Posts Taged marketing

How to achieve exponential growth by debriefing the past

I’ve never been a huge fan of dwelling on the past.  What’s done is done.  However, I am a big fan of learning.  I’m a huge believer in learning in order to grow.  Life is about growth.  Growing mentally, spiritually and emotionally are not things most focus on.  The crux of personal development comes from evolving who we are as leaders, fathers/wives, entrepreneurs.  Sometimes we need to reflect on the past to continue that growth.  However, there is a big difference between reflecting and dwelling.  Those that dwell on the past unfortunately tend to get stuck there.

So, how do we reflect on the past without getting stuck there?  A few years back I came across the concept of the “Debrief” at business conference.  The concept involves taking a recent experience, and examining the good/bad/ugly from it.  What did we do right?  What did we do wrong?  How can we improve?  Since then, I’ve tried to implement this in most areas of life.  This has been especially useful in my business and personal life.  It has led to exponential growth both personally and professionally.

June 30, 2014: The day that changed everything

Two years ago today I issued a press release announcing the sale of my IT business, Network Logix.  It was a bittersweet day to say the least.  The 10 years of blood (sometimes literally), sweat, tears, sleepless nights and many cups of coffee had finally culminated to a conclusion.  At least for this chapter.  It was on to the next chapter.  The next chapter for growth.

Many of you reading this were likely in the room back in April for Robin Robin’s Boot Camp.  During one of the presentations, the question was asked whether anyone in the room would like to eventually sell their business.  Nearly the entire room raised their hands.  This got me thinking.

I’ve always attempted to be as efficient as possible.  Learning from others allows me to expedite the process, and possibly side-step any pitfalls along the way.  Learning from coaches, mentors and peers has led to exponential growth for myself and many others.

After selling my business, I did a Debrief of what I learned.  Boiling this down to just a few items was pretty difficult, as you can imagine.  10 years is a long time, and I could almost write a book about all the adventures.  (Stay tuned for that, it’s in the works.) Below are the 7 lessons I learned along the way.  I’m happy to share them with you.

7 Lessons I Learned From Building, Growing and Selling My MSP

  1. Find a niche and OWN it!
  2. Sell, sell, sell
  3. Fire Rotten Clients
  4. Ruthless Productivity
  5. Document and Systematize All Processes
  6. Focus All Your Attention On Your TOP Clients
  7. Run It Like You’re Going To Sell It

I sincerely hope that there is at least one thing that you can draw from my debrief.  I’d also love to hear how you use past experiences to further your growth as an entrepreneur, parent, father or any other roles you are privileged to play.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  Feel free to share this with your network too.  I’d be eternally grateful.  Have an awesome day!

 

 

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[FREE eBook] “10 Things MSPs Should Be Doing On LinkedIn”

GRAB YOUR FREE COPY NOW!

The ultimate How To Get Started Guide for using LinkedIn in your MSP

Using LinkedIn To Generate Leads

LinkedIn isn’t just a social network for job seekers and recruiters anymore. Over the past few years, it’s evolved into a powerful lead generation tool for many businesses. Its features, like Pulse and Groups, lend themselves well to connecting businesses with prospects. Furthermore, the Company Page feature can be developed into a one-stop-shop for anyone looking for information about your business. With so many great features, it can be quite challenging to figure out how to use the ones that best fit your needs. To help you navigate your way through LinkedIn, we’ve put together some easy-to-follow tips and best practices to make the most of your LinkedIn company page. In this eBook, we’ll show you ten things MSPs should be doing on LinkedIn right now to establish your company presence, attract and engage followers, and generate leads for your business.

Download this Free eBook to learn:

  1. How to Prospect
    The one thing that most MSPs fail to do when looking for potential clients.
  2. How to use Groups
    Learn the #1 tip for deciding which Groups to join and what the goal actually should be.
  3. How to use Pulse
    The greatest opportunity for MSPs to position themselves as industry thought leaders.

GRAB YOUR FREE COPY NOW!

About the Author

I’m a serial entrepreneur who has launched and run several successful businesses of my own since age 8. After running a successful MSP of my own for 10 years, I founded Orange Nomad to help MSPs, small businesses and entrepreneurs bridge the gap between strategy and execution. I enjoy the challenge of working with the smaller firms. All my life I’ve had to build something from nothing, and that’s what I’ve gotten really great at – scrappy, creative and really, really smart strategy coupled with hard work.

I love helping the ’underdog.’ When a client comes to me with a story about how I’ve helped them finally get the financial success they so desperately needed, or that I’ve helped their business grow, I’m totally fulfilled. That gives me far more personal gratification than helping a $20 million dollar firm generate an increase in sales. I’ve built my business from nothing and know how hard it can be to start and grow a business when you’ve got no money, no help and the world on your shoulders. I’m proud to be that “guiding force” to help my clients enjoy the same level of success I’ve been able to achieve myself.

Andrew Moon
Founder, Orange Nomad and LinkedIn For MSPs

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Buyer beware! How not to get screwed by your IT company

The Profit is a show that airs on CNBC Prime about struggling businesses finding a “savior” in the person of multi-millionaire Marcus Lemonis.

In each episode, Marcus, the CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises will find a business in dire need of help and radically change its’ core while investing a hefty amount of his money to save it.

What I love about the profit show is that since it is very real, sometimes the deals work and sometimes they don’t. That’s life isn’t it?

Being a life-long entrepreneur, I absolutely love the show.  Marcus Lemonis is an incredible business man, and seems to have a heart.  I came across a video interview with Marcus the other day.

How can you as an MSP use this to educate potential clients?

This interview really got me thinking.  “I wouldn’t know if someone is BSing me.”, was his best quote.  If someone like him will not invest in tech companies because he’s outside his element, how does the normal business owner make an educated decision about which IT company to choose to support them?  The short answer…they shouldn’t be. At least not by themselves.  Let’s face it.  The average business owner has no idea whether they are being BS’d either.  They usually start looking for another IT company when something is on fire and they need it fixed right away, or their current guy (assuming they have one) has royally screwed something up.  After jumping on Google and calling down the list of names one by one, they finally get someone on the phone.

That’s where you as an MSP come in.  Most IT companies go in and start talking about the tech.  After a “Free Network Assessment”, they drop a RapidFire report on them (which might as well be written in a foreign language to the business owner), and kindly point out all the things that are wrong with their systems and network, and how they are going to be their savior for the low price of $xxx/month.

The business owner has no basis in which to make a decision.  They have no idea whether that IT company will suck as bad as the last guy.  They have no idea whether they are being BS’d.  The only basis they have to make a decision is whether they like the sales guy, and the price.  A decision based upon either of these two alone will never be a good choice.  You already know this.

If I have just described your sales process, PLEASE change it!  You will always look just like all the other IT companies to the business owner, and they will always make the decision solely on price.  Even if you win the account initially, you will lose in the end.  I’ll bet you already know this too.

Stealing Genius is a concept I learned a few years back from Steve Miller.  Feel free to “steal” this content to use in your MSP practice.

stealing_genius

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What MSPs need to know about the epic LinkedIn buyout

In this episode, I break down what the Microsoft buyout of LinkedIn means for MSPs, IT Service Providers, Application Developers and any other IT related business. There is a HUGE opportunity. Are you ready for it?

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Find a Niche and own it!

7 Lessons I learned from building, growing and selling my IT business | Lesson 1: Find a niche and OWN it!

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak to a group of fellow entrepreneurs about how I started, grew and eventually sold my last business, Network Logix.  Boiling the lessons learned down to a 1-hour presentation was a pretty daunting task when I started preparing.  I did a lot of things right, and I also did a lot of things wrong.  Mistakes are a powerful and sometimes cruel teaching tool. I only consider things to be a “failure” if I don’t learn anything from it.  I learned a lot!

After seven or eight revisions (I lost track actually) and many hours of thought, I boiled it down to 7 key lessons I learned over the last 10 years.  My hope is that I can save a fellow entrepreneur the pain and headache that I endured, and find success faster.

Lesson 1: Find a Niche and OWN it!

Like most startups, finding new customers is pretty difficult.  When I started my IT business, like everyone else, I took on anyone who would write me a check.  Most IT firms will tell you their target market is, “businesses with 5 or more computers and a server in [fill in the geographic area]”.  I wasn’t any different.  Do you see the issue with that?  You can’t market to that many people no matter what area you live in.  You just don’t have the marketing dollars.  All of your marketing is “buck shot” effort.  You shoot something out there and hope it sticks.  Most times it doesn’t, and you quit after a short period of time or run out of money.

Client acquisition was pretty meager for the first 4-5 years.  I mainly relied on referrals, which is OK, but won’t allow you to scale quickly unless you have a regular system in place for building these.  I didn’t.  So, I started to look for commonalities in our client base.  I found that we had quite a few accounts in the Multi-Family Housing market.  (Yeah, I didn’t know what this was either when I started).  The Multi-Family Housing market are apartment owners and/or management companies.  Since we were providing IT support for many of these companies, we came to know the issues they were having in their business.  This knowledge allowed us to provide targeted recommendations when it came to their IT needs.  We became a valuable part of their business instead of just “The IT guy”.

This was definitely a Light Bulb moment.  I now knew exactly who I would be marketing to.  I could finally stop wasting my marketing $$$$.  I created a specific message (i.e. Their Big Hairy Problem) and how we could solve it for them.  I was amazed how quickly word spread, and how easy it was to close more business.

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.  I’m not sure where the expression came from, but it’s definitely applicable in business.  Having only one vertical can be dangerous for business if that industry falters. So, I started to look again at our client base to see if we could find a second niche market.  I applied the same principles to a second market…attorneys.  Having a targeted message and SOLUTION made client acquisition much easier.  Imagine that!   

Obviously this is simplified version on Niching your business.  I am working on education topics for the rest of the year.  Would you be interested in learning more specifics on this topic?  Let me know in the comments below.

Stayed tuned for Lesson 2: Sell, sell, sell next time.

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