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.
202 Episodes
From MSP to Marketers

From MSP to Marketers


Had a great talk with C.J. Ezell who launched his newest business, CrossBay Digital Marketing in January. His offerings include web design/hosting, reviews, and local SEO. We also talk about working specific verticals and developing a niche. C.J. launched his first company in 1998. Twenty-two years later, he is still starting new ventures and inspiring others to do the same. He is a frequent speaker at business building events throughout North America and has a proven track record of success in the technology services and healthcare industries. His current businesses include PointClear Networks a 2018 MSP501 Winner, The Red5Agency, and CrossBay Digital Marketing, a digital media company focused on helping small businesses grow by increasing their online presence and through the use of social media management and advertising. Links: Web: Web: LinkedIn:
I was very pleased to catch up with Amy Babinchak - One of the new hosts for this podcast - and talk about employee training. This podcast grew out of a series of private emails we exchanged, which grew from an unrelated topic. Here Amy spells out how she helps employees gain knowledge on new technologies while helping to create consistent processes across all technicians. She also talks about the regular meetings they have in-house, which improve training and build culture at the same time. As a side benefit, Amy gives lots of advice along the way that demonstrate how she has built a very successful IT service business with no office and almost zero overhead.   Links: Check out my Facebook group: – This is my ransomware and security group. Private and on-topic always. Subscribe to the blog: Use the Helpdesk. We only do work for other IT pros.  
I always like to catch up with Chip Reaves from Bigger Brains. Here we're talking about Online Training as a Service. Chip is a 30-year IT channel veteran who has built five MSP or related businesses and sold four. He's best known as the founder and CEO of Computer Troubleshooters USA, the world's largest IT services franchise network. In 2012 Chip created the channel's first end-user training platform for MSPs - Bigger Brains. Chip gives us some strategies for offering training as part of your managed service bundle. It's extremely affordable. In fact, over at the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community, we have set up a way for you to get this training FREE inside your company, get a discount, and even get more than one NFR license. Check it out now and use the code Karlsentme to get 10% off any Bigger Brains subscription. But even without that discount, you can make huge profits with this service - and educate clients on some products and features then didn't know about.  When you bring value, clients love you! Client facing site: MSP Facing site: On Facebook:   :-)    
Featured Guest: Joseph Landes I talked with Joseph Landes from Nerdio about the specifics of moving clients to the Azure cloud - and the special tools Nerdio employs to make sure you know what it will cost. They also have some cool tools for reducing the cost of running client operations on Azure. Joseph worked at Microsoft for almost 25 years before joining Nerdio to help MSPs learn how to build a successful and profitable cloud practice in Microsoft Azure. Nerdio's flagship product, Nerdio for Azure, has helped thousands of MSPs around the world transiton from the on-premises world to the cloud using automation. Nerdio has significant expertise and technical know-how in the Azure space and is the definitive Azure solution for MSPs. Site: :-)    
My guest this week is my friend Scott Millar from IT Rockstars and MSP Video Academy. Scott is the founder of IT Rockstars. He has an extensive career spanning both IT and marketing. As systems engineer at heart, Scott saw an opportunity at a young age in generating leads to his break-fix computer repair business using online marketing techniques. This evolved into the managed service space where Scott has worked for over 15 years. Now he's helping fellow MSPs and IT business owners generate more leads and win more sales. IT Rockstars offers IT business the opportunity to build a process into their business that will generate a steady, reliable stream of warm leads using proven digital marketing strategy and tactics. Scot has a passion for SEO, but also realized that there are much quicker and more sustainable ways of marketing an IT business. Find out about the four marketing pieces he offers every month, as well as some great "best practice" tips for Facebook Live and repurposing your video content on LinkedIn. Links: :-)
IoT Playbook - Part of the ChannelPro Network I interviewed Mark Smith from ChannelPro Network and IoT Playbook. Smith has been in IT for more than 25 years. He was the founder of Windows NT Magazine, a global media company that helped over 1M IT professionals. Mark is the Host of IoT Playbook, part of the ChannelPro Network. IoTPlaybook is on a mission to find the early IoTMSP pioneers and get them to reveal their playbooks so that you benefit from the lessons they’ve learned from the hard way. Playbooks show you the strategies, the business models, the technology stack, the marketing & sales angles, and everything else you need to succeed with each IoT managed service we cover. Playbooks are designed to apply in your business right now. Why you need to add IoT Managed Services to your business now Links: :-)  
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: (@ScaleComputing) (@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: Killing IT Podcast: LinkedIn: :-)    
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: 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:   :-)  
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: :-)  
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 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:   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: - - - (@backblaze) - (@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 Facebook Group: LinkedIn: Web: Web:   :-)  
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: LinkedIn: Twitter: Facebook:  
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 - So we chatted about that a bit. The official book site is :-)
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 - So we chatted about that a bit.   The official book site is   :-)    
Killing It with MDF

Killing It with MDF


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:
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 Newsletter: Books: Twitter: :-)
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: Facebook :-)
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

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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