As the saying goes, “What you put into life is what you get out of it.” The same can be said about gym memberships, music lessons, and TruPeer.
“You first and foremost have to make time for TruPeer and it has to be a priority in your calendar,” said Roger Michelson, CEO of BNMC, a Woburn, MA-based MSP and TruMethods member. “We have assignments and special projects to get done and we have regular meetings to attend. Second, you have to participate in TruPeer and be valuable to your group and other business owners. Leadership and value go both ways and you have to demonstrate that value to your teammates.”
During this interview, he shared how TruMethods and its TruPeer program have helped him overcome business challenges, what MSPs should know about Smart Numbers, and the importance of proper business planning.
A lightly edited transcript of the conversation follows.
When and why did you join TruMethods?
BNMC joined TruMethods in January 2016 in order to change our business strategy and get some much-needed sales, marketing, and operations coaching to help grow our MSP. We were struggling in 2014 and 2015 to get beyond the $2-million revenue ceiling, and we were losing money in our business. We worked with Gary, Bob, and the team across several years and not only doubled the size of our business but have been profitable over the last four years.
How has TruMethods helped you with overcoming challenges in your business?
We first adjusted our pricing to an All-In Seat Price model and changed our sales strategy to adopt the TruMethods Framework. We worked hard to understand our numbers, costs, and leverage in the business and started tracking and reviewing our Smart Numbers on a monthly basis. This allowed us to make course corrections along the way and to slowly bring customers at the new price who were more profitable and a better fit for our business. We also had to work on our legacy customers to change their pricing models over a period of several years. Finally, we focused on business planning and worked to change a lot of the operations, introducing new processes and procedures and making sure we had the right team.
What is the value of TruPeer?
We joined TruPeer at the beginning of 2021, though I wish I had done this earlier. I have attended industry conferences for years, and I always valued meeting with other MSP owners to discuss their MSP business as well as share BNMC’s story, what is going right, what is broken, and what we have all done to help grow our businesses. TruPeer allows me to take this to the next level and work closely with a dedicated group of similar MSP business owners where we can discuss our challenges, achievements and struggles on a biweekly basis and work together to improve everyone’s business. Everyone is held accountable to achieving their rocks (goals), and we work inside and outside the meetings to collaborate and help each other.
What should MSPs know about Smart Numbers?
It is important to understand what is going on in your business, and Smart Numbers helps the business owner take command of their operation. For example, it is important to understand the Reactive Ticket Hours Per Endpoint (RHEM) in your helpdesk. If the RHEM is too high, then your help desk team is drowning in tickets and your operations and company will suffer. As you work to improve efficiency and lower the RHEM, your existing staff can complete more tickets and you can take on new customers with the same staff. This allows your company to grow and become more profitable. When we first started with TruMethods, our RHEM was quite high and we did not understand how destructive that was to the business. As we were able to take command of the help desk and become more efficient, we were able to improve our growth and profitability.
How has proper business planning helped your business?
We introduced Gino Wickman’s EOS business strategy (based on the book “Traction”) around the same time as joining TruMethods and learning on how to properly create and manage a business plan. We now have a process, a vision, and business strategy, which we follow based on the EOS and TruMethods frameworks which allows us to meet our goals. Without a business plan, you are really just shooting at the hip and you don’t always have the staff working together to meet your goals. The business plan allows you to figure out what you want to accomplish and then you set rocks and work through issues, both financially and operationally, to meet those goals. You also need to share your plan and vision with the entire team, so everyone is working together on the same plan. Business Planning is a process which you do consistently throughout the year to allow you to make adjustments as needed.