How The Owners Of A Struggling IT Break-Fix Business Transformed Into A Highly Successful IT Managed Service Provider

Robin Robins Managed Service Providers Leave a Comment

During a recent interview with some of TMT‘s Better Your Best finalists, Robin Robins spoke with Mad Data IO owners Brian and Mary Hamilton as they revealed their journey from being broke, running their IT break-fix business, to transforming into a successful IT managed service provider that is now doing nearly 2 million in annual sales.

Robin: What was the biggest campaign or strategy you two had to do in order to turn the ship around when you guys were struggling so badly with the business? You said that you had to ‘sell your way out of it’ in order to leave the break-fix life behind and truly become an IT managed service provider, but could you be more specific on exactly how you did?

Mary Hamilton: We did the cross-selling campaign (sold to our existing customers) right when we got back from attending TMT’s Rapid Implementation Workshop. We then knew that we had to start selling cybersecurity. So we went through our whole stack of clients, and we started implementing the process to sell cybersecurity.

What really kickstarted our transformation into an IT managed service provider, was upselling cybersecurity.

Our tech stack grew to incorporate more cybersecurity services. Eventually, we had to say goodbye to some clients that didn’t want to pay for the added security we were including in our contracts. At that time we did not even know what offering managed services, much less how to do that and do it correctly?

Brian and Mary Hamilton, Owners of the IT managed service provider company Mad Data IO
Brian and Mary Hamilton, Owners of Mad Data IO

So, we got rid of more clients and then started selling managed services and creating contracts to gain monthly recurring revenue. Upselling and cross-selling were a huge part of the first part of our growth after joining TMT (formerly known as Technology Marketing Toolkit).

Brian Hamilton: And then what we did, was we actually copied one of your (TMT) events. I watched what you did. We brought it to our town and copied it in February 2020. We brought in five different vendors that typically would come and speak at your events, and we were able to get them to come to speak at ours.

We had to sell them on us. And because that event was so successful, it became a huge catapult for us. I just ran the numbers recently and we did $165,000 in project work all based on that one event.

Read How Brian And Mary Were Able To Instantly Jump From $1,800 A Month To $95K In MRR!

Out of that, we added $1-15K of new MRR in IT managed service provider work, and that’s when it all started to develop. It spawned more joint venture partnerships. We had never had the revenue in the past to even hire a marketing person or an appointment setter. At the time we were only able to pay ourselves as a couple about $50,000 a year combined.

Since we were already good at relationships, we started networking with joint venture partners. It was the least expensive marketing strategy we could come up with. To achieve this, all we had to spend was our time with people on the phone and developing those relationships. Those relationships ultimately led to our success in 2021.

Our step-by-step process to transforming into a successful IT managed service provider started with incorporating cybersecurity services into our tech stack. Then, we “fired” clients that didn’t want to move from a break-fix model to an IT managed service provider model with cybersecurity. It’s too risky, and not worth it. Next, we had a marketing event modeled after TMT that brought in $165,000 of project work. That was a huge win for us! Finally, what has kept us moving and growing are our joint venture partnerships. This strategy has worked so well for us because we have formed meaningful and lasting relationships. In business, networking and relationships can be the key to success. It was definitely the key to ours.

If you are in a similar situation, click the link below to register for a free event specifically designed ONLY for IT services businesses.