Managed service providers from across North America had the opportunity to be on stage at the recent 2023 Small Business Tech Day, a unique, celebrity-packed virtual event designed to offer the business community in each MSP’s target market actionable advice on using technology to be better protected from cyberattacks, more productive, and more profitable.
The second annual Small Business Tech Day, a production of Big Red Media, a TMT company founded by CEO Robin Robins, took place on November 16, and was simulcast in 49 geographic regions and customized for each MSP participant. The event was free for each MSP’s invited customers and prospects.
Celebrity speakers at this year’s event, which was hosted by author and comedian Dave Rendall, included Robert Herjavec, cybersecurity expert and executive producer and star of ABC’s Shark Tank; Adam Cheyer, AI expert and co-founder of Siri (which Apple acquired in 2010); and best-selling author and entrepreneur Mike Michalowicz. In addition, each participating MSP had a 30-minute featured speaking spot in their local event focused on cybersecurity.
Big Red Media curated all of the speakers and content for Small Business Tech Day. Each participating MSP also received a templated presentation created for them, along with coaching and training to deliver a “wow” session. In addition, the media company creates all the marketing templates and campaigns to help MSPs get leads to register and attend; helps identify joint venture and sponsor partner speaking opportunities and coaching on how to get them; and provides full AV support on the day of the event.
“Small Business Tech Day is an exclusive online event designed to elevate each participating MSP’s personal brand by bringing them on the virtual stage with top-notch business speakers and celebrities and showcasing them as the premier technology expert in their area,” says Jeff Johnson, president of Big Red Media. “The unique format of Small Business Tech Day gives MSPs a much wider reach and higher visibility with their local business communities than they could achieve on their own.”
In addition, the nearly 3,000 small business CEOs who registered for the event received high-level insights on leadership and the latest tech trends to help them grow revenues and protect against cyberattacks.
In his session, Michalowicz stressed the need for owners to be “designers” rather than “doers” or operators. “The number one job of an entrepreneur is to be a creator of jobs, not a doer of jobs; if you’re an operator, you’re stealing jobs from people who want to do jobs.”
This means owners are also stealing their own opportunity to grow their business.
He recommended several strategies to move from doer to designer:
- Get a personal assistant (part-time, full-time, virtual, whatever is feasible).
- Use a calendar or a time tracker to analyze what you’re spending your time on, then allocate at least one hour a week of “thought time” to start.
- Determine what you want your business to be known for, then create systems to get organized and scale. Capture those processes so others can refer to them.
- Take a four-week vacation and give your employees agency to make decisions.
Herjavec, who founded The Herjavec Group, one of the world’s top cybersecurity firms, urged small businesses to start seeing cybersecurity as an asset, rather than just a cost. “Everybody should be investing in cybersecurity,” he said. While a Nation State may not be coming after a small doctor’s office or other small business, cyberthieves who utilize phishing or ransomware will be, he stressed.
“I guarantee if you don’t spend money on security your business could get shut down. … The other element creeping into our industry is compliance. In the U.S. we don’t have a federal privacy law but guess what? It’s coming. We need to protect the consumer and that’s where we’ll see more regulation.”
If small businesses can’t afford to ignore cybersecurity, they also cannot afford to ignore the opportunities around artificial intelligence, stressed Cheyer, who just days before Small Business Tech Day sold his AI startup for just under $200 million to Airbnb.
“This current crop of conversational AI is akin to the internet, it’s akin to smartphones; meaning, it’s not something any business can ignore,” said Cheyer. “I would jump onto this train. This one is real. It’s going to have the most impact on society and business since the web. This tool will help you be more productive in everything you do. My message is don’t wait.”
“Don’t wait” may be the message for MSPs who want to take part in the next Small Tech Business Day. For more information, contact Big Red Media at [email protected].
“The ability to bring together speakers of this caliber for each MSP’s locally hosted Small Business Tech Day and deliver a high-production, quality event that went off without a hitch across 49 regions is unique to Big Red Media and showcases the value we bring to the MSP community,” says Johnson.