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2 min read

PitchIT Volume 1

By Adam Walter on Jun 27, 2022

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd
Youtube: https://youtu.be/cZnUQXv1mPw

Get ready to share your innovation with the world. Whether your solution solves a need in IT, finance, business operations or sales, it is up to you to make sure that your business has the resources and structure for you, your colleagues and your clients to get the job done.

This week we have a great guest speaker, Sean Lardo of ConnectWise. With so much ground to cover, we have a two-part podcast coming your way!

So many of us have found ourselves in a time when we did not have the right processes or technologies to simplify workloads and make scaleable business models. When this happens, everyone suffers. We may not always have the answers or solutions to ensure that these processes are in place. Sometimes, the right answer is, “I don’t know.” Take this opportunity to learn, make connections in your industry and get excited about the possibilities on the horizon. Teach this to your colleagues and employees. They may not have all the knowledge, but encourage them to ask questions. Take the time to educate them about your industry and get them excited about your mission and the work you do. When people are passionate about your vision, they become a sponge to soak up knowledge! Talk to people in a language they can understand. Not everyone knows the lingo or work of your industry. Get on their level, and they’ll rise to the occasion.

We focus on conversations, not presentations. Sure, a presentation can be helpful and informative. But how do people really connect and retain what they’ve learned? How many relationships have you built solely on a slide show? Probably none. That’s why it is so important to add that personal touch by taking the time to talk with people. Open communication and conversations with your clients and colleagues make you a better leader and innovator. There’s a lot of passion in building relationships. Bring that passion to your team and your business!

When bringing your vision to fruition, it can feel a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of things to think about because we all know that a well-laid plan means nothing if you don’t have or provide the tools to execute your ideas. For example, if you’ve created the best firewall that’s ever been made, it will not go anywhere without a great sales team to bring in new clients and a crew of staff to keep your operations running smoothly. Sometimes looking at the big picture is not the best idea. So many things to do. So little time to do it. One of the best ways to deal with a huge undertaking is to take a note from the great Sherlock Holmes - keep a clean attic. Clear your head, cut out the unnecessary noise of information and make room in your brain for the context that helps you connect the dots and build. Remember, there’s success to be had when you are the architect with a vision instead of a micromanager who loses sight.

Enjoy the ride! The world is ready and eager for your innovation.

Topics: vCIO Business Building for IT Companies MSP
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
2 min read

How to Fire Your MSP

By Adam Walter on Feb 7, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd 

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

The Future MSP

By Adam Walter on Jan 18, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd

Topics: Business Building for IT Companies MSP
2 min read

Inspiration

By Adam Walter on Nov 1, 2021

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd

Topics: Managed Services Providers MSP CIO
2 min read

Episode 163: Exercise and IT

By Adam Walter on Aug 11, 2021

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl

Topics: vCIO IT Management MSP Humanize Podcast
6 min read

vCIO: The Ultimate Guide

By Denes Purnhauser on Jul 10, 2020

The vCIO or Virtual CIO (virtual chief information officer) term was popularized in the managed services industry to initially differentiate one MSP from another by adding higher-level management practices to their services.

The term has been overused and without a lack of an accepted definition, certification or agreement across the industry the term has lost its original meaning. As any MSP could claim to provide vCIO services it is no longer the main differentiator. Meanwhile, the service provided by vCIOs has become more relevant than ever.

That is why most MSPs have their own terminology for the vCIO role such as digital advisor, digital consultant, business technology advisor, and so on. 

Topics: vCIO Managed Services Providers Virtual Chief Information Officer MSP Virtual CIO CIO
6 min read

The 6 Steps of the IT Consultative Sales Process

By Denes Purnhauser on Jun 25, 2020

The currently dominant sales processes aren’t able to generate enough leads nor provide proper differentiation for MSPs. This undermines any chance for predictable growth. When they aren’t able to win new business in a predictable way, managed services providers can’t grow, develop new services, hire the ‘A’ players, develop internal processes or scale. The root problem is that the current transactional (the client is looking for an IT provider) and solution (IT Infrastructure or NIST Cybersecurity Assessments) sales models are reactionary. These methods assume that the client understands the problem and has a pretty good idea of the solution they’re looking for. These models don’t enable the managed services provider to elevate the message, educate the client about what’s important, differentiate the MSP’s offering, set proper expectations, or start a conversation without a buying intent. The IT consultative sales process does all of that and thus provides far more predictability.

Topics: Managed Services Providers IT Sales MSP IT Consultative Sales Win New Clients
15 min read

How to craft a perfect QBR Process

By Denes Purnhauser on Apr 23, 2020

 

Quarterly Business Reviews are tricky. Some clients are not engaged with your QBRs and require a different approach, some clients don't justify the time spent on a QBR every quarter, and some clients are more mature and need different reports, even some demanding complete technology roadmaps and updates...do you need a custom QBR template for each client?! If there's no one fit-for-all QBR process or template it seems that scaling Account Management and vCIO is going to be near impossible, since every client is different.

In this article we show you a method to assess the complexity of your QBR needs and the time you can afford to run those meetings. Then we introduce three different types of QBRs with all the major agenda points, and we'll show you how those QBRs look in an example.

Topics: vCIO Managed Services Providers MSP IT Account Management IT Client Engagement QBR Quarterly Business Review
2 min read

5 Reasons You Lose Deals to Your Competitors

By Mark Woldman on Oct 18, 2019

Are you struggling to sell Managed Services?

If you are struggling to sell services, don't worry, you are not alone. MSPs of all sizes are feeling the pinch when it comes to sales, so this struggle is not exclusive to you. 

Factors such as increases in competition, frugal clients, poor product positioning, diminishing referrals and lack of overall strategy, cumulatively contribute to a continual decline in sales.

Leads are at an all time low and the cost of generating leads is at an all time high. In light of this, it is more important than ever to utilize ways to set yourself apart from the crowd, secure your role as an industry expert and thus, gain credibility from existing and future clients.

Topics: IT Sales Person IT Sales MSP IT Consultative Sales Win New Clients
4 min read

Unleash Your Growth Potential

By Denes Purnhauser on Oct 11, 2019

Whether you’re a “one-man-band”, an emerging MSP with a handful of people, a team about to reach the 20 people mark or even a large 50+ organization you have one thing in common: you may have reached a growth plateau and want to unleash your potential to get to the next level. In hindsight you can recognize that it all comes back to bottlenecks in your organization’s capabilities to unleash those potentials role by role: Account Management, vCIO, Technical Account Management, IT Sales, Cyber Security and even the owners. All of them have low-hanging-fruit opportunities and by snagging those you can get to the next level in a smooth, predictable way.

Topics: vCIO IT Sales Person Managed Services Providers MSP IT Account Management IT Client Engagement Implement New IT Services Win New Clients Profitable Operations Managed Services Platform
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