DiscoverSMB Community Podcast by Karl W. Palachuk
SMB Community Podcast by Karl W. Palachuk
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SMB Community Podcast by Karl W. Palachuk

Author: Karl Palachuk

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Podcasts, articles, and reference materials for Managed Service Providers. Brought to you by internationally recognized MSP Consultant Karl W. Palachuk.
196 Episodes
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I interviewed Alan Conboy of Scale Computing a few days ago. Alan is the CTO office at Scale Computing. With more than 20 years of experience, he is an industry veteran and technology evangelist specializing in designing, prototyping, selling and implementing disruptive storage and virtualization technologies. Prior to Scale Computing, Conboy held positions at Lefthand Networks, ADIC, CreekPath Systems, and Spectra Logic. Conboy is notably one of the first movers in the X86/X64 hyperconvergence space, and one of the first 30 people ever certified by Storage Network Industry Association. Here we discuss Scale's latest partnership with Acronis, a global leader in cyber protection. This OEM partnership offers Acronis Backup to customers through Scale Computing channels, expands its disaster recovery capabilities and delivers archiving, enhanced data protection, and threat mitigation on the Scale Computing HC3 platform. Sites: https://www.scalecomputing.com https://www.scalecomputing.com/blog https://twitter.com/ScaleComputing (@ScaleComputing) https://www.facebook.com/ScaleComputing/ (@ScaleComputing) https://www.linkedin.com/company/scalecomputing/ https://www.youtube.com/user/ScaleComputing :-)  
Had a great impromptu chat with Dave Sobel from MSP Radio and The Business of Tech (and the Killing IT podcast). Dave has spent his time as both an IT Service Provider and a vendor. Now he is jumping into a new venture as an analyst and new reporter. If you haven't checked it out already, head over to MSP Radio and subscribe to The Business of Tech - his daily five-minute podcast. Great stuff. Dave mentions three important rules he's set for himself going forward: 1) Do things that are big, different, and significant 2) Don't talk to product marketing managers 3) Never sit on another pricing panel at conferences Find out what's behind these and how they affect what he's up to. I happen to know Dave has some pretty big things planned with MSP Radio, so tune in now and stay tuned. Revevant Links: MSP Radio: https://www.mspradio.com/ Killing IT Podcast: https://killingit.smallbizthoughts.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davesobel/ :-)    
James Kernan: How to build Equity in your business BEFORE you sell - The 8 secrets to increasing the value of your business I had a great chat with fellow coach James Kernan. James is the author of the 36 Month Millionaire Program, and recently published books, Leadership Essentials for Successful Executives and Business Tips. For the past 12 years, James has served as a Principal Consultant for Kernan Consulting and provides Coaching, Advising and Mentoring programs to entrepreneurs and leaders. We only had a half hour, but James covered a lot of territory. In today's crazy M&A environment, many people are approaching the sale of their business before they're ready. That is, they haven't done the ground work to maximize the value of their business before they get serious about selling it. This discussion is chock-full of great advice! Kernan Consulting offers One on One Coaching, CEO Peer Groups, M&A Consulting and online training programs. For more information on the company please visit: www.KernanConsulting.com or call: 888.VAR.COACH Kernan Consulting empowers small-business owners to grow themselves, their teams and their profits using practical, proven and trusted business wisdom. If you want to learn how to create a winning company culture, grow a team of passionate and loyal workers who will help you win. If you want to learn how to market and sell better than your competition, and compensate your people in a way that motivates them to achieve more, then Kernan Consulting is for you. It’s practical, applicable advice that can transform your business and help you become an incredible leader who others will gladly follow. Links: https://kernanconsulting.com/ https://www.facebook.com/james.kernan https://twitter.com/jkernan https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-kernan-varcoach/ https://www.instagram.com/james_kernan/   :-)  
In this podcast, I interview Andrew Lassise, a serial entrepreneur who has built Rush Tech Support from his living room in 2014 to a multi million dollar managed services provider. He got sober in 2013 and has an incredible story of triumph over alcoholism and growing and scaling an IT company Andrew also has a podcast, Self Made & Sober. He talks with entrepreneurs who are in recovery and are successful in business. We kick it off with Andrew's story of hitting the bottom while being pulled over for drunk driving. It was in climbing out of that hole that Andrew found his love for IT service delivery. An interesting twist here is that Andrew has ended up with a podcast where people tell their stories. They open themselves to vulnerability. And their stories help them go to their clients and prospects with their values and integrity on display. An interesting person and story - I think you'll agree. Links: www.rushtechsupport.com www.selfmade-coaching.com :-)  
I had a lot of fun recording this podcast with Nicholas Ford (Account Executive - Partner Network at SherWeb) and Jacob Wellman (Associate Account Executive at SherWeb). In addition to working together, these guys are friends who have built a great culture in their department. See the photo we discuss at www.smbcommunitypodcast.com. Topics include fun at work, building a fun culture, and figuring out how to motivate people and teams. And while we have a lot of fun here, there's also lots of great advice about building your team. You can connect with these guys on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-ford-b5a371b1/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacob-wellman-7a879412b/   Comments welcome.
I interviewed Ahin Thomas, Vice President of Backblaze. He describes himself as "A former bartender, songwriter and hand model." Ahin previously worked as director of eCommerce at Sears Holdings, was the co-founder and CEO of Vintners' Alliance, and was the head of marketing for Symphony Commerce. In this interview, Ahin talks about Backblaze's major products: Computer Backup and Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage. Computer Backup provides unlimited data storage, native clients that silently run in the background for Mac/Windows, and affordable prices with rock solid endpoint backups that do not require maintenance. Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage works well with an established company and includes reliable/predictable pricing in an industry where it is lacking. It also empowers companies to "move to the cloud" and leaves room for MSPs to make a profit where they can switch to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage, giving customers a discount vs. Amazon S3, and pocket the difference. Relevant links: - https://www.backblaze.com - https://www.backblaze.com/blog/ - https://twitter.com/backblaze (@backblaze) - https://www.facebook.com/backblaze (@backblaze) - https://www.youtube.com/backblaze :-)  
I caught up with Chris Wiser last week and grilled him on some of the secrets of creating a million dollar business. The number one need in this industry is sales, and all the elements that lead to that (leads, prospects, appointments). But, as Chris says, even if MSPs get those opportunities, they can't close "without lowering their price." Chris Wiser is the Founder and CEO of The Wiser Agency, a Digital Marketing, Coaching & Sales Agency based in Austin, Texas. The Wiser Agency focuses on helping IT & Managed Service Providers grow their businesses through Online Marketing, Advertising, and Sales Training. The Wiser Agency's '7 Figure MSP' system currently has over 200 clients all on their way to adding 7 Figures of revenue to their businesses this year. You can apply to be a partner at www.7figuremsp.com. Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/OfficialChrisWiser LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/cwiser Web: www.chriswiser.com Web: www.thewiseragency.com   :-)  
I interviewed Keith Gillette, founder of TaskTrain, a new documentation tool for checklists and procedures. He describes TaskTrain as "A practical tool to scale your business by eliminating avoidable errors & increasing operational efficiency. Keith Gillette is a "process pragmatist" and Founder/CEO of TaskTrain, a process management SaaS application streamlined for SMBs. Keith has more than 25 years of IT operations management experience in both embedded and virtual CIO roles. He holds a Master of Science in Information & Telecommunications Systems Management as well as a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Keith is a Six Sigma-certified senior member of the American Society for Quality. As a systems administrator, Keith was often burned by lack of system configuration and procedural documentation, so he became diligent in documenting everything he did. He carried that lesson with him when he advanced to IT leadership. His motto became "If it's not documented, it's not done." Based on that experience, Keith launched TaskTrain as the tool he wished he had back in the day. Web Site: https://TaskTrain.app LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/company/tasktrain/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Task_Train Facebook: https://facebook.com/TaskTrain/  
I had a great chat with my old friend Nigel Moore from Australia about his new book, Package Price Profit. (You can buy it on Amazon in paperback or Kindle edition.) This book is a great overview of pricing and bundling options in the IT service industry. I particularly love his analogy about so-called All You Can Eat: Everything at the buffet is included. If you want us to make a special dish for you, that's not included! Of course Nigel is also the founder of the Tech Tribe - www.thetechtribe.com. So we chatted about that a bit. The official book site is www.packagepriceprofit.com. :-)
I had a great chat with my old friend Nigel Moore from Australia about his new book, Package Price Profit. (You can buy it on Amazon in paperback or Kindle edition.) This book is a great overview of pricing and bundling options in the IT service industry. I particularly love his analogy about so-called All You Can Eat: Everything at the buffet is included. If you want us to make a special dish for you, that's not included! Of course Nigel is also the founder of the Tech Tribe - www.thetechtribe.com. So we chatted about that a bit.   The official book site is www.packagepriceprofit.com.   :-)    
Killing It with MDF

Killing It with MDF

2019-10-0400:32:21

This is a great interview with Jennifer Fields of ASTEK Marketing. I have worked with Jennifer for 2+ years now. She’s the real deal. ASTEK Marketing is based in Kenosha, WI. They have an office there for doing call-downs and follow-ups on the marketing services they provide. ASTEK specializes in marketing for MSPs: strategic planning, direct marketing, executing call-downs, and more. They have a new office in Kenosha, but it’s populated with people who have been with ASTEK for several years. We cover a lot of territory in this podcast, but the my favorite part was the discussion of MDF – Marketing Development Funds that are available from many vendors. In addition to simply helping you spend the money, ASTEK actually helps you apply for the funds and makes you they are distributed. The bottom line is that they provide a very technology-specific marketing. Everyone understands your offer. AND they understand the context of what you do. So if you’re doing VOIP or security, their team understands all those other options. So they can pick up on opportunities that a non-technical marketing team would miss. Overall, a fun conversation. Check it out and post your questions below. (Jennifer is also a community leader in the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community.) Find Jennifer at: www.astekmarketing.com.
It's always great to catch up with my old friend Vince Tinnirello. Vince Tinnirello Vince is the Managing Director of Anchor Network Solutions, a Denver-based managed IT service provider, founded in 2002. He is the immediate past Chair of the CompTIA Managed Services Community, and very passionate about the IT Services industry and the service Anchor delivers to its clients. Vince lives in the foothills of Denver, and when not working enjoys skiing, climbing, mountain biking and golf. He recently completed his goal to summit all of Colorado’s 55 mountains above 14,000 feet and to ski in Japan. After spending many years with Marriott, Vince moved to the IT industry and realized that lots of technicians aren't very good with the personal side of business. So he went to work training and guiding his employees to support his brand. Vince tells a great story about climbing all the major mountain peaks in Colorado (some more than once). Of course that leads to a discussion of relaxing your brain and recharging your batteries. Vince is also a big advocate (and member) of Peer Groups. Even with a three million dollar business, Vince finds value in meeting with other business owners to talk about their challenges and victories. Here he talks about the peer session tracks that he manages for DattoCon. In general, we have a fun conversation about client engagement, employee management, and peer level relationships.
Since selling his Managed Service Provider business, Richard has helped dozens of MSPs to grow their own companies. He works with the owners of IT businesses to help them free up their time, concentrate on doing what is important and making more money. In his interactive presentations, Richard offers some practical advice on how he would run a great MSP today — including his tips for selling MSP services. Richard has a great book called The IT Business Owner's Survival Guide. It really is a good guide to getting out of your own way and thriving as a small business owner. Check out the reviews on Amazon. Whether you're new to the IT industry or you've been at it for awhile, this book will help you out! Richard Tubb One tip Richard shares that I am totally on board with: Turn you phone OFF at night and don't sleep with. Don't jump out of bed and grab the phone. Technology is awesome, but we should maintain control. Another great tip: Richard has a world-class out-of-office email process. He describes this in some detail. If you want a copy, wait until the weekend and send him an email. You'll get a great example almost immediately. I particularly like the tip that you do not include information on how to interrupt you since the phone interruption has failed. (Richard gives his email at about 20 minutes in.) Lots of great tips in this podcast. Give it a listen. Links www.tubblog.co.uk Newsletter: www.tubblog.co.uk/nl Books: https://www.tubblog.co.uk/books/ Twitter: www.twitter.com/tubblog :-)
Today's guest is Mr. Tim Taylor, author of How to Start and Run a Successful I.T. Company - Without Using your Shirt, available on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, and Audible. Tim is from Memphis, TN. He has always worked in the IT field. When he was 40, he started his own practice out of the trunk of his car. Today, he runs a multi-million dollar practice in Florida and employs over 15 people. Tim Taylor Tim likes to help people just starting out or struggling in their MS practices. He specializes in helping people turn around their companies and making them profitable. Links: www.timtaylorconsulting.com Facebook :-)
After a 20 year career as a commercial general contractor and 25 years as a small business consultant and IT provider, Bob Nitrio made two major decisions. The first was to move from California to Arizona for family purposes. The second was to move way from managed services and concentrate on his partnership with a software developer who had some amazing ideas for how mobile phones could be used by businesses and organizations. Bob Nitrio As a result, Bob now creates marketing resources that explain SmartConnect Apps by LogicTree It Solutions. As Bob say, "This incredible platform literally transforms mobility into productivity." The mobile apps created with this platform are designed to solve gaps in the way information is acquired and used by both clients and businesses. The evolution of the company's focus is an interesting story in itself, one with many business lessons. There are many businesses and organizations that don't know that they actually have a mobile workforce - their employees who own smartphones! Smartphones have paved the way to change business outcomes by making it easier for people to exchange information. If you can do that without extensive training or investment, you can creatively acquire data, report and manage it , and control workflows and outcomes. Now there is a way for IT professionals to offer a mobility solution as a service that can be customized for a broad cross-section of clients service without the need for a significant investment of time or money. If you can determine your clients' pain points, there just might be a way to solve them using the underappreciated smartphone. We can show you how to add mobility to your solution stack quickly and easily. Web Sites: - www.smartconnectapps.com - www.logictreeit.com Video Channels: - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsw4M6M0oXYbKUIbemqJJ9A - https://vimeo.com/logictreeitsolutions :-)
I caught up with Terry Hedden from Marketopia for this podcast. Normally, I see Terry on the road, but we're going to miss each other for the next few months. AND he's got a big sales coaching event coming up while I'm down in Australia. So, it was good to catch up on the podcast. Terry started out as an IT service provider. He built and sold a 49 person MSP in 6 years. Now he runs Marketopia, the largest demand generation firm for MSPs. Marketopia provides outsourced marketing and outbound lead generation. As Terry says, they are most successful when an MSP lets them run the lead generation based on their proven process. In other words, when you try to do it differently, you are likely to be less successful. :-) This interview has a lot of detail on the services Marketopia offers (including some very good pricing information). In October, Marketopia is putting on a training event called 4U2Grow - see https://www.4u2grow.com/ for more information. The conference is October 8-11. Primary web site: https://www.marketopia.com/ :-)
Jay McBain is Forrester's Principal Analyst, Channels, Partnership, and Alliances. He's always fun to talk to. And get ready to listen to this one two or three times. Jay drops numbers all the time. So go get a pencil before you hit "play." You can connect with Jay at:  https://go.forrester.com/blogs/author/jay_mcbain/ Jay is one of the most visible thought leaders in the global technology channel. He was named to the Top 40 Under Forty by the Business Review as well as numerous channel media top influencer lists, he is often sought out for industry guidance and future trends. He has spent his 25 year career in various executive channel sales, marketing, and strategy roles within IBM, Lenovo, Autotask, and ChannelEyes. A few quick stats: Jay counts 54 Channel magazines across 200 countries 150 tradeshows A dozen associations Plus peer groups 80 LinkedIn groups 30 Facebook Groups and about 600,000 channel service companies overall The conversation covers a lot of ground. I promise you'll get a "bigger" picture of the world you compete it. :-)    
I caught up with Rayanne Buchianico from Sell My MSP (http://www.sellmymsp.com). She gave us the big update on their 2019 Refresh. It’s more than a web site update. They’ve got a new valuation tool and more. Rayanne Buchianico Rayanne owns ABC Solutions in Clearwater, FL. She help MSPs get their finances straightened in order to run their company most efficiently. As you can imagine, this includes some great skills that will help MSPs as they start looking at selling their companies. ABC Solutions is a public accounting firm in Clearwater, FL. They focus on helping MSPs with accounting and bookkeeping services. Rayanne created the very cool valuation tool you’ll find at sellmymsp.com. That tool is newly reconfigured to look at Gross Revenue, Gross Profit, or EBITDA prices. Rayanne discusses this a bit in the interview. We cover a lot of territory here, including both the buyers’ and the sellers’ perspectives. We also talk about the practical side of cleaning up your profit and loss statement so you’re ready to go on the market. Yes, we discuss fees with complete transparency. Of course Rayanne will help you with the work of fixing your P&L if you need that. Such services are not included in the listing fee, of course. My favorite surprising note from this interview: Even if you’re not profitable, your clients might be worth something! Obviously, there’s more money with more profit. But your business is probably worth something even if you don’t make a big profit! Disclaimer: I have used Rayanne’s Company (ABC Solutions) to help me revise, update, and “fix” my QuickBooks accounts. I receive no money or even a tall beer if you spend your money with ABC Solutions or Sell My MSP. Also: The FTC has no idea how business works in the real world. Side note: Rayanne is teaching a class on maximizing your financials starting August 6th. It’s called Financial Services for the IT Services Industry. See www.greatlittleseminar.com. Another favorite note: There are two types of business owners. One maximizes tax deductions and shows no profit on the bottom line. The other maximizes profit and ends up paying more taxes. ONE of these is far more valuable on the day you sell your business.
Tim Conkle on "The 20"

Tim Conkle on "The 20"

2019-07-2500:31:17

I always see Mr. Tim Conkle on the road - as places like ChannelPro. Luckily, I got to catch up with him on the SMB Community Podcast. Tim Conkle - The 20 Tim holds over 30 years of entrepreneurial success in the Information Technology and Services sector. As a leading voice in the Managed IT Service Provider space, Tim is dedicated to developing simple, solid IT solutions for SMB clients and MSPs (Managed Service Providers) across the nation. His notoriously energetic nature, along with his deep-rooted passion for technology, has helped him forge solid customer relationships built on trust, dependability, and service. Tim currently serves as President & CEO of Roland Technology, President of the Board of Directors for Cytracom, and is a member of the Forbes Technology Council and Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO). As CEO of The 20, Conkle is the driving force behind a business revolutionizing the IT industry. By utilizing a proven multi-million dollar sales model and an execution framework that he developed, Tim helps MSPs attain profitability and success. Through The 20’s business model, Tim has advised more than 175 MSPs in sales and operations, resulting in catastrophic revenue generation and millions of dollars in savings from process improvements and single-funnel vendor access. If you're interested in attending The 20's Vision conference, you can Save $100 off your ticket with the code PALACHUK. See www.the20vision.com. Contact Info: Web - https:/www.the20.com Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/The20MSP/ LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-20/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/the20msp https://youtu.be/FyrMjEnfoxI :-)
Dominica DeGrandis is Director of Digital Transformation at Tasktop, where she helps customers improve the flow of work across value streams. Responsible for introducing customers to flow-based aspects of digital transformation, she guides IT teams and business teams to learn and adopt new ways of working to improve performance. Dominica is the author of “Making Work Visible: Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & Flow.” She is a huge fan of using visual cues to reveal mutually critical information across organizations to inspire change and spur alignment. Dominica lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and extended family. Dominica DeGrandis Here we talk about metrics, work flow, and the great benefits of minimizing WIP – work in progress. We also talked about engaging managers in the discussion of work flow and metrics. DeGrandis is excellent at seeing how processes work and finding ways to help participants literally see how work flows through the system. She advocates using Kanban boards to create a view of what’s going on at various levels in an organization. This can also help individuals see how their specific metrics affect the larger business goals. We also discussed the topic of “Priority vs. Calendar.” DeGrandis has a talk on this subject. She talks about The 30 Minute Jam, the All Day Cram, and the Triple-Book Wham. Many people – especially creative people – need large blocks of time on the calendar in order to reach and maintain “flow” and get quality work done. I love her assertion that most people have more control over their calendar than they believe. Lots of good stuff here. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk_9ZRIGQP8
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Comments (2)

Michael Bayless

I agree Manny. When we do projects the majority is done in piecemeal with limited downtime so you can just have anyone work it as they have time.

Nov 30th
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Michael Bayless

A good way to setup your queue is by creating three buckets. 1. Emergency; 2. Repair; 3. Maintenance/Projects You have to define what these look like. From here, you either have a tech or two for each of these buckets or anyone can take a ticket from any bucket. Once someone touches a ticket they either finish it or work what they can then move it back to the correct queue. this can be the same queue or a different queue. Either way it now restarts in the F.I.F.O. processes.

Nov 30th
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