Why Having An Exit Strategy Is Essential To Every IT Services Business Owner

Robin Robins MSP Business Development Leave a Comment

In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey quoted Former Prime Minister of England, Ben Disraeli, when he said, “You want to begin with the end in mind.” In this video, we share what that means for the MSP, or IT services business owner.

I didn’t begin with the end in mind. I was just trying to pay the bills. 

I want to ask you a serious question… What are you trying to build? What are you trying to accomplish? If you’re running an MSP, it’s not an easy business. It’s a very lucrative business. But it’s not an easy one. So, what are you doing? Why are you waking up every day and grinding it out? You’ve got to have an end game in mind. 

I would suggest that strategically you don’t want to make money just to cover the bills. Maybe that’s where you are today. Maybe there’s going to be a little bit of that as you grow. But I want you to start thinking more like an entrepreneur. I want you to be the owner of the business, not just a tech with helpers. What you want to strategically do is think about how you build STRENGTH in the business to combat any aggressive competitor, any bad economy, and any other “bad luck.” 

In 2020, Covid shut down our biggest event.

That event would have cost over $2 million to put on. And, in an instant, it went up in smoke. We didn’t have any insurance that would cover us because it was a pandemic. So, I literally paid out of my pocket $983,000… just shy of a million dollars. I had to refund mostly to sponsors. 

Our clients stuck with us, and we turned it into a virtual event. That’s why my businesses Big Red Media and Big Red Virtual have the symbol of the Phoenix because our event got burned down without any warning, no fault of our own. And we had to survive. 

I learned a big lesson from that. I had been building strength in my business by doing the things that I’m going to talk to you about. I was able to give refunds back and preserve those relationships with the sponsors who had given us the money. I was able to negotiate with the ones who stayed with us. We kept our clients. I was debt-free. I had full capitalization, so I didn’t have to get a loan. I didn’t lay off a single person at all. In fact, we hired a lot of people in 2020. 

Think of it like this… you want to build strength in your MSP business because you never know when your “Covid” is going to hit.

Your Covid incident could be an aggressive competitor or maybe, unfortunately, something happens to you where you can’t work, where you need to be able to work at the level you need to work at. It could be a rogue employee. It could be any number of things. You want to strengthen your business and be smart about this. That’s things like even just the way you sign your contracts, the services that you provide, and having marketing systems in place. If you lose a big customer, can you replace that revenue? Those things are strengths. 

Also, how do you build EQUITY in your business so it’s an ASSET, not just a job with customers and more sales?  We’re going to be talking about that and how to stop leaving so much money on the table so you can achieve real true financial freedom. That’s what you guys should be thinking about. 

What is your “Enough is Enough” number?

I’m a very big proponent of entrepreneurs knowing what your “enough is enough” number is. That’s how much money you need to have in investments so that you would never have to work another day in your life again. I’m not saying you’re going to stop working. Because I hit my number and I have a new number now. You’ve got to know when enough is enough. What are you working towards? How much money do you need to have debts all paid? 

Because then you’re going to think about how you are going to build the business and maybe exit someday successfully. Maybe you get it that way. Maybe you’re building that enough is enough. Maybe, like me, you hit that number before you have a successful exit. Whatever that is, you’ve got to know what it is.

My friend Kevin O’Leary invited me to Shark Tank to watch them film their show.

One of the things Kevin loves to say is, “You don’t run a business for the money. It’s not about greed. It’s about personal freedom. The reason you want to be an entrepreneur is to be able to do whatever you want with your time, anytime you want. The whole idea is to set yourself free to pursue the dreams you have.”

I would also say it’s to get to do the work you love with the people you love. That’s a true success because when you’re struggling and you don’t know marketing, you have to take any customer that waves a dollar at you, and that makes you a slave to your own success sometimes. When you have enough money, you can turn things down. You don’t have to take every dollar, every opportunity, or every “everything.” If you’re a smaller MSP, you need to really get that vision. If you don’t have it written down, if you haven’t clarified that, then you need to do that now. 

Are you an MSP or IT services CEO, who wants help with a PROVEN plan to successfully grow your business? Click Below To Take The First Step