Brian And Mary Hamilton on MSP Success Spotlight Template

Key Strategies On How To Be A Successful MSP From Mary and Brian Hamilton, Mad Data IO 

What Are The Top Three Business Indicators You Use To Measure Your Company And Why?

1. MRR: “MRR is the backbone of the business,” Mary said. “It gives us stability and certainty. It also contributes to our planning so we can reach our goals. If I know I need 2.5 clients to reach our growth goal, I know how many people I need to reach with my marketing.”

2. Number Of Endpoints: “This directly affects our MRR,” Mary said.

3. The Dollar Amount On Projects/Products Sold: “We make between 20%–35% off projects that we sell,” Brian said. ”That’s extra gravy. When we get a lot of project work, that’s extra money that goes back into the business for marketing, business development, or growth or to put into savings.”

What Is The Top Lesson You Had To Learn To Kick-Start Your Business Growth?

“Hands down, mindset,” Mary said. “Stepping into a leadership role was scary. I was in the background for years supporting and helping grow the business. After a conversation with Robin Robins, I figured out that I love growing the business, but I was afraid that focusing on company growth and making money would screw up my five kids and that I’d lose my family. I was terrified I’d become this greedy person if I was successful. Robin helped me see that making money creates opportunities I can give others. For example, giving people the opportunity to clean my house because they need to make money so they can grow. After that conversation, I realized I CAN do this — that I can lead and grow a company and be a CEO.”

“You don’t have to do everything,” Brian said. “It was hard letting go of multiple hats I was wearing. The transformation from doing so much personally to ‘You don’t have to do all that yourself’ has been a discovery of what my new role is.”

You Grew 165% Last Year. What Would You Say Is The Single Biggest Secret On How To Be A Successful MSP?

“Being connected to and building relationships with the right people,” Brian said. “We hosted an event for prospects, our personal customers, and companies with internal IT. After starting these relationships, we cultivated them. These relationships connected us with prospective customers. We were competing against a bunch of other IT companies. This process we learned at Producer’s Club put things on steroids. It made us different and 10 times better, allowing us to out hustle every single competitor.” (How To Create Clients For Life Here)

What Would You Say Is The Biggest Challenge You Had To Overcome This Past Year Related To Reaching That Growth?

“Learning the specific steps on how to scale,” Mary said. “We had a lot of processes in place for sales and marketing but not for the operation side. We had to learn how to streamline and how to onboard all these people, train them, and maintain clients.” “Also we had to make sure we hired key people,” Brian added. “One individual required a six-figure income — more than we had ever paid ourselves at the time. But he was key and helped us get 454 endpoints, which brought in revenue that allowed us to give ourselves a raise.”

What Is A Partner Or Tool That Helped You Along The Way?

IT Glue by Kaseya has been everything for us,” Mary said. “It’s a tool that helps us with documentation. Our whole team is remote and spread out. It allows us to keep everything in one secure, central location and is the nervous system of our company, where all the data and the communication is really flowing through.” ”ID Agent is also big for us,” Brian said. “Using the Dark Web ID is part of our client attraction process as well.”

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?

“Robin Robins,” Mary said. “We’ve had leaders our whole life. But being in Robin’s organization, we’ve seen how you do anything is how you do everything. Her leadership principles, the accountability, and her accessibility inspire me. She’s not too big to talk to somebody — and we’ve never seen leadership like that before. The company she’s built works and it’s growing. Why is it growing? Because she surrounds herself with people who are better than her, and she holds herself accountable. These are concepts we had never learned before.”

Jack Daly,” Brian said. “He empowers you to take everything off your plate except what you’re good at. Before, I felt I had to do everything, and I had to have the answer. He taught me that I should focus on what I’m good at and let my people do what they do well. Now, I empower them and pay them so I can do what I do best.”

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?

Hand drawing Growth Mindset against Fixed Mindset concept on blackboard.

“‘Growth Mindset,’” Mary said. “‘Think and Grow Rich’ taught me how to see beyond myself, surround myself with the right people, write goals down daily, and embody that vision. You change stuff instead of limiting yourself. It was a game-changer for me. Then ‘Growth Mindset’ is the next level because it goes over the fixed mindset versus the growth mindset. With a fixed mindset, we throttle our businesses. We kill them. We kill the life of our employees by marginalizing them and saying, ‘You can only do this.’ But with the growth mindset, you don’t do that. It’s changing everything for me.” (More on how a shift in mindset, model, and marketing took them to $95K in MRR here)

“‘Extreme Ownership,’” Brian said. “As humans, we want to blame others for failure. ‘Extreme Ownership’ challenges you to look at what happened and recognize that it was your fault.

Now, you’re not gaslighting people. You’re sitting down and having honest conversations with your employees and saying, ‘This failure was my fault, not yours. I need you to know I’m taking ownership over this.’ It’s open communication and transparency that empowers them. It builds trust with your staff and prevents you from coming across as a jerk. Plus, because you are transparent about your own failure, it’s okay for them to fail.

What automatically happens is they come to you and tell you, ‘Hey, I messed up here.’ There’s no hiding it … and then we can learn from it together. It creates a healthier culture and a work environment where our employees don’t ever want to leave.”

What Words Of Wisdom Would You Give Other MSPs Who Are Looking To Grow Their Business Or Build A Successful Exit?

“Make your vision clear and do it. Don’t make excuses,” Mary said. “If you want it, you’re going to make time for it and figure out a way.”

“Don’t be afraid to raise your prices,” Brian said. “You’re worth it and you should be paid what you’re worth.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MSP Success Magazine

MSP Success Magazine

MSP Success Magazine is a print and digital publication dedicated to helping the CEOs and owners of managed IT services businesses build strong, profitable, growth-oriented businesses. Written and published by Robin Robins, founder of Technology Marketing Toolkit, this magazine is uniquely focused on the topics of marketing, client-acquisition, sales, profitability, leadership and personal development.
MSP Success Magazine

MSP Success Magazine

MSP Success Magazine is a print and digital publication dedicated to helping the CEOs and owners of managed IT services businesses build strong, profitable, growth-oriented businesses. Written and published by Robin Robins, founder of Technology Marketing Toolkit, this magazine is uniquely focused on the topics of marketing, client-acquisition, sales, profitability, leadership and personal development.

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