cisco, Viewsonic, Sony, Brother, Logitech, etc.) forever. But they pay you to manage their stuff and they like it that way.

There's an old truth that small businesses need to always remember: Small businesses like doing business with small businesses. Ask any of your customers to list the ten worst customer service experiences of their life. It's almost a guarantee that telephone and cable providers will make up the top four or five. Furthermore, it's likely that all ten are stories about big businesses, national chains, and companies we've all dealt with. 

And it's also a guarantee that your company will not be on that list. Your clients want to do business with YOU. And if you told them that they have to call Microsoft, they will not be happy. (Note: You can't "call" anyone under this plan. More on that below.)

Second, I repeat that Microsoft is not offering managed services. They are not offering to take care of all the client's technology. They're not really going to build a relationship. They're not really going to know the challenges of your clients, or the personalities that are involved in running their business - or managing their IT.

Microsoft will not sit down with your clients to hold regular Roadmap meetings to plan for the next year or two, and discuss a schedule for moving to new technologies as the company changes. You can, and should, do this. Microsoft never will.

And I assure you: Their "advice" will never include investing in technology or services created by anyone other than Microsoft, even if it would be in the client's best interest.

Third, the really good news is: This is a GREAT marketing opportunity for you.

For many, many reasons, I believe the best marketing your SMB IT consulting company can do for the next five years is to highlight the fact that you run a small business. You know what it's like to run a small business. You know the challenges of making a payroll. You know how hard it is to stay secure on a budget. And so forth.

So far, Microsoft hasn't pushed this program much. And it will probably quietly cease to exist after a year or two of losing money. But IF your clients ask about it, you can simply be honest. 

Yes. You can sign up for that. It's only $60 per user. Support is available by web link, email, or inside the Office 365 apps. It will probably be as good as any other company with hundreds of thousands of employees and trillions of dollars in revenue. 

You can even tell clients, "Hey, try it and let me know." I'll be impressed if you have a quick, appropriate response, great customer service, and a fast resolution. 

But also tell them, "If you don't get the fast, friendly help you deserve, remember that we're also here to help."

Bottom Line: Someone's going sign up for this. It may be nothing. I mean, literally. This may just be "Customer service" as usual and they're just trying to not lose as much money as they already do on customer service. If that's the case, then Microsoft won't actually change one single thing. They'll just get an extra $2 Billion to offset the cost of delivering the customer service they already provide.

Oh. On the Poaching Question:

Microsoft is not trying to poach your clients. They literally don't want them. They don't want to do any of the hard things that take time, talent, brain-power, and building a real relationship in the real world. All the human elements that you bring to your business are what makes business worthwhile to you and me.

But those human elements don't show up anywhere on a balance sheet. You can't report them to stockholders. 

You sell a recurring business based on service. Products plus service. Apps plus service. Monitoring plus service. Relationship and service. Microsoft can't do that at scale. And they don't want to.

This is an attempt to collect a little more money. But pretty much any human involvement makes it unprofitable.

So, no. Microsoft doesn't want your clients. They want the small change that falls in the parking lot when your clients are getting out of the car. That times 350 million adds up to "enough" to go after.

We shall see.

Feedback welcome.


Thursday, July 20, 2023

Join Me at XChange in Nashville - August 20-22

I'm headed to Nashville - and I'd love to see you there.

Join Me at XChange!

August 20-22, 2023 

Nashville, TN

Register Now

XChange is the premier event for IT professionals – where innovation, networking, and industry recognition converge to shape the future of the IT channel landscape. 

* Discover cutting-edge technologies and strategies to elevate your business

* Forge partnerships, share ideas, and network with industry peers.

* Get inspired by keynote sessions from visionary leaders and industry experts.

* Celebrate excellence and honor outstanding individuals and companies at the XCellence Awards.

Seats are limited and filling up fast – secure your spot now!

I'm going to represent the National Society of IT Service Providers. I'll have a booth in the vendor hall AND I'm doing a presentation on the 22nd. I'd love to see you there!

Get all the information and details at https://na.eventscloud.com/ereg/newreg.php?eventid=715029&reference=kp


Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Join Me - and NSITSP - at SMB Techfest Next Week

My longtime friend and sometime collaborator Dave Seibert puts on an amazing show for IT consultants every quarter called SMB TechFest. The Q3 show is next week: July 27-28.

Join me - and a few others from the National Society of IT Service Providers - in the vendor hall. Dave has graciously donated a table for the NSITSP. Look for our new sign. And the familiar logo. 

You can register now at https://www.smbtechfest.com

In fact, you should register even if you can't attend in person. The event is being streamed and you'll be eligible for the recordings afterward IF you're registered. Tell 'em Karl sent you.

Two Presentations

I'm going to do a quick presentation on the National Society and what we're up to. Plus I'll be around all day in the Vendor Hall to answer all your questions. I look forward to seeing you there.

I am ALSO doing a presentation on Service Delivery: In particular, I'm going to focus on some of the surprising truths that can make your business more profitable in short order. Don't miss it! I've never given this presentation before.

Get all the information and details at https://www.smbtechfest.com. And I'll see you in Irvine!


Tuesday, July 18, 2023

All-New Class: TCP/IP Troubleshooting

I'm doing a mini-series of courses over at the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community. The goal is to give everyone on your team a basic understanding of TCP/IP - the most important protocol in the world!

The next course is 60-90 minutes, depending on questions.

TCP/IP Troubleshooting - A Very Practical Workshop

July 26th

9:00 AM Pacific

Members register at: https://www.smallbizthoughts.org/tcp-ip-troubleshooting/

This quick training builds on a fundamental understanding of TCI/IP and DNS from the previous intro-level courses. Strictly speaking, those classes are not required. But for super-newby beginners, they're pretty helpful.

Register today!

. . . and while you're at it . . .

The next class in the series is pretty stand-alone: 

Building the Basic Small Business Network - A Very Practical Workshop

August 16th

9:00 Pacific

Members register at: https://www.smallbizthoughts.org/building-the-basic-small-business-network/

This will start with nothing but one computer and show how to build and document a new network from scratch. Again, this is intended to give new-comers a basic understanding of the small business network, base on TCP/IP and modern configurations.

-- -- --

These trainings are for members of the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community. ALL of the resources mentioned here are members-only. Please start by logging into your account at https://www.smallbizthoughts.org

The following related classes are already in the Community:

DNS Training: What You Need to Know - A Primer for IT Service Providers


This recording is one hour, 17 minutes and will give everyone a great introduction to DNS. This training is not required to get value of the other TCP training, but it wouldn't hurt!

Understanding TCP/IP - A Very Practical Introduction


This recording is one hour, 10 minutes and is a great intro to the basics of TCP/IP. Note, also, that true newbies will want to watch the recording at .75x speed - and maybe more than once. 

Using TCP/IP to Take Over the World


This is a recorded webinar. Zip file includes the MP4 and MP3 recordings, and the slides in PDF format. As more and more technology becomes cloud- and network-based, those who understand networking have great advantages over those who only know specialty technologies.

-- -- -- 

Some folks have asked how to get access to these great sessions without being a member of the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community. I have to say, there is no way. You need to be a member. Our membership is guaranteed to have a real value in excess of $10,000 just for the training available to members. PLUS all of my books, all of the community resources.

Consider joining today. There is a one-year commitment of $1,299 - but I promise you will get much more value than that if you simply take some classes and apply yourself.


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

The ASCII Group Fuels Channel Growth for Up-and-Coming Technology Vendors

From my friends over at ASCII . . .

Bethesda, Maryland – July 11, 2023 – The ASCII Group, a renowned membership-based community of independent North American Managed Service Providers (MSPs), is pleased to announce a unique collaboration with ConnectWise, the world’s leading software company dedicated to the success of IT solution providers. This initiative aims at helping emerging technology vendors that are involved with the ConnectWise PitchIT accelerator program to further connect and establish robust partner channels by leveraging the ASCII Edge MSP Conferences held regionally across North America.

With a rapidly evolving technology landscape, up-and-coming vendors face numerous challenges when trying to penetrate the competitive MSP market. The ASCII Group recognized such struggles faced by these vendors and provided an exclusive opportunity for them to be showcased at their events and build sustainable channel roots. With a focus on business education through best practices, networking opportunities, and collaboration, ASCII Edge events provide the perfect backdrop for these companies to engage with MSPs.

As a trusted authority in the channel community for nearly 40 years, ASCII offers a wealth of resources and business opportunities for technology vendors seeking to forge partnerships with MSPs. Through its extensive network, which spans across North America, The ASCII Group provides a fertile ground for vendors to showcase their offerings, connect with influential decision makers, and establish meaningful affiliations. Additionally, the vendors learn at the street level what MSPs would like to see and how to improve their products at a very early stage, which is better for the industry and end user clients.

“We are thrilled to help bridge the gap between these early-stage technology solutions and the MSP community. The ASCII Group remains committed in supporting the growth of the MSP community, and working with strong technology partners is a key component to that,” said Jerry Koutavas, President, The ASCII Group.

This joint effort aims to alleviate the barriers faced by technology vendors, ensuring their innovative solutions gain the visibility they deserve in the MSP marketplace. By fostering collaboration and dialogue between vendors and MSPs, this initiative will empower vendors to unlock new growth opportunities and establish fruitful partnerships.

"We totally get it, tech vendors have a tough time breaking into the MSP market," said Sean Lardo, Economy Evangelist and PitchIT Owner at ConnectWise. "By teaming up with The ASCII Group, we can create a unique environment where PitchIT vendors can show off their solutions and boost their success. This collaboration is going to be a game-changer for innovation in the industry."

To learn more about ASCII Edge and to engage with ConnectWise PitchIT partners, register for an event at https://events.ascii.com/.

About The ASCII Group, Inc:

The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, MSSPs and Solution Providers. The Group has members located throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national and international reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more. ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of leading and major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit www.ascii.com



Tuesday, July 04, 2023

I'm Done with Twitter

I joined Twitter in 2008 and quickly started using it to promote my business. Since then I've gained almost 6,600 followers. I have enjoyed the platform for fifteen years. But the time has come to say goodbye.

I consider myself very tolerant. In fact, I get a fair amount of hate mail from both conservatives and liberals because I tolerate almost all speech and I embrace a complicated set of beliefs that don't fit nicely in a box. As a result, I have tolerated the political hyperbole of the last decade pretty well.

But now I am seeing things on Twitter that I don't want to see: People being killed.

Most often, the films are super quick. As you scroll, you see someone walking down the street and get smashed into by a truck, or some object flies in unexpectedly and kills them.

A close second is people being seriously injured. I'm not talking about slap-stick images of a pie in the face. People are finding entertainment in the actual pain and suffering of others.

If I see something like that once a year, I pay no attention to it. But now I see these videos almost every time I visit. Today I saw three within just a few minutes.

Ultimately, I do not want to get used to seeing people die or be seriously injured. That has never been part of my daily experience and I don't want it to ever be something I get used to.

Some will just say I'm a wimp or a snowflake or whatever. I don't care. I can make a simple change and eliminate something from my online life that I find disturbing. So I will.

The Business Side of the Decision

I have always (2008-2023) use Twitter to promote my business and exchange some humor or niceties with friends, primarily on the business front.

But I will really only miss one thing on Twitter: Richard Tubb. I honestly believe Richard's posts are the greatest thing on Twitter. I have already sent him a personal note about leaving the platform.

My daily routine has been to catch up with Richard's posts, and then scroll down and "like" various postings from friends as well as cute and funny posts I come across. So I look forward to reading, watching, and catching up with Richard on some other social medium.

As for my business . . . 

We have been posting to Twitter for fifteen years. We do have something of a following. But this is not really a business decision. Besides, my ultimate marketing tool is my weekly newsletter. With luck, those 6,600 people are on that list already.

One of my "Absolutely Unbreakable Rules" is that we only work with people we like. That goes hand in hand with who we interact with online and how we interact with them. I tend to avoid nasty people, negative people, and people who are making social media unpleasant.

Anyway - It's just my decision. I don't think it will hurt my business, but I honestly don't care. If I have to rebuild some piece of my base, I'm willing to do that. Another rule I use is to do business the way I want to and then find people who want to do business my way.

I would love to have your thoughts. You are always willing to disagree with me. But please be kind.