Episode 147: MSPs - be an adult when a client fires you

Episode 147: MSPs – be an adult when a client fires you

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Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 147: MSPs - be an adult when a client fires you
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Episode 147 includes:

  • 00:00 The benefit to your MSP of identifying a ‘loss leader’ within your service
  • 05:51 The importance of being an adult when a client leaves you
  • 12:54 Great advice about creating measuring objectives, as part of the Ultimate MSP podcast crossover event
  • 15:48 A process expert joins Paul to explain how to easily document the procedures within your MSP
  • 31:38 A book recommendation to help you transition from being a manager to a true leader

Featured guests:

 

Todd Kane shares his business advice on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast

As part of this month’s Ultimate MSP podcast crossover event, thank you to Todd Kane, the host of the Evolved Radio Podcast, for joining Paul to share the best piece of business advice he’s ever been given.

Todd is an accomplished business leader with 20+ years of experience and runs Evolved Management Consulting, helping managed IT companies increase profit and decrease stress.

Find out more about this September’s Ultimate MSP podcast crossover event, including the $1000 prize:
https://www.paulgreensmspmarketing.com/MSPpodcastcrossover

Check out the Evolved Radio Podcast:
https://www.evolvedmgmt.com/podcast

Connect with Todd on LinkedIn:
https://ca.linkedin.com/in/toddakane

Owen McGab Enaohwo is a featured guest on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast

Thank you to Owen McGab Enaohwo from SweetProcess for joining Paul to discuss how sales can be turned into a series of small simple steps.

Owen’s easy-to-use software enables company executives and their employees to collaborate together to quickly document and/or improve their standard operating procedures, processes, and policies. Owen was previously the CEO of Hire Your Virtual Assistant (H.Y.V.A.), a virtual assistant service for small business owners. His specialties include business development, negotiation, operations management, and more.

Connect with Owen on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/owenmcgabenaohwo

Extra 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 to the show. Here’s what we got coming up for you this week.

Owen McGab:
Documentation. How can you document procedures and prices for your business? I know you probably have documentation in place for your clients, but sometimes you might neglect documenting how work is done within your company.

Paul Green:
That’s Owen McGab of SweetProcess, and we’re going to be talking systems today. Systems, processes, and documentation. They’re so important in your MSP, and Owen will reveal later on how to make it easier to document the things that you do day to day. We’re also going to be talking about what happens when a client wants to leave you. It’s so frustrating. But what’s really important is that you are an adult about it, because you never know. That client might come back to you in the future.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP marketing podcast.

Paul Green:
Imagine this nightmare scenario. You’re at home, you’re in the middle of a real work flurry, but you need caffeine. You’re desperate for caffeine. So, you nip downstairs. You make yourself a coffee, open the fridge, pull out the milk and give it the sniff test. Oh, it’s gone off. The milk’s off. This is an absolute nightmare. So, you think, right. Okay. It’s not a problem. I’ll just nip down to the local supermarket or the grocery store, and I’ll just get myself some milk. So, you jump in the car, drive down to the shop, jump in, and you go in and you grab yourself some milk. And you chose that particular supermarket because the milk is always cheap there. And you grab some milk and you look at it, and you think, “Great. I’ve got some milk.” And then, by the time you get to the till, there are five or six other items in your hands.

Paul Green:
You’ve picked yourself up some chocolate, maybe some biscuits. “Oh, need some of that washing powder.” Or, “We’re nearly out of washing powder at home.” You get the idea. You sometimes you might even walk out with a flat screen TV. That’s why they sell these things there. The point is that you nipped into the store to get one thing. A staple, a basic everyday item. And while you were there, you bought other things.

Paul Green:
Now, shops, smart retailers, know this is how we work as humans, so they work very hard to do two things. The first thing is, they try to attract us in by making the staples that we buy on a regular basis being as low priced as they can be. Even premium stores will make the price of staples low price. So, that milk… And I’ve got to be honest that I would fail the politician’s question of how much is a pint of milk right now. I have no idea. But let’s say a milk cost you 50 pence, or what’s that, about 70 cents in dollars. Let’s say that milk costs you 50 pence. That’s probably got no profit for the retailer whatsoever.

Paul Green:
And this is known as a loss leader. It’s known as a loss leader because people go in to buy that item, and the store is choosing, in fact, it’s a strategic choice, to lose money or not make any money on that item because the other thing that they’re doing is they’re putting things in front of you that they know you will buy on an impulse. So, that flat screen TV, or those biscuits, or something else, that’s where they make up the profit margin. And, of course, the big retailers are very good at this.

Paul Green:
Well, the reality is, you could actually do this in your MSP. You could have a loss leader. And I don’t see many MSPs doing this, but that doesn’t mean it’s something that you shouldn’t look at. Because there are lots of different things that you could do as a loss leader. And these are only examples. But if, for example, you were so focused on getting the monthly recurring revenue that you didn’t really care how you went about getting it, because you know that someone who signs a contract is going to stay five, seven years, you just want that monthly recurring revenue.

Paul Green:
In that situation, you might, for example, discount the project that it takes to get them in through the door in the first place. So, you might have a $10,000 project to upgrade them or move them onto the cloud or whatever you are doing. And you might offer that to them at a discount. You might say, “Look, this is a retail price of $10,000. If you sign a three-year contract, we will drop that down to $7,000. So, essentially, we are not making any margin on that project. That’s our way of investing in you, Mr. or Mrs. Client, because we want to get you on board and obviously get you onto a contract.”

Paul Green:
And that would be a loss leader, actually losing any money on that project. But I appreciate that projects can be nice profit items. They can be great for cash flow. But they can also be a great way to make sure that you secure that client for the next 3, 4, 5 years.

Paul Green:
You could apply exactly the same approach to some of your services, like VoIP. I mean, we all know that VoIP is money for old rope, isn’t it? There’s just huge amounts of margin around VoIP. Maybe you could offer that as some kind of a loss leader. You may choose not to because there’s too much margin in it, but actually it’s a commodity product. If it takes “giving away”… Giving in speech marks there. If it takes more or less giving away the VoIP to get the client, so that you can actually make the good margin on all the other services you sell them, maybe that’s worth doing.

Paul Green:
What we’ve got here is a very clever pricing strategy that you can use to pull people into your MSP. And because most MSPs don’t do this, that’s the opportunity for you. The question to ask yourself is, where are we willing to lose some money in order to gain a client for the next 3, 5, 7, 10 years? Once you can get your head around that strategy and have some ideas ready to roll out, that could give you a huge pricing advantage over some of your competitors.

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

Paul Green:
I know the phone calls or the emails that you dread the most. It’s when a client who you know deep down is not really happy with you drops you that email, or makes that phone call, to say, “Guys, we are done. We’re not going to renew our contract. We’re going to move to someone else.” And I know it doesn’t happen to you very often, so when it does happen, it hurts. Everyone takes this personally. Even if you have a bigger business and you’ve been doing this a long time and you are somewhat insulated from the clients, it’s still personal. Certainly, I take it personally. I’m sure you take it personally as well. I think that effect of us taking it personally shows how, I don’t know, how much we care still about the business. But it is a horrible situation. No one likes being in that situation where a client tells you it’s over, and it is something… It can affect your whole day.

Paul Green:
I always think, in those situations, you have to, as much as you can, be the adult about this. Because it’s very tempting, when someone tells you that they’re willing to move on to another MSP, it’s very tempting to not be an adult about that. And obviously I’m not an MSP, but I speak to MSPs all the time, and I know that sometimes clients leave because of things that are wrong that they’ve done, and not that you’ve done. And in fact, I’ve got a great quote to read about this in a second. I know in those situations, it’s very easy for you to not be the adult. To say, “Well, you know what? You guys are idiots.” You might not say this to them, but you might think it. “You guys are idiots. The problems you’ve got are caused by you. You don’t listen to our recommendations. You don’t follow our advice. You said you didn’t want XYZ solution, and then you got hacked, and somehow that was our problem.” And all of this is going through your head and your heart when that client says they’re leaving. And that’s a situation where it’s very, very easy to be… I’m not going to say be childish, but to not be an adult about it.

Paul Green:
Here’s the thing, though. I believe when a client is dumb enough to want to leave you, have to be as professional and as adult as you can possibly be in helping them to leave you, exit, and to hand over to another MSP. And it’s really important that the client sees you being the adult and being the professional about it.

Paul Green:
Why? Because I believe some of those clients will come back to you in the future, but only if you’ve been an adult at the point that they left. So, if at the point that they left you, you let the service levels drop, you didn’t look after them properly, you didn’t do a proper handover to their new MSP, in six months’ time when they’re unhappy with that new MSP and they’ve got that buyer’s regret, right in their heart they’re thinking, “Oh, we made a really bad choice. Why did we do that? We should have stuck with the last guys.” If you were unprofessional in the way that they exited the business, they’re never going to come back to you. They’re going to think, “Well, those guys weren’t great. These guys aren’t great. We need a third MSP.”

Paul Green:
But if you were utterly professional, and you were the adult, and you still went above and beyond what it took to help offboard them onto another MSP, it makes it easy for them to come back to you. Because it’s actually a very hard phone call for them. It’s a massive blow to their ego and their pride for them to pick up the phone or to send you an email saying, “Yeah, we made a mistake. Can we talk? We’d like to come back. Can we talk?” That’s a big step down for a former client to do.

Paul Green:
And I know this does happen for MSPs, so you want to make it as easy as possible for them. You want to be professional, even if it’s they’re going for the wrong reasons, be professional, be the adult. And at the very end of it, send them a handwritten note. This is what I would do. Send them a handwritten note saying, “Hey, Dave. I’m sorry it didn’t work out between us,” or “I’m sorry it didn’t work out more long term with us looking after you. It’s been fun working with you. If you ever want to have a conversation in the future about how we can help you, please give me a call. Here’s my cell number. Here’s my mobile number.” And I think that would be a very, very smart thing to do.

Paul Green:
So, you offboard them like an adult. There’s always, always, the opportunity that someone will come back. And many MSPs, maybe if you haven’t had this, you will in the future at some point, many MSPs have had clients coming back, particularly when that client has switched to save money. Very often, when a client switches to save money, they realise why the other MSPs service is cheaper: because the service levels are lower. And they suddenly appreciate that the service levels that you had, and the proactive work that you did, and the speed at which you operated, was worth paying that extra money for.

Paul Green:
Now, I’m going to read you a quote, and this comes from an awesome book. If you haven’t read this yet, it’s a book I highly recommend. It’s called MSP Secrets Revealed by Mark Copeman. Mark’s a lovely friend of mine. I’ve got to know him over the last couple of years. He’s been on this podcast. He wrote this book… I think it was a couple of years ago. This might have been his pandemic project. Yeah, 2020. This is the copyright at the beginning. And I know he’s actively writing MSP Secrets Revealed 2 as we speak and as we record this podcast. Now, the great thing about this book is, he’s gone out and he’s got lots of MSPs and vendors and experts who have contributed content into this book. I’ve got something somewhere in here. I think I wrote about the profit matrix in this one.

Paul Green:
But I’m going to read you something from page 207 of the book, and this was written by Nathan Maxwell of CCI Team. I’m not going to read the whole thing, but I’ll give you a shortcut. Nathan writes, “Stay classy. Always, always.” That’s like Ron Burgundy, isn’t it? “Stay classy, San Diego.” So, Nathan writes, “Stay classy, always. MSP services are like any other aspect of life: up and down. Sometimes your clients love you, sometimes, well, not so much. Be honest, be real and be classy. No matter what the situation is, be the adult.” And then he writes, “We bend over backwards to provide good service, to keep computers, networks, wireless, firewalls, and all the other gear humming smoothly. And then, we aren’t appreciated. We’re accused of poor quality. We’re blamed for something breaking, when all we did was walk by an office. Be patient, be the adult, even if that means being slighted.”

Paul Green:
And Nathan finishes this by writing, and I love this, “Our true personality shows only in dark times. A thinker once said, “You only see what’s in the cup when it’s bumped.” If you’re a true professional, show it. When life gives you the chance, be the adult in the room. You will never regret it.” And MSP Secrets Revealed is full of great advice like that, so please do go and get that book. It is on Amazon. Be the adult in the room. Stay classy, San Diego.

Voiceover:
The Ultimate MSP podcast crossover.

Paul Green:
Just before we get to this week’s big interview, we’ve got something a little bit different for you. September is such an important month for growing your business. Because people come back from their summer vacations, their holidays, and they kind of get their head down and plow on with doing as much as they can to grow their business throughout the next few months, before we get to the Christmas break. Now, the ordinary business owners and managers that you want to reach, they’re doing that right now, which makes it a great opportunity for you to reach out to them. Because this is the point they’re starting to make their big plans and implement them.

Paul Green:
So, I’ve got together with a bunch of other great MSP podcasters around the world, and together we are sharing our knowledge, our best ideas, throughout September. Today, it’s Todd Kane.

Todd Kane:
Hi, I’m Todd Kane. And I’m the host of the Evolved Radio Podcast. We’re celebrating the ultimate MSP podcast crossover event all through September. The best piece of business advice that I’ve ever received is what gets measured gets managed. This is from management godfather, Peter Drucker. This is really useful because MSP owners are very busy. There’s a lot going on. There’s a lot to focus on and you can get pulled in a lot of different directions. And if you understand what good looks like, you have these measures that are clearly understood by yourself and the staff. They act as objective measures that help everyone to understand what good looks like so that everyone can focus on what the priorities are and know when the business is off track, what areas need support and allows you to focus on more of the strategic activities rather than being dragged into the day-to-day and the minutia of the business.

Todd Kane:
Then if things are red and showing as off track, then you know where to apply some energy. But otherwise you get to stay out of the day-to-day and be more trusting with the staff so that they can be more independent with the day-to-day and the management of the activities that they’re supposed to be responsible for because they know what good looks like, they have those objective measures and allows everyone to work on the parts of the business that will move everyone forward, and it feels like everyone’s working on the same thing and pulling in the right direction and know when it’s working and when it’s not.

Todd Kane:
So when it’s not, just work with the team, be curious, ask lots of questions. Why do we think this isn’t working? What are we not doing? Are there processes or systems that we’re missing? And it allows a more balanced approach to the troubleshooting of the things that naturally go wrong in the business. So I’ll be back for our ultimate MSP podcast crossover on September 30th. And remember you can win a $1,000 by posting about our crossover on LinkedIn. You can use the hashtag MSP podcast crossover to enter the draw, see you then.

Voiceover:
The big interview.

Owen McGab:
Hi, my name’s Owen McGab Enaohwo, and I’m the CEO and co-founder of SweetProcess. So, nutshell, our app makes it very simple for employees, their managers, and even employees on the ground, and management to come together to document procedures for how work is done, and even have this whole process of continuously improving them so, at any given point, you can have one single place online to go to find instructions on how work is done at your company.

Paul Green:
So, documentation is an interesting thing in our world. Owen, you’re just taking your first few steps into working with MSPs, so I know you don’t know our world very well. But documentation is interesting, because your average MSP is actually very good at documentation. But that documentation is their clients. It’s how their clients’ networks are set up, it’s what hardware they’ve got, what software they’ve got, the licenses, the users, and it’s very much… The part of being a good MSP is to fully document all of your clients as much as you can, because it just makes your job easier.

Paul Green:
However, many, not all, but many, of the MSPs that I speak to fail to use that level of documentation for their own businesses. Is this a common thing that you see? Do you see that people find it very difficult to document things within their businesses?

Owen McGab:
So, yes. As a matter of fact, that is a normal thing where people, they will focus on trying to… In terms of MSPs, they’re working with clients and helping them with their IT, and all that. But then internally, they don’t have this documentation in place. We actually have several clients who are MSPs who have even given us case studies, and tell us probably one of the issues we’re having is that in order to scale and grow the company, they needed to have this documentation in place so that onboarding can be much faster. Mistakes are much less. So, it’s an issue. Not only MSPs, but across the board, different companies experience this very thing.

Paul Green:
So, why? Why do we find it so hard to document the things that we are doing every day?

Owen McGab:
Well, it might be just that it might not be the most exciting part of business. Maybe trying to go get sales, get new clients, and all that, that’s also exciting, right, because you’re bringing more revenue into the business. But this other side doesn’t get as much attention, or maybe stays all the way to the end, because it’s not as that exciting. And then it looks like, “Oh, gosh, I don’t have enough time in the day to get stuff done. Now I’ve got to spend time to sit down and document how we do work.” So, it again gets procrastinated.

Owen McGab:
But the reality is that the business is really way much more valuable if you do have documentation in place. Imagine the person who, if you’re trying to sell your business, who wants to come in, and you don’t have any documentation in place, versus the one who has everything all documented, and they don’t really have to be in the business because anybody can be replaced at any single time. Which business will have more value?

Paul Green:
Of course. Of course, it would be the documented one. I’m sure you’ve read The E-Myth Revisited, and you’ve probably read Built To Sell, as well, which essentially are… If you haven’t read them, you need to read those books because the outcome of both of those is, to remove the chaos from the business, you systemise the business, and you document the systems, and you create, certainly what Michael Gerber calls in the E-Myth Revisited, he calls it the franchise model.

Paul Green:
You look at your business as if you were going to franchise it, and you build an operating manual as if you were going to sell that onto someone else, even though you’re not. That book alone has been out since, what, 1980-something.

Owen McGab:
For a long time.

Paul Green:
Yeah, very, very long time. And I think you’re right, that there seem to be many other things. Do you find that people hit a point where, either they’re going to put the business up for sale and the broker tells them they need to start documenting, or as you say, they just hit a barrier to growth, and they realise that the barrier to growth is because they themselves are doing too many things or doing too much firefighting?

Owen McGab:
So, I’ll come at it at two angles because I’ve actually seen both situations. There was actually a customer who came to us, and the issue was they were trying to sell the business. And the reality was, they told him that, “Hey, you can’t really get as much value for the business until you have this documentation in place, because that’s what will make the company much more exciting for potential buyers.”

Owen McGab:
And then on the other one was a situation where he’s getting a lot of customers in, and he wants to scale the operation side of things, but onboarding was slow. You get people into the company, taking over the roles, but you can’t dump the information into their head much quickly as to how the work is done. And so, that was slowing down his growth.

Owen McGab:
So, it’s from different angles. Employee onboarding, basically scaling the business, and selling the business, so on and so forth.

Owen McGab:
And even to another extent, too, is delivering predictable results to customers is another thing, too. Because if you don’t have documentation in place on how you do that, then people are doing things however they like, and then the results are not being predictable the way you want it to be. So, I just explained different angles in which people find out, okay, having this problem. But then it all boils down to, you need to have documentation in place.

Paul Green:
Yes, yes. Let me admit something stupid I did back in around about 2009, 2010-ish. So, I had a different business then. I had a marketing agency, and we only had around about three staff, but I read The E-Myth Revisited. I think I read it on a holiday. And so, I came racing back to the business and I’m like, “Right, everyone. We’re going to document everything. We’re going to create an operations manual. This is going to free me from the hell that is this business.”

Paul Green:
And obviously, I then started the documentation, which, in a week, I perhaps produced four words because I had too many other things to do. So, I think, too, Zoe… Zoe is still one of my friends, although she doesn’t work with me anymore. Zoe is one of the most capable human beings on the planet. And, in fact, actually, she left me to go and become an air ambulance paramedic-

Owen McGab:
Wow.

Paul Green:
… where she would fly around in helicopters and save people’s lives. She’s awesome. And I said to Zoe, “Could you just document everything?” Which I know now is a mistake. So, essentially, I sat her down for a three-month process, and she just sat and looked at everything we did in the business and turned it into a piece of paper.

Paul Green:
Now, the reason that was my biggest mistake was, at the end of it we had this massive manual with, I kid you not, 70, 80, 90 pieces of paper, and everything was documented of how it should be done. The mistake we’d made, I believe the mistake we made, was that there was zero engagement with me and with the other members of the staff. So, Zoe had just sat down, used her analytical brain to break things down, write those things on paper. She printed four or five copies of it, and no one ever looked at it ever again. Now, please make me feel better about my mistake from 10 years ago. Is that a common thing? Have you seen that before?

Owen McGab:
That’s a common thing.

Paul Green:
Good.

Owen McGab:
As a matter of fact, if I could give you a backstory so that people have context as to how I got involved in SweetProcess… SweetProcess got started in the fourth quarter of 2019. And so, SweetProcess, like I mentioned is the software. But before then, I used to run an agency where I was providing people with back office support from the Philippines. People who had read this book, The 4-Hour Workweek, The World is Flat, and automatically they would think, okay, they can go ahead and hire somebody and just magically give them work to do, and the work gets done predictably, and the way they want. Right?

Owen McGab:
But then, what I had to educate people on was that, in order for us… Especially someone who’s not sitting next to you, someone in a different culture, a country, to come in and take over the work for me, there has to be documentation in place. Well, the problem was a lot of the tools that were being used to document stuff were enterprise-level tools, and so were hard to use.

Owen McGab:
And so I said, “Okay, maybe there has to be a better way for us to do this. We have to find easier tools.” I went on a podcast similar to this one, where I was teaching how I was doing my business of helping people document procedures and processes in their business, and then giving their work to my teammates, my people in the Philippines, to do the work. And my co-founder, Jarvis, at SweetProcess, listened to that interview. Was like, “Dude, I want to build something similar to what you were talking about.”

Owen McGab:
And so, we had a conversation after he reached out to me. I said, “Instead of me just giving you suggestions on how to build this software you’re talking about, what if we come together to build the software together? Because this is an issue we’re facing. The tools out here to do this are hard to use, and I wanted to build something.” That was how SweetProcess got started.

Owen McGab:
Long story short, before we built anything, we spent some time talking to a bunch of different people to figure out what the specific needs were with regards to documenting procedures for their business. Took all those findings, and then we were able to announce, okay, you start making our software as complicated as the ones I was running from. We got to focus on the root problems people were having, and build the minimum viable version of that, so that software is simple and easy to use.

Owen McGab:
So now, to the question of how to get started. Because you said you gave it to somebody to, in this case, Zoe, to get work done, to get it documented, and nobody else was involved. And before you know, you have all this documentation in place that nobody else was involved in and nobody can use.

Owen McGab:
So, what I said to do, to combat that, is before you get documented anything in your business, first of all, ask yourself the question, “Is this something that we do need to document?” Or, “Is this something that we need to do in the first place?”

Owen McGab:
Because if you don’t need to do it, then there’s really no need to go through that whole process of documenting it. It might be some tribal knowledge thing that you, “Oh, we’ve always done this,” but you’ve got to ask that critical question. And if that’s the case, eliminate it.

Owen McGab:
Well, then, now you’re left with stuff that you actually need to do which is required for the business, and that could be broken down into two parts. The first part is the tasks that are income generating, like the sales, the marketing stuff that actually bring in revenue. And then, the parts that is not necessarily income generating, but it’s what you need to… The production parts of things, like the things you need to do in order to deliver to your customers, and so on and so forth. Right? So, the production side of the business.

Owen McGab:
And so, what happens, people might say, “Okay, I want to go ahead and jump into documenting the revenue-generating parts of the business, because that seems like the exciting part to get involved with.” And then the mistake, if you do that, is that, okay, if you document all that stuff and you bring in more people to follow those documents to get in more revenue, you’re going to be stuck with the fact that you have a lot of bottlenecks on the other side that you have not fixed yet.

Owen McGab:
So, that’s why I say, focus on the production side of things. Figure out, okay, what is the single biggest bottleneck of your time right now? Right? That’s where I want you to start first. And so, you take that single biggest bottleneck of your task, and then say, “Okay, let’s start documenting that task.”

Owen McGab:
The first way to do it is, you got to install in your mind, and the mind of your managers and your employees, that, “Hey, we are doing do this. We’re going to collaborate together, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. This is going to be a thing of continuous improvement.” Because when they see the very first version of it, they’re giving you permission to understand that, hey, we are starting from the scratch.

Owen McGab:
So, first thing is, you’ve identified the task that’s the biggest bottleneck of your time. Then, you go ahead and you can use this tool like SweetProcess, or even any other tool out there, but document the title of the procedure, and the title of all the steps. And the best way to even do that is while you’re doing the work, because while you’re doing the work, it’s most fresher to you. So as you’re doing it, you enter title of the task, and title of each of the steps.

Owen McGab:
Now, don’t worry about entering the details just yet. And people will be like, “Why don’t I enter details?” I say, “No, because this has to be a collaborative thing where your employees have to be involved in it.” Let’s say you’re doing a task that’s 10 steps. When you’re done, you have what I call a minimum viable procedure that has title, procedure and title of the 10 steps.

Owen McGab:
Now, then you give that procedure to your manager, or some employee who you’re verbally trained on the task before, and say, “Hey, this is something that I documented. I didn’t want you to have a blank screen. Now, let’s go ahead and go ahead and start filling out the details.” Now they define some time, and start putting in as much details in there. And you tell them, “Hey, don’t worry about making details encyclopedia, what level. Just the minimum amount of information in terms of text, screenshots, or if you want to put a small video in each step, whatever. Just put it in there so that we have something.”

Owen McGab:
And now you have that in there. And then, as your employees on the ground start doing work with whatever task management software, whatever tool you use to manage tasks, make sure that while they’re doing the work, that procedure that your managers added some steps and some details into the steps is right there in front of them.

Owen McGab:
So, as they’re doing the work, the reality is they’re going to come across certain things that were not accounted for. Right? And so, those things they’re not accounted for, they’re empowered now, or you empowered them to say, “Hey, whenever you come across something that was not clear in each of these procedures, let us know, and then we can take that information back and improve upon the documents.”

Owen McGab:
So, what I just walked you through is how you identify the biggest bottleneck, work with your manager to fill in the details as much as possible, encourage your employees when they’re doing work to have that thing right there in front of them, so that as they’re doing work, they can pass the feedback back to you.

Owen McGab:
And once you’re done with that first one, now you identify the next biggest bottleneck. Do the same thing again. Everybody is giving permission to know that this is continuous improvement. It’s not going to be perfect, but we’re counting on everybody’s bring back feedback so we can improve it.

Owen McGab:
Before you know it, you’ve gone from the biggest bottleneck to the next one. And now you have more time, because you’ve documented all those tasks, to now start looking at, okay, what are those income-generating tasks that I need to also document how they’re done? Do the same exact thing on working on those as well, and you can start getting more people to come over and take over some of those income-generating tasks for you. Which at this time makes more sense, because these are the tasks that was the biggest bottleneck. You’ve documented how it’s done, and people actually getting work done based on your instructions, so you’re kind of clearing up the bottlenecks, knowing that if you bring in more employees following your income-generating tasks, the bottlenecks will not be there to be as an issue anymore as it was.

Owen McGab:
But now you’ve documented the different parts of your business, just following this dance of keeping everything simple, and everybody understand this continuous improvement.

Paul Green:
Yeah. That makes perfect sense. Owen, I’ve really enjoyed talking to you. I thought I was a fast talker. You’re just at it just nonstop. It’s awesome. I love your energy.

Owen McGab:
I should have told you earlier that if I’m talking too fast, slow me down.

Paul Green:
A lot of our listeners listen to our audio podcast on 1.5.

Owen McGab:
Oh, wow.

Paul Green:
So, they listen faster. I think with you, they’re going to have to come back to the 0.5, I tell you. They really are. So, listen, I’m going to get you back on the podcast perhaps next year, at some point. Because as you iterate your software, and as you learn more and more about how companies document themselves, I think that that learning will be valuable. So, it’d be great to get you back on. Just to finis, just remind us what the website address is for your business.

Owen McGab:
So, it’s sweetprocess.com. So, sweet like candy, process. So, sweetprocess.com. But I know people have been talking… We’ve been talking about a software, but I want to leave people with basically 52 standard operating procedure templates. Because even though I’ve shown you the framework on how to do it on your own, you might still want to have something handy to start off from. So, to get access to that 52 standard operating procedure templates, you just basically go to sweetprocess.com/mspmarketing. So, sweetprocess.com/mspmarketing, and you’ll get access to that.

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

Schweb:
Hi. This is Schweb from asaservice.support. The book I’m recommending is Leading, by the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, where he throws parallels between managing and leading men united into great success, and how that would work in the world of business.

Voiceover:
Coming up next week.

Jamie Shanks:
Hi, my name’s Jamie Shanks. I’m the CEO of Pipeline Signals, and I’ll be on the show next week talking about relationship signal intelligence. Follow your fans. Watch who leaves your customers and goes into prospects, and you will be able to create opportunity.

Paul Green:
Make sure you subscribe wherever you listen to this podcast so you never miss an episode. On top of our interview with Jamie next week, we’re going to be talking about direct mail. I got something in the post this week that made me really want to take urgent action, so I’m going to show it to you, break down all the different elements that, in my opinion, make it a fantastic piece of direct mail.

Paul Green:
I’ve also got an idea from a real-life MSP, and it’s to do with making your live calendar available to prospects on your website. It’s a bit of a twist on that idea, which will actually help you with your marketing. All of that is coming next week, and don’t forget as well, we have a ton of content for you right now on YouTube. Just go to youtube.com/mspmarketing. 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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