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4 Pillars to a Stable, Sustainable, Scalable and Profitable Business March 8, 2011

Posted by Jim Locke in IT Business, Promotions.
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gscoachThere are 4 Pillars to a stable, sustainable, scalable, profitable business. Our friend, George Sierchio, who did a very well received presentation on this material for SMBTN at SMB Nation this year has now laid it all out for you in a quick Ebook he is giving away for absolutely nothing to SMBTN members.

A taste of what you’ll learn:

  • Positioning your company as the "go to" people to create effective marketing, shorten sales cycles, make a well deserved profit and stop leaving tons of money on the table with each client.
  • Laser targeting the correct audience to eliminate wasted marketing time and dollars.
  • Understand what and how processes and systems are keys to profitability and productivity.
  • Get the real skinny on what pricing services and products in any business model is all about and how to go about doing it the right way to make sure you will never lose money on a deal.
  • Learn how profits are properly calculated and what they mean to your business BESIDES deserved cash in your pocket.
  • Realize how all 4 Pillars work together and why a weak or missing Pillar can put a low ceiling on your company’s growth potential, keep it on shaky versus stable, and outright kill your business instead of maximizing profitability.
  • Plus a little extra item at the end that you will love…

The most meat you have ever seen in 30 pages… for absolutely nothing.

Pick it up here: http://consultantscoach.com/ebookfree.php

SMBTN Blog Featured on PCMag.com June 14, 2010

Posted by Jim Locke in SMBTN.
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Our thanks to the folks at PCMag.com who featured the SMB Technology Network Blog in it’s article on 6 Great Reads for SMB’s. We left them a few other blogs to check out, including SmallBizTechnology.com and TheVARGuy. We would encourage you to stop by and add your favorite blog picks for SMB’s, as well. Believe me, I had many more, just not enough time to list them all.

Speakeasy Offers iPhone App for Hosted VOIP Services June 14, 2010

Posted by Jim Locke in Partners.
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EasyVoiceMobile-App-for-iphone If you are selling Speakeasy Hosted Voice service but are unaware of their EasyVoice Mobile application for the iPhone, you really need to check it out. iPhone owners can save money and enjoy time-saving features like Find Me/Follow Me and Voicemail as Email. They can also make free international calls from the iPhone. The Remote Office feature makes calls appear to come from your office number, providing you the ability to make and receive as many calls as you like, nationally and internationally, without giving out your mobile number.

Speakeasy Hosted Voice Benefits – now on the iPhone:

  • Free international calling*
  • One number wherever you are
  • On-call controls (put calls on hold, transfer to voice mail, do not disturb)
  • Integration with iPhone contacts

EasyVoice Mobile is available on the iPhone App Store. You can also view a demo of the product by clicking on the picture of the app.

Speakeasy to Merge with Covad and Megapath June 14, 2010

Posted by Jim Locke in Partners.
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speakeasy I was alerted by the folks at Speakeasy that they will be merging with Covad and Megapath in the 3rd quarter of 2010. The move was made in order to expand the reach of the Speakeasy network and improve its capabilities in the areas voice, Internet access, VPN and managed services. The move will make Speakeasy the first Managed Services Local Exchange Carrier (MSLEC). You can view details about the merger here.

Of course, my first concern was how this move would affect SMBTN members who are engaged with Speakeasy. To date, it looks like a win, as it will not only expand the areas of service but also the types of services we can offer and it does not alter our current agreement with Speakeasy. Regardless, we are planninmg to schedule a conference call so you can ask the questions that you want answered about how the merger may affect your business. I would also invite you to comment here so that we can ensure that we have answers for most of your questions for you on the conference call.

In the interim, if you have any specific questions, I would invite you to give Scott Goddard (our Speakeasy rep) a call. Of course, you may also call our office at (888) 467-6286.

Hold Yourself and Your Staff Accountable with MANAGEgoals March 15, 2010

Posted by Jim Locke in IT Business, Promotions.
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The process of managing a business on a day-to-day basis is no easy task. Many of us set goals for the year but fail to revisit them until it’s time to establish next year’s goals. It is a multifaceted problem of process, follow-up and making time to get those important things done that you need to in order to advance your business. It’s not simple.

That is why I was so pleased to have the opportunity to sit down with David Russell of MANAGEtoWIN last week. I recently completed David’s book, “Success with People” (which I highly recommend), and checked out his MANAGEtoWIN employee management system. I was so impressed that I wanted to see how I could put it to work at my company and introduce it to other SMBTN members. That is when David introduced me to his latest product, MANAGEgoals.

MANAGEgoals offers a way for individuals or companies to manage goals, career paths and best practice processes for as little as $19 per month for a single user. It is basically a lite version of MANAGEtoWIN that provides the growing IT business owner with the goals management and best practices features he needs  at a fraction of the cost. However, David has arranged for a special offer for SMBTN members that includes the following for just $29 per month:

  • Access for up to 7 users
  • 3 Success with People Automated Best Practice Modules, including
    • Hire the Best, Avoid the Rest Hiring Process ($99 value)
    • Goals That Work Goal  Management System ($99 value)
    • Halftime Reviews Employee Evaluation System ($99 value)
  • A 30-Day, Total Satisfaction, 100% Money-Back Guarantee

If you order before the end of the month, you can also integrate the product with Autotask for just $99 (a savings of $396). For details about this integration, check out David’s recorded webinar here. You can also view his webinar on the MANAGEgoals Best Practices module here.

For more information about MANAGEgoals, please visit their website or, if you are already committed to improving your business processes this year, you can place your order for MANAGEgoals here.

Cast your Vote for the 150 Most Influential People in SMB March 10, 2010

Posted by Jim Locke in Alerts, Promotions, SMB News.
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We all know lots of people that we respect in the field of SMB IT – peers, vendor representatives, authors, and SMB community members who help us innovate, connect and refine our industry. With this in mind, SMBTN has joined with SMB Nation and SMB-PC Magazine to identify the 150 most influential people in SMB, or the SMB 150 as we like to call them.

Why 150? Well, the concept for the SMB 150™ was based on Dunbar’s number, a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is, and how each person relates to every other person. We suggest this principle fits well with the SMB community.

So, how do you cast your vote? Simple, all you need to do is click here to take the SMB 150 survey and cast your vote for up to 15 people. The 150 most frequently recognized individuals recognized in the survey will be recognized as members of the SMB 150™ and featured on the SMB150.com website and other media. Hence, we encourage you to not only to take the survey but to help us get the word out about it by Tweeting it, posting it on Facebook or LinkedIn or other important sites and forums.

SMBTN Releases Autotask Template November 16, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Benefits, Finance, IT Business, Marketing, Tools.
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Just a little over a month after announcing that it would standardize on the Autotask platform, the SMB Technology Network has officially released its new template for the platform. This release is just a starting point for us. We are committed to making consistent improvements to this platform that integrate industry best practices and SMBTN partner offerings into a professional services automation platform that fits the needs of our membership. Currently, the SMBTN/Autotask Platform offers the following:

  • A customized Autotask Template for SMBTN Business Members
  • Integration with a variety of Managed Services platforms, including hosted Kaseya from Virtual Administrator, Level Platforms, N-able, Zenith Infotech and others.
  • Integration with SMBTN’s Virtual Assistant partner, TelAssistant.
  • Integration with SMBTN’s Outsourced helpdesk partner, Cloud Services Depot.
  • Integration with SMBTN VitalSigns Financial Dashboard by CoreConnex.
  • Integration with the latest release of the SMBTN Community Toolbar.

SMBTN also understands the importance of integrating its member’s websites and marketing functions into their back office operations. With this in mind, SMBTN has begun working with Pronto Marketing on Autotask forms integration which it hopes to have available for its members in the first quarter of 2010.

Finally, SMBTN will also host its own forum on the SMBTN Community for peer support, sharing best practices and gathering ideas about future improvements to its Autotask platform.

Pricing for the SMBTN/Autotask platform starts at just $99 per month for a single user (through the end of the year) and includes Autotask Pro with the SMBTN template, Outlook integration, Client Access Portal, Quickbooks integration, Corelytics Lite Financial Dashbaord and the SMBTN Community Toolbar. For more information, visit the SMBTN Community or contact SMBTN Member Services.

TelAssistant Offers Virtual Assistance to SMBTN Members November 16, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Benefits, IT Business, Productivity.
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TelAssistant Virtual Assistants for ITDo you ever wish you had a real, live person to answer your phones, track you down in an emergency or just enter a service ticket into Autotask or Connectwise for you? Ever had a client complain about getting your voicemail or a delayed call back? Most IT professionals would like to have this kind of support but fear that they cannot afford it. However, much like managed services and outsourcing has changed the way we do business as IT service providers, it has impacted the way offices run in general too. Many businesses and professionals are beginning to outsource the work of receptionists and assistants to virtual assistant companies like TelAssistant.

TelAssistant is the nation’s premier provider of remote receptionist services for small to medium IT companies, entrepreneurs, small businesses and home-based businesses. SMBTN recently partnered with TelAssistant in order to permit its members to focus on taking care of clients and growing their businesses, knowing that they have a professional support staff behind them to make sure no important opportunities are missed.

TelAssistant uses the latest in technology and tailors their service to your needs. They will greet your callers, announce calls to you, route calls to any number you designate, schedule appointments, fill out work order tickets, take sales leads and even follow scripts that you put together. Best of all, you can have this level of professional support staff for less than $10 per business day.

TelAssistant Features:

  • Fast & Easy Setup: Use your current phone number or select a new one.
  • Work Ticket Completion
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Unlimited Talk Time
  • Voicemail to Email: Listen to your voicemail right from your email.
  • Other Included Features: Call Screening/ Announcing/ Routing/ Patching/ Auto Attendant, Appointment Scheduling, Sales & Work Order Form Completion, Local or 800 Number.

Best of all, SMBTN members can try this service for two weeks without obligation. Setup is complete in just 3 easy steps. For more information on how to take advantage of this free trial, please check out the details of this offer on the SMBTN Community.

SMBTN Previews Social Network for SMB IT Providers October 2, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Benefits.
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The SMB Technology Network (SMBTN) previewed the beta edition of the SMB Technology Network Community, a social network for SMB IT providers, at SMB Nation today.  The new network will include forums, online communities, blogs, online chat, resource information and member profile information. Visitors may preview it at http://community.SMBTN.org. “While we still have some work to do, we think it is a great start,” said Jim Locke, president of SMBTN. “We hope to get a great deal of feedback from the community on the features, communities and resources that will make this a valuable tool for them.”

“I really think that the SMB Community will like what we have planned. For example, SMBTN affiliated chapters, will have the ability to post information to their own online community, host their own forums (which we plan to integrate with Twitter and LinkedIn), and be able to send weekly or monthly e-newsletters with minimal effort and at no cost to them,” he said.

The release is accompanied by the beta release of the new SMBTN Community Toolbar which is integrated with the resources found on the SMB Technology Network Community and has been updated to include new partners, tools, news feeds, podcasts, online chat, and much more.

Interested members of the SMB community may join the SMB Technology Network Community without delay by visiting http://community.smbtn.org/?xgi=7Qf8Lax by Sunday, October 4th, 2009. At that time SMBTN will begin moderating membership to ensure the privacy of its members.

SMB Technology Network Now Offering Standardized Managed Services Platform for Members October 2, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Benefits.
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Autotask LogoThe SMB Technology Network™ (SMBTN) today announced it can now offer members a turnkey suite of solutions, including managed services, customer relationship management and billing, all standardized on Autotask’s IT business management platform. SMBTN has established partnerships with Autotask Corporation, Reflexion, OwnWebNow, Virtual Administrator, Cloud Services Depot and Speakeasy, making it possible for SMBTN members to purchase a pre-configured suite of services at a significant discount.

After several months of development, SMBTN president, Jim Locke, is pleased to offer members the consolidated product suite. “The needs of our members are best served by a standardized offering in which we can share best practices and experiences through a common application suite,” Locke says. “We have done the difficult work for our members and integrated various components and structured a best practices methodology to drive immediate ROI to our community.”

As part of this customized suite of managed services solutions, SMBTN members can purchase a single seat of the Autotask Go! Special Edition for SMBTN. This special edition, coupled with the other services offered by SMBTN, will allow members to immediately market, track and bill customers for managed services. SMBTN teamed up with Autotask to form a preconfigured database template with suggested services, workflows and price points, which is preloaded into the special edition. Autotask will also provide In-depth training and support, as well as a free copy of the Corelytics™ Lite, Autotask Edition financial dashboard to all SMBTN members.