Working Too Much For Too Little
After my Chief Technology Officer position at a pharmaceutical company dissolved during the recession, I started Critical IT Solutions in 2010 in the very competitive Washington, DC, area. Little did I know that by starting my own IT services firm I would be working 20-HOUR DAYS, including weekends!
But with all of the time I invested, there was one important area of business I ignored – MARKETING. That’s right, we didn’t do any marketing for YEARS. My business thrived on referrals alone. Working way too many hours for way too little money, I knew something had to change.
The First Thing That Needed To Change: My MINDSET
Doing mostly break-fix work for too many years, I realized my clients were paying me practically nothing. My MRR was STUCK around $10K a month, and it was all MY FAULT! That’s because I didn’t have the courage to ask our clients for more money. Worried they would walk away, I remained silent while clients paid pennies for the red-carpet service we offered.
Fortunately, I found my courage in the MSP Launch Academy. That’s Technology Marketing Toolkit’s new business development blueprint that helps smaller MSPs get to $1 million quickly and profitably. That’s EXACTLY what we needed. After learning from Robin Robins’ team and getting encouragement from several MSP peers in the MSP Launch Academy, I made the decision I was finally going to EARN the money I deserved.
We started by creating packages around our MSP, cyber security, and compliance services while increasing our prices across the board. And significantly. Then, the moment of truth: telling our clients to pay what we are worth. To my surprise, we didn’t lose a single client! They didn’t even flinch, while most of them signed the new contract. One client even increased our MRR tenfold – from $600 to $6,000 every month!
How Automation And Math Elevated Our MRR From $10K To $25K!
Our transition from a break-fix to a cyber security–focused MSP started by taking a closer look at our entire client base. I first calculated how much each client was costing us vs. their total revenue. We figured if they’re costing us, we’re not losing anything if they walk. We were losing already.
Next, we transformed the way we conducted quarterly business reviews. Before working with Robin, we scheduled QBRs sporadically, with almost zero upsells.
TMT’s Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) made it a snap! Rather than forgetting to schedule and conduct QBRs as I have in the past, I had e-mails requesting QBRs automatically sent to clients. Without lifting a finger, I would get a notice of a new QBR appointment. I don’t even have to think about it, and I have plenty of time to prepare. Fantastic!
The more QBRs we conducted, the more clients signed on to our higher MSP pricing. We quickly went from STRUGGLING HARD to well over $25K in MRR! Plus, we were getting a ton more projects as well. As a result, we’ve already hired TWO NEW TECHS and will soon hire a third.
Launching A Brand-New TMT Campaign Will Provide $21,600 In MRR And $8,000 In Projects!
Seeing the success we had by upgrading our clients to more lucrative contracts, one of Robin’s teammates reached out and told me about a new e-mail marketing campaign she wanted to test. It was a simple e-mail broadcast promoting a backup solution to clients.
To our surprise, the morning after we sent out that e-mail, I got a confirmation of an appointment on my calendar… Then another one. For this first client, this simple e-mail resulted in multiple services, including backup, cyber security, insurance, and replacing all their computers. We expect the client to soon sign the contract that’s valued at $21,600 in MRR and $8,000 in project work!
Sneaking Our Way Into Our Clients’ Heads
Because we service over 200 clients, it’s tough to constantly communicate with all of them. Robin’s weekly E-mail TechTip Newsletters help keep us top of mind. We know they’re working because we regularly get phone calls, e-mails, and messages from clients THANKING US for the tip we just sent to them. We even recently closed a LUCRATIVE NEW DEAL for a project as a result of these TechTip Newsletters.
A Joint Venture Opportunity That Could Be A Game Changer
One huge opportunity I’m excited about is a new joint venture deal. One of our long-term clients is a real estate management business with nearly 100 buildings. I simply approached them and asked if we could reach out to their tenants on behalf of their business. They said, “Absolutely!”
Even better, they agreed to send out our e-mail promoting our MSP services on their behalf to ALL their tenants! That will open up a huge opportunity for new prospects, leads, and clients. Therefore, it’s not a cold call but a warm opportunity!
Marketing Initiatives On The Horizon
“Execution is the foundation for momentum.” – Tony Jeary
All of our marketing execution played a role in Critical IT Solutions’ marginal success. But I’m not there yet. We keep pushing to grow even more. That means executing even more marketing initiatives.
Our next target market will be dentists and health care professionals. We will create a dental-focused website to target dental practitioners and associations. Next, we will be executing a special automated campaign targeting this market in the DC area. That will be key for us.
Ever since we first heard about how Robin’s Shock-And-Awe box is positively impacting close rates, we have wanted to create one. We expect to start with the digital Shock-And-Awe presentation, but then plan to absolutely create the physical box to send out before sales meetings.
We also plan to begin the Aspirin campaign soon. By using MAP, we expect the automation will make it far easier and more effective. We have a lot more new scrub-ready prospects to send these letters to.
Don’t Let FEAR Hold You Back!
All your doubts are simply smoke and mirrors in your own mind. They’re just head trash! This was a theme we heard over and over again during the MSP Launch Academy. FEAR cost me YEARS of business growth. I feared my clients would never sign up for my far more costly MSP and cyber security packages.
When I was confident I was not overcharging because my new packages were WORTH THEIR PRICE, I created a plan. I approached each customer with the benefits above and beyond what they currently had. Most everybody signed up! You simply have to ask.
I can’t believe I held on to that fear for years. Today, I have ZERO FEAR. In fact, I am already reminding my clients that their monthly pricing will increase yet again. That way they expect it. Because as long as they’re happy with you and you’re doing a great job for them, they’ll pay! Almost always.
Rapid Implementation Workshop Vs. MSP Launch Academy Vs. Accelerators Club
Technology Marketing Toolkit offers many valuable programs for MSPs in every phase of business growth. I had the pleasure of being a part of several of them, including going through Robin’s Rapid Implementation Workshop, the MSP Launch Academy, and even being in the Accelerators Club.
What I can say is that from each of these programs we received ideas, resources, tools, and motivation that positively affected my MSP. All of these programs helped us to mature the business in a way we couldn’t have done ourselves.
Plus, the MSP community has been huge for us. Each week we meet with like-minded peers who challenge us. We share ideas. We talk about what has worked and what hasn’t. And we push each other to achieve our goals.
Far From Done, We Expect To TRIPLE Our Revenue
Throughout this new journey into marketing and facing my fears, I have transformed Critical IT Solutions into a juggernaut in the highly competitive Washington, DC, market. We accelerated our MRR from $10K a month to $25K. In addition, four lucrative deals brought us $316,620 in new revenue.
It’s been a fantastic journey, and I’m excited for the months and years ahead. Far from satisfied, I continue to push myself and my team a lot. By the end of next year, I expect to be doing TRIPLE the revenue we are right now. With the right tools, resources, and confidence to face my fears, I know we can do just that.
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