Make more net profit from your MSP (and take more holidays at the same time)
Hi, my name's Paul Green.
I don’t own an MSP. This is a strength not a weakness, as it gives me the power of perspective (and I work with 350+ MSPs so I really get your world).
I understand that owning and running a business can be sheer joy and sometimes pure hell at the same time.
Before I started working with MSPs in 2016, I grew and then sold a successful B2B marketing company.
Understand this: You’re not going to get to the end of your life, look back, and wish you’d spent more time closing tickets because your techs 'forgot' to...
I started the business in 2005 after having an ‘entrepreneurial seizure’ and quitting my job in the media (I worked in newspapers and radio for 13 years. Great fun).
But the story really begins at 6.15pm on Sunday 18th July 2010.
It was a hot Sunday afternoon. And with just one hour’s warning, my wife went into labour and gave birth to my only child, Tilda.
She was an incredible 15 weeks’ premature. And the Special Care Baby Unit doctors warned us she might not survive the night.
I’d been a business owner for five years at that point. The business was doing OK – I was making a living – but the personal price I was paying was way too high.
I was working stupid hours, 6 days a week, to try to grow the business. I had two staff. But it seemed like nothing really happened unless I personally did it:
- I had to market the business
- Sell to clients
- Lead the delivery
- Worry about cash flow
The staff got paid before I did (sometimes I went months without pay). Work/life balance was way out of whack.
Sound familiar? It’s a position many business owners find themselves in. But in the long-term it’s not healthy.
Instead, you’ll wish you’d spent more time with your children. Or other half. Or just having more fun – hang gliding; golf; whatever your thing is.
For three months after Tilda’s birth, I focused on my family. I kept in contact with the business, but I wasn’t there – mentally or physically.
Tilda amazed the doctors with her progress, and today is a healthy 10-year-old.
Back to 2010. The day I returned to work after a 3 month break, I was dreading it.
Would there be a viable business to return to? Or would it have taken a massive step backwards?
Actually, it was the complete opposite. My two staff had stepped up to the mark, and had replaced me! They were keeping the marketing going, selling to clients and delivering. And do you know what… the business was running more efficiently than when I had been there for 12 hours a day.
I remember feeling a little hurt at first. After all, as business owners, our identity is tied up with our business, right? But I quickly realised how exciting this was.
Because now I had space. To stand back, and work ON the business, rather than IN it.
I stopped going into the office so much, and started working from McDonalds, Costa and Starbucks (anywhere I could get power and Wi-Fi became my office).
I took more time off. I went on more holidays, including a three week cruise with zero internet or phone contact (bliss). In 2012, we moved to a new home an hour away from the office. And I started only going in on Thursday mornings.
Suddenly, I had a business that was there for me. Rather than the other way around.
And the growth was impressive every year. From 2010 to 2011 the business grew its turnover by 47%. The year after it grew by 67%.
On the 24th March 2016 I sold the business to a fast growing digital marketing agency for an undisclosed sum.
So what did I actually do to grow the business to the point it could be sold as a profitable, ongoing concern?
That’s simple. I focused all my attention on systemising effective marketing, sales and delivery. That’s it.
Now I work with the owners and managers of 350+ MSPs around the world.
People who want to grow turnover and net profits at the same time. And have a dramatically better work/life balance.
The MSP business model is beautiful, isn't it? Crazy good retention, and tons of Monthly Recurring Revenue.
The only downside of this is it makes many MSPs lazy with their marketing. They do little or no marketing. Perhaps your business is like that?
The thing is, there is a real opportunity in every marketplace for one or two MSPs who get really good at marketing.
And you don't have to be world class. You just need to be better than 2 or 3 of your closest competitors. You'll generate more leads, prospects and clients than they will. Which is the route to a great net profit, and ultimately a better work/life balance.
Here's what some of my MSP clients say
(from Google Reviews)
I'm a Tribal Elder for the Tech Tribe
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It's a great community to look at every single aspect of running and growing your MSP. See the full details here and get an exclusive discount.
Here are some of my recent guest appearances
This is a quick one - delivering the first ever "to time" One Minute Wednesday for Datto 😃
I took part in a panel discussion with Julian Lee at eChannelNews, after being confirmed as one of Datto's Office Hours experts (click the image to go to the news article - opens in a new tab).
Marvin Bee welcomed me onto the Podnutz Pro podcast, episode 333.
Luis Giraldo from SolarWinds MSP invited me to join him in his Café Con Luis live webinar. We covered a LOT of MSP marketing stuff in just one hour.
I was delighted to be invited onto this Connecting IT podcast, with Kaseya's Dan Tomaszewski.
How MSPs should market
What DOA really means in marketing
And LinkedIn tips that will help you sell, including the 3 Cs
This was my second appearance on the Domotz webinar. We did a live lead generation consultation for an MSP - with no prep. Now that's my idea of a fun evening...
With Kevin Clune of MSP Growth Hacks, discussing whether you should hire someone to manage your Pay Per Click (PPC), or DIY:
Really enjoyed this website tear down and rebuild with Domotz:
LOVED being interviewed by Karl Palachuk for his podcast. It's about the unique MSP marketing opportunities created by Covid-19:
A live MSP marketing webinar with Steve Taylor of Rocket MSP:
Interviewed by the brilliant Kevin Clune of MSP Growth Hacks, about how to make cold approaches to prospects:
This was a great interview about getting new clients, with Jeff Halash of MSP Unplugged:
Making MSP marketing easier than you think: Appearing on James Vickery's Infinite Scale podcast:
An MSP marketing special edition of Purechannel's Channel Drop In:
How to win clients who stay longer and spend more: Watch the replay of my marketing webinar for CompTIA:
On Auvik's Frankly MSP podcast. Yes, I used to wear glasses. Prefer contacts now:
On Richard Tubb's TubbTalk:
And some articles on MSP news websites and blogs
I'm a member of CIPR, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
This means I technically have letters after my name. Means nothing to me, but makes my mum proud.
I'm also a member of the FSB. That's the small business association, not the Russian KGB.