Karl’s State of the Nation Address for SMB IT 2019

Karl’s State of the Nation Address for SMB IT 2019


Okay. Looks like we are live on zoom and
on Facebook. So this is the first time ever that I’m trying to do a simulcast, I
guess, and be live on Facebook over at the small biz thoughts page. So
if you’re not a member of small biz Thoughts just look for small Biz thoughts
on Facebook. You’ll find that and we’re live-streaming there. So I have to say
this is my first time so I will put no further effort into that so if something
goes wrong on the live stream we’ll have to figure it out for next time but I
don’t have a coordinator here in the office to assist so if things go wrong
it is what it is alrighty then so welcome everybody
folks are still logging in I’m always gratified when I get a few hundred
people 250 people signed up for a webinar with luck will get 60 or 70% of
them to actually show up but in the meantime
welcome to the small biz thoughts Carl Paula Chuck’s 10th annual State of the
Nation Address for SMB and you know this is one of these interesting things that
happens is that you do something and then you do it again and you do it again
and you do it again and pretty soon five years ten years have gone by and it’s
kind of interesting how just persistency is sometimes all it takes to look back
and say wow I did that for 10 years with luck it’s successful but at a minimum it
exists for 10 years you know the great line from Animal House is that the house
has a long history of continued existence right so that’s that’s what
the State of the Nation Address has so with all that let’s go ahead and get
started my name is Carl politics over those of you who don’t know me I am the
author of 18 books number 19 should be out very soon and so you know where I’m
always working on focusing on the small biz community and IT consultants in
particular in the small business community so I would greatly appreciate
it if you would connect with me on Twitter Facebook Linkedin Instagram so
forth and so on you know there’s so many social media
today you can’t actually be super active in all of them but I’m happy to connect
I put most of my effort into LinkedIn and Facebook so just so you know if you
want to ping me there I don’t use the messaging system on either one so if you
want to talk to my administrative assistants by all means send a message
on Facebook or LinkedIn and somebody will read it but it won’t be me my email
is Carl P at small biz thoughts calm so if you want to email me you’re welcome
to do so I started out in IT literally back at the University of Michigan in
the 1980s and loved it and I always worked with computers and politics and
so eventually I took a job running a company that put political information
online so that agencies and lobbyists and so forth could track legislation and
that got me into big iron HP 3000’s and eventually into the worlds of Novell and
NT and networking and all of that kind of stuff
so when Windows NT was invented we decided to move that system to NT and
sequel and a you know few years later I’d realized wow I could make some money
doing consulting so I started my first IT consulting business and from there
grew that to about twelve employees sold that company and then wrote a bunch of
books and then started another IT company which
I sold at the very beginning of last year so about a year ago today more or
less and so I’ve built and sold a couple of businesses and I love this community
somewhere along the line I connected up with Harry Brailsford and a lot of the
people who are running IT user groups all over the country all over the world
and so that has been the the growth of my what I consider my community not not
that I own it but I belong to it and I love the IT Pro community you know I go
to any country I go to any city and I can find somebody who is willing to sit
down and talk about their IT consulting business and for me that has just been a
phenomenal source of information and inspiration I meet people who make money
in ways I never imagined and I meet people who have the same challenges that
I see again and again and I am long enough into my career that I am happy to
say I can now focus all of my attention on helping other people achieve what
they want and it is literally the goal of my business both of my businesses and
my personal life it is my goal to help you be successful in your personal life
and in your financial life and in your your business and so that’s that’s what
motivates me that’s what gets me up in the morning so when I hear people say oh
I have to take this $300 a year client because I have to feed my family I just
you know I just want to help them I I want to help them understand that you
will never be successful focusing on that market and I want to help them
understand you know what it takes and you’re gonna see as we go along today
that everything loops back to your success but that’s not what we’re here
for specifically to start out with a couple of housekeeping notes unmute your
speakers so if you having issues a lot of people
calling I can’t hear this and that and they get on the phone with Karen and she
tells them to unmute their speakers and a lot of problems go away we don’t have
a chat feature I think Jack was invaded invented by invading alien robots and is
the most evil thing in history of the world except for maybe Nazis so I don’t
do chat but I do have a Q&A panel and so that’s the place where you can put
questions and you can queue those up I’ll take questions at the end yes this
is being recorded and so if you want to shout out to the world and use the
hashtag SBT I would appreciate that so here are some of my brand’s those of you
who have poked around in my businesses for a while know that I run about 200
websites in support of my businesses and so these are the primary ones small biz
thoughts calm and small business org are the primary sites my bookstore is an SME
books when I do events out and about in the world I call it the SMB Roadshow and
so we have a site for that we have a series of five-week classes every year
at great little seminar and of course I have my blogs for relax focus succeed
and IT consulting we do a podcast an SMB community podcast and I have a whole
different business doing motivational trainings over at relax focus succeed
calm so memorize all that take a screenshot visit all those sites and I
would appreciate it so today I’m going to talk a little bit about some
announcements of what’s going on every year I do kind of a summary of what we
did in 2018 and what I think we’re gonna do in 2019 and then make a presentation
of kind of my thoughts on the world at large and I don’t claim to be wise or a
pundit or anything but I do love working and living in this community and so I
want to give you my perspective where we’re going so in 2018 I made
presentations in 21 cities what’s interesting is that there’s 40
presentations in 21 cities some of them were two presentations one on one day
one on the next others were just going back to the same cities again and again
there’s there’s this weird cyclical nature to our business I think I was in
Anaheim eight times in 2018 and I’m probably gonna spend all all in
literally three or four weeks in Chicago in 2019 so you know everybody moves
around from time to time but they tend to move to the same cities anyway manage
services in a month the actual paperback edition of the third edition came out in
2018 as did the revised edition of service agreements and a brand new book
with my good friend Stephanie Chandler on nonfiction book publishing stephanie
runs the nonfiction authors association and so i was very honored to be able to
put together a book with her we did a new audiobook the third edition of
managed services in a month and also the german edition of managed services in a
month is now available so for those of you from germany with luck you’ll give
it a listen or give it a look and the community feedback you have we also
produced eleven five-week courses we had a couple of courses running at the same
time wrote a bunch of blog posts did a bunch of videos I’m loving loving the
video stuff I used to hate video because I don’t like learning that way but I get
a lot of positive feedback from it and of course did a lot of a lot of webinars
and so forth and between the various things I do put out 66 newsletters so if
you are interested I have a weekly newsletter I would love to put you on
that list and it’s at small business comm we also did a roadshow which I
trying to think of Oh which four or five cities did I go to and I couldn’t
remember them all so I looked them up and it turns out I think we went to nine
cities so I was surprised that at how much of a road show we actually did
because I tried to downsize it and then the biggest news is we launched the
small biz thoughts community and that’s a community filled with content our goal
is we’re eventually going to have every version of every book and every white
paper and every checklist and everything that I’ve ever done is going to be in
that community at a very reasonable price so for 2019 I’m planning to do
five shows channel Pro has added a show in Toronto and so we’re gonna kick off
with Atlanta and then go to Chicago San Jose Toronto and then finish up in
Newark in November so I’m loving the channel Pro stuff and it is by far in my
opinion the best reasonably priced small business event that you can go to there
are other events that are that will cost you many thousands of dollars to attend
and they have great content but channel pro in terms of actual you know great
attendees great vendors great interaction I you know it’s the primary
show that I’d love to do and my brother and I are doing a really fun
presentation this year so if you can go to channel pro and gentle Pro Network
calm and sign up for one of those also doing tech fest tech fest is such a
great event in literally when I finish this broadcast today I’m going to log
off and rush to my car and drive to the airport so I can fly to Anaheim and make
a presentation with my very good friend Dave Seibert tomorrow morning so tech
fest is always a good thing and then we have ten classes scheduled including two
brand-new classes in over a great little seminar the next one coming up is on
service agreements so it was a brand-new class last year so this is the second
and it’s ever been offered it includes a free copy of my book on service
agreements aggressive being consultants I’ll give you a hint I’ll give away the
ending service agreements have nothing to do with the service you deliver they
have to do with the relationship with your clients and that’s why you should
have a service agreement with every single client that you have and finally
in the small business community we’re going to put up so much stuff we had
been focusing on audio because it starts with an A but we’re moving to PDFs and
Kindle stuff and checklists and just continuing to put more and more
information into the community all the time so if you want to know all the
stuff that’s going on there are literally hundreds of things going on in
the ite the SMB IT community every year sign up
for my newsletter and I’ve got a weekly calendar that gets updated on a regular
basis right now that newsletter goes out to just under 12,000 people every week
so it’s it’s one of the the bigger and most opened newsletters in the community
you know a lot of people are happy when they can send out an email and get a
three percent open rate and we get about a 20 percent open rate and I just looked
at the email from Monday 18 percent click-through which is just off the
church so I think that’s a sign that people actually read it and consume it
and enjoy it and finally the big announcement for the
year is that I am going to be releasing cloud services in a month and if I’m if
I’m really diligent and work hard it’ll be out by the end of March so my
goal is q1 and again it’s it’s gonna be about the size and shape of many
services in a month and but obviously completely different content and that is
about 80% written but you have no idea how hard it is to do that last
that’s last little bit of a book it’s sort of sometimes when you when you give
birth to a book feels like you get to 99% and then it
takes just as much effort to get to 99.9 and then as much effort to get to 99.99
but I have a good team so the design is already done Devon is literally like
waiting for me to start sending her chapters to layout and the cover is done
so anyway so that that’s my goal in the next couple of months so stay tuned for
that if you are a member of the small biz that’s community you will receive
the PDF version of that book as soon as it is available at no additional charge so for 2019 we’re gonna do that book I’m
hoping to do at least one other book and maybe two the problem with my head is
that it’s filled with books and I need to take enough vacation days to get
books written but also take enough vacation days to relax so that I will my
brain will relax and I can actually get the books written one of those is a
project that I’m pretty excited about and I’m not ready to announce but I
think that a certain group a subset of this community will love the book that
comes after cloud services in a month we are not doing a roadshow this year so
last year I had too many things going on at once and so attendance was very low
because my marketing was confusing so just decided to push the reset button I
am going to do some community meetings for the small biz thoughts community and
those are open to the public so if you want to you’re certainly welcome to
attend them and and learn more about that check out my blog for details but
the the actual Roadshow where we do the same thing or you know all over the
world we’re not doing that this year so we’ll have a handful of community
meetings but we we already have Amy Babb and check and Amy Looby and Harry
Brailsford and Mandy Paula Chuck and Eric Simpson and I’m sure I’m forgetting
somebody Amy bad and check we got a bunch of
people lined up to help us with these community meetings so I’m sure they will
be great and then of course we’re doing 10 new
classes over at great little seminar so that’s all that that’s the PR message
there now we’re done and there’s no more advertising so I do want to look every
year I look at the stock market and I just want to make sure people are clear
this is not political and it’s also not financial advice you know last year I
started to write a blog series on you know for people who had hadn’t figured
out how to save money like how can you just start by putting two aside an extra
ten thousand dollars in the next year and every time I wrote a blog post in
that series I got inundated with emails from
financial advisers who told me that I am not authorized to give financial advice
and I don’t know what I’m talking about that I’m not licensed and there are
rules about this kind of thing in blah blah blah and the irony for me is that
you know who those people are you’ve heard their ads on the radio if you’ve
got a hundred and fifty thousand dollars to invest we’ll give you a free you know
hour of our time you get two hundred fifty dollars to invest we will be happy
to help you out well that wasn’t who I was talking to
you got to be honest you have two hundred fifty thousand dollars in the
stock market you don’t need their advice you’re doing just fine you might have
made some mistakes and you might have left some money on the table but you
know what you’re doing just fine the average American retires worth under
a hundred thousand dollars in fact I think it’s eighty-three thousand dollars
to their name and that’s not enough to retire on so anyway I eventually gave up
because I got tired of fighting them but so let me just say I don’t know anything
about any of this except I have bought and sold businesses
for myself and for other people I had been investing in stock market and real
estate and oil fields since the early 90s and I am what there’s there’s
certain things that when you when you engage in certain financial activities
you have to prove that you are what is called a sophisticated investor and I am
so all of this is just my opinion and it’s just my experience and that’s all
there is to it so let me just there that’s the preface
bla bla bla so this is what the Dow Jones Industrial Average did in 2018 so
it was down a little bit for the year and up and down up and down and it’s
hard to see without the context but the volume those little lines at the bottom
the volume was very high compared to what it has been in recent years in 2016
when I gave this presentation actually January of 2017 I said we are overdue
for a correction you know it’s just been going up and up and up and it’s you know
a correction is not a recession and you have to remember that very distinctly
that a correction simply means the price of a bunch of stocks goes down a little
bit usually you know more than 10% for a short period of time and basically
people take a bunch of money out of the stock market and they take it out of the
stocks that they don’t think are doing well and they put them into the stocks
that they think are doing well and then it continues on its way so it does not
mean that there’s a recession in fact right now just just this week their
reports about the financial sentiment of the people who follow the stocks and are
the advisers and overwhelmingly their feelings are positive that we might have
unemployment go up 1/10 of 1% in 2008 19 and 1/10 of 1% in 2020 so they’re very
bullish on that we are having some you know issues going on right now with
trade due to tariffs that will get settled out you know stuff happens and
then we move on so fundamentally the the economy is sound
people have money they have a tiny bit more than they did before there’s going
to be a tiny bit of inflation that will give them a tiny bit more money and
they’re going to spend it so you know I believe that the economy is sound and
you know we just happen at this minute to be recovering from a very you know a
decent correction but remember you have to keep everything in perspective so
this is the stock market going back to October of 2008 which is when literally
the day the stock market crashed for the last big recession which was the biggest
recession in our lifetime right and I remember I don’t blame Harry Brailsford
for this but I was at SMB nation 2008 and on Friday I lost half of my
daughter’s education her college and on Monday I lost the other half so I
remember that particular weekend very very clearly but when you put it in
perspective right that’s that that’s the the going down to the bottom there that
it bottoms out in 2009 and then it goes up and down and up and down and up and
down but mostly up after that and it is possible that we could test this this
correction a couple of times before we take off again but remember 10 years
from now you’re just gonna zoom out more and it’s gonna look more or less just
like this and you know I remember you know I’ve got I’ve got two rules for
investing the first one is any stock can drop 25% or more on any given day and
trust me the same stock can go down 25% or more the next day so on any day any
stock can do anything and I actually remember the day that Xerox went down
25% and in between 1999 and 2000 it went from a hundred and twenty dollars a
share to twenty dollars per share it went down 83% and
it took a decade for them to recover almost a decade and you know that was
literally because of one specific decision which is they would not adopt
new technology canon came in and looked at the market and said xerox completely
and a hundred percent owns the photo reproduction market how can we attack
that and they looked and they said what’s what’s the biggest cause of
support on a Xerox photocopy machine and it was replacing the core parts
including the drum and canon said that’s fine let’s create printers where the
drum gets replaced when the toner gets replaced boom change the market change
the industry and Xerox took forever years and years and years to recover
from that so you know don’t fall in love with a specific stock right that that’s
the advice there the second rule I have is that when strangers at the bus stop
are giving you advice on an investment get out as quickly as you can
those of you who remember the the.com bubble
holy smokes it was literally the case that strangers on the street were
telling you oh you should buy Schwab you should buy Cisco you know and it was
like you could clearly see that that that was a bubble that was gonna burst
but people didn’t believe it because they were in the middle of it right and
they’ve happened again with real estate in 2006 2007 2008 you know literally you
had a case where you know there were waiters in restaurants who owned five
homes because they were super leveraged and nobody checked their income and so
they just bought and bought and bought and so you know though the the guy at
the drycleaners has given advice on buying real estate why okay I can see
this coming right away so just be aware every bubble you
eventually going to burst rank it’s it’s just one of those things that happens so
having set the stage for all that what’s that got to do with our industry well we
are in a mergers and acquisition bubble and in case you missed the news
yesterday a river was bought by a company I never heard of zix
for two hundred and seventy five million dollars yesterday so that bodes well for
I’m not going to name the names because I do business with some of these
companies but you know there are other companies that essentially do the same
thing as a privy I talk about them in my presentations on cloud services I talk
about them in the book you know they they are ripe to be taken over and in
both the on the vendor side and on the MSP side we see valuations that are out
of this world I have seriously considered starting another business
just so I can sell it because I didn’t sell in the at the height of the market
in that you know with with the irrational valuations that are going on
so but one of the problems with that is and I’ve talked to several people who
say you know these other people they come into town and they basically are
marketing that hey we will give you many services for 50% off will give you
managed services for $29 per user you know they they’re trying to get
market share and a list of users a list of clients and they are more interested
in growing their valuation so they can be sold then they are in delivering
service or in making actual profit at the end of the day so they’re not
running their business in a logical manner and that makes it very hard for
you to compete you also have the case they know when when you’re on the
receiving side of that it’s good you know
the when you are if you have a vendor who isn’t interested in profit there
interested in market share they will lower their prices and lower their
prices and that’s all good for you but at some point that has to stop every
time people say oh we’re in a new economy right I remember people saying
this again about the dot-com bubble oh we’re in a new economy you you know you
don’t have to make money anymore you just have to get eyeballs well that was
stupid then and it’s stupid today right you do have to make money at the end of
the day you have to make money so you got to figure out how you personally
your business is going to thrive in this environment and you can’t you absolutely
can but you have to make sure that you’re conscious of it and aware of
what’s going on it’s also the case that you need to focus on the things that
will make your business successful now if you just happen to be interested in
figuring out what the value of your company is any band check and ram
Bucheon echo run a company called sell my MSP comm and so they have a little
tool I think they should gather your
information but they don’t you can just feel in the tool fill in your in your
company revenue and how much comes from managed services and so forth and so on
and it will pop out a ballpark number a place to start thinking about it about
the value of your company so it’s worth knowing this it’s also worth being
strategic about it and we’re gonna talk a little bit about the strategy of the
value of your business in a few minutes so just be aware that we’re in this
market and when you see all these things are people buying these businesses and
so forth I literally was talking to a coach an IT
business coach not too long ago less than a month ago who said that he had
just finished helping out with a company that of course he couldn’t name an I can
name that they got sold and he said they there multiple was far far far greater
than there was any rational reason for it to be and
that you just have to know is not sustainable okay every time something
like this happens it is not sustainable so the chickens as they say will come
home to roost but the good news is you are an economy of one that’s true for
you that’s true for your business so you don’t have to worry very much about
what’s going on in your state and your region and the national economy or even
the whole world most of the people on this call run a business with between
you know three and thirty employees most of you are valued under 10 million
dollars most of you need a handful of really good clients to make 2019 a
spectacular year so focus on the next really spectacular client don’t focus on
the world and don’t focus on the nation and don’t focus on what’s going on
across the street focus on your business and you making a contact with one other
business that can somebody who can be your next client and then go focus on
the next one and the next one and in small business that’s where your value
comes from you know go sign a contract with somebody who will become a client
of yours for the next five or ten years right when you when you look at the
value of a client you need to look at the lifetime value of a client and
that’s one of the reasons why manage services and recurring revenue is so
important if you have people who walk in off the street and they want at fifty
dollar repair there is no recurring revenue that they have no value over the
course of the next ten years they will amount to 0.00001 percent of what you
should be paying attention to or the revenue that you get so you know look at
finding just the right client and that’s why the people who say I’m gonna starve
to death if I take Carl’s advice to weed my client garden well the truth is you
won’t you know there’s an old saying it’s just
as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man well it’s just as easy to
fall in love with a rich client as it is with a poor client you know span the
effort you would have wasted trying to get keep a $300 client spend that effort
trying to get a client that will pay you $1,000 a month right and then go get
another one of those and another one of those and you know if you focus your
attention correctly you can make money in any economy and whether the economy
is going up or down or sideways doesn’t really matter you need in you know in
the in the bottom of the recession there were people who were signing many
service contracts you know all you need is one client at a time now if you’re a
larger company you’re focused on growth great you need one client a month or you
need one client every two weeks but you know if you’re into the slow growth mode
then you need one client a month or one client every two months so you know just
focus on the next client and then go do that again and again
and you know the problem is too many of us don’t put any attention on getting
new clients and that’s that’s a whole different problem so in terms of you
being an economy of one you know I’m reminded of I I went to the University
of Michigan when Bo Schembechler was the coach and he he was all about the basics
right he was all about the fundamentals you asked Bo Schembechler how do you win
a football game and he will tell you very clearly you hit him hard you hit
him fast you hit him low and if they get up you hit them again
boom that’s it do that again and again and again and you get to the Rose Bowl
again and again and again so for your company the basics are you know if
you’re if you’re worried about the economy if you’re worried about the
environment well you know you should be because it’s a tough time to be in this
business all right now the economy is going great which means everybody you
want to hire once more money they’ve worked for another managed service
business and so you need to be professional
enough to keep them as employees every client you go to knows what managed
services is or at least they have some vision in their head about what many
services is that wasn’t true ten years ago so you have to work to get good
employees and retain good employees the same thing is true with retaining good
clients and that does absolutely does not mean that you need to lower your
prices to keep clients that is just that’s never the right strategy be there
help them out improve their businesses help them from a business perspective
not just their technical perspective you know help them guide themselves through
this massively changing economy and all of the new technology and you will be
their best friend that’s how you keep good clients and obviously you need to
pay attention to costs you know one of the things that happens when companies
make a bunch of money is they do bizarre things I’ve known people who got venture
capital money and literally bought a hotel in San Francisco gutted the
insides and turning into this glass wall you know playground for their employees
none of which is related to making money in the industry that they’re supposed to
have you know been making money so you know you got a focus on costs keep them
under control and you also need to grow at a pace that you can maintain you know
just because the economy is going well doesn’t mean you should keep doubling
and doubling and doubling in size many many companies it’s a very common thing
they go out of business when they’re in the middle of an expansion and it’s
because they are they have leveraged all of their cash and so when one little
thing goes wrong they go down the tubes don’t let that happen to you if you want
to grow great grow at a reasonable pace that you can maintain right if you
haven’t read great by choice by Jim Collins go read it spectacular book a
great audiobook but one of the lessons he has in there
is about the 20-mile March you know don’t double your business every six
weeks okay double it at a pace that you can maintain for the next five years or
ten years and at the end of the day once the mergers and acquisition bubble
bursts which i think will happen in 2019 you will still retain the value of your
business if your fundamentals are good if you have clients that resign their
contract every year if you have a good solid base of recurring revenue if you
have your costs under control and you’re running your business like a business
instead of a playground it’s also important that you focus on the new
technology you know so many people have ignored the new technology and it’s it’s
creeping in all around us 2019 will be the year that you had better be paying
attention to Internet of Things and a lot of this new stuff you know if
nothing else consider how and whether you should be investing in LED lighting
and signage and all of these other things that are moving into your space
because someone is going to get all that money and you have to decide whether you
want it to be you or somebody else and that also means that you need to tune up
your skills one of the sad things that happened in our industry which i think
is coming to an end is that we spent I think 10 years not paying attention to
the consulting side of consulting people had so much success with things like
small business server that they just took the entire project and they said
rinse repeat kachunk kachunk kachunk I’m just gonna
do the exact same thing again and again and again and again which worked for
about five years but it didn’t work for the next five years right there’s a
point at which you can’t keep doing the exact same thing and by consulting I
mean sit down and talk to your clients have the quarterly roadmap meetings ask
them what’s going on in your industry is it growing is it shrink
tell me about the technology of whatever it is manufacturing fencing sod you know
roofing whatever technology is exploding everywhere educate yourself so that you
can help your clients but have that business discussion where is your
business going and I will help you whether you are hiring people or laying
them off I will help you get the appropriate use of your investment in
technology so one of the things that I’ve noticed is a huge change in our
industry but just literally going around the world and sitting in rooms and
talking to people for the first time in a long long time there’s a noticeable
number of people who are younger and of course I’m an old man so but I mean
people who are in their 20s and 30s are in the audience and it’s been a while
since we’ve seen that and I’m grateful for it but it’s also the case a lot of
those people are just getting started just trying to figure things out there’s
a bunch of groups that have sprung up on reddit and and LinkedIn and Facebook
where people are just trying to find their way and you know to be honest if
you can do something to engage those folks tell them that they should be
reading Amy Bevan checks blog tell them about channel été tell
them about Robin Robins tell them about HTV HTG tell them about asking and and
CompTIA and Channel Pro and you know even small biz thoughts right engage
them in the community because there’s this huge world that they don’t know
exists they think their computer consultants but they’re not you know how
they use the term managed services they have no idea what it means so most of
the companies that you talk to have some vision in their head about managed
services and today I would literally start a conversation with a prospect by
saying what do you think meaning services is because not all of them know
and they may have a very skewed perception of it so you know if you
think manage services is a beautiful thing the way I do
then you need to make sure that the prospects understand your vision of
managed services at this point most technicians that you hire have some
experience in our mm and PSA and so forth but you need to make sure that
they understand your way of doing things if you haven’t gone to this site will
robots take my job com I encourage you to go to it
interestingly enough if you saw my presentation a year ago this number was
at 3% a year ago for computer and information systems of managers so you
know it’s still good your if you’re on this call your chances
of going out of business because robots take your job is very slim but the
reason you need to go to that site is you need to put in your clients or your
clients in industries that will disappear if they are then you need to
go figure out some new clients and you need to do it quickly because all of
this change is happening faster than most people are willing to admit so you
know don’t delay and and don’t be afraid of it but by all means do the research
educate yourself know what’s happening in your clients environment because if
you have you know let’s say that you’ve got two or three different verticals
where you put a lot of attention and they are literally going to disappear
you need to go find some verticals with people whose jobs will not disappear so
that’s a critically important thing that you need to do is understand the
business that you need to be in in the next five years again I’ve talked to
many people about my daughter and I have this bet and I know that her birthday’s
coming up in a few months and she’s gonna say to me you got three years left
just last year she said you only got 40 years left we had a bet that you know
they’re driverless cars would be everywhere in five years so where we are
you know just under three years in Tibet or two years Internet but I have no
qualms about the fact that you know clearly in the next three years they’re
gonna be everywhere we see them all over in in California in
Northern California there are now services available in Phoenix
services available I think it’s London and Paris right so it’s happening right
driverless cars are here and that’s going to have an effect on many many
things probably the biggest thing that’s going to happen to us
in terms of our our core industry is the speed of Internet connectivity in 2019
5g is gradually and very slowly emerging but slowly is a relative thing 5g will
be everywhere by the end of 2019 and that means you will have wireless
connections going faster than the wires inside the walls and so you’re gonna
have a lot of networks that you know we use wiring for this and we use wireless
for that you’re gonna have a lot of new services available if you’re not selling
Internet connectivity this might be a spectacular time to get into that
business but also many many technologies that have been coming for a long time
you know where basically the technology exists what the infrastructure isn’t
ready for it well the infrastructure is going to get upgraded this year so the
whole concept of things like networked managed switches and things where we
send our packets out to the cloud to be filtered and then bring them back into
our network well that’s just not feasible on a 10 Meg line but it’s
completely feasible over a super fast internet connection so a core piece of
your business is going to change and this is going to be one of the watershed
years I believe for the speed of the Internet
you know we take turns improving memory improving storage improving processing
speed right and and this is going to be the year of the network the other thing
is going to happen you know we you hear all this stuff about smart speaker
you know what’s what’s the most annoying ad on the radio
it’s the ad that says tell your smart speaker hey Alexa tune in to Carl’s
podcast at SMB community podcast.com right the goal is that they’re trying to
actually trigger your smart speaker well the next trend is going to be a smart
speaker with a camera and a smart refrigerator with the camera and and a
smart LED switch with a camera and every other thing every light bulb is going to
become a camera mark my words one year from now you will have an extra 10 to 15
cameras in every business you support and they’ll be on the weirdest things
you can imagine it’s just the next thing it is what it is anyway that’s that’s my
belief so mark that down if you don’t believe me and and count the cameras 12
months from now and there’s also this massive explosion of LED you know LED
technologies like four screens and so forth again it’s one of those things
that it existed for twenty years before it became practical and it became
practical simply because memory became cheap enough that we could put a tiny
bit of memory behind every LED and then we can synchronize the screen well once
that happens now every LED has a little memory behind it and these are smart
electronic components and that’s gonna change your life and it’s gonna change
it pretty soon and I think again 2019 is one of those Waterston years I like to
remind people that it’s always the case the future that you plan for is not the
future you get to live you know we plan we meager human beings
we plan you know oh I’m gonna do this in this we’ve got this nice Leonard view or
the world I’m gonna I’m gonna graduate and I’m gonna get my degree I’m gonna
have a couple of kids get a job you know buy a house buy a car buy another car
you know then there’s a point in the future where you know I miraculously
have a million dollars in the bank and I retired boom right that’s our plan but
that’s not the way the world works right and so you know that the idea that
everything you built is worthwhile is still valid there all your knowledge is
still valid that’s that’s absolutely true but where you go from here changes
all the time and I’ll just give you a real quick example so these are
five-year increments right which is why the numbers are weird but you know
instead of a 95 I go there 94 1990 for people in our industry were helping
companies have their first internet connection right 1994 was the year that
you could legally connect up to the internet without having to write an
essay of why you needed to have access to these public resources so you know
consulting exploded people put in their networks for the first time Novell ruled
the world right 1999 was the whole y2k rollover and a lot of people had their
first server and you know remember when 2000 came along if you were alive back
then if you’re in this industry you might have known people who said I’m not
gonna I’m not gonna learn Active Directory it’s just you know it’s too
much it’s too confusing it’s too complicated and guess what those people
didn’t learn Active Directory they either washed out of the system
when and got jobs or they retired right because they were not willing to learn
that one more technology like 2004 you know just December or November of 2003
small business server 2003 came out one of the greatest products ever invented
for our industry and we literally spent five years printing money we just
installed that thing again and again and again and we brought not just a product
we brought connectivity internet websites databases
email we brought lots of Technology in the small business and you know it was a
beautiful thing but again in 2009 there were a whole bunch of people who said oh
man I’m not gonna learn the cloud I’m not gonna learn one more technology and
guess what happened and when the recession was over those people who
refused to go the cloud either they change their mind and went to the cloud
or they retired or they got bought out or bankrupt or they took a job somewhere
but they washed out of this industry because they were not willing to learn
one more technology 2014 it was all about you know BTR’s replacing backups
and moving more and more and more people to the cloud and 2019 it’s all about the
cloud you know I’ve been telling people for about a year and a half now if you
if your core business is building servers and putting them in people’s
offices you are operating with a business business model that no longer
exists like you are obsolete you just have to come to the realization that
that business model no longer exists and so the more you resist that the more you
become in that group where five years from now we’re gonna look back and say
those people who refuse to accept the newer technology and the new way of
doing things moving to hosted services they either retired or they took a job
or they went out of business and I think that’s the way it is now five years from
now my crystal ball is not that clear but I can tell you this the world is
changing faster than it ever has and we are we are absolutely going to have to
embrace lots of new technologies and we need to do things the new way and so
remember you can’t you can’t focus on the thing that got you here because the
thing that got you here is just going to keep you exactly here if you want to
move into the future then you got to focus on the future and you know stop
selling new stuff the old way stop selling cloud services as if it’s break
fish so many people go out there and they you
know set up cloud services and they say okay now nothing ever breaks so just
make sure that your check doesn’t bounce and that’s it boom there they’re on
their way well that is a leaving too much money on
the table but it’s just the wrong way of doing business the way that you should
do business you know to be honest to be a good citizen of the of the business
world you should stick with those customers you should give them a
maintenance plan yes a lot of stuff in the cloud won’t break that doesn’t mean
that the client doesn’t need you for consulting for advice to be there to
help them make good decisions about technology at the end of the day that’s
what we do we help clients make good decisions about technology and so that’s
where you need to focus your effort so you need to sign that maintenance
contract even if it’s for cloud services you need to put together the bundle that
when you put it together and your team manages the right way it never goes down
and that’s awesome but you still sign the maintenance agreement and you know
when you look to the future remember even if you’re in your 20s thanks for
being here when you go down that line of your
linear plan for what’s going to happen there is a difference between
retirements and just not working anymore you know some people actually retire
which is to say they go and take trips to the Bahamas or buy a boat or vacation
with their grandchildren or you know take their family to Disneyland every
year or whatever they have an actual different lifestyle than they did when
they were working there’s other people that they just stopped working and they
hope that they have enough money to scratch by for the next month in the
next month in the next month don’t be in that category and that means you have to
really plan your business life you know the lifespan of your business and the
end goal of your business and you need to be intentional about
but you can absolutely retire if you have a plan to make your business
successful so believe it or not you didn’t know there was gonna be homework
there’s homework for this state of the Nation Address and it’s simply I would
like you to do this spend time every morning 10-15 minutes for the next month
and just answer these three questions what’s the single most important thing
you need to stop doing in your business what’s the single most important thing
you need to start doing in your business and what’s the single most important
thing you need to do in your personal life before you die and number three is
the most important if you don’t know why you get up in the morning and why you do
what you do I’m sorry to tell you that your life has no meaning and you know
you really need to put some attention on that you you really do need to have some
reason that your business exists you know if you’re in a big business if you
work for Intel or Microsoft or HP your the goal of your job is to make money
for somebody else if you’re in a small business the reason your business exists
is to fill fulfill your personal dreams and desires right it’s – it’s to fulfill
the desires of you and your family and it should bring fulfillment to your life
if it’s just a way to make money gosh there’s so many ways to make money you
know there are people making fifty sixty seventy thousand dollars doing almost
anything you can imagine in the 21st century and you don’t have to work as
hard as you do in a small business so figure out what’s important in your life
and figure out how you can make your business act in a way that’s consistent
with that because that makes your life fulfilling that makes your job
fulfilling that makes it worth getting up and going and doing this all again
tomorrow and I’ll just leave you with one final note one of my favorite quotes
of all time the future is already here it’s just not very evenly distributed by
William Gibson the this technology is everywhere I mean
you you can’t miss it when you glanced around you know you can’t help but see
the amazing changes in technology and I often tell people I wish I was 10 years
old because there’s more opportunity today than there has ever been in my
lifetime and it’s just a matter of figuring out you know amidst all this
change what are the one or two or three things I can do to catapult my business
to the next level because you absolutely can and probably more easily today than
at any time in history so with that I will take a few questions
I don’t have an hour to spare because I do have to get the airport but I will
answer some questions if I can michael says that you know Office Depot
is getting injured managed service business you know what here’s what I say
to that I love it bring it on right cuz we heard the same
thing from staples we heard the same thing from Best Buy we’ve heard the same
thing from Xerox and Microsoft right everybody wants to get into the MSP
business but here’s the deal your clients want to do business with the
business that’s about the same size they are your clients don’t want to go to 18t
for managed services they don’t want to go to Home Depot or office b-both Home
Depot for main sources they don’t want to go to Office Depot right though what
Office Depot is gonna get and I love the person who’s in charge of this I
actually love her but you know they’re gonna get walk-in customers who are not
gonna sign contracts who are not going to rely on them you know for all of
their tech support it’s just the way that it is Josh no plans for 5g and
Albuquerque true enough so that doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually so any
input on moving current SMB server clients from their local physical server
to a cloud I’ve quite a few Oh Scott man have I got ideas about that so first of
all you missed many opportunities to take my
class on cloud services so look for the book cloud services in a month but send
me an email and and I will point you to the classes that I offer on or that I
have recorded on cloud services I also have one of my five-week courses is on
cloud services in a month and it is offered July 2nd at great little seminar
comm Thank You Milton chemists well-managed services as we currently
don’t understand that exists in five years or ten years well here’s the deal
if fundamentally what you mean by managers what I mean by manage services
is that we take responsibility for the maintenance of the operating system in
software we take responsibility for the maintenance of the clients system we use
a PSA to manage our ticketing and our internal company and we use an AR mm to
manage the clients sites the client systems then my answer is absolutely yes
I think whatever name you call it that is how tech support will be delivered
from now on you know I think there’s an end there’s going to be an endless
supply of people who don’t know what manage services is they think that they
are computer consultants and they get into this business thinking their
computer consultants and eventually they figure out that they have to have our mm
tools and they figure out that they have to have you know network management
tools and they figure out they have to have a ticketing system and so there
there’s going to be a never-ending flow of people who come in but eventually you
know it you know at least for the next ten years it really is the way tech
support simply will be delivered the big piece that’s missing in terms of them
getting many services is they have to understand that they also have to sign
those ongoing maintenance contracts Bert do you have any books or articles on how
a tech person should approach sales meetings with potential clients well
sales is not my big deal right so for that I’m gonna I’m gonna refer you to
Robin Robins and her technology marketing bootcamp and materials they’re
also sales coaches and sales managers you know I only know what I do and so if
you googled Carl politics sales you’ll come up with the three or four resources
I have a very specific way that I do sales that most people are not patient
enough to do and are not willing to do but I like an extremely slow sales
process in fact I think you could google Carl slow sales process and you’ll get
the information on that or send me an email and I’ll send you the the links as
soon as I can find him thank you James Scott Skyler highly
recommends my cloud services class thanks guys oh and Stevens uh Alexa
thanks you yes very good so what are your thoughts on converting my MSP to an
MSSP so future paths growth so I think we all have to become security providers
so if you mean like a master MSS be providing security services to other
managed service providers then I I think that there’s a good path for that I
think most of us need to just have security baked in but I also think that
there’s a limit to how many people are willing to put in the time effort and
education it takes to be like masters of security and and I think those people
who do that who go down that road are going to be extremely successful the
need for security is only going to grow you know think about what I just said
LEDs are gonna be everywhere every device is going to be listening to you
and it’s going to be looking at you combine that with Big Data and you know
governments who have the resources to do anything they want
it’s pretty amazing right and so being on the cutting edge
security is going to be an expensive venture that will pay massive dividends
for those who choose to do it Josh mentions that I might mention my
good friend Gil Cargill also does sales training and I don’t know anything
I’ve heard of Sandler I don’t really know anything about them so but that’s
another name to throw out there well services like Microsoft’s in tuned
fully replace more traditional rmm tools like to say a sort of improv it the
short answer to that is no not during my lifetime but the problem is systems
Microsoft’s things like into work spectacular if you have 10,000 employees
and 5,000 desktops in one location but for small business you know it’s sort of
like they they you know back Amy and I were just talking about this the other
day back in the day when we were taking exams for Windows 3.1 the exam was all
about how do you deploy a thousand desktops in an afternoon over a network
right connection well that’s all good and useful for a Microsoft exam but in
the real world when I’m going into an office that has 25 computers and I’m
replacing three at a time I’m just not going to use that system
for installing those machines and setting them up right so in the same way
I just think into is great for larger environments but when it takes as much
effort to tune the in tune as it takes to actually you know apply the fixes
well you know in the small business world I don’t think that they they can
compete with solar winds or continuum or any of the others Carl says Sandler
rocks all righty then so that’s it thank you all very much I will get this
recording up and post a note on my blog of where you can find it thank you for
being here and thank you for allowing me into your businesses I
sincerely appreciate the fact that you take some interest in this and put a
little faith in me thank you all and I will see you in another year

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