IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Business Development with a Little Help from Your Friends

L.A. Creative Technologies turned to coaches, outsourcing partners, and tools to grow and rebrand as an MSP and virtual CIO targeting the creative vertical, nonprofits, and startups. By Josh Weiss

WHETHER YOU’RE TRYING to refocus your business to a managed services model, hone in on a vertical specialty, or scale without adding staff, there is expertise available to help you get there quicker. L.A. Creative Technologies managed to do all three with a little help from our friends.

Those “friends” included management and branding coaches, outsourcing partners, vendors, and other IT providers. With their expert advice, and taking advantage of existing tools, I grew and refocused my company to blend my two passions, technology and the creative fields.

My roots are in music—I started DJing at 18—but I grew up around technology and computers, as my father was a computer programmer. I started my technology consulting company with a break-fix model, growing my client base from small residential homes to bigger houses to multimillion-dollar estates, and from micro businesses to medium businesses. I was making decent money, but I was working 16 hours a day and had no recurring income.

In 2014, I started to transition to a managed services model. I had been active on Yahoo! managed services boards, so I thought I could figure it out on my own. For instance, a peer on Yahoo! convinced me I needed ConnectWise PSA to run my business. I moved all my billing to this new system but struggled with using it. On a recommendation, I turned to Sea-Level Operations, a managed services coaching firm that is now an essential back end of my business.

Sea-Level taught me that when you’re implementing a system everything in your business will flow through, it’s important to get it right. That starts with documenting what it means to provide service to a customer. So together we got began writing processes and designing contracts.

Next, I wanted to add a help desk to my offerings, but I was a one-man shop. I turned to another business coach, Manuel Palachuk, who helped me document my help desk processes and how a ticket would flow through the system. After ample research and discovery, I decided to utilize Continuum’s 24/7 help desk offering along with its RMM. It was my first outsourcing decision, and the first moment my model seemed sustainable to me.

As a vocal and highly involved partner, I shared my thoughts with the vendor about streamlining and improving upon the help desk, which evolved into my being invited to join Continuum’s Partner Council.

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