What are the top metrics you use to measure your business and why?
At Baroan Technologies, we believe that your best customer is your existing customer. By selling our solution stack at a higher percentage, we are able to increase the number of existing customers for whom we are able to provide support, security, quality guidance, implementation, and technology support services. Combining that mission with dollars per endpoint and our number of net new clients compared to clients lost, we can accurately measure our organic growth.
Prior to our acceleration over the last couple years, we spent ample time focusing on bringing in a strategic management team. In fact, we only just brought on salespeople. Having a strong team in place ensured that when we made the decision to aggressively grow, we could deliver on the promises we made through our marketing efforts.
What is the top lesson you had to learn that allowed you to kick-start your business growth?
There are a number of important lessons MSPs need to keep in mind when trying to help their company leap from one step to the next, but for us, taking the time to really focus on the quality of the people we were hiring made the biggest difference. In the beginning, we had a mix of level 1, 2, and 3 engineers. But I think the real catalyst or jumping-off point for our growth these last couple years occurred when we began to trade out the level 1 and 2 engineers to create a team comprised of only level 3 engineers. I have conversations with other MSPs, and they express concern regarding the cost of hiring in this way. While it’s true that the process is expensive, the resulting work that has been generated has made it more than worth it.
What would you say was the “secret to your success” this past year?
In addition to allocating our efforts toward hiring quality, experienced team members, we devoted thousands of hours to bettering our automation, which resulted in a tool we created called MSP Builder. We have been using Kaseya’s VSA platform for over 10 years, and while we often received calls from other vendors, we always felt that Kaseya was the strongest maintenance tool. But because it’s so powerful, it can be challenging to use. With this knowledge, we started considering how we could invest in how to leverage Kaseya’s platform.
As a result, we created MSP Builder, a tool that offers a wealth of resources to any MSP, whether they are just getting started or have dozens of years of experience. Its RMM Suite provides an all-encompassing solution for RMM automation on Kaseya VSA, which optimizes the way that Kaseya works, frees the MSP from most daily administration tasks, and automatically responds to and remediates many common conditions.
This emphasis on automation closely aligned with our new hiring efforts. In previous years, we had to throw bodies at the alerts, but once we streamlined automation through MSP Builder, our team members could engage more in client facing revenue.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome this past year regarding your growth?
I think most MSPs will admit that one of the greatest challenges is finding the right people to hire. When we made the decision to bring on only level 3 engineers, we were adding a specification to our pool of applicants, but finding the right personality and culture fit goes far beyond an engineer’s classification. It’s your classic “needle-in-thehaystack” type of deal. We have a really specific company culture here at Baroan Technologies, one that we spent a lot of time developing and one that we are constantly working to maintain. We might find hundreds of tech-savvy people, but we have to ensure that they are motivated by helping others and collaborating with a team to find solutions. It’s certainly a challenge, but one that is definitely worth addressing patiently.
Who would you say is the most impactful business leader or business thought-leader whose techniques or leadership style you either try to emulate or follow, and why?
From the early days, we’ve paid close attention to Michael Gerber and his original “E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.” While most contemporary businesses tend to only utilize his approaches featured in “E-Myth Revisited,” we seriously encourage anyone and everyone to check out Gerber’s E-Myth Mastery Program. While it takes three years to complete, working through the program with an E-Myth-certified coach allows you to thoroughly organize and systematize your business. During our three years meeting with our coach and implementing all we could from the program’s resources, we were able to build up a solid foundation that could support all the growth we’ve experienced these last two years.
In the MSP-specific space, two impactful leaders I follow are Erick Simpson and Paul Dippell. I never miss a single one of their webinars, and I always learn something new.
What book would you recommend to other MSPs or SMBs trying to grow their businesses?
I already talked about the success that Michael Gerber’s E-Myth Mastery Program brought Baroan Technologies, but even if you feel that you don’t have the time or resources to allocate to the program, I’d still highly recommend reading his books. The most important advice Gerber offers is how to implement an effective organizational structure. You have to have that structure in place before you can start to introduce ideas, procedures, and processes. People often get trapped in reading the “management flavor of the month,” which helps appease their focus. But, if they don’t have a strong framework to start with, implementing managerial advice from other authors will only make their operations messier. Once you have established that framework, you can do what I do and read at least one business book a month, see how the author’s advice fits with your existing operation, and decide regarding whether or not you want to adopt it.
In closing, do you have any specific advice or “words of wisdom” you would give to other MSPs looking to grow or build a successful exit for their business?
Gerber once said, “Work on your business, not in it.” It’s an adage that everyone repeats, but it’s one that is far easier said than done. At Baroan Technologies, we’ve found that to strike some kind of balance, you have to schedule at least one hour a day to strictly work on your business. It’s easy to get caught up talking to customers, managing production, reading books, and hiring people, but be sure to set aside time to focus specifically on building structure, processes, and policies and getting them in writing. If you’re stuck solely working in your business, you’ll likely experience a lot of turnover, both with employees and customers. It takes a lot of discipline, but the struggle will be worth it in the long run.
Company: Baroan Technologies | Year Founded: 1997 | Headquartered: Elmwood Park, New Jersey
Geographical Markets Served: Baroan Technologies works primarily throughout the New York metropolitan area but provides support to over 30 locations, coast to coast.
Top Growth Indicator: We use a number of endpoints to determine how we are tracking for sales growth within our base. By aiming to sell to existing clients as much as we can and by adding a new security initiative and a number of additional services, Baroan Technologies has been able to drivesales through a hybrid system, leading to extreme growth.
YoY Percentage Of Revenue Growth: From 2017–18, Baroan Technologies grew from $3.5 million to $4.5 million. This year, they are expected to reach $5 million.
President: Guy Baroan