- Company: Responsive Technology Partners
- Year Founded: 2007
- Headquartered: Metter, Georgia, with offices in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida
- Geographic Market: Southeast U.S.
- Top Growth Indicator: Sales pipeline
- YoY % Of Growth: 130% YoY for last three years
- Founder And President: Tom Glover
- CEO: Steven McComas
What Are The Top Three Business Indicators You Use To Measure Your Company And Why?
I break it into two parts. On the operation side, my key metric is Service-Level Agreement (SLA) compliance. Staying within the SLA is the primary indicator for the health of the operations part of our organization. If we’re staying 98%, 99%, 100% compliant, I know things are going well and that I’ve got happy customers. When I see that number start to dip, I know we’ve got some problems, and customer satisfaction issues will be coming shortly after that.
My sales pipeline is my biggest metric from a forecasting perspective, and I like knowing my numbers, analyzing my close rates, things like that. I can look at the sales pipeline and have an extremely good picture of what the next quarter is going to look like from a growth perspective.
The last big metric is profitability. Looking at that number, I can see the overall financial health of the organization. It tells me if we’re controlling costs properly, if our margins are correct on our products, and if our pricing is right.
What Is The Top Lesson That You Had To Learn That Allowed You To Kick-Start Your Business Growth?
I had to learn how to delegate. On average over the last three years, we doubled our MSPs every 10 months. When you are growing like that, there is no way you can do everything yourself. So, learning how to grow the leaders in the company, teaching them how to do stuff, then letting them do it was both the hardest hurdle to get over but also the most valuable lesson I’ve learned in growing the company.
How Did You Get Over The Hurdle Of Delegating To Others?
Every time I found a task that I was doing where I was the only person who could do it, I stopped, found two people in the organization, and trained them on how to do it. I then delegated it to them and trusted them to do it. Removing myself from being a bottleneck freed me up to focus on growth and removed a tremendous amount of stress off my back.
Were There Any Partners Or Businesses That Helped You Along The Way?
Kaseya is at the top of the list. The biggest product we use from Kaseya is ID Agent. We make heavy use of the full suite of ID Agent products, such as Dark Web Monitoring. We use it in our sales and marketing processes to do impromptu Dark Web scans. We’ve done golf tournaments where I’ve used “Get A Free Dark Web Scan” for giving us your business card. We’ve also used the BullPhish product for doing phishing simulation emails. We use that for all our managed customers as part of our security stack offering. We also leverage the training component to do the employee-based cybersecurity training. I like the Kaseya products because they are easy to set up, use, and maintain. They were one of the early adopters for that type of product, so we’ve been using the ID Agent suite of tools for many years. They teach you to progress them and add new features to help us be more successful with our customers.
In Fall 2020, Responsive Technology Partners Was Recognized By Inc Magazine As The 630th Fastest Growing Business In America And The 18th Fastest Growing IT Management Firm. What Would You Say Is The Single Secret To Your Success This Past Year?
This past year was a hugely different year for most businesses with the pandemic. I don’t think anybody saw that as a reality at the beginning of last year. For us, the thing we did that made the biggest impact was an outbound calling campaign. As soon as I saw the pandemic was coming our way, from a marketing perspective and outreach perspective, we jumped ahead of it. First, we called every customer we have — over 2,000 — at least one time each month, just to check in on them. We’d ask, “Are you doing okay? Is there anything we can do for you?” We invited them to watch our video blogs and made several free offerings to our customers. With everybody rapidly going to work from home, there were a lot of companies that weren’t prepared. They didn’t have security in place, and I knew it was going to be a hacker’s playground out there, so we offered free, secure, remote access. We gave access to the tools that we use to support our customers. We normally charge for this service, but we wiped out the charges and offered it to everyone for free because I knew it was going to be the quickest, easiest way to help them safely work from home. The next month, we offered free VoIP service. Because of our size and the leverage, I was able to get my partners to offer a free service so we could help the customers who needed it. This allowed them to run operations close to the way they did when they were in the office, but do it remotely. This built tremendous loyalty and generated new project work, equipment sales, and VoIP contracts. We then took the same things that we were doing for our customers and offered it to the community, customer or not. We wanted to give back and help the community survive. If all local businesses didn’t make it through this, we wouldn’t have customers to serve. That ended up accounting for 80%–90% of our growth in 2020.
What Would You Say Is The Biggest Challenge You Had To Overcome This Past Year Related To Either Reaching That Growth Or As A Result Of That Growth?
That growth was a huge challenge. You know, you’re in the middle of a pandemic, as is your customer base. Again, I won’t say we were lucky. We were fortunate because we did have foresight in being diversified with our customer base and not heavily weighted in industries that were cyclical, like hospitality, so our customers never shut down. We have local governments, we have CPA firms, and we have health care. They were all front line, critical workers through the pandemic. I had to figure out how to serve them and how to keep my employees safe while doing it. We all faced issues with employees getting infected and being sick. How do you handle that? We were fortunate that we never had any mass infections. We were able to put protocols in place. We could get our hands on personal protective equipment (PPE) at a time when it was extremely tough to find. And we were able to do the right things to keep moving when a lot of other MSPs just simply said, “We can’t serve you. Sorry.”
Who Would You Say Is The Most Impactful Business Leader Whose Techniques Or Leadership Style You Try To Emulate Or Are Influenced By And Why?
My dad, Jimmy Glover. He was a serial entrepreneur — always has been. I watched him try and fail and try and fail. Then, later in life, I watched him succeed beyond his wildest imagination. He grew Utilicon Services from zero to a $10-million construction company. That was amazing. I learned perseverance through that, but he taught me so much more. I learned how to be a good person. I learned how to be a leader, not in the sense of being a boss, but in the sense of doing the right things to make people want to follow you. I think that’s the one skill that has made me the most successful in life. He showed me, and still shows me, how to be a part of your community personally and in business and the value that brings back to the business long term. He showed me how to not be afraid of hard work, and when you look at everything we do and what it takes to be successful at the end of the day, 80% of it is simply hard work.
If You Were Going To Recommend A Book To Other MSPs Or SMBs Trying To Grow Their Business, What Would You Say They Should Read?
I read a lot. It depends on where they are in their journey. I love helping entrepreneurs get to the next level. So, if I look at the ones that I like to work with when I’m coaching and the one that kick-started it for me, I’d say “Traction” by Gino Wickman. It gives you a foundation. It gives you a way of looking at how to run a business and to position the business for growth. If you go out and just sell a bunch and load the wagon, but you don’t have anything to pull the wagon, then you’re going to fail. For me, that was one of the foundational books that gave me the tool set I needed to build the company. Wickman breaks down the habits you need into a simple level an SMB can easily digest.
What Words Of Wisdom Would You Give To Other MSPs That Are Either Looking To Grow Their Business Or Build A Successful Exit For Their Business?
There is no big, red, easy button. We get asked the question, “What’s the one campaign?” It’s part of the quick hit mentality, the instant gratification society that we live in. Look at things from a long-term, sustained growth perspective. What are the systems? What are the things you need to put in place? And start with a vision. Don’t say, “To make a lot of money” because that’s not a vision. If you don’t have a vision, there’s no path and no destination. Create a strategy that’s going to get you there. And then beyond that, it’s about execution. It’s about being consistent and sticking to your plan. It’s a lot of hard work, but the more you do it, the more consistent you are with it, the more momentum you build, and the faster you start to see results down the road.