Boy, I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a variation of, “I work long, hard hours—I should be further along by now!” Or, “We’re the best at what we do—we should be more profitable by now!” Or, “I don’t have the time to do all this marketing, what’s the one thing I can do?”
Business is tough. Yes, we’re all awash in problems, setbacks, difficulties, disappointments. Yes, many of these are not our fault. Yes, we’re all busy. But money doesn’t flow to you for being “busy,” a hard worker, or at something for a “long time.” Money flows to those who do the specific activities that attract it. It’s absolutely as simple as that. And the more mature you become about accurately thinking this way, the faster you’ll get to where you want to go. Here are a few ideas that will speed things up.
Stop Doing Low-Money Work: This is a big one. You have “no money” to hire a marketing manager. Or a salesperson to set appointments, close deals, and farm existing accounts. So you’re doing it (poorly, I might add) or it’s not being done at all. Or you’re still doing all the technical work. As sales expert Jack Daly, who spoke at one of our Boot Camp events, says, “If you don’t have a secretary, you are one.”
Want to make more money? STOP DOING LOW-MONEY WORK. Let’s suppose you pay yourself a salary of $100,000 (roughly $48 per hour) and you want to double that to $200,000 (roughly $96 per hour). Great. To do that, you have to stop doing any work, any project, anything that you could pay someone $95 per hour to do.
Yeah, I know … you “can’t.” Then, at a minimum, stop doing any work you could pay a secretary, salesperson, junior tech, or someone else to do that would cost you less than $48 per hour. If you continue to invest your time in projects or activities that are low-money work, you will continue to be stuck at your current income level.
What are the highest-payoff activities? Yes, marketing—more specifically, bringing in new clients profitably. But even more so, hiring, building, and managing a team who will prospect and bring in sales. Also, creating, managing, and optimizing client-getting systems; and strategic planning that involves setting goals with clear milestones, based on intelligence and action plans.
Create Urgency and Implement FAST: if you want any hope of succeeding in business, you need to be able to make a decision and then IMPLEMENT IT FAST. Get employees productive fast. Get a good marketing idea implemented fast. React to a threat fast. Follow up on a hot lead fast. Don’t think it over. Don’t take months to “ramp up” and “ease into it.” You’ll be DEAD by then!
Self-help author Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich, 1937) correctly identified “decisiveness” as one of the great characteristics of highly successful people. They make a decision and act. They don’t take weeks to think it over … or wait for the “right” time … or put it off until they have more money or more time. Low performers operate that way. They’re afraid to make a decision. They deliberate about it not because they’re investigating it or doing research, but because they don’t want to make a decision.
Take MASSIVE Action: The late Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, would tell you that if you want to know why someone is successful, just follow them around for a day. You’d end up saying to yourself, “It’s no wonder he/she is so successful … just look at everything they DO.” Jim coined the term “massive action,” which was later made popular by Jim’s protégé Tony Robbins. Regardless of who thunk it, the principle is sound: If you want to achieve a BIG goal, you need to take MASSIVE ACTION toward achieving it.
Sending out a newsletter and TechTip postcard is good, but it’s not massive action. Massive action would be hiring a list cleaner, two appointment setters, an inside salesperson, and a marketing manager. Then raising your rates. Then making sure your website is optimized for conversion, then search engines and LinkedIn, YouTube, Google My Business, and AdWords. Then making a list of 100 potential partners and calling them all about doing a project together. Repeatedly. Then joining two or three industry associations for your chosen target market so you can network and lead generate. Then getting your inside salesperson to canvass the office parks in your area and follow up by phone. Then holding a series of seminars for existing clients and prospects alike. Then holding a client appreciation event. Then making sure you’re writing a monthly blog post and continuing to send out drip campaigns to the leads you’re generating. Then perfecting your sales process. Etc., etc., etc.
Too much? Well, that may be why you’re still trading dollars for hours, making less than if you went to work for someone else who will get this done. Sorry, I love you too much to not be honest, and I’m not saying you’re a lesser human being. I’m saying that this is the type of action required—the hustle needed—to massively grow your IT services company.
I know this sounds like a lot, and to a certain degree it is. However, once you get rolling and building, you don’t start from scratch every time. The hardest part is getting ramped up, getting started, and not quitting. From there, it’s maintaining. You don’t have to revise your website every year, just continually refine and tweak it. You don’t have to rewrite your sales process; simply refine and tweak it. Once you’ve taken that initial “massive action” it’s just a matter of implementing, refining, and tweaking …
ROBIN ROBINS, CEO of Technology Marketing Toolkit, has helped more MSPs and IT services companies to grow and prosper, liberating them from stagnation, frustration, drudgery, and low incomes. For over 18 years, Robin has been showing MSPs and IT services firms how to implement marketing plans that attract higher-quality clients, lock in recurring revenue streams, and secure high-profit contracts. Her methods have been used by more than 8,000 IT services firms around the world, from startups to multimillion-dollar MSPs. For more information and a FREE copy of The MSP’s Ultimate Guide To IT Services Marketing And Lead Generation, go to technologymarketingtoolkit.com.