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June 17, 2014

Schnizzfest 5

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Every year TruMethods.com hosts an event in Philadelphia Pennsylvania called Schnizzfest. TruMethods is a company led by Gary Pica who specializes in enabling Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) to become world class in business planning, command, sales focus, process, and packaging & pricing. MSP’s from across the world travel to this 3 day event seeking answers to overcome challenges and to improve their business along with networking with people and vendors in our industry. This will be Digux’s 4th Schnizzfest and 5th year with TruMethods which has resulted in a large reason why we are able to take care of our customers at such a high level.

This year’s Schnizzfest was jammed packed with awesome keynotes, workshops, sales role plays, vendor introductions, great idea contest, operational improvement ideas, a Schnizz party and much more. To sum it up in several words, the event was fun, informative, and absolutely necessary. Being able to get out of your business every year and spend a few days observing what the rest of your industry is doing successfully is therapeutic to say the least and gets you fired up for another year.

One concept Gary Pica and the TruMethods team exposed was their big secret leading up to the event which was known as discovering your MSP Superpower. Every company cultivates different processes and best practices over the years (Your company way) to ultimately gain world class results. The Superpower in our business is our network admin role. Honing in and perfecting this role will inevitably allow you to achieve sustainable growth. Our Superpower at Digux is the culmination of 11+ years in business and is something we have to continuously improve on. We learned 12 new concepts at the event about our Superpower which will allow us to be even more inquisitive by asking ourselves questions to learn what changes need to be made in our business to reach an even higher level of success.

Charlie Wonderlic spoke to everyone at the event and educated us on his famous Wonderlic test and why the hiring process is such an important element to small businesses. You may have heard about the Wonderlic test from the National Football League (NFL) as this test is administered on all athletes at the combine each year. We learned to view hiring as a funnel and that multiple factors are important such as knowledge, personality, intelligence, aptitude, skills, abilities, attitude, writing, and communications are equally important. A specific process needs to be put in place at your company, and after you have all the facts, you then and only then use a gut check as a final step before making the hire (Hold out for the best!). As a small company, we agree with Charlie’s advice and will spend time working on improving our hiring process over the next several quarters.

Our favorite part of the event was learning about new ways to improve roles, culture, and people in our company. Our company has several roles such as network administration, vCIO, support desk coordinator, sales, etc. and we went through a role evaluation matrix that was very helpful to understand what we have documented, what our team is aware and trained in, and if we have the specific requirement in place and being used. This exposed some weak areas in our business that we will need to improve on. We also went through a force ranking exercise to evaluate each employee and see how they stack up in terms of A, B, C, D, and F players. The criteria was based on Job performance, cultural fit, and technical aptitude.

We left the event with specific quarterly action plans and future action items that will help us improve our business ultimately helping our customers which is the reason we started Digux. The event had many more interesting aspects such as the sales role-play, great idea contest, and the Schnizz party and wish we could share them with you today, but unfortunately we will not be sharing them to be respectful of your time. Thanks again for being a loyal reader of our Predictably Better newsletter. We’ll be back next month!

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