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.
255 Episodes
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Host Karl sat down with Pete Matheson for the second time in two months. Here we get an update on Pete's YouTube channel traffic and the lessons he's learned. Check out Pete's last appearance here: https://www.smbcommunitypodcast.com/2021/01/pete-matheson-using-video-to-grow-your-it-business/ Basically, Pete saw great opportunities with YouTube, so he jumped in and gave it a lot of his attention. In this podcast, he gives us the update on how he is growing revenue with his channel. He also gives us lots of great tips and tricks on building an audience AND providing business-related content. Lesson number one: Start a channel! Lesson two: Just start posting videos. Don't wait until they're great (or perfect). Just do it. Lesson three: Get comfortable and let people see your personality. After all, that's what people buy. Pete gives some great examples of the videos he produced as an IT consultant. These are client-facing. From there, he moved to helping IT pros figure out videos for their business. Sites: https://petematheson.co.uk https://youtube.com/petematheson https://www.linkedin.com/in/petematheson/ https://twitter.com/petematheson :-)
Karl and Mike get together for an update on security. As you know, 2020 was quite a year. There was new legislation at the state and local levels, primarily in response to an explosion of sophisticated attacks of ransomware. We went into a good deal of detail on new NIST and CMMC recommendations, as well as a major update on HIPAA. Mike Semel is a noted thought leader, speaker, blogger, and best-selling author. He is the President of Semel Consulting, focused on compliance regulations; cyber security; and Business Continuity planning. Mike has also developed Semel Systems, a series of cybersecurity and compliance training and go-to-market systems for MSPs. Link: www.mikesemel.com :-)  
Karl caught up with a fellow CompTIA Executive Committee member, Pete Busam from Equilibrium Consulting. Pete and Karl sit on the Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity E.C. Pete Busam is the founder and owner of Equilibrium Consulting, LLC, a management consulting and outsourced marketing firm specializing in assisting channel and technology services organizations with establishing partner relationships, and directing IT channel strategy, design and execution. He has more than 35 years of experience in the channel, where he began as a technician. Since then, he has operated several successful technology services providers and continues to be recognized by clients, partners and channel publications for his outstanding performance, commitment and contributions to the industry. His thought-provoking insights on the channel have been published by numerous industry-leading trade publications, including CRN, ChannelPro, Channel Futures and Channel Insider. An industry thought leader, he has given presentations and participated in panel discussions at numerous channel events over the years. He has also provided commentary on the industry for The Philadelphia Business Journal, Entrepreneur and the Wall Street Journal. Fully committed to the communities he immerses himself in, Pete is an active member with CompTIA, The Sales Association Sales Leader Council, Forbes Coaches Council and the American Legion. He is a United States Navy veteran. Websites equilibriumconsult.com connectmyPSA.com LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/equilibrium-consulting-llc/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/EquilibriumConsulting :-)
Host Karl interviews Paul Katzoff from White Canyon Software. White Canyon provides software to really, truly, honestly remove all the data on hard drives so it cannot be recovered. As Paul points out, we could download free tools from the internet, but "they don't get certified for a reason - they don't work." Wipe Drive can erase one drive at a time, a dozen at a time, or even build a Pixi network. In addition to securing old hard drives, Wipe Drive makes it easy to recycle systems to keep them out of the land fill and help not-for-profit associations with donated hardware. The program also gives you great reports that can be shared as proof that hard drives have been wiped clean. For almost a decade, Paul has worked with technology companies seeking manageable growth and brand loyalty/expansion. His career has ranged from being an integral part of a new business start-up team, to becoming a key driver in the business enabling it to become both sustainable and profitable. Currently, Paul serves as the CEO of White Canyon Software -- a data security company used by 44 of the fortune 100 companies. Web Site - https://www.whitecanyon.com/ :-)  
James Kernan interviews Hartland Ross from eBridge Marketing Solutions. Hartland has been working in the sales and marketing of IT services and SaaS firms since 1999. He is well recognized and regarded in the IT services industry and to date has worked with hundreds of firms providing opportunities for business growth through M&A, marketing strategy and by providing industry advice, recommendations and introductions. With over 20 years of business development experience and having worked with technology firms since 2001, Hartland is a sought after conference speaker and authority who is often interviewed and quoted in industry related case studies and articles. eBridge Marketing Solutions focuses on working with B2B IT service firms looking for alternative growth strategies to complement existing efforts. We focus on both organic (digital marketing) as well as M&A options for those in the following industries: Web hosting, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, MSPs, Data Centers and IT Security companies. Links: http://www.thehostbroker.com/ https://www.ebridgemarketingsolutions.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/hartlandross/ ----- Sponsor Note: Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud. Are you still relying on a frustrating patchwork of legacy solutions? Modernize your cybersecurity and data protection with Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud. It’s a single solution that combines backup, anti-malware, and endpoint protection management. As an MSP, you can easily improve clients’ security posture, eliminate complexity, and generate more recurring revenue. Learn more about Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud at Acronis.com. :-)  
Karl interviews Janet Schijns from the JS Group. Janet is the CEO and Digital Ninja of JS Group, a leading go-to-market consultancy in the technology industry. She's a former executive at Motorola, Verizon and Office Depot. Plus, Janet is the founder of Tech Worlds Half, a not-for-profit dedicated to keeping women in the technology industry. Her recent awards include: Channel Influencer of the Year Top 10 Women in Technology Top 50 Influencer in Technology ... and her newest accolade: Analytics Insight "10 Most Impactful Women in Technology 2020" Plus she's a Star Wars raving fan! Janet has a super focus on channel marketing. The mission statement of the JS Group is: "Save the Channel." What a great mission. Here Janet makes the argument that the "digital transformation" has already happened. We are now in the digital normal. If you missed it, that's on you: you need to catch up. Sites/Links: https://www.jsgnow.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/janetschijns/ https://twitter.com/channelsmart :-)  
Host Karl interviews Daniel Welling from Marlow, UK. Here we look at "organic growth" vs. buying companies as a growth strategy. Which is best for you? Daniel started his career in IT in 1995, following a sales track, working for a number of VARs and quickly developing a consultative approach to new business and account management, leading to Sales Management within a few years. The urge to do more resulted in forming an IT support business (what today we call an MSP!) in 2002 which developed over the following 12-years with the obligatory highs, lows and lessons learned. In 2014 the opportunity arose to exit the business in a trade sale, allowing Daniel to pursue his non-IT interests, which have included further highs, lows and lessons in the fields of motorsport and soft drinks, while remaining involved with the MSP market through being an active member of MSP communities, taking a part time role with the acquirer of his business and growing a base of other MSPs with whom he has worked in the blended-capacity of mentor, consultant, NED and devils advocate. Note: Daniel is a late-comer to the community of IT pros who meet all over the world. He discovered this great community after he sold his business. Site: https://www.wellingmsp.com :-)  
Host Karl sat down with Pete to talk about promoting IT businesses. Pete started his own MSP in 2011. For the next near decade that business grew, hit and exceeded the magic £1m turnover mark (one million pounds revenue), grew to 16-staff, strong and the business brand itself became well known locally as something for other MSPs to aspire to. In early 2020 Pete exited the business to pursue other interests, including Video, and helping other MSP Owners! In this conversation, we start with a discussion of mergers and acquisitions and that flows into a general discussion of business success. One big question: What's your number? Pete completed the sale of his business as the pandemic shutdown was taking place. So that's a great story. Before selling the business, Pete invested in video (YouTube) production. His big challenge was: How do you use YouTube videos to promote your IT business? Pete kept the YouTube channel - and you can find it at youtube.com/petematheson. Pete gives some great examples of the videos he produced as an IT consultant. These are client-facing. From there, he moved to helping IT pros figure out videos for their business. Sites: petematheson.co.uk  youtube.com/petematheson https://www.linkedin.com/in/petematheson/ https://twitter.com/petematheson :-)  
with Dylan Dahlquist dylanquestdigital ( at ) gmail.com Google's Advertising platform is versatile, far-reaching, and pretty confusing. Sometimes getting a clear return on ad spend can feel closer to wizardry than science, but that's why Dylan has spent years figuring out methods for businesses and organizations to grow with Google Ads. He has success managing Ad Accounts for a variety of businesses and non-profit organizations. Dylan is also a Digital artist as well as a published Scientist. Wow! "I just searched my business and I saw...." This is the statement many digital marketers/advertises hear from clients moments before disaster strikes. Google-ing your name/business is an outdated way of measuring your online presence, and a great way to distract yourself from actually helpful tools that could grow your business/brand online. Interested in Google ads? Email DylanQuestDigital ( at ) gmail.com :-)  
I caught up with Richard Tubb near the end of November. In addition to a general catch-up, we recorded a podcast on Marketing Tips! We did this after an experience we shared that resulted in extra bonus marketing for Richard - because he was prepared. It got me thinking about how being ready to take advantage of opportunities goes a long ways. In this conversation, Richard shares some great ideas for IT professionals who want to krank up continuous marketing - which is a great idea! Note: One tool Richard mentioned in the interview is Text Expander: https://textexpander.com/.   I mention a blog post I did on Richard recently. You can find that here: https://blog.smallbizthoughts.com/2020/10/meet-richard-tubb-true-community.html The easiest way to connect with Richard is via his primary web site: Resources for MSPs - https://www.tubblog.co.uk/resources/ I particularly encourage you to sign up for his weekly newsletter - MSP Insights - https://www.tubblog.co.uk/nl You can check out his blog over on my blog roll, or go direct to https://www.tubblog.co.uk Richard also has a fun podcast for IT Consultants called TubbTalk - http://tubb.co/TubbTalk . . . and a YouTube (TubbTube) channel at http://tubb.co/TubbTube And last, but not least, Richard has written several books, which you can explore at https://www.tubblog.co.uk/books/ :-) Sponsor Note: Gozynta Mobius Gozynta Mobius – the easiest way for ConnectWise Manage and QuickBooks Online to connect. Keep invoices, expenses, and inventory automatically updated right from Manage to QuickBooks Online, and payments right back into Manage. With simple pricing, set it and forget it auto sync, Gozynta Mobius delivers with no restrictions on the number of invoices, expenses and payments, and plays well with others like ConnectBooster. Trusted by over a thousand MSPs. Now introducing a free plan, Go to gozynta.com/mobius, and tell them Karl sent you.  
Karl interviews co-host James Kernan on his new book, Tech Up or Lose Out. James is the editor and publisher of the book. And, of course, he wrote a good deal of it. James calls this book the Entrepreneurs Guide to IT. The target audience is small business - not just IT businesses. You might, for example, give this book to clients to educate them on why they need tech support. The basic goal is to show business owners how they can leverage technology as a competitive advantage in your business. James Kernan is the CEO of Kernan Consulting, Inc. an international award winning management consulting company. They have become one of the most successful consulting firms in the country, primarily serving Information Technology Value-Added-Resellers or MSP’s. Its core competencies include Coaching, Advising and Mentoring programs like the Mastermind CEO Peer Groups, Leadership, Sales Training and its One-on-One Consulting Programs. Since 2006, over 500 businesses in six different countries have successfully been coached through their programs. The book is a collaborative effort with 11 of the brightest tech experts in North America. This team has come together to provide entrepreneurs an outline of how they can leverage technology as a competitive advantage in their business. From Cloud to Business Intelligence, this book has the tech basics you need to succeed. Related Web Sites, etc.: - www.KernanConsulting.com - https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-kernan-varcoach/ - https://www.facebook.com/james.kernan :-) Sponsor Note: Gatekeeper from Calyptix Security Introducing Gatekeeper from Calyptix Security: zero trust access securing RDP and SSH connections with two factor authentication without open ports to the internet, client installs or VPN. Two years of partner driven development brings audit friendly access across all types of devices. Reduce stress and implement proper safeguards as advised by the FBI, NSA and DHS, all in a purpose-built solution for small businesses. Interested? Learn even more by visiting calyptix.com/gatekeeper, and when you do, tell them Karl sent you.    
Host James Kernan interviews Sarah Hansen on Social Media Marketing. Sarah runs Hansen Collective, a firm that uses online marketing expertise to help both international and domestic clients, while also fostering a community and educating her audience on creating effective social media strategies for personal brands and businesses alike. Hansen Collective combines modern social media marketing strategies with custom content to boost your business’s online presence. Our mission is to help your brand better communicate with your audience, and in doing so, create profitable social platforms. The greatest weakness Sarah find with social media strategies is that many companies use a cookie-cutter approach that doesn't feel natural online. She prefers a more natural, organic, and therefore successful approach. Web Sites, etc.: - www.hansencollective.com - www.instagram.com/hansencollective - www.linkedin.com/hansensarah21 - www.facebook.com/hansencollective :-)  
Karl interviews Manuel Palachuk, author and coach. Manuel is introducing a new kind of interactive event call The IT Confidential. See https://theitconfidential.com. The new venture is a bit like a webinar/podcast with a major twist: A live audience. The goal is to take a hard look at some issues that others are not talking about in the channel. Plus, he got a cool look and feel for the web site. One other fronts: We start by checking in on how things are going during the pandemic. So far, our industry seems to be doing pretty well. There are exceptions, of course, but the overall picture is pretty positive. We also look at the bigger picture and what the "next normal" will look like when the pandemic is over. Next year might be a lot like this year. But Manuel suspect 2022 should be much closer to the old normal. AND Manuel is announcing a new training series call Agile IT Service Delivery. Like "agile" in software development, Agile Service Delivery is a self-improving service delivery process based on continuous incremental improvement. You can find out more about that at https://agileservicedelivery.com/. In general, you can learn more about Manuel at ManuelPalachuk.com, and you can contact him at "manuelpalachuk" on all the social media. :-)
Karl caught up with Chris Timm from Sondela Consulting. Chris has a long history in the SMB IT community. He is a former MSP owner and spent a few years at Autotask. Today Chris is a coach and thought leader around making the most of your PSA. He runs a podcast with Rayanne Buchianico at http://psaimpact.net/. Check it out! But our focus here is Chris's new book! PSA Profitability is available on Amazon and Kindle. The Amazon.com link is https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1838111301/. Here Tim gives us some great advice about picking the right PSA for your business. Like many software packages, the right tool for one company is not the right tool for all companies. A good PSA with be customizable for your procedures and processes. Chris is a huge advocate of tracking all time in the PSA. But, at the same time, he says that you shouldn't buy a PSA if all you need is a ticketing system. If you need a ticketing system, go buy one. A PSA is a much bigger-picture tool. Yes, it includes a ticketing module. But it's a lot more than that. Overall, a great conversation. Related Links: - Web: www.sondelaconsulting.com - Podcast: psaimpact.net - Book: www.psaprofitability.com :-)  
Using LinkedIn to Generate Leads for MSPs with Nathaniel Freedman, Tech Pro Marketing Karl interviews Nathaniel Freedman, CEO of Tech Pro Marketing. As Nate says: You don't want marketing help from just anyone — you want it from someone who is focused exclusively on using MSP Marketing to help MSPs generate leads. Tech Pro Marketing is dedicated to delivering predictable, quality leads to Managed Service Providers and help fill their sales pipelne. Karl and Nate explore ways you can do better with your lead generation, specifically with LinkedIn. Related Resources: https://www.techpromarketing.com https://smartermsp.com/author/nate-freedman/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/natefreedman/ :-)  
Karl caught up with coach Erick Simpson (www.ericksimpson.com). He works with a lot of partners, and we talk about what partners are experiencing as the extended "work from home" world evolves. Luckily, many IT service providers are thriving and doing well helping their clients to be successful. That is a great example of technology that used to be "nice" and is no critical. So that has turned into an unexpected opportunity. But we are also faced with an unexpected challenge: Selling remotely. Erick talks about how we can use the extended functions of Zoom (or Teams or whatever) to help you deliver a killer sales presentation. From there, we dive into some specifics. How do you do qualifications and meeting setups remotely? Be prepared. Make the technology invisible. Plus lots of other great tips and information! Web site: www.ericksimpson.com :-)   Sponsor Note: Gatekeeper from Calyptix Security Introducing Gatekeeper from Calyptix Security: zero trust access securing RDP and SSH connections with two factor authentication without open ports to the internet, client installs or VPN. Two years of partner driven development brings audit friendly access across all types of devices. Reduce stress and implement proper safeguards as advised by the FBI, NSA and DHS, all in a purpose-built solution for small businesses. Interested? Learn even more by visiting calyptix.com/gatekeeper, and when you do, tell them Karl sent you.    
Karl interviews Ben Niernberg from MNJ Technologies. MNJ is an MSP that also helps other MSPs resell phone services and Internet connectivity. Ben currently oversees all sales, marketing, services and vendor management relations for MNJ Technologies. Before joining MNJ, he spent a decade at Canon Solutions America, a subsidiary of Canon USA Company, where he was in a variety of management and executive roles. At MNJ, Ben remains focused on working with new and existing customers to solve their technology and services business issues that they deal with every day. Ben is thrilled about the future of MNJ Technologies and the exciting growth that has already been realized. For many organizations, connectivity is a key financial, administrative and usability pain point. Legacy solutions like MPLS may be adding unnecessary expense. Traditional circuit/bandwidth services and newer SD-WAN offerings are typically sourced from different providers, making it difficult to optimize spend as well as forcing IT teams to manage multiple bills and complicating troubleshooting. Slow connections frustrate employees (especially those now working from home) while also hampering productivity. Managed services provider MNJ Technologies is solving those problems for mid-market customers by consolidating all telecom services under one roof through its role as both a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) and SD-WAN provider. Web Sites: https://www.mnjtech.com/ :-)  
Host Amy Babinchak interviews Josh Barker from TechRug (the Technology Risk Underwriting Group). Their topic is: The Insurance Landscape for MSP's. Amy starts out with the big question: What's up with the big price increases? Is it all ransomware? And just so we don't put all the blame on the "bad guys," Amy and Josh also discuss the promises made by MSPs that get them into trouble. If your web site embellishes your promises, you are setting expectations that could cause problems - for you! Josh Barker is the Senior Account Executive and Advisor at techrug (The Technology Risk Underwriting Group). Prior to joining techrug in 2014, Josh owned a consulting firm providing loss assessment and adjustment services to numerous national and international insurance carriers. Josh has 15 years of experience in the insurance industry and is currently in the process of securing his designation as a Certified Risk Manager (CRM). The insurance market for MSP's is changing rapidly. Links: https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-barker-7a852832 https://techrug.com/ :-)  
I caught up with Paul Green again, from Paul Green's MSP Marketing. One of the first things Pauls says is that you can't really speed up sales most of the time because you don't have the power place your prospects in a position of "needing" your services. Your goal is to be there when they realize they have a need. But you can't create the need. In this interview, Paul talks about the power of physical marketing (e.g., postal mailings). Unlike twenty years ago, printed material demands attention today. Paul gives some great tips on using postal mailings to remain top-of-mind when clients realize they need help. Another technique he digs into is to create reactive web sites. In this context, that means to send information to people who visit your web site. This requires some setup since you have to have a way to track visitors at a serious level. This is way beyond popups. Pauls covers lots of other great tips for MSPs who are looking for new clients. He even talks about how to get non-salespeople to help build relationships with clients on your behalf. As always, a great interview. Check it out. Related sites: https://www.paulgreensmspmarketing.com/ https://www.paulgreensmspmarketing.com/resources/#webinar -- -- -- Sponsor note: Gozynta Mobius – the easiest way for ConnectWise Manage and QuickBooks Online to connect. Keep invoices, expenses, and inventory automatically updated right from Manage to QuickBooks Online, and payments right back into Manage. With simple pricing, set it and forget it auto sync, Gozynta Mobius delivers with no restrictions on the number of invoices, expenses and payments, and plays well with others like ConnectBooster. Trusted by over a thousand MSPs. Now introducing a free plan, Go to gozynta.com/mobius, and tell them Karl sent you. :-)  
I caught up with Amy as she's running around (virtually) getting ready for the big Acronis Summit 2020. More information at https://summit.acronis.events. The Acronis Summit is . . . October 19-20-21 Registration is free at https://summit.acronis.events Amy is a long-time friend of the Channel and is now the Channel Chief Evangelist at Acronis. She is organizing a number of the sessions for the Summit, including all of the workshops. I'm doing a workshop on selling security (Stop Selling New Stuff the Old Way). Other workshops will be delivered by Amy Babinchak, Erick Simpson, and Rayanne Buchianico. Another great session will be delivered by Larry Walsh on how to attract the right clients. As you can tell, this conference is not focused on "how to use Acronis Cyber Protect." Day One (October 19th) is jam-packed with that training. The next two days are all about the business side of you business. Check out the agenda at https://summit.acronis.events - I think you'll be impressed at the variety of business, marketing, and sales topics designed to help you be more successful. I printed it out and found myself highlighting pretty much every session. Amy gives us lots of good information here on the keynotes and other highlights of the conference. One of those highlights for me will be Dave Sobel's commentaries. And, running throughout, Acronis will have a news coverage channel going on for viewers, with cameo appearances by various speakers and presenters (myself included). This will be a great event - even thought it's free! Check it out and sign up today! Registration is free at https://summit.acronis.events :-)
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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
Reply
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