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As a hosted VoIP provider for Managed Service Providers (MSPs),   Loop Communications   wanted to share some insights if you are considering offering or reselling VoIP as a solution to your customers. There are three paths you can choose, each with advantages and disadvantages, and it really depends on your expertise and business strategy. 1. Partner with a solid VoIP   Provider . Seek one that specializes in VoIP solutions for your customers such as Loop Communications or some of the others in the industry (Ring Central, 8×8, Vonage, etc). One main advantage is that you have experts like us to manage VoIP for you. Loop is involved from the start ...
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Do I Need a Master Services Agreement? by Thomas M. Fafinski What is a Master Services Agreement (MSA)? If you desire a predictable, long-term relationship with several transactions between you and your customer, you should have a Master Services Agreement in place prior to the sale of any product or service. A Master Services Agreement is an agreement between at least two parties (normally just two parties) dealing with the terms and conditions that will apply to future transactions between the parties. It is likely used when the parties contemplate more than one service or offering between them. What are the Benefits of an MSA? A Master Services Agreement ...
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Marketopia Ranks No. 875 on the Inc. 5000 List Inc. Magazine Unveils 38th Annual List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies — the Inc. 5000 AUG 23, 2019 08:00 EDT PINELLAS PARK, Fla., August 23, 2019  -   ​​​Inc. has announced that Marketopia landed No. 875 on its annual Inc. 5000 list. The Inc. 5000 is the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. With an impressive growth rate, Marketopia joins the ranks of other fast-growing companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy — America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Yelp, ...
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Throughout my years in the telecom industry, I attended hundreds of workshops, seminars, keynote speeches, and self-help courses designed to help business owners grow their companies and become leaders in the industry or a local market. Some of those companies grew with moderate success, and some failed because of lack of staff or budget. But those that succeeded all had something in common—they were giving back to the community or were involved with charities. by   Joe Schiavone  on Jul 30, 2019 I did the same throughout the years while growing my previous (and very successful) business. And here’s my advice to those of you who want to ...
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Like for many small businesses, it is not easy for MSPs to allocate a significant amount of resources (time, money, staff) for marketing. And sometimes, even with those resources, MSPs find their marketing is not as effective as they would like it to be. With rising competition in the IT industry, effective marketing is the key to success for small and medium-sized IT service providers. But how to crack the code to success? Here are four ingredients for the effective marketing “secret sauce”: Have a marketing goal Have a target Be consistent Measure what you can Let’s go over each of them and see why they are so important. Have ...
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The Lost Art Of Closing

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By   Joe Schiavone   July 2019 The growing SaaS and Cloud trends are making the IT services market more competitive. In some spaces, like UCaaS or cybersecurity, where there used to be three or four major players, there are now literally dozens of them. Most of the vendors claim to sell through MSP partners and agent channels, but many still keep their direct sales groups active in the market. These changes push MSPs to be more aggressive with their sales, although we see the trend of losing more deals than winning them among our MSP partners. What causes this situation and how can an MSP fix it? The trend we’ve discovered ...
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How to assess your website’s SEO performance “How can we get to the first page on Google? Do we even rank on Google?” These are some of the most difficult questions for small businesses around the world, and I know it by experience. SEO (search engine optimization) is a complicated concept with ever-evolving rules that are hard to understand for people who are not savvy in digital marketing. Whether you decide to hire an SEO firm or manage   SEO in-house , it’s always a good idea to assess where the work starts and how it progresses. Here are three tools we recommend you use to assess your website performance. Google Analytics In order to ...
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Maybe you’re a business owner whose company is humming right along, all cylinders firing, prospects look good. Or maybe your company is facing increased competition, higher costs, and lower profits that hinder growth and expansion. Either way, another company or investor may approach with a merger or acquisition proposal. What factors should you consider if your company faces this dilemma? Merger vs. Acquisition. A merger is when two companies join together, even if one company has made the first move. Typically, a new company will be created with all or part of the original companies included. An acquisition is similar. When one company   acquires ...
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What happens when you bring on a new service or partner with a new vendor to boost your business? Every MSP understands that to keep up with the customers’ needs nowadays, they must reach beyond their usual scope of service and add more technology choices to their portfolio. Finding new technology partners isn’t an issue because every vendor today wants to work with MSPs! But signing up with the vendor isn’t enough to get the sales going. In the last month, we have been interviewing our own MSP partners to find the reasons why the pipeline is not growing as fast as we all want. Here’s what we found.  MSPs expand their horizons but keep the customers ...
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The intangible nature of intellectual property makes it difficult to protect. You can’t just park a security guard next to your intellectual property to keep people from stealing it. In fact, intellectual property (“IP”) has been   defined   as “… a collection of ideas and concepts…”  Though harder to protect than your company’s computer equipment or warehouses, business owners and innovators still have ways to safeguard their IP assets from theft or misuse. Copyright Protection A   copyright   protects original works of authorship, including novels, songs, computer software, and architecture. It does not, however, protect “facts, ideas, systems, ...
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Fine print. Seems like contracts are full of it. The clauses and provisions that make up a contract each have a specific purpose, though. Indemnification, for example, is often used to protect a party to a contract. That may sound simple, but can be complicated and costly if entered into lightly. Indemnify means to compensate an individual or entity for a specific loss or damage. In some contracts, you might be the person being indemnified. In other contracts, you may be the party indemnifying another. Indemnity agreements are common in contracts between businesses and even between governments. Indemnification in Action An insurance policy is technically ...
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Video marketing is on the rise and rapidly taking over the content marketing world.  If you haven't implemented video marketing in your content strategy, now is the time. Here is why and how to get started. Why MSPs should integrate video content into their marketing strategy According to the   2019 State of IT report   by Spiceworks, by the end of 2020, 71% of businesses expect to use video marketing for brand awareness and product education. In   “Understanding the Expanding Benefits of Marketing with Video,”   Aberdeen Group says that video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year and achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness. ...
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Family business ownership is an integral part of American history and commerce. In fact, about 90% of American businesses are family-owned. Business and families have varied purposes, so it should come as no surprise that certain business entities offer greater protection to family-owned enterprises. Of course, there are pros and cons to any of those entity types, including family limited liability companies. The Family Limited Liability Company You may have heard of family limited liability companies (FLLC) and their first cousin, the family limited liability partnership (FLLP). The structure is essentially the same: The FLLC or FLLP is established, ...
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A merger is a deal where two companies join together as fairly equal partners. Sometimes the two companies involved simply form a brand new company. Other mergers result in the merging of previous names into a new name. For example, when America Online (AOL) merged with Time Warner in 2000, the company they formed was called AOL Time Warner . An acquisition, however, is typically a larger company buying or otherwise acquiring a smaller company. Some companies may merge their identities. Sometimes, however, the smaller company is simply absorbed by the larger company, becoming part of its brand and identity. Why would two companies want to cede control ...
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For over the last 20 years in my career, I have realized one thing that agents and programs I worked with had in common. When they brought up a sale for the customer, they barely cared about the solutions but only asked one simple question, “What is the SPIFF?” By Joe Schiavone A Master Agent vs a Master Solutions Provider For every business, the importance of revenue earned every month is undeniable. For those who work as agents, the chances of earning some SPIFF as a bonus from their vendors are even more desirable. That’s why agents seem to care about how much they can earn from sale above everything else and leave aside all after-sale period, ...
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A contract is more than a piece of paper signed by two or more parties. It is a legally enforceable agreement. So, what can make a contract unenforceable ? Mistakes All contracts need at least the following elements to be enforceable: An offer and acceptance of that offer, A specific subject or purpose, and  Consideration. Sometimes mistakes happen in contracts. Some can cause the contract to be unenforceable, especially if the mistake involves one of the major components of the contract. Perhaps two parties, Bob and Dan, sign an ambiguous document they hand wrote and called a contract. However, though their grammar was perfect, and ...
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Smith & Sons, Inc., had been in business for several generations. The current CEO, Henry S., had concerns about the company’s viability. Henry weighed his options carefully. One possible solution involved selling the family business. Reasons to Sell Selling your family business may seem like the best option if you are faced with these problems: Difficult family relationships . Sometimes family members involved in the business just don’t get along. Every decision turns into a fight, and it’s hurting your business. At some point, selling the business may seem like the best solution:  everyone can take their share of the sales price and ...
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With a current pace of digital transformation, MSPs cannot afford to ignore the exploding SaaS market!   We have invited two industry experts to discuss a better and easier way to start selling Cloud solutions without disrupting your current business.  Watch the full webinar recording HERE  (51 minute viewing time) Below, we've collected some of the best advice our experts gave during the webinar in short 1-3 minute clips.  #sales #SalesManagement #Education #Video #Selling #Proces
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Whether it’s a sales pitch or a job interview, how you present yourself and your content makes the whole difference. Since the   majority of people are more   visual than auditory learners (meaning that they perceive information better when they see it than when they hear it), it is a good idea to have a slide deck prepared for any occasion. And that’s where the problem starts. In this post, we give you a few best practices that will elevate your visual presentation deck to an entirely new level. Let’s get started. Start with a simple plan First, when you identify the main subject, think of how you can split it into logical sections. For ...
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It all starts with an idea. The idea grows into a plan, then a business. Somewhere along the way, the budding business owner picks a business entity. It may all come down to whether he or she should form an S corporation or a C corporation. Formation All corporations are required to file formation documents with their state government. By default,   all   corporations are C corporations. A corporation must file an election to go from “C” to “S.”  According to the IRS, corporations that meet the following criteria can qualify as S corporations: Be a domestic corporation, Consist of shareholders that are individuals, certain types of trusts, and ...
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