Today, it's becoming more common for companies to change their products to a monthly subscription instead of a perpetual license. One company, Scott and Scott LLP, has decided to do this with something every MSP should have: their customer contracts.
Rob Scott, a Managing Partner, began offering contracts-as-a-service (CaaS) in January of 2022, and as of today, more than 50 MSPs are using the service. However, after interviewing Rob, I learned that this service is much more than a boilerplate document; they aren't giving identical copies to every MSP that signs up.
When you sign up for CaaS, there's an entire onboarding process. First, they will have questions regarding your jurisdiction, what regulator compliance you and your clients are subject to, the technology stack you use, and more. Next, they'll draft and customize documents for you to use with your new and existing clients. After that, they will send you the documents for review to see if you have any questions before they go live.
Rob made this a subscription service knowing that MSPs would look for constant value along the way. That's why he's including contract updates as part of this service. Some documents receive annual updates, while others have quarterly updates. He will also answer your questions and review any contract changes requested by your clients.
There are also more than half a dozen documents.
Managed Services Attachment
Cloud & Hosting Agreement
Backup & Disaster Recovery Agreement
Managed Security Agreement
Service Level Objectives
Schedule of Third Party Service Providers
Data Processing for Regulated Industries (HIPAA, CCPA, GDPR, etc.)
Managed Physical Security
Some other attachments/agreements are available, but these are the most common.
The base stack starts around $300/month, while the next-level stack starts around $400/month. Setup fees may apply, and there's a 36-month term for the service. Once the 36-month period is complete, you'll own a perpetual license to all of the documents for your MSP. You can continue to pay a maintenance fee to receive support and ongoing updates to the documents.
Other Scott & Scott LLP services include contract negotiations, arbitration, and litigation. They are licensed to practice in California, Texas, New York, and a few other states. But don't worry; even if you aren't in an area where they are licensed to practice, they can still work with you to create custom agreements for your MSP and involve local attorneys as needed. In addition, they'll research local multi-jurisdiction laws to ensure everything is covered.
Bottom Line: This neat-sounding service essentially puts a law firm on retainer for your MSP at an affordable monthly rate. Not only do you have an attorney on standby to answer questions, but they're also going to build and maintain an impressive collection of agreement documents for new and existing clients.
Disclosure: This review is the opinion and independent findings of Steve Taylor, the Founder & CEO of RocketMSP. Scott & Scott LLP did not pay for or ask to have this article written.
Affiliate Disclosure: The RocketMSP website may include affiliate links that make us money when you purchase from those links. RocketMSP does not have an affiliate connection with Scott & Scott LLP.
Are Contracts-as-a-Service the Next Big Thing for MSPs?
I recently interviewed Robert Scott, Managing Partner of Scott & Scott, a technology law firm. We talked about some things to look out for when setting up your MSP's legal agreements, but what I really wanted to learn more about was Contracts-as-a-Service.
Scott & Scott started offering an MSA where the big multi-thousand dollar investment can be spread across a multi-year term. They also offer maintenance for the agreement.
Setup Fee - $300 up front
Monthly Fee - $300 (36/months)
Maintenance Fee - $185/month (starting on month 37)
Contract Fee - $10,000 (around)
Annual Maintenance - $2,200 (~$185/month)
Is it worth it?
As an IT professional, you need to have a solid MSA to provide services to your clients. Having the option to pay for the agreement across a 36-month term is worth considering—especially when you weigh the fact that an attorney is making quarterly revisions as you change your tech solution stack, laws change, and new precedence is set through court decisions.
Check out the interview with Rob and see for yourself.
What if you can't afford a $10,000 MSA?
If you're running a smaller MSP, RocketMSP has an MSA that you can use to get started. Our MSA was created for an MSP operating in New York City by litigation attorneys who have had to defend their MSAs in court. Join the RocketMSP community by going to https://rocketmsp.io!
The First Step To Becoming A Better Leader: How a Great Leader Thinks
In any organization, leadership is the driving force. As a leader, you have the power to inspire your team and bring out their full potential. You can also create an environment where team members feel inspired and excited about the work they are doing every day. In addition, other team members will look up to you and follow your lead as they see what a great leader you are. Leadership isn't always easy, but it does come with its rewards.
Achieving a leadership mindset means seeing things from different perspectives and being open to new ideas and ways of working. Being a great leader means having empathy for others and understanding what motivates others so that you can give them desired outcomes. Moreover, being a great leader requires patience and perseverance – you must be able to grit your teeth through difficult situations before they blow over in the end.
How a Great Leader Thinks
A great leader doesn't see things in black and white. They need to be able to look at the big picture and what is going on. A great leader can also switch gears quickly if necessary, which is vital when things change, or new challenges arise. A great leader always has a plan but knows they need to change and evolve as the company grows.
Be a Visionary Leader
A good leader can see the big picture and set a vision for the future. This includes being able to look at a situation from multiple perspectives, not just your own. You will be a visionary leader if you can see things from different perspectives and be open-minded and receptive to new ideas.
So what does it take to become a visionary leader? One of the most critical aspects of leadership is taking in all available information and being present in every moment. Taking in all information means that you can lead with an open mind. It would be best if you always looked at things through new eyes instead of settling into old habits or ways of thinking.
Be patient when leading – this includes not giving up on others just because they aren't responding the way you want them to – even if it seems like they won't see eye-to-eye with you. You must also be persistent and persevere through difficult situations before they blow over.
Confidence and Self-Belief
To be a great leader, you must have self-confidence and self-belief. In any situation, you must know how to handle yourself without fear or worry. If you lack the self-confidence to approach a difficult situation head-on, your leadership skills will falter, and you will feel panicked and anxious. Being confident in your decisions and knowing what to do while simultaneously feeling calm is a challenge only leaders can take on.
One of the first steps to becoming a better leader is to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and identify your team members' qualities to create a culture where everyone is comfortable with their role in the organization. With this culture in place, people will automatically want to follow your lead because they know their ideas are valued. For example, let's say there is an issue with some team members not pulling their weight on projects or not understanding specific tasks assigned to them by the leader.
A good way for leaders to deal with these issues is by speaking up in meetings and addressing concerns from other team members or from within themselves.
A great leader knows how to practice transparency. By being transparent with your team, you create an environment where everyone can trust each other and be honest. Transparency allows your team to grow and flourish in the workplace as they know they have a leader who will trust them and back them up.
The ability to show yourself as vulnerable is another trait that makes a great leader. A great leader doesn't struggle to get things done; they do it. So the first step to becoming a better leader is thinking about what works for you.
What works for you might not work for others, but at least you can start by looking at what has worked for others and then adapting it to get the results you want from your leadership approach.
Hold Effective Meetings
One of the most powerful tools a leader can use to get their point across is to hold effective meetings. If you want your team members to be engaged and on board with your ideas, you must ensure everyone has equal access. An excellent way to do this is by holding a meeting where each team member gets an equal amount of time and an equal opportunity to speak.
To help your team understand what they are working towards, provide a clear agenda for the meeting. Finally, if someone interrupts during the meeting, it is vital for the leader(s) not to lose control of the meeting, as this will only lead to frustration from both sides.
The first step to becoming a better leader is thinking like one. That's because a leader is someone who sees, understands, and can articulate the big picture. So what does that mean?
First, it means seeing the larger context of your business, industry, and organization. It means being able to anticipate change and be able to see opportunities that others don't see. It means being able to imagine the future and plan accordingly.
Finally, articulating this vision resonates with your team, subordinates, and stakeholders.
Creating New Habits That Stick
This is part two in a series on leadership. My last article talked about the importance of building small, good habits and dropping bad habits. Let’s start the habits that will increase your leadership impact.
Change your habits if you want to improve your life.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you do need to start to be great.” — Zig Ziglar
According to a study by Duke in 2006, 40% of the actions you do every day are the result of your habits, not your decisions. That means that if you want to be a better leader, you need to start by changing your habits.And the best way to change your habits is to start small.
In his book “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg talks about how important it is to build new habits one step at a time. So which habit should you start? It depends on who you want to become.
Make your new habit small.
I warned you about the urge to build some massive “super-habit.” It’s better if your new habit is a small habit. That way, it’s more likely to become a part of your routine. Newton’s first law of motion states, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion…”
In order to change your momentum, you need to apply an “unbalanced force.” In this case, that force is your new habit. It needs to be strong enough to overcome the inertia of your old habits.
If you try to change too many things at once, you’re likely to fail. You’ll be fighting an uphill battle against your old habits. But if you start small and gradually increase the intensity of your new habit, it will be more successful.
Small changes over time create big results over time.
Some examples of small habits include:
Putting your phone far away from you while you sleep so you have to get up out of bed to turn its alarm off in the morning.
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Calling one client every day.
Charles Duhigg calls these keystone habits. They’re habits that have a ripple effect on other areas of your life. Once you’ve mastered these small habits, they’ll help you build bigger and better habits.
Make sure your new habit is relevant to your goals.
Your new habit should be relevant to your goals. That way, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. If you want to read a chapter of a book every night, leave the book on your pillow when you wake up. If you want to remember to take your vitamins, set them next to your toothbrush every night. Gosh, now I’m really hoping you brush your teeth every day…
Giving yourself a visual cue will reinforce the change you want to make by building a habit loop. The more often you do the desired behavior, the stronger the habit becomes.
The cue is the trigger that initiates the habit. The routine is the behavior itself and the reward is the satisfaction you get from completing the habit.
Make your new habit automatic.
You live so much of your life on autopilot. You drive to work without thinking about it. You brush your teeth without having to remind yourself. That’s because you’ve turned those behaviors into habits.
Your new habit should be the same way. You want it to be so ingrained in your routine that you don’t have to think about it. The less thought you have to put into it, the easier it will be to stick with it.
However, without intentionality, what’s automatic is rarely what’s most productive. So make sure your new habit is something you want to be automatic. We tend to gravitate towards what is easy, not what is healthy.
It’s important to be aware of your autopilot behaviors and make sure they are aligned with your goals.
So there you have it — start small, make your new habit relevant to your goals, give yourself a visual cue, and make it automatic. If you can do that, you’re on your way to changing your life for the better.
But don’t forget, you need to be intentional about it. Habits are not magical; they don’t happen on their own. You have to put in the work if you want to see results.
Decide when you’re going to do it
“Excellence is never an accident. Excellence is always the result of intentional and consistent habits.” — Craig Groeschel
Since it’s so important to be intentional when focusing on a better version of yourself, you need to decide when you’re going to perform your new habit.
Some examples could be:
After I arrive at the office, I will write down my three top priorities for the day.
After I finish a meeting, I will define an action step.
After I get home from work, I will sit down with my family to spend quality time with them.
Remember to keep it small. Small, consistent habits determine who you will become as a leader.
Leave some feedback in the responses.
What new habit are you going to develop?
How will you make the habit automatic—when will you do it?
What could hinder you from following through?
How can you make sure that doesn’t happen?
How To Become An Exceptional Leader In Your MSP
Today, more than ever before, MSP business owners need to be exceptional leaders in order to succeed. But what does it take to become an exceptional leader? And how can you ensure that your team is following your lead and producing results? In this post, we’ll explore some of the key traits of exceptional leaders and offer tips on how you can develop them yourself. So read on and learn how you can become the driving force behind your MSP’s success!
“I can predict the long-term outcome of your success if you show me your daily habits.” John Maxwell
Your habits play a pivotal role in your effectiveness as a leader.
You’ve heard the phrase, “you are what you eat.” Here’s a different way to say it: “you are what you repeatedly do.” This is even more important when you’re leading people because they’re going to be a direct reflection of your actions.
“The potential of your leadership is a direct reflection of the quality of your habits.” Craig Groeschel
Here’s a direct example for you to wrap your head around. We began fostering our daughter when she was 9 years old. She moved in and was very skinny, active, and a bubbly, happy little girl. I’m a very sarcastic person and always crack jokes. I would say that I’m serious 25% of the time. I’m also very overweight.
I’m going to make an assumption here that every father should: my daughter idolizes me. She really looks up to me, you know? So there’s no surprise that she may have a super sarcastic tone 90% of the time and has added a couple extra pounds.
Avoid Chasing “Super-Habits”
There are many leaders (notice I didn’t say successful ones) that think there’s some magical “super-habit” that will make them a great leader. Stop it. This is a myth.
You’ve heard of “cause and effect?” One event can influence the production of another event. If you’re chasing one habit that’s highly difficult to accomplish, there won’t be a positive effect.
Small, wise habits are going to be the best way to make a big impact. Most successful people aren’t great at everything. They’re simply highly disciplined with a several small habits.
“Successful people do consistently what other people do occasionally.” Craig Groeschel
92% of New Year’s Resolutions people set don’t last. Let’s look at three reasons you might not successfully act on those good intentions and how to lead through healthy habits.
1. We focus on the “what” without understanding the “how.”
It’s great to set goals, but don’t waste time focusing on creating goals without how you’re going to achieve them.
“Goals don’t determine success. Systems determine success.” James Clear
Stop thinking about changing the result. Start focusing on building systems that produce the results.
2. We’re trained to expect immediate results.
Here’s the big secret you’ve never thought about: a new habit isn’t going to generate immediate results. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if it’s a good or bad habit! Whether you decide you’re going to workout for 60 minutes every morning, or eat a half gallon of ice cream three nights a week, it’s probably going to take a few weeks for you to start seeing results. Unless you’re diabetic — the ice cream may have a more immediate result if you’re diabetic. 😅
3. Our negativity sabotages our success.
We all have leadership insecurities. I’ve been going through a bout of “imposter syndrome” over the past year. Negative thoughts like this will create a dangerous cycle in which you make poor decisions based on your negative thoughts.
I love examples because they’re going to take what I’ve taught you and make sure you understand how it works in the real world. A while back when I was going through some severe depression, imposter syndrome, and doubting my own self-worth, I stopped marketing the RocketMSP peer groups and haven’t gotten as many new members as I used to. I also stopped developing new resources for my members which resulted in higher church than usual.
Do you see how all of those negative thoughts had some pretty impactful results that ended up hurting my bottom line? Because I didn’t have systems in place to continue providing great content, I stopped marketing because I had doubts about my value. Since I never did anything to fix the problem, I started making less money.
How do you want to be remembered as a leader?
How do you want to be remembered as a leader? Nobody wants to be known as the leader that never developed processes so things always got missed during projects or routine jobs. In contrast, some people want to be the leader that would find people just as passionate or invested and build new leaders.
Do you want to be a leader known for being honest with your team? How about a leader that helps build new leaders? Maybe you’re a leader that’s known for always doing the right thing for your team members and your clients.
Leave some feedback in the responses.
What good habits do you have right now that you need to continue?
What bad habits do you have right now that you need to stop?
How do you want to be remembered as a leader?
How to Score 90% Off HubSpot
This article contains affiliate links that will save you a boatload of money while also making the writer some cash on the side.
For many of you, HubSpot is the Holy Grail of marketing platforms. It’s the platform that you wish you had but could never afford. Today I’m going to change that for you.
HubSpot has a program called HubSpot for Startups.
What Does HubSpot for Startups Give Me?
HubSpot for Startups gives you a discount on any professional subscriptions as long as you’ve never had a professional subscription on your account. If you’ve never had a HubSpot account or have only used the Free or Starter editions you’re in great shape!
For the first year you’ll get 90% off, then you’ll get 50% off in the second year and 25% off ongoing years after that.
If you go with Marketing + Sales + Operations you could easily have a monthly rate of $2,190. With the 90% discount your monthly rate will be just $219 for all of those. Don’t believe me? Here’s a screenshot just taken this morning.
Do I have to buy every service?
Nope! You can choose to buy just Marketing Hub Professional if you really just want those services.
In order to sign up for this program you need to be associated with an approved VC, Incubator, or Accelerator partner. Here’s an approved Accelerator that you can get a Lifetime Membership to for only $150 out of pocket. Just think—$150 today and you’ll save $1,971 dollars a month. That’s over $23,600 a year!
So just sign up for this approved Accelerator today and you’ll be saving thousands of dollars with HubSpot.
If you’re looking for the average, boring tips where we dive deep into meta titles and descriptions, image alt tags, or the minimum words to have on a page, you’ve got another thing coming.
Truth: Great MSP websites all pretty much look the same and have similar words on them.
Truth: Great MSP websites all pretty much look the same and have similar words on them. If you have a ton of competition with great websites in your area, changing your meta tags around aren’t going to change the way your site ranks.
Here are the things you need to do in order to rank well in your area.
1. You must perform the basics of on-page SEO
I said we weren’t going to talk about it, but what I meant is that it’s not the only thing that needs done. You’ve heard it time and time again.
Meta title and description
Alt tags for all images
Proper heading structure
I’ll make a resource that goes over these items if you need an explainer, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
2. Monitor your technical SEO
If you’ve built your site in the last 3 years or so, these things probably aren’t an issue but it never hurts to check.
Does your website have an SSL certificate and do pages show the “padlock” in Google Chrome? If not, don’t fret! There’s a website called Why No Padlock that aims to make it easy for you to figure out what is preventing your website from indicating it’s secure.
One of the most important things you can do for your website is to make sure it’s mobile optimized. This means that it will be easy to read and navigate on a phone or tablet. You may think that this isn’t important because not as many people are using their mobile devices to browse the internet, but that’s changing.
In fact, Google has been changing their algorithms to give preference to websites that are mobile optimized. This means that if your website isn’t optimized, you’re going to be losing traffic and potential customers.
If the results are red you’ll be given tips on what needs to be fixed.
The speed in which your site loads isn’t a high factor for ranking on Google, but studies show it can impact your bounce rate — the people who go to a page, but leave without going to another page.
404 errors are when a website doesn’t have a page that someone is looking for. Websites are constantly changing. Links that once worked might no longer work because a page has been deleted or moved. A simple way to fix a 404 error is to use a 301 redirect.
To find what 404 errors your site has, use Google Search Console to drill down into the Coverage section. Here’s an example of what it looks like to have some 404 errors on your site.
A permanent redirect is a type of redirect that tells a web browser that the page has been permanently moved to a new location. When someone clicks on a link to a page that has been permanently redirected, they’ll be automatically taken to the new page. This is helpful when you’ve deleted a page or moved it to a different location on your website.
301 Redirects can be implemented at the DNS level with solutions like Cloudflare, but it’s more common to do this with the website host or a plugin if you’re on WordPress.
3. Understand Search Intent to Match Your Content
Google pays attention to how people interact with your website. If people generally get what they’re looking for from your page, you can expect your rankings to improve. If not, they can actually go down. There are four types of user intent according to Google.
How many calories are in water?
Does yellow snow taste like lemon or banana?
Most comfortable speedos for men
Hammocks shaped like bananas
Flights from CLE to PDX
Mail order bride pricing
4. Improve Your Bounce Rate
There are a few reasons why you should improve your bounce rate. First, it’s important to keep in mind that Google doesn’t like to see people go to your website and then quickly bounce back to the search results. This tells Google that your website isn’t providing the information people are looking for.
Second, improving your bounce rate can help improve your website’s overall user experience. If people are bouncing off of your website quickly, it’s probably because they’re not finding what they’re looking for or the website is difficult to navigate.
Third, improving your bounce rate can help you generate more leads and sales. If people are staying on your website longer, they’re more likely to convert into a customer.
How to Reduce Bounce Rate
Look “above the fold” on your website. Above the fold is a term used to describe what you can see when your website opens in a browser. If it looks like you have a lot of scrolling before they feel like they’ll get answers, people may get overwhelmed and bounce off of your site quickly.
When people visit your website, you want them to be able to understand what you’re offering them and what they can find on your pages. This means that you need to have concise and easy-to-read content. You also don’t want to overwhelm your visitors with too much information at once.
If you’re having trouble keeping your content concise, try using lists or headings to organize your thoughts. This will make it easier for people to scan through your content and find the information they’re looking for. Also consider including a table of contents if there’s a LOT of content.
5. Target More Keywords
If you want to bring more traffic to your website, it’s important to optimize your page around several different keywords. To do this, log into your Google Search Console and review the search queries that you’re ranking for. You’ll likely recognize many of them since you’ve already optimized pages for these keywords.
Sometimes you’ll find a keywords that you’re not optimizing for. If it’s a fluke that you’re ranking for that term by accident, think of how great you would rank for that term if you actually tried ranking for it.
How to Add Keywords
You’ve got a site that ranks really well for managed IT services and realize that people are landing on that page when they search for cybersecurity provider. You don’t have cybersecurity as a key service on your site, you just mentioned the importance of solid cybersecurity on your service pages.
Think of how much better you could do in your region if you built content around cybersecurity!
There’s a fantastic tool that I can’t recommend enough called Surfer SEO (affiliate link) that helps you understand how your content is ranking and what keywords you should tackle to rank even higher.
6. Backlinks, Backlinks, Backlinks
If I say it three times then they have to appear, right? Unfortunately backlinks don’t just magically appear, unless you’re writing high quality content that’s worth linking back to.
Backlinks are incredibly important to your domain name receiving a higher ranking as a Domain Authority. Here are a few ways to generate backlinks to your site:
Publish great content that’s worth linking to.
Reach out to other websites and ask them to link to your content.
Create guest blog posts for other websites.
Submit your website to directories and review sites.
Connect with other bloggers and social media users in your industry.
7. Publish Great Content
Since publishing great content is important to have people want to link to it, focus on that.
Use Lots of Pictures
Pictures and other visual content is a fantastic way to draw people into your content. They can quickly show what you’re talking about without having to read through a lot of text.
Publish Something People Will Read
It’s important that people want to actually read the content on your site. If you write an incredibly dull article, no one is going to link back to it or share it. They’ll just head over to your competition’s website and forget about yours.
Organize Your Content for Easy Skimming
When people visit your site, they’re looking for specific answers. If they can’t find those quickly then they’ll probably leave. Keep them on your website by structuring your content in an easy to skim format.
Use Headings and Lists to Organize Your Thoughts
You can break up long articles into sections that you control with headings and lists. This will help people find the information they’re looking for within a post without having to read through everything.
The better your content the more people will want to share that content with others. Having others share great content from your site is a passive way to build backlinks, building up massive Page Rank and Page Trust with Google.
Having a website that ranks high with Google and other search engines is easy to do when you realize that it’s a multi-step process. Once you begin following the process, you’ll have an easy time bringing more traffic to your site by posting great content. Don’t forget to track your results to know how your content compares as you continue to strive for that #1 spot.