Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Verbal Gymnastics

I have the potential opportunity to speak in front of 2 semi-large industry verticals in the next couple of months.

Speaking is a great opportunity to really teach and education your peers, potential clients, and other vertical industry leaders. Speaking is not always easy and enjoyable for some.

Too many speakers who do speeches for business groups have "SELL" "SELL" "SELL"  tattooed on their foreheads and you can hear it. It's hard to avoid.

IT owners who do speak infront of groups can get too technical. Wow how much fun that is to listen to.

It's like Something About Mary(the movie).
Don't think about what you want to happen on the date your about to have, just enjoy yourself and have fun.

Go into everything you do with a plan. You have to always be flexible if needed,  but make sure that plan is lead by enjoying yourself, having fun and knowing what you want to accomplish at the end.

When you educate others, that's were the sales and long term relationships are built, not the one off "Buy at the back of the room" approach".

Case in point where a vendor just is a sell-a-holic.
A client has a previous vendor phone system/provider. The vendor is constantly about the sale. Sell more Services, Support contract, upgrades. When we or the client calls with a rare question, he's always pushing off to the vendor.
Now the client is a good client. When a good client calls with a question or needs a little help and it's no skin off your back...HELP THEM.

Build by teaching and educating.

That's what were learning more and more and it's an extremely valuable lesson not only in running a business but in life.

Just a thought, but when your going on the sale, the pitch the whatever, relax, don't sell, be focused, clear and educate without forcing it.

We all know when we talk too much, or try to cram too many words in a :30 elevator pitch - for example - as soon as the elevator door closes and right after you have soaked that innocent bystander with your verbal gymnastics and they walk out.... you stare at yourself in the shinny elevator doors saying "why the F_*%K  did I just say that? Why? Why?"

Garett Chipman

CEO \ TVG Consulting
"Providing Reliable and Stable Business Technology Solutions"
 - again typed on a tablet - forgive the spelling.

Friday, February 11, 2011

To Tech or Not to Tech...

Weird but I've been getting alot of different inquiry's lately:

  • Speaking on Managed Services
  • Should someone start a Managed Services Company
  • Partnering with other Break Fix  2 person tech shop that I've known for 4 years.
  • How to start a Tech MSP in 2011
Pretty exciting stuff.

Going to chat about; starting a IT consultancy(MSP/BF) in the year 2011.

There is a flood of resumes that we see from ITT tech, single person tech's, to previous 1 man shop owners looking for work.

Everyone sees that the Technology field is the one to be in. That doesn't mean you should start a business.
Running a business is not an easy thing.

  1. What is it you can give to your customers that they cannot already get from somebody else?
  2. Are you ready with the fact that you think you want to be a MSP/start a IT Fix it shop but you just don't have the skills or resources?
To me, those are the large question that needs to be addressed. There is NO instant gratification if your looking to get a payday running a business. What do they say, 80% of all business fail within the 1st 2 years, the 80% of that 20% fail within the next 5 years. I can see that fact daily. We call can nowadays.

What should you do if you have to start a business? Or you have to start a MSP business?
Become a B/F then move to becoming a MSP if the timeing is right.

Yes there is some good $ in becoming a MSP, but don't let that just motivate you. MSP business is a different model and office overheard administration is a different animal then a B/F business.
You say you can handle it. Ok. Do it. But be ready.
I've talked to too many thinking it's the same. It's not.

If you are just selling to make money, then the client will know that. Works for some, but I find it doesn't in the end from what we've seen.

To jump right in to becoming a MSP, and unless you have funding of some sort, you will starve and you cannot do that to yourself( and your family) because if becoming a MSP or Tech company is your last chance of success, there are too many IF's in that equation.
It's a process. At TVG  we have been fortunate to start as B/F business then moved to MSP with no funding, no debt and built it on persistence and focus. We will not go back to a B/F model because it does not work for us. It works for ALOT of companies and that is a great thing for all of us.

Got Persistence?
I think alot of times you have to wait, trust your gut and move forward anyways.
But not always.

It's easy to quit - and sometimes better to quit or not even start. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone and that's OK. Nobody should look down on you - you should be happy that you admitted to yourself that your not. If they do look down on you, forget them. They just like to tear people down and you don't need them.

Everyone should really sit down and analyze what they REALLY want to do.

Sorry if this is all over the place and I'm typing on a tablet(think it will be the last time) but, the simple bottom line is:

Starting a business is not easy. Even if you have funding.

  1. If you must start and IT shop, get ready, there are alot out here gunning for business. Some good, some bad. Some know what they are doing, some don't.
  2. If you must start and IT shop, start a break-fix. Most small Tech shops are break fix, because they built their solid business on that model and its works.  Personally, it's a great place to break into the business and see if it's right for you.
  3. If you like technology but have 2nd thoughts, become a genius in a certain area of IT: Customer services, Sales, Automation, ..  -
    1.  *** This is where I believe most new IT guys should go. You have a better chance of making more $ becoming a genius in a certain area and then consulting in that area.- *****
I welcome any thoughts....or any questions.

This will continue....

Garett Chipman

CEO \ TVG Consulting
"Providing Reliable and Stable Business Technology Solutions"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Case Study: CRISIS!...averted.

What might be helpful to other IT Support companies and general viewers, is to throw up some real case studies that has happened to us and when they happen.

CASE STUDY:  2/8/2011
Providing  IT Support in a crunch.

A potential client, an Insurance company that has offices in multiple states, not including California, suddenly had an issue of half of one of the offices, not able to get online and work. The Voip phones were not working and desktops could connect. We have been talking to them for a short bit about IT Ongoing Support for all offices and did our network audit at 1 of the locations. They were moving to a new location and currently did not have any IT support locally. They are not a client yet, but they needed to turn to someone for help.

The owner called and asked if we could help with this. "Our pleasure" is our motto.

Half of their main networking switch looked to be down. No lights-no connectivity. HP Procurve.
Not knowing what to do, she called us asking for help. No problem. They asked if we could talk in the AM. TVG has East Coast hours so this also is not a problem

Calling at 6:00am PST we suggested a series of tests:
  • Checking the end drops.
  • Rebooting the device(which she had done already)
  • Resetting the switch to factory.
  • Taking a laptop and by passing the jacks.
Quickly within 5 minutes, and not having to reboot, we determined that their ISP had come in and installed a fax line. OK. Why would that affect 10 out of 24 ports on the switch?

What had happened is that somebody had changed their cubicle ports to the dead drops.
Quickly she tested and plugged into the correct ones and all additional 10 users were able to work.

What does this mean?
1. Saved them a boat load of money because they are insurance sales, and every hour means loss of money.
2. They knew that they could reach us when something goes bad.
3. Looks to enhance the relationship and possible future partnership.
4. Cost to TVG = 10 minutes ---- Cost to potential client = FREE fast professional support.
And gave us a nice blurb:

"A big THANK YOU to Garett Chipman at TVG Consulting! While we are not yet clients of TVG, Garett went out of his way to assist me when we had an IT crisis at our office recently. I can only imagine this level of service will be sustained and improved as customers. "

They may never become clients, but the point is building the relationships, builds trust. We are not a project to project company. We don't always give away free support.  But we do work with businesses that understand the importance of business relationships and value that.

At the end of the day, we need you to know, that if you choose TVG, we will always be there for you and you will never regret working with us.

Garett Chipman
CEO \ TVG Consulting
"Providing Reliable and Stable Business Technology Solutions"

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Qualified IT Services.... Where to find it? You eventually have to trust your business advisors or get new ones.

Where is a small or medium sized business supposed to turn to find affordable, fast, reliable IT service?
It's hard. Here at TVG we run into a series of potential new client scenarios where we are brought in to clean up a clients network or help resolve their neglected chronic IT headaches.

Alot of business is done through introductions, referrals and sometimes reccomendations when overhearing a conversation.

We received 2 nice compliments recently. 1 from an existing 5 year client and1 from one of our new internal hires.

The client was recently bought out by a larger company. The new CEO was transplanted from overseas.
He comes from a corporate background and corporate IT support. He described his previous IT support as always telling them NO on any special requests and taking up to 1-2 days to have IT fix the simplest requests.
He made a comment when how enjoyable TVG is in their support and quickness of response to any and all needs. And TVG support MACs!

That was pretty cool.

The 2nd compliment came from an internal new technician where he said he was impressed that TVG provides Executive Level Support for all their clients. From our ticket system, response times and level of support, he went on to say we have alot of support companies beat in support by a long way. TVG becomes a trusted part of a clients best interest in success.

WOW. And I didn't pay him to blurt that out.

What does this all mean:

As you know, IT Support is a thankless job. Referrals are great, but it's our job to resolve and prevent a clients IT issues. It's alwasy nice to hear random nice comments from clients, partners and internal staff. It's always good when your clients can spontaneously say great things about you and your service.

Can you say the same about all your trusted advisors? From your financial partners? Insurance partners? TAX advisors?
Can you suddenly spontaneously reccomend your partners to your friends without second guessing your comment?

If not, then ask around. You deserve to have the right fit for your company in all areas of business. Ask your other trusted advisors who they rely on.

Even if you all ready have a solid IT support for your business, ask us about TVG's trusted business partners in other areas. We'll reccomend them to you even if you don't need or use our IT Support.

Take charge in 2011!

TVG Consulting.com
Reliable, Stable And Affordable Ongoing IT Support Services
818-579-7370 x 206


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