3 min read

Compliance for Engineers - Part 2

By Adam Walter on Oct 31, 2022

We’ve talked about what you are doing wrong when it comes to compliance and why you should care, so now it’s time to talk about how an MSP can benefit from this important piece of the engineering puzzle.

People process technology. Getting all the right people in place can be a struggle, but partnering with compliance experts will help to bring forward the compliance regulations that your clients need. These compliance organizations are able to walk you and your client through an evaluation process that will help the client to better understand where they stand. They’ll know where your client is doing well and where they’re struggling, which is beneficial to you as an MSP; you can build project work out of the areas where they need help.

Topics: vCIO Humanize Podcast compliance
3 min read

Why your Clients Avoid Meetings - Part 2

By Adam Walter on Oct 17, 2022

Last week, we discussed the issue of clients who are seemingly always avoiding their meetings with you. This week, George Miller is joining us again as we get further into the topic and share solutions for MSPs to have better meetings with their clients.

To ensure you’re going to have a great meeting with your client, the one thing you really need to prioritize is knowing the person that is going to be sitting across the table from you. What’s important to them? What are their key initiatives?

Topics: MSP QBR Quarterly Business Review Client Success Humanize Podcast
4 min read

Why your Clients Avoid Meetings - Part 1

By Adam Walter on Oct 10, 2022

Are you trying to figure out why your clients regularly avoid meeting with you or constantly reschedule just to doze off when the meeting actually occurs? This week, Humanize IT invited fellow PitchIT contestant George Miller to join us in discussing this head-scratching topic. George is with the cloud software company Cloud Readiness and has a 40-year background working with MSPs. Throughout his experience with MSPs, he’s been a part of a great number of meetings, and he has learned quite a bit about how to make your client meetings successful and engaging.

Before we dive into the “how,” let’s talk about the “why.” Why do your clients avoid your meetings, and what is it that makes meetings so dreadful?

Topics: QBR MSP Marketing Quarterly Business Review Humanize Podcast
2 min read

Power of Physical Presence

By Adam Walter on Oct 3, 2022

Let’s admit it. Those of us in IT tend to be reclusive. It’s in our nature to “avoid” seeing the customer and instead do our work at our desks - after all, it’s where are able to accomplish the most. However, let’s consider stepping away from our desks and seeing what we can accomplish when we choose to be present with our customers.

The power of physical presence is severely underestimated in the world of IT. You’re still able to get just as much work done whether you’re present with your customers or if you’re at your desk in your office - the key is to change the perspective of your to-do list.

Topics: vCIO QBR Quarterly Business Review Humanize Podcast
3 min read

Power of Collaboration

By Adam Walter on Sep 26, 2022

We’re all passionate about something. At Humanize IT, our passion is helping MSPs have better conversations - not presentations - with their clients. Imagine how much better an individual’s passion for something could be if they collaborated on it with others.

Collaboration is key to discovering new ideas, improving concepts, and bettering discussion. You have to remember that you’re not the only intelligent person in the room. When you are willing to collaborate with other smart individuals in the same room as you, you are able to create an even better product than if you were to attempt it on your own. If you were to decide to take the venture alone, you would be left with only your own ideas; we don’t even want to think about all of the value lost if you chose to not receive input from others.

Topics: vCIO QBR Quarterly Business Review Humanize Podcast
2 min read

Stop Wasting Words: Part 2

By Adam Walter on Sep 19, 2022

Last week, we introduced the concept of “wasting words” and discussed the ways that people are being wasteful with their language. This week, author Sean Mahar joins us again to address how people can have better conversations and stop wasting their words.

You’ve explained the idea of wasting words to your employees, but how do you actually change their mindset about conversations? It can be difficult to adjust your conversation tactics so that you are talking with people rather than at people. Instead of talking at people, try to accomplish something with your conversation. This is your opportunity to make a difference.

Topics: Strategic Leadership Client Success Humanize Podcast
2 min read

Stop Wasting Words: Part-1

By Adam Walter on Sep 12, 2022

This week, author Sean Mahar joins us to discuss the concept of his book, Stop Wasting Words: Leading Through Conscious Communication. What does it mean to waste one’s words, and what are people doing (or perhaps saying) to make their words wasteful?

If the idea of wasting your words is hard to grasp, try thinking of your words as your time. You surely wouldn’t be wasteful with precious time, and your words are no different. If a loved one were reaching their final moments, would you spend this time with them chattering about trivial and unimportant matters? Absolutely not! You would pour out words that are meaningful and touching. Doing this is important in far more life aspects than simply when it’s time to say goodbye to a loved one. Being intentional about using meaningful words has an effect on your relationships - both personal and professional - as well as your success.

Topics: IT Sales Person Managed Services Providers Humanize Podcast
2 min read

Rebranding Humanize IT

By Adam Walter on Aug 15, 2022

Humanize IT - The new face of Managed Services Platform

The landscape of your business will continue to shift and change throughout the years. You may find that the vision and mission you started with have morphed into something new. Any successful company knows that its business is constantly evolving. Change is to be expected.

In 2013, Managed Services Platform set out to deliver client success by creating a platform to empower operations through personal connections. Four years later, we partnered with Virtual C with the mission to help young companies navigate the sometimes tumultuous seas of running a business. Yes, there have been changes, but one aspect of our journey has remained consistent - humanizing the IT experience. Humanize IT.

Topics: Humanize Podcast
2 min read

Dimes, Dollars and Profit

By Adam Walter on Aug 8, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd
Youtube: https://youtu.be/fjYb1uKnNNQ

Dimes, dollars and profit. Put away every dime you make and save it for the future. It’s an idea we’ve all heard and are eager to follow because it usually makes more sense to save every penny. But the truth is that stashing money away will never lead to making a profit. You’ll start making money when you prioritize where to spend your time, making human connections and even where to spend your money.

In the corporate world, it’s not unusual to find oneself doing nothing and still making money. But as MSPs, we don’t have that luxury. We have to keep things moving, provide solutions for our clients and, most importantly, have conversations.

We’ve all found ourselves in those meetings - the kind that can last for hours and take up huge portions of the day. Meetings are important. It allows us to sit down and hammer out all the kinks that may be holding us up and plan for the future. But if these happen too frequently, you’re spending money paying your employees to sit in, they’re losing out on the time where they could be helping your clients and you are losing opportunities for more client engagement. Again, meetings have their place and purpose. However, it is imperative that you prioritize topics of discussion to ensure that you’re spending your time and money wisely.

Sales are important. It’s what keeps your business growing and makes your money. But when you walk into a meeting with a potential client, you’re not just selling your product or services. You’re selling your story, listening to theirs, and aligning them so that you can both be excited about your venture together. Make your client engagement memorable. Get to know them. Take them to dinner at their favorite restaurant for your next quarterly meeting. Host an event where your new and existing clients can get together and have fun! Customers are more likely to do business with you if you have taken the time to engage with them. When they know you understand their mission and are passionate about the value you bring to their success, you can continue cultivating a lasting relationship, even if your competitors have lower prices.

In the tech world, we tend to be service driven. We have a task or goal and work to get the job done. We focus on the operations and forget about the human element that drives people to want to do business with us. Balance operations and the time you take to engage with customers and staff. The personal touch is guaranteed profit. Your staff feels heard and valued and your clients know that you are invested in their mission. Make sure you are someone that you would do business with, someone you want to work for.

Turn your dimes to dollars and start making a profit! Human engagement with both your clients and your staff will drive up your revenue and make your work enjoyable for everyone involved.
yone involved. 

Topics: IT Sales Person MSP Pricing IT Business Development Humanize Podcast
2 min read

How to Get Out of Firefighting Mode

By Adam Walter on Jul 18, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd
Youtube: https://youtu.be/bSQaRC-aT0s

“The cobbler’s children have no shoes.”

We’ve all heard that ironic story of how a cobbler was so busy making shoes for other people that they forgot to make shoes for their own children. Sadly, the same can be said for those of us in the tech industry. We are so busy putting out fires for our clients that we forget to look around and notice that our business is in flames.

Sometimes it can feel like your entire day is spent putting out fires. You hop from one spot to another, fixing bugs that seem to arise minute to minute. Of course, you want to ensure that all problems are addressed. But constant firefighting can negatively impact your work quality and the work-life balance of you and your staff.

There are a couple of things that you can do to get out of firefighting mode. The first may come off as a bit of a shock or an unpopular opinion; drop a ball. As a business owner, it is your natural instinct to want to be all things for all people. Unfortunately, in doing so, you often end up pleasing no one. When you find yourself juggling too many tasks at once, it may be time to re-evaluate which one of the balls you can stand to drop. Take a look at your ROI. Do a risk analysis on yourself! How much will you lose if you continue to produce substandard work because you are busy fixing everyday problems? How much will you lose if you drop a particularly needy client to focus on others? Be open with your clients. Tell them there may be jobs put on hold or delayed, and explain why. Explain how fixing one big problem and holding off on small ones will benefit them in the long run. Clients are far more likely to be understanding when they are forewarned.

If you want to get out of firefighting mode and get into focusing on projects, this requires foresight and planning. Learn to fix problems before they arise. Evaluate what issues come up most often and why. Talk to your staff and executives. Discover which conflicts they frequently encounter and how it affects your overall business. Make it fun! Sit down at a table with a box of donuts and sodas and present them with hypothetical scenarios and problems. How would they solve them? What can they do to ensure that problems don’t happen again? Pay attention and share pertinent information with your clients. It may open up more opportunities to expand your services and pull in additional revenue.

Time management seems like a no-brainer when it comes to avoiding firefighting mode. However, we often plan our tasks down to the last minute. Make sure you allow yourself some extra time for… nothing. Problems are sure to arise, problems that will push back on pressing matters at hand. When you allot for some “nothing time,” you’ve given yourself a window to fix all the little issues that have arisen during the week without impacting more significant projects.

Firefighting all those little issues can be exhausting. Don’t let yourself get inundated with tiny flames and lose sight of the bigger picture. Prioritize, plan ahead and give yourself the gift of time. Those little fires can be snuffed out before they become an inferno!

Topics: Humanize Podcast
2 min read

Opportunity Preparation and Failure

By Adam Walter on Jun 6, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd
Youtube: https://youtu.be/1NypPGLGvW0

As a business owner, you probably spend a lot of time planning. Generally, your plans probably don’t happen exactly how you thought they would—but, when they do then all the time you spend prepping is worth it. That’s exactly what this week’s episode is all about. Opportunities, preparation and failure.

Engineers have a more difficult time getting used to the concept of strategy and having a plan for the future. If there is a piece of technology that is broken, there are steps to take in order to fix it. The fix is also right there in front of you as is the solution. Once you fix the problem then you close the ticket and call it accomplished and feel the satisfaction of starting a solving a problem quickly and seeing results instantly. The effects of your efforts are visible.

For businesses, it’s not the same. Business owners have to spend time coming up with a general idea of where they want to be in the future and figure out how to get there over time.

This prep work is super important. If you have no aim for your business, then what are you really trying to accomplish? Wanting to make money is not a good enough reason to be in business. You have to have a strategy for how you will actually be successful.

It all comes down to making a plan, working that plan and then reviewing that plan. First, you need to access what the goals are for your company. What are you currently doing and what do you hope to be doing in 1, 2 or even 5 years? Have a vision for the future of your business. Then, get everyone in your company on board. If only one person knows about what your goals are, then they will not be achieved. When everyone is on the same page, start looking at current and future opportunities and match up those that will line up with your vision. Be careful not to spread yourself too thin. You can’t and shouldn’t say yes to everything just because it’s available. That will set you up for failure. Be okay with saying no to things.

If saying no is really hard for you, then think through this process any time you are considering an opportunity. Look at your goals and who your company is. Does this opportunity match who you are and will it help you get to where you want to be? If you answer no to either of these questions or don’t know, then it’s safe to say no to that opportunity.

The last piece of prepping your business is learning from failures. There are going to be opportunities that you take that will not pan out. There are going to be situations that you didn’t prepare for or prepared incorrectly. Do not beat yourself up or get frustrated with your business plan. Look at these things and learn what you could have done differently. Adjust your goals. Move forward knowing that you will most likely make that same mistake again.

To sum everything up, Look at the opportunities ahead of you, match those up with the vision and goals for your company and then make preparations for those goals. And just know that you will never get to a point where all your goals have been met and you’re done. You’ll always be adjusting and changing as you grow into a better version of your business.

Topics: Managed Services Providers Business Building for IT Companies MSP Humanize Podcast
2 min read

MSP Culture

By Adam Walter on May 31, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd
Youtube: https://youtu.be/Mmv2chhxpv0


The role of an MSP has changed a lot over the years. You aren’t just fixing personal computers, you’re strategizing, leading and giving technology advice for businesses of all sizes. Today, we’re talking about how MSPs have evolved and what the real differences are between corporate and MSP culture.

With corporate work, you are doing the same job every day. In the MSP world, you’re fixing something new or solving a different problem every day. That leads to a very different experience for people in those two areas of work. Neither are bad, but the culture is very specific for each.

You definitely still fix stuff in the corporate world, but it’s more stable and less exciting. For MSPs, you have so much experience and you’re constantly learning new things. Most corporate workers will learn one system, use it every day and get really good at it. Nothing new generally comes up because the system runs seamlessly. In a corporate environment, you will learn the most in the first 6-12 months because new tech is rarely introduced. If you’re interested in getting very familiar and deep into one topic instead of spreading out among a wide variety of topics then corporate work is for you.

If that does not sound exciting and you’re driven to learn and understand, then the MSP world is for you. This world is full of new technologies but also rich with various types of companies that you get to work with. Doctor’s offices, schools, ice cream shops—you name it! Everyone needs help understanding how technology could help their business.

The thing about the MSP world is that it can be stressful. Where the corporate world is more stable and comfortable, the MSP world is full of new tech, constantly learning, asking lots of questions and evolving. The culture is fast-paced and MSPs love that! If you want a more relaxed setting, then the corporate world is for you. If you can handle the stress and are not trying to make top dollar, then the MSP world is probably pretty attractive for you.

Another part of culture is employee retention—your employees should be happy with their work! What the corporate world has to keep in mind is replacing people is expensive. Keep your employees around by making sure they have what they need and are giving them new or exciting projects to work on. MSPs have to keep in mind that, when hiring new employees, you can’t hire a unicorn. There is not going to be someone that will exactly fit the role of the previous employee, so don’t judge them based on the past employee’s experience.

It has been cool to watch the MSP culture and role change from simply fixing computers to transitioning into digital advisers and strategists. And for corporate workers, figure out how to keep your employees challenged and growing in the corporate world.

Topics: IT Management MSP Humanize Podcast
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