Episode 112: Special: The most valuable piece of business advice

Episode 112: Special: The most valuable piece of business advice

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Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 112: Special: The most valuable piece of business advice
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In this week’s special episode

  • What a way to start 2022. This is the second of our two podcast specials to help you position your MSP for growth this year
  • A large panel of industry experts join Paul to share the most valuable piece of business advice they’ve ever been given
  • From ‘jumping in with two feet’ to ‘ensuring true compensation for skills’, the panel have tons of invaluable advice to share

Show notes

Episode transcription

Voiceover:
Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world. This is an MSP Marketing Podcast Special.

Paul Green:
Hello, and welcome to the show, and Happy New Year. I want 2022 to be the year you get everything you want and need out of your MSP. Maybe it’s more leads, it’s certainly more clients I’d have thought and you definitely want to increase the net profit that you’re getting from your business. All of these things can be done, and throughout the whole of this year, we are committed to bringing you the best guests, the best information and clever ways that you can get more out of your MSP, generate more leads, get more new clients and make more net profit. Now, to get us off to a great start to the year, it’s not going to be much of me in this show. Instead, I contacted a whole load of friends, experts, previous guests on the show just before the holidays and I asked them this question, “What’s the most valuable piece of business advice that you’ve ever been given?”

Paul Green:
What you’re going to hear in the minutes ahead is the collective wisdom of some of the smartest people in our world on this planet. I’ve loved listening to their advice, and I know you’re going to get tons of value from listening to this as well.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast Special.

Richard Tubb:
Hi, this is Richard Tubb, the IT Business Growth Expert. And the most valuable piece of business advice I’ve ever been given is simple, don’t try and do it on your own. When I started out in the managed service industry as a managed service provider, a one man band, I was trying to fight against the tide, swim against the tide there and do things on my own. And very early on, I learnt from one of my mentors, “Hey, seek out help. Don’t try and do this on your own.” So I started seeking out other mentors, coaches, experts, industry experts. I started reading books. I started attending peer groups and learning from other MSPs. Any problem that I came across, somebody else had already been there, done that and helped me to avoid the pothole, avoid the mistakes. As the old adage goes, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Richard Tubb:
So my number one piece of business advice for any MSPs listening to this is seek out peer groups, seek out coaches, seek out industry experts, read books, listen to podcasts such as Paul’s podcast, seek out people that you can learn from, speak to people that you might consider your competitors, seek out online communities like The Tech Tribe, go to events like CompTIA, attend industry events, learn from your peers, because any problem you’re experiencing, somebody has been there, done that and you can really accelerate your growth by not trying to do it alone. It is a lonely job trying to run a business on your own. So you’re much better off getting that support network, getting coaches, getting mentors around you who can help you overcome those challenges, overcome the tough times and give you the support when you need it. So number one piece of advice I was ever given in business, don’t try and do it alone.

Heather Johnson:
Hi. This is Heather Johnson of Gozynta. The most valuable piece of business advice I’ve ever been given was actually from my journalism professor quite a long time ago, won’t say how many years, even when I don’t think I’m completely ready to tackle something to jump in with two feet, we all from time to time suffer from imposter syndrome and that can hold us back. And I found as I entered into business, there were times where I questioned if I was good enough to do what I needed to do. And time and time again, I went back to my professor’s advice and said, “Yes, I am good enough. I can do this,” and it’s worked out really well for me. I know everyone out there has had those times where they thought, “Oh, I should probably learn a little bit more about this or this.” Yes, you should. But also, jump in with two feet.

Heather Johnson:
I’m not saying if you’ve never skied before that you should go up to the top of a mountain and just start going down. Of course, learn what you need to learn. But when that time comes and you know it’s in there, jump with two feet and be successful.

Christian:
Hi, I’m Christian from Northstar IT. The most valuable piece of advice I’ve ever been given is join a networking group. When I started and for the first six years of trading, I had no idea these groups existed. Once I moved to Brighton and in the first couple of months, all I kept looking at was the beach in the rear view mirror as I drove to Kent or London to work most days. And I can tell you, that wasn’t what I had in mind when I moved. I then got invited to a BNI chapter by a friend of mine. Shaking like a leaf for that early morning breakfast, I stood up in front of a room of strangers and I presented my 60 second bio for my business. That was now over 17 years ago. And the rest as they say is history. Although not every chapter is the same as the members and demographics of the businesses vary from chapter to chapter, it can work extremely well.

Christian:
I know my membership is hardly headline grabbing, but in the last 12 months, we’ve had over a quarter of a million pounds of business attributed to my BNI membership alone. And now, we have two of them. That’s a combination of both new and monthly reoccurring revenue. I have for years described BNI as a small business’ best kept secret. But do remember, unlike our own form of networking, it is about farming and not hunting. You reap what you sow. And I’ve invested much into my BNI membership, but it does pay dividends. As I speak, we’ve been asked by a client who a fellow BNI member introduced us to during lockdown if we’re interested in pitching for the largest project we’ve ever had. And I mean by fourfold. That would not have happened had it not been for that referral and passionate recommendation of Northstar IT.

Christian:
So as I speak from here in California and having enjoyed almost four weeks off the grid before I dabble with some remote working, I’m even going to visit a chapter here just to see how it compares. So get networking. Other forms of networking are available. It does work, especially if you find the right group for you.

James Vickery:
Thanks for having me on the show, buddy. It’s James Vickery from Benchmark 365. The best business advice I ever received in my entire career is to value myself and to make sure that my clients were compensating me 100% for the skill, the time and the effort that I put into maintaining their IT systems. In fact, this message was so strong for me because for so many years, I worked for free for a lot of companies. I did a lot of work that was really poorly paid. I might as well have gone and got a job somewhere because I wasn’t being well compensated. And a really close friend of mine said to me once, “James, I would rather be sitting and spending time with my family or sitting and catching up on the latest series on Netflix than working for someone for chicken feed.” And that really resonated with me.

James Vickery:
And from that point onward, I started taking a really intentional approach to communicating my value to clients and to putting together programs and pricing plans and things that made sure that I was compensated fairly for the work that I was doing. And it’s my hope that everybody in our industry does the same thing so that we have a really robust industry for many, many years to come.

Jamie Warner:
Hi, this is Jamie Warner, CEO of Invarosoft. And the most valuable piece of business advice I’ve ever been given was from a business coach who told me that if you are the CEO and you are the salesperson in your business, you are fundamentally resigning the sales function and the customer success function in your business to a part-time job. And that is the biggest inhibitor of growth and success for most MSPs. If sales helps you grow the business and you’re only working part-time, then obviously, it’s going to have an effect on your ability to sign up clients. But on the flip side and the other side of the coin to sales is customer experience and customer success, because that stops churn. So if you’re also not focusing on that side of things on your customer success experience that you’re delivering to your customers, then that will have a direct impact in losing customers as well.

Jamie Warner:
So really, growth comes down to making sure you’re signing up clients and you’re not losing clients. And as long as you get those in good order, you’ll be very successful. So don’t resign those functions in your business to a part-time job and you’ll have continued success in your MSP.

Jason Kemsley:
Hey, this is Jason Kemsley of Uptime Solutions. And the best piece of business advice I’ve ever been given is to know yourself and your team. There are tests out there such as the DISC assessment, the Myers-Briggs and many, many more. And these tests tell you exactly what type of personality traits you have and your colleagues. By knowing these things, you’re able to play to each other’s strengths and deliver better outcomes in better timeframes. For example, an INTJ personality type, if you’re looking at the Myers-Briggs, tells you that that type of person is an analytical problem solver. They’re eager to improve processes and systems and workflows. If you know one of your colleagues thrives in that environment and you know that one of your weaknesses is attention to detail, then you know how best to delegate a task that requires analytical problem solving.

Jason Kemsley:
By knowing this, you can not only reach the outcome quicker, but you can receive a far better output from the relevant individual and you can receive a far better output overall from the task or project that you’re working on. So know yourself and know your colleagues and make sure that you all do some form of personality test so you can work best together.

Jay McBain:
Hi, this is Jay McBain from Forrester Research. The most valuable piece of business advice I’ve ever been given is be visible every day. Think about your clients, think about what they read, where they go and who they follow and start to be visible in those spots, in those watering holes. Be visible in front of those influencers of theirs and influence those influencers. But it’s a very narrow set of influence that you can actually intercept and be a part of.

Jennifer Bleam:
Hi, this is Jennifer Bleam of MSP Sales Revolution. The most valuable piece of business advice that I have ever been given is to determine your business’s biggest bottleneck or roadblock. You know it’s the one that is halting progress or hurting your business the most. And then once you’ve identified that one bottleneck, pursue a solution to that bottleneck relentlessly. And this is effective because it wakes up your mind, which is really a goal seeking mechanism. And so your mind now knows what is the problem I’m trying to solve? And because you’re focused on a single thing, you make significant progress on that one pivotal issue, which is much more powerful and it yields greater results than what many of us do naturally, which is to focus on 17 things at once, and we make almost no progress on those 17 things. So my advice to you is to spend a few minutes today identifying that one biggest bottleneck or roadblock, and then pursue a solution to that relentlessly.

Justin:
What’s up? This is Justin from the Virtual Consulting Group. The most valuable piece of business advice I’ve ever been given is be mindful. Remember, you have employees, you’ve got to take care of them. You have clients, you’ve got to take care of them. You have a spouse, you’ve got to take care of them. But you also have to take care of yourself. Be mindful about what you do, what you say, who you interact with. Take a break, meditate, breathe, listen to a podcast, go for a run, whatever it is. You’re a better you if you take a break.

Mark Copeman:
Hi there, Paul. It’s Mark Copeman here from Wisecurve. The most valuable piece of business advice I’ve ever been given is a reminder of Newton’s third law. And if you don’t remember your physics lessons from school, it’s simply this, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I was reminded of this probably about 15 years ago now by a very good friend of mine, as I was perhaps complaining things weren’t going my way at the time. And he reminded me of that. And of course, when it applies to business, it simply means if you take action consistently, regularly, you will get results. Quite often, fascinatingly, they’re not the results that you might expect, but you will get results. The opposite also applies. If you sit there waiting for things to happen, guess what? Nothing is going to happen. I hope that’s helpful.

Praveen:
Hi, this Praveen from SuperOps.ai. The most valuable piece of business advice I’ve ever been given is success comes from ruthless execution. No matter what business you are in, what vertical you are in, what industry you serve, keep executing, executing and executing, and the results will come your way.

Nigel Moore:
Hello. It’s Nigel Moore, Founder of The Tech Tribe here. And the most valuable piece of business advice I’ve ever been given was one of my early mentors back when I first started my IT company, I was running a pretty horrible IT shop at that stage. I think I was probably earning about $30,000 a year. And my mentor and client at the time was doing 10 million in the hospitality business or thereabout. She was running a very large business. She’d been in business for a very long time. And we loved working with each other. She was a great help for me getting my business up and running. But I can tell she was getting increasingly frustrated with some decisions that I was making around all their technology. One day, she eventually sat me down and she ran through with me how she makes decisions when it comes to money and buying products and that she always wants the best product out there to make sure that it’s going to give her the best chance of getting the best results out there, versus trying to find the cheapest product out there.

Nigel Moore:
And I was always out there trying to find the cheapest product to work for her and her business. And what had happened is I’d grown up in a family where money was very, very, very, very scarce. We grew up with toys from the local garbage dump. But then when I got into business, I took those beliefs about money with me and they started affecting decision-making seriously when I was coming to clients. I was always trying to find the cheapest option in there not realising that my clients out there that had grown businesses to this level, especially this particular client, had done it because they didn’t think about money in the same way that I did. So she helped me rewire my brain and my mind around the difference between scarcity thinking and abundance thinking out there. And so I was then able to really start to make better decisions for her because she was far more focused on high quality premium stuff, making sure that things worked for a long time and were little maintenance.

Nigel Moore:
And didn’t have to do a lot of work to look after them and didn’t have warranty issues and all that sort of stuff. Whereas I was just focused on the price. And so my encouragement to any of you listening to this is if you are out there making decisions on behalf of your clients, putting a filter on or a lens on with your beliefs about money, and perhaps those beliefs might be inkling in a little bit of scarcity based mindset, it might be time to go out and start swapping that mindset for an abundance mindset and starting to make decisions on behalf of your clients when you are that comes from that place of abundance rather than that place of scarcity, and knowing that in reality, all of this stuff is all about total cost of ownership and thinking at a bigger level and an abundance level about money can really change your business trajectory. So that is all from me. Hope that helps. Enjoy, and I’ll chat with you all soon. Bye for now.

Voiceover:
Coming up next week.

Kevin Lancaster:
Hi, I’m Kevin Lancaster.

Matt Solomon:
And I’m Matt Solomon. And together, Kevin Lancaster and I have started a new company called Channel Program where we’re revolutionising the way channel partners and vendors communicate and interact. And we’re going to tell you all about it next week.

Paul Green:
We’re also going to be talking about recruitment in next week’s show. January is traditionally a great time to go looking for new technicians, just new staff in general, because after that holiday break, lots of people are out there looking for work. But how do you go through all the different people and make sure that you found the right people for you? I think a lot of that is about asking the right questions during your recruitment. We’ll explore what some of those questions are next week and we’re going to look at how you can have a form of marketing domination this year. I truly believe that the vast majority of marketplaces are open for domination. There are very, very few MSPs that truly dominate their market from a marketing point of view. How do you do it? And what are the benefits? We’ll have a look at that in next week’s show. Join me next Tuesday and have a very profitable week in your MSP.

Voiceover:
Made in the UK for MSPs around the world, Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

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