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In the fall of 2011 I received a phone call from my Dad. In a very calm and surreal way we told me that a few weeks earlier he had been diagnosed with cancer. As far as they could tell it started from skin cancer that he thought he had removed years earlier but did not follow up to see if it was removed completely. In the same casual tone he told me that he only had a couple months to live. That call was the day before Thanksgiving and he passed on New Year ’s Day 2012.

I regret the fact that it took my dad passing away to make me realize that time is finite and precious. I could not continue that way I was, sonething had to change. I could not continue to live to work everyday and miss another day of time I could be spending with my children.


I needed answers but had to figure out the questions first.

What would make me feel secure? You would think that would be simple, I need more time and more money. Unfortunately, that was not true and never worked in the past.

Was it more money? No, I was doing well and knew that I could generate more business if I needed to.

Was it more clients? I don’t think so; we would get new clients on a regular basis.

What would give me more time? More money or a surplus of money. No, more money meant more work and a surplus never seems to happen.

Maybe better questions are: What would give me better quality of life? What would reduce stress? What would let me relax? It’s simple really. Knowing what would happen next. If I knew what would happen next I could relax and feel secure. If I knew what happened next, I could plan my life rather than my business planning my life. If I knew what happened next I could see if I needed more money or more clients or if I could take time off. I needed predictable, reliable income.

Okay. Now that I know, how do I get it?

Never Burn Your Bridges

I have read the books and seen the research but somehow nothing fit my needs. Managed Services looked great on paper but impossible to sell to my smaller clients. Break / Fix support and blocks of time were too inconsistent to give any long term security.

It amazes me that the managed services training out there tells you to “make the change” and switch completely or it won’t work. Some of the info out there even does the math for you showing that even if you lose those clients you will still make more money because of the clients you will keep.

Really? So what they are saying is that I should give an ultimatum to my clients, tell them switch to managed services or I cannot support you any longer. Is that what you say to the small business owner that has been with you since the beginning (some of them over 20 years)? That does not work for me. Ultimatums and burning your bridges is never the right choice, no matter what type of work you are in.

I can give you several examples of clients over the years that have gone elsewhere for one reason or another only to come back a while later. They came back because I handled the change professionally and politely. I did not burn my bridge.

I can also know that the majority of new clients I quote tell me that they started looking for new support because the last person/company was hard to get a hold of and that they felt they were not getting the support they had in the past. I did not want to be that guy / company, our client retention is fantastic and that is due to our support and service offerings.

The Best of Both Worlds

What I needed is an offering of services that fit all my client’s needs. My smaller clients would not go for complete managed services and my larger clients wanted the predictable costs of managed services. I needed to add residual income without losing a single client and while adding value.

I knew I needed reoccurring revenue, residual income. I had that on a small scale with web hosting, some offsite backup clients and somewhat scheduled routine maintenance.

What I spent most of next year doing was coming up with and refining a comprehensive hybrid list of services offerings. In just under a year I was able to generate a little over $21,000 in reoccurring monthly income that would continue indefinitely. This income was in addition to the income my business generated already. This was an additional $252,000 per year and opened up whole new paths of growth and opportunities for myself and my company. I said “was an additional” because each month we add clients and reoccurring revenue.

I did not just generate additional income; I gave myself the ability to know what would happen next.

While adding to my services list I did not lose a single client like I would have with straight managed services. I added valuable services to my clients while making their PC and networks more secure and without changing the business I already did with them.

A Whole New World

Our residual income continues to grow each month which allows us to add new services and programs to increase our profits. We have added employees and are now looking for a second office location. We also are able to generate more income by offering leasing and finance options.