You Are At Risk, But You Don’t Have To Be: Zac Abdulkadir, CEO Of NetReady IT, Tells Us Why Cybersecurity Is The #1 Asset For Your Company

  • Company:  NetReady IT
  • Founded: 1995
  • Headquartered: Los Angeles, California
  • Geographic Market: Southern California
  • Top Growth Indicator: Security and Compliance
  • YoY Percent of Growth: 16%
  • CEO: Zac Abdulkadir

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

Since day one, our most important metric is customer satisfaction. To measure accurately, we include a smile-back survey with every ticket that allows the customer to tell us if we are doing a good job or not. Any negative survey is sent to our help desk manager to pinpoint what went wrong and what we can do better in the future. Our second metric is help desk response time; we review this key performance indicator every hour because we don’t want our clients waiting to get support. Our third metric is client referrals; it says a lot that our clients would refer us to their friends, family, or other business associates.

As a result, 65% of our new business this year has come from client referrals.

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

There have been so many lessons over the years, but one of the biggest for us was how to identify the right customer. We have been around for over 20 years and have worked with a lot of different customers in a lot of different industries. Once we stopped being everything to everyone and started focusing on our core business of security and compliance, we were able to grow. There have been times when we have had to walk away from a client. It’s never easy, but we look to build long-term relationships with customers who want to work with a company that brings value and experience to the table.

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?

Our company operates with five core values, and the first core value is that everyone is a team player. Hiring the right people who fit your company’s values and culture is a big challenge. In the last year, we have brought on three new team members. As part of our employee onboarding process after they accept our job offer and before they start working, we have them read “What the Heck Is EOS? A Complete Guide for Employees in Companies Running on EOS” by Gino Wickman and Tom Bouwer. This lets them know from day one how the company operates and what is expected from them to be successful. This allows us all to work as a team to build a better business.

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

In this past year, we focused heavily on security and compliance, one piece of that being vulnerability assessments. Knowing where an organization is vulnerable is important. Having insight into how companies react and resolve vulnerabilities is just as important. Our assessments provide a clear and measurable view of where progress is being made, allowing companies to prioritize risk in order to optimize their security efforts.

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

One of the most impactful business leaders who influences me would be Dr. Nido Qubein. Dr. Qubein is a wonderful speaker and great motivator, and his willingness to embrace change is second to none. “If you take the risk out of life, you take the opportunity out of life,” he once said. I have another one of his quotes in my office, “Most people would rather be comfortable than excellent.”

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

One of the best books I have read on SMB growth is “Get a Grip: How to Get Everything You Want from Your Entrepreneurial Business” by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton. This story starts in a place that many businesses may find all too familiar: Growth has stagnated, and people are more likely to assign blame than complete tasks. It ends with the business’s success after they implemented the entrepreneurial operating system (EOS) that Gino Wickman pioneered.

I’ve seen firsthand that most businesses operate on a reactionary basis rather than a strategic basis. I also read “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business,” another book by Gino Wickman, which explores EOS in greater depth. When it was first published, I became a fan of developing and following a process to make sure everyone is in the right position, everyone understands and accepts what they need to deliver, and the company meetings have a well-defined structure.

For those who have trouble visualizing theoretical concepts put into action, “Get a Grip” solves that problem. When reading about the concepts, it is easy to think that applying the concepts is an easy, somewhat magical process. The truth is that in most businesses, there are many topics that people are reluctant to openly discuss. “Get a Grip” shows the messy, tension filled process of open and honest dialogue.

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 would say embrace cybersecurity, and if you’re not having a discussion with your clients about it now, then you should start immediately. It’s easy to stick your head in the sand and say it won’t happen to you, but the reality is that data breaches are on the rise. We all see them in the headlines every day, so we need to be on guard for our clients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year because an attacker only has to be lucky once.