Successful Goal Setting And Achievement Starts At The Top

  • Company: IT Management Solutions
  • Founded: 2008
  • Headquartered: Locations in Salem, NH; Dedham, MA; Providence, RI and Portland, ME
  • Geographic Market: New England
  • Top Growth Indicator: Revenue and profitability
  • YoY Percent of Growth: The past three years, average growth of 27%
  • President/CEO: Pedro Nunez

What are the top three metrics that you use to measure your business and why?

The top three metrics I use to measure our success at IT Management Solutions are recurring revenue, client satisfaction, and profitability.

It’s easy to see why measuring revenue is a good way to measure success as an indicator of our business growth, year after year. Measuring our recurring revenue more directly relates to client satisfaction. When we have higher client satisfaction, that means more clients are continuing to rely on our services, which in turn means better stability, easier team growth planning, and of course, more revenue we can count on each year. It makes a goal of $3 million in a year a whole lot easier to attain if we can count on $2 million from happy, satisfied customers. Not to mention, it’s easier to show new prospects that we have what it takes to make them happy, too.

While revenue is certainly important, measuring it doesn’t mean much if we’re not profitable as a business. If I made $4 million, that wouldn’t mean much if profit was low. It doesn’t matter how much money IT Management Solutions makes in terms of gross income if we struggle to pay our bills or, even worse, our employees. As a business, we need to be profitable and have a plan to build core capital as our revenue stream grows.

What is the top lesson you had to learn that allowed you to kick-start your business growth?

In short, I realized if I wanted to build a more successful business, the effort necessary to do so would have to start with me. As the CEO and founder of IT Management Solutions, if I had mediocre goals, my business would have mediocre achievements. The buck stops with me. In the last quarter of 2017, I had a vision that I had to grow personally if I wanted to grow the company to the next level. So, I applied “The Law of the Lid” to myself and began my transformation.

My first step was investing in my own professional development, which could be divided into three key parts. First, I learned how to create a plan using measurable steps that are scalable, repeatable, easily followed.

Second, I studied how to center my focus. I needed this to get where I was going without losing track of the work and effort required to get there.

Third, I learned to effectively execute that plan and review the results. Developing a plan around SMART goals, training my focus, and following through with action is a process I repeat every week, every quarter, and every year. I share with my team to plan, execute, measure, review, and repeat. During the review stage, we look at the parts of the plan that worked and the parts that didn’t. Whatever works, we keep. Whatever doesn’t work, we rinse from our plans the next time we execute them. So we plan, execute, review, rinse, and repeat.

What would you say was the single “secret to your success” this past year?

Hands down, the biggest contributor to my success as a leader has been learning how to be laser-focused. As the leader of the company, many people come to my office and many things come across my desk or into my inbox. Without the skill to be laser-focused, it would be difficult or impossible to achieve any measure of success.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome this past year related to either reaching that growth or as a result of that growth?

The biggest challenge for us this past year was definitely trying to operate through our growing pains. More specifically, however, it was trying to find the right people to fill the management and leadership roles opening up as a result of our growth.

It’s not easy finding the right people to fill the roles in our company. They need the right mindset to hit the ground running and believe in our core values. We don’t just need people who will adapt to our company culture. We need people who are willing to shape our company’s culture and, in turn, bring that culture to IT Management Solutions’ clients.

Because of our team and the way our culture helps us serve and support our clients, we have seen great growth. So, as we do a great job, we are attracting new clients who also resonate with that type of culture.

Who would you say is the most impactful business leader or business thought-leader whose techniques or leadership style you either try to emulate, follow, or are influenced by and why?

If you’re wondering where you want to go and how to get there in your company, no one knows how to get those facts straight better than Robin Robins. She’s absolutely the go-to sales and marketing consultant for anyone in the IT industry. She might be the best in the world at what she does.

When it comes to developing plans and executing them within your business, I would say Petra Coaching has had the biggest impact on how we do things at IT Management Solutions. Petra Coaching bases its approach to business coaching on the Rockefeller Habits, which basically help business leaders set up priorities, use data to provide insight into what parts of your strategy are helping or hurting, and develop a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly rhythm. So basically, I get my sales and marketing strategies and tools from Robin Robins, and then I learn how to create SMART goals that are aligned from Petra Coaching.

Like I said earlier, though, the first thing I do before developing any sort of strategy or plan in detail is train my focus. For that, I look to Darren Hardy. Based on all the books I’ve read about what makes a person successful, focus has been a primary component. When it comes to who I can learn focus from, Darren Hardy is always the first person I think of.

What book would you recommend that other MSPs or SMBs trying to grow their business should read?

The three books I would recommend to other MSPs or SMBs are “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John Maxwell, and “Scaling Up” by Verne Harnish. If possible, I would also recommend signing up for the Insane Productivity Program offered by Darren Hardy. It will help you and your team achieve greatness in a short amount of time.

In closing, any specific advice or “words of wisdom” that you would give to other MSPs looking to grow or build a successful exit for their business?

I have many different points I think are important for any business leader to grow and succeed. First, you need to know your “why.” What is the endgame for your journey? Everyone should use that reason to drive themselves; no one is doing this for fun. My parents came to the United States 30 years ago and showed me how to work hard, but I don’t want to work until I’m 65 like they had to. I have a family I want to be free to spend time with. I want to make sure I have the money to take care of them and spend time with them. That’s my “why.”

Second, you have to develop a plan on how to get where you want to go. I have a plan that lays out my next steps for the next 10 years. If you’re consistent in your execution of that plan, you might even reach your goal sooner than expected, but the important part is to have a plan to follow in the first place.

Third, you have to be laser-focused and keep your eye on the ball.

Fourth, you not only have to make a plan, but you also have to execute it. A lot of people talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Don’t be one of those people; don’t procrastinate.

Fifth, you have to report on and review your plan consistently. As Robin Robins says, that which is measured and reported improves exponentially. Measure goals by year, quarter, month, and week.

Finally, sixth is to follow a process. Rinse out what’s bad and repeat the good.

You’ll only get more successful by being persistent and consistent and doing the following formula

(P * E)+RRR = Success. This means:

P = Planning

E = Execution

R = Review

R = Rinse

R = Repeat