Admittedly, I Became Fat, Dumb And Happy
I’ve been working with Robin Robins and been a Producers Club member for over 10 years now. Before discovering Robin, SMB Networks wasn’t profitable and didn’t have any reliable ways to attract new clients. Her marketing strategies and campaigns helped us to break free from the world of break-fix to become a reputable MSP targeting the medical niche. Before we knew it, we were setting records year after year, like growing our business by 40% in one year and increasing our monthly recurring revenue by over 25% in consecutive years. By implementing Robin’s marketing, our business has become profitable, scalable and easier to manage.
I’ll admit it, after years of consistent growth, I got complacent. I really treasure my involvement in Producers Club as a mentor, coach, clown, etc. I am well versed in the ways of marketing, but over the years I became fat, dumb and happy just doing what I was doing in my business. My business was practically running itself, and I was just fine with what I was bringing in. I got to vacation several times a year and just enjoy my life, so I was good with the status quo. (Just don’t tell Robin.)
My Cold-Water Wake-Up Call By A Disapproving Redhead
A couple of years ago, I had TWO wake-up calls that happened back-to-back. First, I turned the big Six-Oh. Next, Robin called me out on my new “take-it-easy” lifestyle and said point-blank, “Why don’t you do some marketing to build your business, dumbass?”
She knows me. And she knew that by tacking *dumbass* to that comment, she would stir emotions. But up until that moment, I didn’t really want to build my business (see aforementioned “fat, dumb and happy”). However, the moment I turned 60, I began to think about the people who worked for me, my family and SMB as an annuity. I knew that as long as I stayed around and involved, the business would thrive. But I started feeling more responsibility and even a DESIRE to build something more than just a boutique business that required my day-to-day involvement.
The “dumbass” comment stuck with me, too. Hey, I know marketing. I advise and coach regularly on it. I have a great niche and a pretty decent status in my community (as surprising as that sounds). So, I made a conscious decision to take SMB Networks to that next level.
My Next Level Was $1.5 Million, Double-Digit Profits And $100K In Monthly Recurring Revenue
This new active growth program of mine had several dimensions, but it was grounded in my medical vertical market. I decided I was going to get very up close and personal with this community. How? By building my celebrity and notoriety while branding SMB Networks as the “go-to” MSP for the medical community. My approach: focus on cybercrime.
Among our initiatives to accelerate our growth, we committed to focusing our website on our target market, honing our unique selling proposition and modifying our messaging and campaigns to address our right-fit audience. I even broke it up into four dimensions:
Dimension #1: Speaking Tour
I began speaking and presenting to a variety of different audiences, from colleges and universities to medical societies, medical group management associations and health information management organizations. I even spoke to several high school classes. The underlying goal for every speaking engagement was to build credibility and celebrity.
Dimension #2: SMB-Hosted Seminars
Keeping true to our goal of having vendors foot the bill, none of the three seminars we conducted cost us any money. In fact, through sponsorships, we even turned a nice profit. At our best seminar, we signed two deals for a total contract value of $232,000!
Dimension #3: Enhancing Mind Share
I wanted to maintain or improve mind share with clients and warm prospects. We accomplish this by regularly sending out print newsletters and TechTip postcards. On many occasions, when I sit down with a new prospect, they tell us they already know us from our newsletter.
Dimension #4: Quarterly Business Reviews
Former Better Your Best winner Joanna Sobran inspired our new commitment to doing quarterly business reviews. These meetings are invaluable. I’ve always said that my clients are someone else’s cold call or prospect. QBRs or, as I like to call them, FHWPs (Fun Hour With Peter) are the single best way to get new business from your raving fans. From our clients, we cross-sold advanced security, VoIP and cloud offerings totaling $197,620 in revenue and $6,000 in monthly recurring revenue!
How A “Dumbass” Remark Ignited An Aggressive Goal Of $2.2 MILLION!
A new focus and mind shift enabled a few exciting things to take place this year. First, I was finally able to buy a building for SMB. This is something I’ve wanted to do for several years now, but I never felt confident. Now that I know I will continue to bring in new revenue to my business, I’m more confident than ever.
Second, we have added two new clients and are negotiating with a large Independent Providers Association to become the vendor of choice for their managed services offering to their medical client members. This represents over 1,000 physicians and 400 organizations! Plus, I have two paid speaking gigs as the keynote speaker for medical associations.
All in all, this has been one of our best years ever, and it’s all because I decided I wanted more. More credibility in my community. More cross-sell opportunities among my clients. More sales, more monthly recurring revenue and more profits! In just one year, I have added $513,166 in gross sales and an additional $149,804 in net profits. Next year’s goal is $2.2 million, with $5 million as the target in three years!