We’ve been producing this podcast for about 9 months now, and we’ll soon be celebrating our 1-year anniversary.
Our goal from the start with Frankly MSP has been to produce a very helpful podcast, free of fluff, with practical advice on successfully running, improving, and growing a managed service provider business.
We have a quick 3-minute survey that we’d love for you to fill out and tell us what you think of the show. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a draw for a $25 Amazon gift card and an Auvik t-shirt.
My guest today is Chris Rumpf, the founder and CEO of Flyght, an MSP that specializes in serving the restaurant and hospitality industry. Chris has had very good success with turning his managed services into products, essentially packaging and positioning his ongoing fees as defined products. Today, we discuss how this has shifted his conversations with clients, shortened his sales cycle, and boosted gross margins.
But first, What’s Going On!
What’s Going On
[03:30] Last week Richard went to the CompTIA UK Channel Community meeting. It was the largest UK meeting to date.
[04:21] Karl will be going to ChannelCon soon. When he owned an MSP, he always belonged to CompTIA to get certification training for his technicians.
[04:53] At the UK meeting, the session with Mark Matthews of ATG really caught Richard’s attention. The title of his presentation was How a Crisp Packet Changed My Business.
[05:25] There was a crisp packet (potato chip bag) on the ground outside his office and he couldn’t understand why no one in his staff picked it up. He had a moment of enlightenment reading the book Traction by Gino Wickman.
[06:18] The book talks about the Entrepreneurial Operating System or EOS and its six components: vision, people, data, process, traction, and issues. You can reach out to Mark on Twitter @thecrispguy.
[07:15] Is it easier or harder to run an MSP now than in the past?
[07:42] Karl thinks it is easier to get started and easier to run if you’re connected to a community. The only way to learn what you don’t know is to grow really slowly and learn it on your own or join a community that will teach you.
[08:29] There are also more processes and tools available today.
[09:19] When Richard started, he was able to grow his business much faster by belonging to MSP communities.
[09:39] There are now many groups to choose from, but you can’t participate in all of them at a meaningful level. We all have to filter in a way that allows us to still grow our business.
[11:30] Microsoft now has underwater data centers.
[12:00] More than half of the human population lives within 120 miles of the coast. Data centers just off the coast of major cities puts everyone almost one hop from the Internet.
[12:44] These data centers are cooled by ocean water flowing through the middle of the system. But will the heat from the servers cause ocean warming? We don’t know.
Interview with Chris Rumpf – Turning Your MSP Services Into Profitable Products
[16:45] Chris’s business used to be called Rumpf Computer Solutions, but now it’s Flyght. They have six full-time employees in Ohio. About two-thirds of their revenue is from recurring services. Over the four last years, the business’s growth rate has been over 40% year over year.
[18:21] Chris was quoted in the ebook 10 Ways Your Small MSP Can Punch Above Its Weight.
[18:57] Chris likes the simplicity of products as services. They create a conversation around value instead of hours.
[20:24] Flyght has tied some wireless services into marketing services.
[20:35] Marketing service as products helps Flyght stand out from the competition.
[21:09] Flyght Protect, for example, has a set of features and a list of value propositions that go with the product. This make sales and marketing much easier.
[23:31] One of Flyght’s products is building menus for restaurants. They had to experiment to find the right fee.
[24:13] Everything they offer has a product code. They’ve turned managed wireless, firewalls, and even security cameras into a product.
[25:27] Some “products” are software only, some purely service, and some feature hardware.
[25:55] Is this another name for a flat fee engagement?
[26:33] The difference is for the customer. It makes the package easier to understand and pick up. So it simplifies the sales and marketing process for the MSP.
[27:54] The easier solutions build trust in a shorter period of time. This has helped create a significant increase in gross margins on product.
[28:25] With the entire business, automation and standardization is key. Salespeople should be able to explain the value of the standardized products.
[31:00] Don’t wait to productize your services. Chris believes all MSPs will be doing it in the next 5 years.
Links from this episode
What’s Going On
- CompTIA UK Channel Community
- How a Crisp Packet Changed My Business
- Mark Matthews on Twitter
- Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman
- EOS Worldwide
- The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
- Under the Sea, Microsoft Tests a Datacenter That’s Quick to Deploy, Could Provide Internet Connectivity for Years
- Karl Palachuk: Small Biz Thoughts
- Karl Palachuk (Twitter)
- Richard Tubb: Tubblog
- Richard Tubb (Twitter)
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