Leading your MSP Team to Success – (Part 3)

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series on leadership in the MSP environment, I talked about some characteristics that define a strong leader, the components of a team effort and how a leader puts those building blocks together to move the whole team toward success. In Parts 3 and 4, we’re going to drill down into specific leadership skills and techniques that you can use to keep your MSP team on track. Continue reading

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Opportunity is sometimes staring you in the face

Opportunity. Sometimes it only knocks once. You have to be ready to open the door when it does. I spoke with a friend of mine recently who works in the banking industry. He visited a branch and they had a small box called the ‘opportunity box’ next to each teller. He was intrigued by this. Why would each teller have enough opportunities to warrant a box? He thought these particular tellers must have been incredibly clever to keep coming up with enough opportunities to warrant a box. Continue reading

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Leading your MSP Team to Success – (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series on leadership in the MSP environment, I talked about some characteristics that define a strong leader. In Part 2, we’ll look at the components of a team effort and how a leader puts those building blocks together to move the whole team toward success. Continue reading

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The Shy Computer Guy’s Guide To Getting Referrals

Any networking expert will tell you that referrals are the key to keeping your business going- no matter what kind of business you run.

But for lots of computer consultants, asking for referrals isn’t so easy. Because, let’s face it, a lot of us “techie types” tend to be somewhat more quiet, introverted, and don’t find it easy to put ourselves ‘out there’ like other professionals seem to be able to do.

However, there’s no denying that to maintain a successful computer consulting business, you not only need to keep your existing clients happy, but you also need to always keep the coffers full, meaning you always have to have new leads coming in the door. Continue reading

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Leading your MSP Team to Success – (Part 1)

A while back, I wrote here about how to become a thought leader within the larger MSP industry. But before you can take your leadership skills on the road, you first need to practice the art of leading your own company team in the most effective way. I’ve discussed leadership in a peripheral way, in the context of management models and business ethics, but this time I want to address what it takes to be a good leader and how effective leadership (or the lack thereof) can make or break your business. Continue reading

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Managing the Money (Part 8) – Tax Planning

In Part 7 of this series, we discussed how your MSP’s business structure determines how you are taxed under U.S. federal laws. Tax planning starts with choosing the correct business structure. This time, we’ll look at ways to use tax planning strategies to minimize your tax burden. Continue reading

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Are Your Clients Ready To Move To The Cloud?

Moving to the Cloud is unquestionably the hottest topic today for small business owners when talking about their IT infrastructure. Moving data from an in-house server to a hosted provider has many potential advantages, causing more and more clients to ask if moving to the Cloud is the right choice for them now, particularly if they’re at a point where major changes to the network might be in order, such as the upgrade of a server. Continue reading

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Managing the Money (Part 7) – Federal Taxes and Business Structures

In previous installments of this series, we’ve discussed various aspects of managing your MSP’s money, from revenue enhancement to banking to going public to creating and sticking to a budget. An important and sizable part of your budget is an expense that isn’t discretionary: paying your company’s taxes. That will never be a fun part of doing business, but in these next few installments, we’ll take a look at how you might be able to make tax time a little less painful.

I’ll be talking here about businesses located in the U.S.; tax issues will vary from country to country and in the U.S., you’ll be liable for different types of taxes paid to different governmental entities. Continue reading

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Managing the Money (Part 6) – Budgeting

In previous installments of this series, we’ve been talking about how to get more money into your business – through loans, investors or by going public. But bringing money in is only half the story; you also need a plan for how you’re going to spend that money. And that’s where budgeting comes in.

A business budget is a plan that details when and how you expect to receive and spend money. The revenue and expenditure projections normally cover a period of a year (the company’s fiscal year, which might or might not correspond with the calendar year). Of course, unless you’re psychic, you’ll probably come in over budget on some items and under budget on others, but the point is to have a roadmap so you have an idea how much money you’ll have and what you’ll use it for. Line items should be detailed, but not overly detailed. A typical line item would be “Office Supplies” – there’s generally no need to break it down further. Continue reading

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Is Monthly Invoicing Your Least Favorite Task?

Unless you’ve grown large enough to where you can have an in-house or even an outsourced accounting department to handle your accounts receivables functions for you, odds are it’s you who looks forward to that dreaded end of the month where you have to set aside a day or two (or even more) to compile the billable hours into your client’s monthly invoices. Continue reading

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