Episode 132: Clever cash flow tricks for MSPs

Episode 132: Clever cash flow tricks for MSPs

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Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 132: Clever cash flow tricks for MSPs
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Episode 132 includes:

  • Valuable advice for keeping on top of cash flow
  • The benefit to your MSP of doing a ‘ticket frenzy’
  • Plus on the show this week an industry expert joins Paul to explain why now is the time to get things done and move your MSP forward

Featured guest

Luis Giraldo is a featured guest on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast

Thank you to Luis Giraldo, Chief Experience Officer at ScalePad and CEO of Ook Enterprises, for joining Paul to talk about why MSP should focus on growth in the second half of 2022.

Luis has founded, scaled and sold various successful IT businesses since 2006. He created SaaS documentation platform Monkey Box in 2013, which was acquired by IT Glue in 2017. He has since held key executive roles with vendors such as IT Glue, Kaseya, and N-able, and is an influential leader in the global MSP space. Luis helms the Partner Success and IT organisations, and brings deep MSP experience, thought leadership, and long-term strategic focus to ScalePad.

Connect with Luis on LinkedIn:

https://ca.linkedin.com/in/luisgiraldo

Show notes

Episode transcription

Voiceover:
Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing podcast.

Paul Green:
Hello, and welcome back. This is episode 132 of the podcast, and here’s what we got coming up for you this week.

Luis Giraldo:
MSPs tend to want to compare notes. And they see what some other larger colleagues are doing that have started to bring in a management layer into their business, and they realise, “Oh, wow. But they’re doing it. How come I can’t do it?”

Paul Green:
That’s Luis Giraldo from ScalePad. He’s going to be here later in the show to talk about progression and getting things done. In a week’s time, more or less, it’s June. It’s scary, isn’t it? June is the mark of halfway through 2022. It’s going so quickly. So, Luis and I are going to talk about getting things done and moving your MSP forward. We’re also going to be talking later on about doing a ticket frenzy. What if you focused all of the attention of your business on getting a whole load of tickets done? And also looking at the trends, analysing, why did these tickets get stuck and how can we stop them getting stuck in the future?

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing podcast.

Paul Green:
If there’s one thing that’s going to have you lying awake at 4:00 AM worrying about the business, it’s cashflow. Cash is king. Cash is also the thing that kills businesses. No business ever went under because it’s not profitable. You can be unprofitable for years and years. Look at Amazon. Amazon didn’t write a profit for much of its existence, but Amazon has great cashflow. There’s always plenty of money coming in to do the things that Amazon needs to do. Now, if your MSP has good, strong streams of monthly recurring revenue, then cashflow should be less of an issue for you. But of course, on the way to building that monthly recurring revenue, which makes it so much easier to know and forecast how your cash is going to be, on the way there, there are some cashflow techniques, some strategies that you can use to make sure that you don’t ever lie awake at 4:00 AM worrying.

Paul Green:
Because worrying is such a waste of our precious, valuable time. We don’t have a huge amount of time here on this planet. Why would we want to waste any of it worrying? You can get rid of worrying by, well, through two things really. First of all is through having information, and secondly, by taking action. If you know exactly how much cash is coming in and going out, that’s the information. And then, you can take action on making sure that the cash coming in far exceeds the cash going out. Now, there are a number of things to look at, a number of strategies if you like, for a positive cashflow. I think strategy number one has to be to know your figures inside out. And you’ve probably heard the saying before that if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. So, you’ve got to be completely on top of the cash that’s coming in and going out.

Paul Green:
And there are a number of different ways of doing that. So the easiest way to do that is with monthly management accounts. So you get your bookkeeper or your accountant to prepare some accounts for you every month, and they’re in real time. So if, as we are now, we’re near the end of May, at the end of May or the very first few days of June, you get your management accounts from your bookkeeper which tell you what happened last month. It is as near to real time information as you can get. You could argue that if you’ve got QuickBooks or Xero or some other kind of modern, up-to-date, online software for managing your accounts, then you can access this information in real time yourself. However, what I’ve found over the years is that a great number of MSPs that I work with, and I’m in exactly the same boat, we get a bit lost in accounts. And yeah, sure, we can go and access the information in Xero easily enough. But accessing it is one thing, interpreting it is a whole different game.

Paul Green:
So if that’s you, then you would perhaps ask your professional advisor to just do these management accounts. You want to look at the things like how much money is being held by the credit card company or the direct debit company depending on which you use. Even if you have all of your fees paid on a monthly basis, your monthly recurring revenue just taken automatically from your clients. Particularly, the credit card companies. They will hold onto a percentage of that cash in case you have any chargebacks down the line. You can do basic cashflow forecasting, especially when you’ve got month through recurring revenue. You know what date you’re taking it out of your customer’s bank account and you know what date it’s going to actually land in your bank account. There’s always a short delay between those two things. So as soon as you know the dates, you can estimate the flow of cash in and out of the business. And once you’ve got that kind of information, that’s when you can start to be really smart.

Paul Green:
And for example, if you arrange for all of your direct debits, your card payments to be taken out on the fifth of the month, you could then very easily arrange for the vast majority of your bills to be paid on the 25th of the month. So you know you’ve got a clear 20 days or so between you taking the cash, to give it some time to land in your account, and for then those bills to go out. That kind of cashflow forecasting and just doing something as simple as that, it removes a huge number of the worries of cashflow. I think tracking cashflow is a very difficult thing. There are plugins that you can get for Xero, and QuickBooks. And I’ve been doing this a number of years and I know what I’m about to say is a bit technologically backwards, but I’ve always just tracked it with a spreadsheet. I use a Google sheet and I track at every single week how much cash is coming in, how much is going out.

Paul Green:
Just get the information out of Xero. I know I’m creating work for myself… I mean, actually, I don’t do it. My virtual assistant does it for me. But it doesn’t matter. I can see on a sheet every single week, how much cash is coming in, how much is going out. And that’s why I rarely lie awake worrying at 4:00 AM. Some other strategies then, you should review your overheads. Now, by overheads, I mean the basic bills that need to be paid. Things like your utility bills, your tax, rates on your buildings, any rent, telecoms, internet, all of those kind of things, insurances. Anything that’s a regular payment but is a commodity. At least once a year, you should look at that and just review it. Now, there are companies that will actually take it on and do this for you. There’s one here in the UK called BCR Associates. I used them for many years when I had a business, which had an actual physical office.

Paul Green:
And what they do is they just take over your utilities, things like your insurance and your electricity, and every six months or so, they price match you, they price check, because it’s a franchise, you see? And so, if they’ve got, let’s say, a thousand companies that they’re looking after, they can go to an energy supplier and say, “Hey, I’ve got a thousand businesses here that will switch to you in one go. What’s the best rate that you can give them?” And that’s how they make their money. In fact, you don’t pay them for this service, not BCR. You don’t pay them directly. They make their money in kickbacks from the companies they switch you to. So you save money, they get a fee, and the energy companies get to grow by a couple of 1000 subscribers. It’s literally a win, win, win for everyone. And I bet in whichever country you’re in, there will be some kind of company that does almost exactly the same thing.

Paul Green:
So always look at those regular payments, the ones where if you switch to another supplier, it doesn’t really have any effect on the quality of the thing that you buy. You can also go to your core suppliers, your big vendors, and ask them if there’s the option of better terms. Sometimes, if you pay your bills a little earlier, you can actually get a discount. Not always, but it’s worth asking. Sometimes, you can go to them and maybe you’ve got 30 days. You can just routinely ask them for 60 days or maybe even 90 days. Now, what that does is that gives you the ability to keep more of the cash in your bank account for longer. And this should be one of your key goals. You’re going to get cash from your clients faster and spend the cash slower. Keep the cash in your bank account for longer. It just builds up the amounts of money in your bank account and makes everything easier, which makes me think that maybe you should be paid upfront by your clients.

Paul Green:
So when they join you on a managed service basis, you set up billing at the beginning of the month. And that way, if their billing does fall over for whatever reason, at least you know about it early in the month. Terrible to get to the end of the month, or even worse to get to the end of the month and then they’ve had 30 days to pay. So, it’s kind of two months down the line before you find out that actually they haven’t got the cash to pay you this month. Much better to find out right at beginning of the billing month, because then you can have the conversation with them and see whether it’s just a temporary glitch or whether there’s actually some big cash problem happening in your client. Couple of other things I’d just have a look at. One is to minimise stockholding. I don’t think that’s a problem right now, is it? With the difficulty getting hold of technology.

Paul Green:
But when supply chains are better and it’s possible to go and buy lots of kits, it’s tempting, isn’t it? To go and buy 20 of those laptops because you can get a deal. But every second a great big chunk of plastic and metal is sat in your stock room and it’s not out on a client’s desk or cash in your bank, then it’s affecting your cashflow. And the other thing to look at is to work to your cashflow timetable. Now, this is a country by country thing. But for example, here in the UK, we charge something called VAT, value added tax. And all businesses, they have to put VAT on what they sell. Certainly in our world, there are some VAT-exempt things, things like school, clothes, and food, and stuff like that. But generally, businesses here charge VAT, and ultimately then, they claim it back on their purchases.

Paul Green:
So it’s consumers that are the end payers of VAT, but you’ve got all businesses in the supply chain are collecting VAT, V-A-T, on behalf of the UK government. Now, the thing with paying VAT is you pay your VAT every quarter here in the UK. So once a quarter, you send in your VAT return, your calculations to the government, and then you pay them all the money that you have collected on their behalf. Now, if you had a big purchase that you were going to make, it would make sense from a cashflow point of view to leave that right to the end of the quarter, because you can literally then make an immediate impact on your VAT return. The day before, let’s say you had a big purchase… There’s a big thing you wanted to buy. And the day before your VAT return was due, that was when you did the purchase.

Paul Green:
That would have an immediate effect on your VAT return, and so you would have to pay out less VAT. And there will be something like that in your area. Of course, it’s worth talking to your accountant, your CPA, to see what kind of thing you can do to make your cashflow easier. Now, these are just some of the things you can do with cashflow. I think if cashflow is an issue for you, talking to your accountant, to your professional advisor, should always be step number one. Because in the same way that you spend all day, every day absorbed by technology, they spend all day, every day absorbed by money, and strategies for managing money and keeping more money, and making sure that the money works for you. And I’ve never ever regretted paying my professional advisors, be it lawyers, be it accountants, whoever, to give me good advice on better things that I can do to make it easier to run my business.

Voiceover:
Here’s this week’s clever idea.

Paul Green:
Tickets. That’s not something we talk about on this podcast very often, and yet, it’s a feature of your everyday, day-to-day life. When I’m talking to the MSPs in my peer groups, this is part of my MSP marketing edge service, tickets comes up so often, either because someone will say something like, “Oh, we don’t have many tickets in at the moment. There haven’t been many tickets submitted. It’s a very quiet ticket day,” or of course the opposite of, “We are bogged down with tickets right now. It just seems that there are so many tickets we can’t shift. We have so many tickets that we’re pulling over from day-to-day.” And I don’t want to talk about tickets from a technical point of view. I want to talk about them from a customer service point of view, because you see tickets as jobs to be done and your technicians see them as jobs to be done.

Paul Green:
On the flip side, on the other side, the person who’s got the problem and has submitted the ticket, or they wouldn’t look at it like that, would they? They have talked to you and told you about an issue they’ve got, to them, it’s an issue that’s either interfering with their work or stopping them from doing their work properly or stopping them from doing anything at all. It’s not a ticket, it’s a problem. And you and I both know that the users that you support, the people you look after everyday, they don’t just see these as small problems. Even if something as simple as the dreaded printer doesn’t work, it’s a major issue for someone when their technology doesn’t work. You know that whole thing of when someone new starts, a new user, and they tell you that, that new user has started half an hour after they started, and then wonder why they don’t have email within four minutes?

Paul Green:
To you, that’s a major PITA, P-I-T-A. You know what that means. To them, it’s also a major PITA. It’s kind of a major thing. It’s a pain for them that they have to tell you about it in the first place. And they really don’t understand why it’s an issue to tell you 30 minutes into someone’s starting that they’ve started. They don’t understand why you wouldn’t prioritise setting up a new user for them, because hey, it’s just a 10 minute job, isn’t it? But that’s the thing. You and I both know that when you’ve been through the triage process, that 10 minute job, it’s not urgent. Well, it shouldn’t be urgent. It’s not really important. It’s got to be done at some point, but it’s not as important as this business over here. One of our other clients who are down, there’s nothing they can do because they have no access to the internet or whatever.

Paul Green:
One of the ideas that I hear talked about kind of often by MSPs is the idea of a ticket frenzy. That once or twice a week, you stop at let’s say, five o’clock one day. So, let’s say your hours are normally up till six o’clock in the evening. You stop an hour early, everyone jumps off what they’re doing, and you kind of put the phones over to your call handling service and you do a ticket frenzy. And that frenzy is literally you jump in as a team working together to close as many tickets as you can. Because often, it is that little tickets that… Well, it’s either the little things that have just seemed to be persisting and just very easily ignored for a day. But the other thing that tends to happen is you have a ticket that you’ve got 80% closed and it just hasn’t quite been finished. Sometimes, it’s because the tickets just haven’t been closed off. The technician hasn’t finished their notes properly, or the job has been completed, but the ticket hasn’t been closed.

Paul Green:
But other times, it is a case where we’ve nearly done this job, but we haven’t spoken to the client or we haven’t filled in this or we haven’t updated our documentation system, or whatever the case is. Lots of MSPs have a huddle twice a day. They’ll have a huddle in the morning, they’ll have a huddle in the afternoon, and that’s kind of like a ticket review. It’s getting the whole team together, talking about what resources we’ve got today, who’s on what job, who’s doing which tickets, and basically staying organised with it. I think that’s a better idea to do that every single day, or better still, twice a day. But do you know what? If you don’t have the ability to do that, I think a ticket frenzy can be a very smart way to just throw yourself at it.

Paul Green:
And the beauty of a ticket frenzy as well is that you can actually start to spot trends. I believe with all business data, be it tickets, be it cashflow like we were talking about earlier, be it any kind of data, the real value in that data is in the trends. Data in itself is interesting, but it doesn’t necessarily tell you what’s going on, where trends do tell you what’s going on. If you see the same kind of problem cropping up a number of different times in tickets and you notice that during a huddle or a ticket frenzy, that can trigger a conversation amongst the team of, “Hey, has something changed in Windows here?” Or, “Have we done something wrong here?” Or, “Mm, we need to improve our documentation in this.”

Paul Green:
That’s the beauty of those kind of ticket frenzies or ticket huddles. Remember, the purpose of this is not just clearing down the tickets. Although you feel good when the tickets are cleared down, the purpose here is great customer service. That’s why we have the ticket system in the first place, to better manage the tickets so that we can give the clients a better experience. And it’s the small things that keep clients with you. It’s the small things that make them choose to stay with you for another contract or move on to another MSP.

Voiceover:
Paul’s blatant plug.

Paul Green:
All of the best free marketing resources for MSPs all over the planet is a Facebook group called MSP Marketing. It’s actually my group. I run it. We’ve got 1,500 MSPs in there and they are all MSPs. It’s a vendor-free zone. So, we can talk openly about all aspects of marketing your MSP and business growth. I’m just going to look through some of the most recent posts. So we’ve got one here from Katherina, which is… She says, “I’m looking for a great IT takeover transition process chart/image.” And there’s a number of comments on that one. She wants to handle transitions from an old MSP to a new MSP smoothly. And that’s a great idea.

Paul Green:
Carlton’s here. Oh, this one’s got 35 comments. Just from looking at this, this is a great one from Carlton. “Just had a PIA client…” PIA is like P-I-T-A. I was just mentioning in the last bit, pain in the… Yeah, you get the idea. “Just had a PIA client giving one of my team an unjustified verbal tirade. I joined the call calmly asking what her problem was, and she gave me a load of noise too. I interrupted her,” Carlton says, “Told her that I was sick and tired of her moaning and rudeness to me and my staff, that we would sort our problem out, but that she was fired.” Oh, that’s beautiful. 35 comments on that one. That’s just beautiful. Here’s something from me. It’s a website, Quick Win Wednesday. It’s a post, I published it on a Wednesday, and it’s this scary, real life website test. Let me read this one to you.

Paul Green:
“You go to a networking meeting. You get talking to business people you don’t really know, but they must be the kind of people you’d like to be clients. You ask them to help you out with a bit of market research, get them to pull up your website on their phone and look at it for no more than 30 seconds. And then, without being able to ask you any clarifying questions, they must tell you what you do and who you do it for.” That’s why I call it the scary, real life website test. Anyway, there’s loads of great conversations and discussions about growing your MSP. So if this is the kind of resource that you fancy and you are an MSP owner or manager, you can come and join it completely free. You just go into Facebook, go into the search bar, type in MSP Marketing, and there in groups is my little face. Come and join me in the MSP Marketing Facebook group.

Voiceover:
The big interview.

Luis Giraldo:
Morning. My name is Luis Giraldo, Chief Experience Officer at ScalePad. How you doing, Paul?

Paul Green:
I’m very good, thank you. And thank you so much for coming back on the podcast. You were a big hit when you were on last year, different company, and we’ll find out more about your new company when we move on and talk about you later on. But where we are today, Luis, we are about a week away from June. And I know a lot of people would sort of realise from that, “Hang on a second. What? We’re nearly six months into the year!” It’s so easy, isn’t it? For Christmas to be a couple of weeks ago and you’re in January, and then you’re in February, and you’re meaning to get onto doing a whole load of things. And then suddenly, you wake up and you’re a week away from June as we are right now. You talk to a lot of MSPs. I talk to a lot of MSPs. Do you think a lot of people will get to this point of the year and they’ll be utterly shocked at just how little progression they’ve actually made in changing the business in that six months?

Luis Giraldo:
Well, no doubt. I think everybody goes through a little bit of that change. Even when February and March come around, everybody’s like, “Wait, is it February already? Is it March already?” And QBR season is typically in January. So MSPs I know are thinking a lot about their customers and their relationships and their strategy in the January, February months. And for it to be June almost already sounds like a crazy thing to consider. But it happens, sort of the time gets away from us. And by the way, as I get older, it seems like the weeks just meld into each other more and more. And so, I don’t know where time is going, but I hope people are getting things accomplished. It’s that time where we have to take stock of what we’ve been able to accomplish so far this year, and hopefully have some good goals for the rest of the year as well.

Paul Green:
Do you think it’s a uniquely MSP thing that stops us getting things done? Because the very nature of the business is sitting, waiting for problems to happen and doing proactive work. And so little time is put into the development of the business that, that’s how easily it can get away with you. Do you think that’s the issue, or do you think it’s just something that all business owners suffer with?

Luis Giraldo:
I think it’s certainly habitual. I was chatting with Paul Dippell last year during a series of interviews we did with Enable. And one of the things he really was very strongly opinionated about is that anybody at any size of company has the ability to create that muscle memory of the habits that you need in your business. Whether it’s process, whether it’s a strategy, whatever it is that you’re trying to do that you don’t seem to ever have time for, you can generally create the habits for. And so, I think it’s just a matter of setting those priorities, figuring out what are the specific next steps that you want to accomplish. Having those goals, I think, articulated even in your own head makes a big difference to make progress throughout the year as you’re trying to get things accomplished.

Paul Green:
You must have read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear I think wrote that. Have you read that book?

Luis Giraldo:
I have it on my shelf at home actually. There’s three books. It’s the Steve Jobs one, it’s the Atomic Habits, and it’s one of the Patrick Lencione books, which I like so much, called The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Those are the three keepsakes on my shelf that whenever I’m doing a video thing from home, people see those three books up on my shelf.

Paul Green:
Yeah. And Atomic Habits is a great book, isn’t it? It’s one of the best selling books on productivity I believe. In fact, I’m sure James Clear sent an email out last year saying that it was still in the top five of best selling books of the year, even though it had been out for a number of years. It’s a great book because it deals with habits in real life. I had a great habit for a decade or so of getting up at five in the morning to work on my business. And then, it was actually the very first lockdown in 2020 I got out of that habit because suddenly, the pressures of daily life…

Paul Green:
I didn’t need to be in the car at certain times to take child to school. It didn’t matter if I stayed up a bit later and had another glass of wine because I could always have a lie in the next morning, and you couldn’t even leave the house. And I look back now, a couple of years on, and I kind of won’t say I regret it because I’m in control of my life choices, but that was certainly a great habit that I had for being very productive. The cost of that was I had to go to bed early. And that’s maybe where that habit went. Do you think as we get older and older, it’s harder for us to form these good habits which do make a positive difference to our business?

Luis Giraldo:
There’s that famed commentary about relationships and how men who get married, women often are trying to change their husbands for all the years that come after. I have found that many of the behavioural scientists that I listen to occasionally say that, “That’s not really the case. People don’t really change. They just become more of who they are.” And so, I think the early development of those habits is super important because even if that’s not something you do intrinsically, or is not part of your personality, I find that you can still create the habit if you do it regularly enough. Interestingly, I think one of the challenges with the IT space is how out of left field, everything comes at you, whether it’s the client emergencies or the reactive stuff. And so, it’s easy to be thrown off your habits game because there’s just constantly a barrage of things that are distracting you from that. But I think it’s easy to create the habit.

Luis Giraldo:
The other day, I posted on LinkedIn. It was kind of surprising because I had never gotten that kind of response to a post. I was actually standing here in the office. It was early, the sun was rising, it was a beautiful clear day, and I snapped a picture and I posted it on LinkedIn. I just felt particularly hopeful that day. And I said something like, “I’ve decided that today is a fantastic day,” or something like that. And the response that post got was really overwhelming in the sense that… People direct messaged and were like, “Hey, I love that message. I love that sentiment.” Lots of likes and people sort of expressing gratitude for just being awake that day. And it just kind of hit me that we have simple problems that have simple solutions. And sometimes, you just have to make that daily decision of, “Yeah, today is another day. Every chance you get to go out and do the thing, go out and do the thing and decide to do it.” I think that’s a great way to start the day.

Paul Green:
And you’re right. We have simple problems and the solutions are often quite simple. And yet, somehow in our heads, they get bigger and bigger, don’t they? If you look in the context of even just in human history. In human history, the problems that we’re facing today don’t really matter. If you look at the universe and how… Our lives are just finger clicks in the actual history of the universe. None of it really matters. Why do you think we build it up to be so big? Because we care. We all care about these things and we all would love to emotionally detach on these things. But you’ve lain awake at night, worrying about something inconsequential. I’ve done it, everyone listening to this has done it. I have a five-year diary where I just make a little note at the end of each day of what the day’s been like. And sometimes, I look back at the things I was worrying about two, three years ago, and it’s like, “Why was I worrying about that?”

Luis Giraldo:
I think it’s just the context of it seems like it’s a monumental thing to move, a big mountain of a task so to speak. You have to change this big process and now you have to do it for all your clients. It doesn’t seem like you can move all of that in one go. And so, people I think procrastinate on taking that first step. But there’s that famous expression of even the longest marathon starts with the first step, or something like that. I’m probably completely annihilating that. Back at the end of February, I went to NerdioCon in Cancun. Poor me. Yeah, a conference in Cancun. You can pity me now.

Luis Giraldo:
And one of the sessions that was there was Gavriella Schuster. She was a former Channel Chief at Microsoft, and she has been leading a big sea of change where the DE and I, diversity, equity, and inclusion topic is concerned. And so, she delivered a really great session there and it hit me, when I was there, that one of the reasons that we have so much challenge I think with driving diversity, equity, and inclusion in tech is that it just feels like a big thing to move the needle on. But it often starts with the one individual just providing a little bit of support for the person that needed to be included in a meeting or included in a topic or that kind of thing. And so, it just hit me that we just over-contextualise the grandeur of an issue and forget to just take that first little step.

Paul Green:
Brian Tracy wrote very famously in a book somewhere, “How do you eat an elephant?” And the answer of course is…

Luis Giraldo:
The first bite. And you start…

Paul Green:
Exactly. You take a bite and you take another bite. I did read once about a guy that ate a plane. He ate a small, single propeller plane and it took him 10 years. And I suspect he’s very dead now because he’s got an entire body full of metal. I remember reading the interview, and someone said to him, “How do you eat a plane?” And he says, “Well, I knew it would take some time. So every day, I just ate a little bit of the plane and eventually I’m halfway through.” Why he’d want to do that? I don’t know. But there we go. Well, guess what we’re talking about here then? It’s just drilling down whatever problem you’ve got, whatever challenge you’ve got, whatever stopped you already taking action in the first six months of this year, you can get past that with good habits and breaking it down into just simple things that you can tackle going forward.

Luis Giraldo:
Yeah, absolutely. I think this is an area where MSPs tend to want to compare notes. And they see what some other larger colleagues are doing, MSPs that are maybe 10 plus people that have started to bring in a management layer into their business, and they realise, “Oh, wow. But they’re doing it. How come I can’t do it?” And it’s because we tend to as smaller MSPs… Jay McBain gave some interesting data points at that same conference NerdioCon. The average MSP worldwide is eight people. And at eight people, you have a lot of the folks in your business wearing a lot of hats. And so, it’s easy to be distracted from some of these very focused, habitual tasks that are going to help drive improvement in your business or create process in your business. So, I get that it’s hard. But again, that’s where that daily decision comes in. If you were to talk to one customer every day for the next two months, you will have spoken to all your customers. But it just often feels like a much bigger, monumental task to take on.

Paul Green:
Yes, it absolutely does. Just as a side note, Jay McBain is possibly the world’s greatest source of stats about MSPs. Every time I speak to someone and they say, “Oh, have you seen in Jay McBain’s latest thing?” And it’s always a new stat or a new thing that he’s pulled out from somewhere. I think he’s single-handedly feeding the entire channel with information about MSPs which is just brilliant. Now, Luis, you and I are going to continue our conversation on YouTube, and we’ll talk about that in a second. Before we do, tell us a little bit about ScalePad.

Luis Giraldo:
ScalePad is a business that it just felt like home when I joined ScalePad back in September of last year. I’ve been a customer of what was known as Warranty Master since 2015 or something like that. And so, I’ve known the product, I’ve known the people for quite some time. Now, Warranty Master rebranded as ScalePad back in October 2020, because the platform does so much more today. So ScalePad at its core is an asset lifecycle management platform, ALM. And so, we do that by understanding what kind of equipment or hardware is in your client networks. We integrate with your PSA, RMM tools, and a number of that type of places where you have information about your devices. We bring in information about those devices, the software they’re running, et cetera. We give you a really nice picture of what’s the hardware situation, are servers out of warranty, how old are they and so on, and provide a nice dashboard hardware report for you to use for your meetings with your clients.

Luis Giraldo:
In fact, some of our partners say how much they rely specifically on the ScalePad asset report for their QBRs or their strategic meetings and such. And last December, we acquired Backup Radar. Backup Radar is a platform that does a centralised oversight of your backup platforms for reporting compliance and risks and so on. So for example, as an MSP, we’re always trying to standardize and we always want to use a single backup platform wherever possible. Keep the simplicity at the maximum, it’s easier to manage and maintain. But as you take on new clients, they may come with a different backup platform that you have to ingest. And so, we help you centralize the reporting and the analysis of all the backup platforms that you might have to support any given time. And so, this plays a really interesting role inside of the ScalePad family, because again, we’re helping raise insights and reporting across the entire estate of the client’s infrastructure and giving MSPs a great way to use that for their strategic conversations.

Paul Green:
That’s great. And give us the website address, Luis.

Luis Giraldo:
scalepad.com or backupradar.com.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing podcast. This week’s recommended book.

Mark Firth:
Hi, my name is Mark Firth. I’m a LinkedIn expert, and my book recommendation is The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness. The premise of the book is getting rich is not just about luck, happiness is not just a trait we’re born with. They may seem out to reach, but it’s teaching you how to not only build the business, but to find fulfilment with it. And that’s very rare.

Voiceover:
Coming up next week.

Brian Gillette:
Hey, I’m Brian Gillette. I’m a Sales Infrastructure and MSP Sales coach, and I’ll be on the podcast next week to tell you all about how selling can actually be a feel good and recharging experience for your business.

Paul Green:
In fact, we’re going to make the whole of next week’s podcast about selling. We’re going to be talking about the pain that prospects have, what is it that’s driving them to pick a new MSP or pick an MSP for the first time. We’ll talk about how to identify and understand prospects’ pain points. We’re also going to be talking about the five most common sales objections and how you can overcome them. Now, don’t forget over on YouTube right now, you’ve got the extended interview that I did with Luis Giraldo. You can access that right now. And on Thursday, we’ll be publishing Another Byte. It’s our show about the show on YouTube, and we’ll be releasing it on Thursday. You can see all of our content at youtube.com/mspmarketing. Please do subscribe to us on YouTube and wherever you listen to this podcast. 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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