Same Plan, Same Results For 10+ Years
I started my IT business about 15 years ago while in college, simply as a way to help pay for tuition. Like any business owner, I had dreams of becoming a good-sized company, getting great clients and living the good life. But, for years, I struggled with all aspects of running my business. Operations. Sales. Marketing. I knew IT, but I didn’t know how to grow my business.
Not long ago, we worked with a business coach who helped us get our operations, tech and sales sides of the business working well. This same coach told us we could be a $3 million company inside of three years. I laughed out loud! We hadn’t even hit a HALF million at that point.
How could we reach $3M when we still didn’t know how to get leads to generate new business? As a result, we’ve been stuck at the same size for over 10 years now. We tried our hand at marketing over the years, but the only thing we had to show for it was a colossal pile of FAILURES and thousands in wasted dollars. Last year, we even hired someone who probably called over 1,000 people. Those 1,000 calls resulted in ONE meeting with someone who was NOT even qualified. Yes, we survived strictly on word of mouth until…
Hope Arrived With A Crisp Dollar Bill Attached
I’ll admit, I had zero faith in marketing. Then, earlier this year, I received a letter from Robin Robins with a dollar bill attached. Her marketing approach was unique and practically “forced” me to read her entire letter. From there, I went through her testimonial book with all those IT business owners saying, “Hey, her stuff works!”
It was the perfect storm of desperation and hope at just the right time. One of my techs had just quit, and I had to fire the second one. I was back to where I had been six months earlier. I HAD to change something. So, with Robin’s 100% guarantee, we jumped on the hope bandwagon and signed up for her Rapid Implementation Workshop.
Goal #1: No More Broke And Whiny Clients!
I had a couple of goals I hoped Robin’s workshop would help me to accomplish. First, I wanted to learn how to get new leads and find new clients. But not just ANY clients…GOOD clients. No more broke and whiny clients. I had enough of those already.
On day one of the workshop, I realized I wasn’t alone. Turns out most everybody wants to fire all their demanding and low-budget clients and replace them with respectful, high-dollar clients. Then Robin said something that gave me a whole new perspective. She said, “YOU are the ones who invited your clients to the party. So, you can’t be mad at them because they’re there.”
Wow, that was an eye-opener! And just as I had invited these whiny break-fix clients to the party, I can now invite ANYBODY…even my DREAM CLIENTS! Start marketing to them so they see your brand and your unique selling proposition day in and day out. Before long, you’re servicing the clients you want. Those who appreciate you and will gladly pay.
Goal #2: Shifting My Business Model From Break-Fix To Fully Managed MSP
My second goal for the Rapid Implementation Training: I really wanted to change my business model from break-fix to a fully managed MSP. I was constantly stressed about whether we would have enough work for that month to make it through and pay the bills. In fact, my ultimate goal was to not take on any new clients unless they were on my fully managed plan. But countless times we tried to get our clients to upgrade to managed services at $50 or even $45 per device. But they just wouldn’t make the switch.
Multiple Obstacles CRUSHED!
After reviewing Robin’s material and attending her workshop, I was ready. Ready to work my tail end off, that is. But I could see several obstacles I would first need to overcome.
Obstacle #1: Our company name.
For years, our company name was “911 Computer Repair.” That screams break-fix, which would make it even more challenging to attract MSP clients. So, we opted to change our name and rebrand our business. The new name had to serve two purposes: First, it had to let clients and prospects know that we are the same company. Second, we had to better communicate we were more than a computer repair company. We decided on the name “911 IT” and began the rebranding process.
Obstacle #2: Zero marketing fundamentals.
Once I realized that we had no marketing fundamentals in place, it was easy to see why we had failed over and over again in marketing. After Robin’s workshop, we spent 60 long days and nights getting marketing fundamentals done, including:
- Creating our unique selling proposition
- Asking clients for quality testimonials
- Generating “7 Reasons Why CPA And Accounting Firms Should Choose Us”
- Establishing our target market
- And so much more!
Obstacle #3: I wore every possible hat.
Prior to the workshop, I tried to run the business by doing pretty much EVERYTHING. Yes, I was the CEO. I was also a full-time technician. If I was going to start running the company, tracking the numbers and fixing problems, I must divorce my first love: tech work.
90 Days Of Working Our Butts Off = $14,722 In NEW MRR!
After 60 days in Robin’s program, we had generated a total of $4,192 in new monthly recurring revenue, which we thought was absolutely amazing in such a short time. This success brought so much excitement and energy into our company. We didn’t realize just how quickly we would start to grow by having marketing fundamentals in place. We were like a rocket being launched into the sky, because just 30 days later we closed an additional $10,530 in MRR for a total of $14,722 in MRR!
In addition to growing our MRR, we are proud of our other 90-day accomplishments, including:
- Generating 77 leads
- Converting 18 of our break-fix clients to managed services
- Onboarding 12 new clients
- Generating $12,334 in onetime projects
- Quoting $14,305 in new MRR
- Selling $467,893 in new contracts
How did we do all of this in 90 days? Here are a few of our most impactful campaigns.
Generating $4,820 With A Simple E-mail
We wasted no time after Robin’s Rapid Implementation Workshop in starting to market and make money. For our first campaign, we sent out a simple e-mail promoting our backup solutions to 109 of our existing clients using the techniques we learned in class. From this single effort, we sold $4,820 in backup solutions that will renew annually. This campaign was our FIRST WIN utilizing Robin’s marketing, so we continued to follow her instruction in hopes for more wins and more results.
Aspirin Is The Direct Mail Cure-All We’ve Been Searching For!
We had already worked with several accounting and CPA firms and therefore felt confident targeting this industry with Robin’s Aspirin Campaign. We sent out 255 letters, each with an aspirin packet attached. Because it was tax season, most CPAs were not willing to meet because they were busy. In fact, we had numerous conversations with accountants who said, “Yes, I want the free IT audit, but not until after tax season.” As a result of this attention-grabbing campaign, we have added one new contract and now have 12 promising leads to follow up on.
How To Make An Accountant Smile During Tax Season: Send Pizza!
Marketing is most effective when it’s both unexpected and appreciated. Since our target market is CPA firms, we thought it would make an impression to deliver pizzas to accountant prospects when they are knee deep in taxes. As they enjoyed their free surprise pizza, they also read through an introductory letter that offered two free hours of “Emergency Response” IT support and demonstrated why 911 IT was a dependable, honest and highly responsive IT services provider that understands the IT needs (and hunger needs) of accountants. We sent six pizzas to accounting firms, which will hopefully result in new clients soon.
Upgrading Our Clients. Increasing Our Revenue.
We had never before conducted quarterly business reviews with our client base. Our excitement couldn’t be contained when Robin taught us about the potential to convert our break-fix clients to managed services. Immediately we started sending out e-mails to our clients requesting QBRs.
In our first ever QBR, we converted a break-fix client to managed services! They were paying us an average of $571 per month, and now bring in a monthly recurring revenue of $950. And that’s PREDICTABLE revenue we can count on! In our second QBR, we upgraded a break-fix client who paid us an average of $619 a month to a managed services client with MRR of $2,264. UNBELIEVABLE!!! It’s impressive how such seemingly small actions – like client meetings – can impact revenue and business growth. Going forward, QBRs will always be a part of our marketing plan.
Our Favorite Campaign To Date Involved A Flock Of Ducks Worth $198,720
My favorite marketing campaign we have done so far is our Sitting Duck Seminar Promotion. I wanted a way to convert our break-fix clients to a fully managed plan. I figured if I could show my clients why the break-fix model was no longer valid in today’s IT landscape, they would be more open to switching to a managed plan.
We put a rubber duck in a box with an invitation to our Cyber Security & Sandwiches Seminar. After sending all the boxes, we followed up with e-mails and phone calls.
I included a lot of what Dave Dee taught us at Boot Camp in my seminar. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I had never done anything like this before! What if people didn’t show up? What if I completely BOMBED my presentation? I had already tried convincing these same clients to upgrade to managed services, and all I heard was crickets.
All of my concerns ended up being completely in vain. Both seminars were totally booked, with 20 seats each! In fact, I had clients immediately signing up for my managed plan before they left the seminar. I used the skills I learned in Robin’s program about how to package my plan, and my clients were EXCITED to sign up at almost DOUBLE my previous price – at $95 per device! From just two seminars, we signed new contracts that added up to a value of $198,720!
My Mindset Has Done A Complete 180!
Today, I have a completely different mindset. I am a completely different person. For the first time in over a decade, I feel like my future is 100% in my control. Before, if I lost a big client, I’d be sweating bullets, laying people off and figuring out how I would avoid losing the farm. Today, if I lose a big client, no sweat. I now have the confidence, knowledge and marketing fundamentals to quickly replace them.
For over a decade, we were stuck in a rut at the same revenue point. Since Robin and her marketing, we feel like the sky’s the limit, and we’re just blowing through all of our past barriers. Maybe my business coach WAS right, after all. With Robin’s marketing fundamentals in place, we COULD have a $3 million company within three years. It was no longer laughable, but completely realistic!