Tuesday, October 17, 2023

All New Class: Profit First for MSPs - Starts October 24th

Exclusively inside IT Service Provider University

Profit First for MSPs

Taught by Lori Hardtke

MSP and Certified Profit First Professional

- Five Tuesdays

- October 24th - November 21st

Register Now - Only $399*

(Only $349 with code below)

Learn how to break through to a 6-figure salary and build a profitable and valuable MSP business. You’ll learn the benefits of having multiple bank accounts and how to make financial business decisions by simply looking at your bank account balances.

Running and growing a business can be one of the most rewarding things you do in your life…it can also be one of the most frustrating and challenging endeavors you embark on. As an IT business owner myself, an educator, and a certified Profit First Professional, it’s my mission to help business owners of any size eliminate debt, prioritize profits, provide clarity, and reduce financial stress.

Can You Relate To Any Of These?

  • You run your business paycheck to paycheck
  • You are stressed out every month worrying about how you’ll pay all the bills, your employees and/or consultants.
  • You shuffle money from your personal account to your business thinking you’ll pay yourself back in the next month or two or ten.
  • You, the business owner, don’t pay yourself a respectable salary if at all, or you wait until the end of the year to see how much profit you made
  • You don’t want to learn or understand how to read your financial statements
  • You see a decent profit at year end (from your Profit & Loss Statement) but wondering why that amount of money isn’t in your bank account
  • You keep thinking you just need “1 more big client” or “Better PSA, better tools” or “A sales person, another tech, etc.” and then the money will come pouring in
  • You want a sustainable, profitable business month after month, year after year
  • You want your staff (W2 and/or 1099) to have a vested interest in the success of your business
  • You dream of having no A/R, no debt, and cash in the bank.
  • You want to be insanely profitable!

If you answered Yes to any or all the above, then you need Profit First!

Lori Hardtke would be honored to help you pave your way to financial freedom. Sign up now!

Only $399 - only $349 with code above

Top Take-aways:

  • Breaking through to a 6-figure salary
  • Avoiding burnout and building a business that serves you
  • Recognizing and eliminating unnecessary expenses
  • Learning how to pay off debt and saying good-bye forever
  • Funding your retirement account year after year

PLUS lots more.

Here are the specifics of what you'll learn, week by week:

Unit 1 Why Profit First and How It Creates Predictable Profits

Unit 2 Determining CAPs & TAPS and Creating Allocation Rhythm

Unit 3 Cutting Expenses, Learning How to Pay Off Debt

Unit 4 Disbursing Quarterly Bonuses and Owner Tax Reimbursement

Unit 5 Funding Your Retirement Account & Creating Stronger Money Management Habits

Delivered by Lori Hardtke. MSP, Certified Profit First Professional, Peer Advisor and Coach. Lori has been an MSP for many years and lives and runs her MSP remotely (in Hawaii) for clients in 7 different states with no full-time employees.

Includes five weeks of webinar classes with related handouts, assignments, and "office hours" with the instructor.

This course is intended for business owners or finance managers.

(The title “Profit First” used with permission.)

ITSP University Certification

Meets Certification Requirements for: Management

This class will be recorded. Each unit is generally posted within 24 hours of the live class. These recorded units will become the On-Demand class and you’ll have lifetime access to it.

Register Now - Only $399*

Save $50 with code above

Note: * Members of the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community attend at no additional charge. See details in the Community.


Sunday, October 08, 2023

Released: The IT Consultant's Year of Intention Now Available for Download!

The PDF version of The IT Consultant's Year of Intention - A workbook dedicated to your success - is now available immediately.

Paperback, Kindle, and ePub versions are in production. They will be released later this month.

Official launch date is October 10th (Tuesday). 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, the book includes 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 I always say: Nothing Happens by Itself.

You'll also get 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. Members log in and then browse to 


AND don't forget to sign up for the four-week members-only class at


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!