ConnectBooster Blog

How to Avoid Poor Collections Methods That Increase Risk and Create Financial Instability

Over the past several years, I’ve been helping MSPs improve their business performance.

That consultative work covers some critical organizational processes, including enhancing their sales engine to boost revenue and profitability. That requires extensive collaboration with employees, managers, and owners, as we work to strengthen operations and improve the long-term prospects and overall performance of their businesses.

Some of the more common issues we run into with our MSP clients include missed payroll and weak A/R (Accounts Receivable) procedures. It’s not unusual because technical professionals don’t always manage their businesses by the numbers.

A majority of MSPs we work with don’t take the time to chart their accounts or discern which of their services are profitable — and which aren’t.

Even though they provide valuable services, many of these companies are still having difficulty collecting what they’re owed.

And that starts a cycle that often leads to missed payroll and wildly inconsistent cash flow.

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Managed Services Provider or Accounts Receivable Specialist? Choose Wisely

Few business owners enjoy collecting payment from their customers. In your next peer group meeting or at lunch during the next industry event, bring up the topic.

Nerves, productivity, and profits are typically the first to go.

But it’s a necessary part of business.

A healthy cash flow is equity to MSPs today. That steady flow of income ensures the company can meet its financial obligations to employees and suppliers, and fund new client acquisition activities and service expansion. Without an effective AR process in place, business plans tend to fall apart rather quickly.

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How to Avoid Bank-Instituted ACH Payment Restrictions

****This blog piece is from one of ConnectBooster’s newest contributors, Stuart Bryan. Check out Stuart’s wisdom below.***

When running an MSP, we are expected to stay ahead of the trend and remain leaders with current technology in all aspects of our business.

But in reality, I know that’s not true.

Sometimes we let certain parts of business remain stuck in the past. My business, I-M Technology, especially struggled to manage the financial side of our business when it came to processing ACH payments.

We faced the same problems other MSPs do, and that was the slow and inefficient method of our clients’ payments were trapped at our bank, which cost our organization precious time and valued resources.

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Are You Still Using Payment Processing Programs Built for Retail Stores?

Few MSPs enjoy making collections. In fact, it’s the one process virtually every business owner dreads having to do, especially when they have to go through it so often.

Anxiety over billing is one of the many reasons why MSPs need to shift their approach. Instead of taking time out of their busy schedules to create and send invoices, they could be closing new deals and securing renewals. Or proactively expanding their support team and figuring out to manage more of their clients’ information systems.
MSPs have too much on their plate to deal with repetitive back-office activities.

The shift toward automation explains why a growing number of MSPs don’t waste time on paperwork. In fact, many MSPs are beginning to follow the best practices of their peers.

The advice shared by other MSPs who have already “been there and done that” is highly valuable to those who haven’t — and this part of an IT services business is no exception.

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5 Areas of an MSP Business That Need More Attention

****This blog piece is from one of ConnectBooster’s newest contributors, who provides IT support in Los Angeles, CA, Brent Whitfield. Check out Brent’s bio below.***

Technology is usually the easy part for IT pros. Running the business side of an MSP can be much more challenging for those with limited or no back office experience. You need to build and manage complicated processes and put tools in place to make it all work.

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5 Steps to Developing a Cash Flow Strategy That Would Make Every CPA Proud

Understanding cash flow is absolutely critical to the long-term health of your business.

Most channel partners know that cash flow is critical to the success of their businesses, but many partners have a shaky understanding of what to measure, how to measure it, and how to build a cash flow management strategy.

And it’s a pretty easy thing to get a handle on. At some point in the future, growth is going to happen to your business, and you’ll need to know how to manage cash flow.

A poor understanding of cash flow can lead to issues, like not having enough money in the bank to pay employees, hire contractors, or to ensure the check to the electric company won’t bounce forcing them to shut off your lights.

Not to mention, if you decide someday to sell your business, (or acquire another one) you’ll need to have this conversation. So, take the time and figure it out now and avoid the pain later.

Most importantly, it can slow your growth. This tends to happen when sales are way up and everyone is feeling a little euphoric about the company direction. If you understand your cash flow, you can effectively control your growth and protect your both your business and your sanity.

So here’s five easy steps to developing a cash flow strategy.

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5 Secret Types of Automation That Will Save You Time In Your PSA Software

My company has been doing ConnectWise consulting for about 11 years.

In that time, we’ve seen dozens of good tricks. And I mean dozens of them. Really good ones that you won’t find published anywhere online.

In my consulting practice that I’ve had the privilege to be a founder of, we’re big fans of sharing.

So I want to share my top 5 time-saving factors an MSP can use to automate their PSA software. These are really good tricks, direct from our clients and our colleagues, on the best ways to utilize ConnectWise.

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If It’s Good Enough for Frank Abagnale, It’s Good Enough for Me

Who loves the movie “Catch Me If You Can”?

The classic film stars a young Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays the trickster Frank Abagnale outwitting the FBI in a witty comedy that explores the life of a check forger and imposter.

But if you’re in touch with the payments industry, you probably are well aware that Frank Abagnale is a real person, and his past inspired the film. Today he an expert on payment security and fraud, working as an American security consultant, and has worked with the FBI over the last 40 years.

Frank’s former days as a fraudster have served him well as he transitioned from finding the best ways to con people out of their money to helping businesses and individuals keep their money safe from guys like him in his youth.

Today, let’s explore what Frank Abagnale thinks about certain payment types, and their potential risks.

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The Best Ways to Grow Your IT Business

Growing a business is hard, and growing an IT business just increases that difficulty. I can tell you I speak from experience, since I’ve been working to grow my business ever since 2003, and it’s still a struggle sometimes.

There’s many opportunities to make mistakes along the way that could temporarily or permanently affect your growth. But where there are opportunities to make mistakes, there are also opportunities to have great victories. It’s all about risk and reward. Those are the two driving forces behind every entrepreneur.

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The Tool Every MSP Needs To Grow Their Business

Change is intimidating.

A deciding to modify how you operate as a business is one of the most difficult choices you can make. But sometimes change is necessary to hit your long term goals, or keep your business alive during a rough patch.

Sometimes only changing one aspect of your business leads to success that spills over into other departments and resources.

Scott Spiro found a his business in a similar situation a few years ago.

As CEO of Computer Solutions Group, Scott shared the struggles his company experienced a few years ago when they changed their model business, and the success he achieved from that change.

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How Managing Your Cash Flow Equals More Time and Money

Spending valuable time trying to reconcile invoices between QuickBooks, Xero, or Microsoft Dynamics GP and your CRM is a hassle. Without invoicing and an automation toolset, the resulting chaos costs your business time, money, and a continued mess of paperwork.

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Are You Putting Your Clients Payment Information at Risk for a Data Breach?

Have you ever taken payments over the phone?

We’re pretty sure you have.

And who hasn’t? It’s a common practice.

When you do take payments over the phone, are you using a secure method to handle that sensitive information? Are you unintentionally giving malicious spyware – like keylogger software – a chance to capture the payment information?

Did you know, if you’re not entering payment data where it’s encrypted you may have compromised your clients’ security?

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To Grow My Business In 2017 I Need ConnectBooster

Do you want to grow your business in 2017? Do you want to achieve all your financial and sales goals, and feel good about where you’ve come from, by the end of the year? Then it’s time to take a look at ConnectBooster.

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My Cash Flow is Better With ConnectBooster

When you want to reinvest back into your business, you need to have a steady cash flow. Money in your bank account, not tied up in accounts receivables, looks good on paper but it doesn’t help when it is time to write the checks. Not to mention when that money isn’t in your bank account, you can’t spend money on the things that will help you grow your business like sales, marketing, payroll, etc.

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I Can Simplify My Billing

With today’s technology, getting paid can be one of the most costly expenses a business can have. The time spent reconciling invoices, and trying to be paid for the work you’ve done costs your company billable hours.

Even with a great CRM, like ConnectWise, your business can still lose money on billing.

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I Can Make My Business Look Better

In today’s world, potential clients are looking for much more than just another product or service to buy. When someone engages your team and wants to learn about your services, they come to you with the expectation that you can provide a better experience for their business.

So what tool and service can you offer clients that give them the best customer service experience possible?

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Get Rid of Security Problems When Taking Payments

With all the fears of cyber security that are been plaguing the IT industry, there’s one part of security businesses tend to overlook. That one piece of security that businesses tend to overlook is the value of protecting clients payment information.

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