Standard Operating Procedures for Technology Consultants

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Standard Operating Procedures for Managed Services: The Basics

Standard Operating Procedures for Managed Services: The Basics


Introduction to Money-Related Policies for Managed Service Providers

Introduction to Money-Related Policies  for Managed Service Providers

Table of Contents

 

Buy Managed Services Operations Manuel

Buy Managed Services Operations Manual

Buy the Set at SMB Books
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Volume One

Volume Two

Volume Three

Volume Four


Buy the Individual Books at Amazon
(Kindle or Paperback)

Volume One

Volume Two

Volume Three

Volume Four


About the Author

Karl W. Palachuk is the founder and CEO of a managed service business in Sacramento, CA. He is the founder and co-president of the Sacramento SMB IT Professionals Group and author of several books, including The Network Documentation Workbook and Managed Services in a Month.

Karl has been a featured speaker at conferences and seminars over the last ten years. He is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer with a Bachelor's Degree from Gonzaga University and a Master's Degree from The University of Michigan. He is also a Microsoft Small Business Specialist, and is an original member of Microsoft’s Small Business Specialist Advisory Panel.

 


Selected Topics From The Book:

- Activating and Registering Client Software and Hardware
- Adding a New Machine to Managed Services
- After Hours Work
- Backups - Defining Your Client Backup
- Backups - Backup Philosophies and Client Communication
- Backups - Backup Monitoring, Testing, and Management
- Cash Flow - Weekly Procedure
- Cash Flow- Dealing with Late Payments
- Cash Flow- Getting Paid in Advance
- Daily Monitoring of Client Machines
- Date Formats
- DiSC Personality Profiles
- Email Rules and Etiquette for the Consultant
- Employee Expense Reports
- Employee Handbook
- Final Friday Training
- Firing Process
- Front Office Roles and Responsibilities
- Getting Started - Business Licenses, etc.
- Getting Started - Naming Your Business
- Getting Started - The Form of Your Business
- Hardware Replacement Policy
- Healthcare and Other Benefits
- Helping Clients with Audits - Security and Insurance
- Inventory Management
- Invoice Review and Processing
- IP Address Allocations
- Is This a Profitable Hour?
- Keeping Your Standards and Procedures Organized
- Labeling Equipment
- Local Docs, My Docs, and Storing Files on the Server
- Managing Internal Administrative Tasks
- Managing Temporary Files
- Massaging the Service Board
- Naming Conventions for Machines and Servers
- Naming Your Processes and Procedures
- New PC Checklists
- On Call and Night Staff
- Organizing Your Company Files and Folders
- Outsourcing (Some) of Your Monthly Maintenance
- Patch Management - Philosophy and Procedures
- Phone Etiquette and Procedures
- Quarterly Roadmap Meetings
- Removing a Client from Managed Services
- Responding to Viruses
- Response Times - Guarantees and Delivery
- Sales Tickets and Sales Queues
- Schedules and Timelines for Running Your Company
- Server Down Procedures
Service Board Backlog Management
- Technician Daily Time Management
- Technician Roles and Responsibilities
- Technician Supplies - "Scary Box"
- The !Tech Directory
- Using a White Board
- Vendor Management and Coordination
- Voicemail Passwords, etc.
- When Processes and Policies Become Obsolete
- Why We Do Monthly Maintenance
- Working in Real Time


 

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Managed Services Operations Manual

4-Vol Set

Order Now!

 

Managed Services Operations ManualManaged Services Operations Manual

Standard Operating Procedures for Computer Consultants and Managed Service Providers

A Four-Volume Set

by Karl W. Palachuk

 

Check out the latest SOP Videos on our YouTube Channel:

SOP Videos for Managed Service Providers

 

Who needs Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)? Everyone!


Every computer consultant, every managed service provider, every technical consulting company - every successful business - needs SOPs! One of the greatest books an entrepreneur can read is The Emyth Revisited by Michael Gerber. The conclusion of that book is very powerful: Document your processes.


When you document your processes and procedures, you design a way for your company to have repeatable success. And as you fine-tune those processes and procedures, you become more successful, more efficient, and more profitable.

I have just completed a four-volume set of books on Standard Operating Procedures for Technology Consultants. Topics in the 4-book set include:


Almost every consultant I talk to or coach has the same issues: They need better procedures. They need better processes. They are too busy to create this stuff from scratch. Key pieces of knowledge are in one person's head (often the owner). That ties the owner to the company and limits growth. It also makes the owner the choke-point for everything in the organization.


This four-book set includes more than 1,300 pages and covers everything you need to set up, run, and fine-tune a great consulting business. PLUS there are dozens of downloads that include additional material, valuable checklists, Excel spreadsheets, and more.

SOP

Don't Start From Scratch! You may not implement everything exactly as I lay it out, but I discuss the issues and why you might create one policy or another. Then I propose some policies you can take and mold to fit your company.

Can you do all this yourself?

Absolutely!

How's that working so far? 

These books will save you hundreds - and more likely thousands - of dollars in just a few weeks. Time and time again I've helped businesses create small changes that resulted in huge instant increases in profit.

 

Not just a set of books - This is a business Model that will help you make (and save) thousands of dollars!


Table of Contents

Volume One: Front Office Mastery - SOPs for Office Management, Finances, Administration, and Running Your Company More Efficiently

Section I - Getting Started

Introduction to SOPs for Technical Consultants and MSPs
Setting Up an MSP Office
Getting Started - Naming Your Business
Getting Started - The Form of Your Business
Getting Started - Cash vs. Accrual Accounting
Getting Started - Licenses, etc.
How to Work 8AM to 5PM in I.T. Consulting
Keeping Your Standards and Procedures Organized
Team Management of SOPs
Making Exceptions to SOPs
Rules for Working at Home
Phone Etiquette and Procedures
Phone Procedures 1 - Philosophy and General Rules
Phone Procedures 2 - How Much Interruption is Okay?
Business Cards . . . All the Details
Signing Service Agreements

Section II - Finance

The Central Role of Finance
Building a Business Plan for Your I.T. Company
Billing Procedures and policies
Cash Flow: Getting Paid in Advance
Collection Policies
Cash Flow: Dealing with Late Payments
The Managed Services Grid
Invoice Review and Processing
Cash Flow: Weekly Procedure
Hourly vs. Salaried Employees
Running Regular Financial Reports
Choosing Pay Dates
Vendor Management and Coordination
Vendor/Distributor Record Keeping
Inventory Management
Is This a Profitable Hour?
Financial Goals: More than Revenue Targets
Financial Goals: Realistic Revenue Projections
Financial Goals: Getting Started
How to Track Credit Card AutoPayments

Section III - Sales, Marketing, and Client Management

Intro Notes
Defining Your Company to Clients and Employees
Quarterly Roadmap Meetings
Helping Clients with Audits - Security and Insurance
Celebrate Anniversaries (Employees and Clients)
Sales Tickets and Sales Queues
Trip Charges
Sales Scripts
Clients Who Abuse the Phones
Removing a Client from Managed Services

 

Volume Two: Employees and Internal Processes - SOPs for Hiring, Employee Evaluations, Team Management, and More

Section I - Employees

Intro Notes
Employee Handbook
Hiring Your First Employee
Hiring vs. Outsourcing
Hiring Process
Employee On-Boarding
Roles and Responsibilities - Front Office
Roles and Responsibilities - Service Manager
Roles and Responsibilities - Technician
DiSC Personality Profiles
Honesty, Integrity, and Teamwork
Basic Customer Service Training
Employee Review Procedure (Quarterly or Annual)
Layoffs and Downsizing
Firing Process
Time Sheet Submission and Approval
Employee Expense Reports
Healthcare and Other Benefits
Paid Time Off / Paid Holidays
Travel Policies
Casual Fridays (and Dress Codes Generally)
Dealing with Unfaithful Employees

Section II - Misc. Policies and Procedures

Intro Note
Organizing Your Company Files and Folders
The !Tech Directory
Naming Your Processes and Procedures
Date formats
Managing Temporary Files
Do Billable Work First?
Prudent Password Policies
Voicemail Passwords, etc.
Mobile Device Management
BYOD - Bring Your Own Destruction
Using a White Board
Shredding
End of Year SOPs
Next Year's Holiday and Pay Schedule

 

Volume Three: Running the Service Department - SOPs for Managing Technicians, Daily Operations, Service Boards, and Scheduling

Section I - Policies and Philosophies

Intro Notes
Naming Conventions for Machines and Servers
Schedules and Timelines for Running Your Company
Working in Real Time
Used Equipment and Warranties
Hardware Replacement and Upgrade Policy
Software Upgrade Policy
Nuking and Paving
After Hours Work
On Call and Night Staff
Managing Internal Administrative Tasks
Assign Techs or Rotate Them?
Approved Tools
Do Not Exclude Yourself from the Rules
When Processes and Policies Become Obsolete

Section II - Employees in The Tech Department

Intro Notes
Technician Daily Time Management -- includes daily work flow
Time Tracking for Employees
The Tech on Call for The Day - Managing Daily Workflow
How to Maximize Billability of Technicians
Email Rules and Etiquette for the Consultant
Technician Supplies -- The "Scary Box"
Final Friday Training

Section III - Client Management

Intro Notes
Setting Up a New Managed Service Client (Checklist)
Client Personnel Changes: New User Checklist
Client Personnel Changes: Employee Departure Checklist
Activating and Registering Client Software and Hardware
Local Docs versus Server / My Docs
Moving a Client Office

Section IV - Practical How-To Examples

Intro Notes
Troubleshooting Guidelines
Troubleshooting and Repair Logs
HIPAA Part One - Training
HIPAA Part Two - Compliance
HIPAA Part Three - Documentation
Adding a New Machine to Managed Services
How to Use Velcro
DNS and DHCP Allocation - Server vs. Firewall
IP Address Allocations (static, dynamic, exceptions, documenting)
Router Configurations
Labeling Equipment
Removing Old Information - From Everything
Responding to Viruses

 

Volume Four: Support and Service Delivery - SOPs for Client Relationships, Service Delivery, Scheduled Maintenance, and All About Backups

Section I - Service Delivery Policies and Procedures

Intro Notes
The First Client Visit
Guide to a Service Call
How Do Service Requests Get Into Your System?
Response Times - Guarantees and Delivery
Ticket Statuses to Use and When to Use Them
Setting Job Priorities
Service Ticket updates (time estimate, work type, etc.)
Time Entry and Note Entry in Service Tickets
Information Sharing
Massaging the Service Board
Service Board Backlog Management
Daily Monitoring of Client Machines
Patch Management Philosophy and Procedures
Setting Up Alerts in Your PSA and RMM
New PC Checklists
Server Down Procedures
Third Party Tech Support - Documenting Calls
Third Party Tech Support - Rules of Engagement
Document Pouches

Section II - Service Focus: Monthly Maintenance

Intro Notes
Why We Do Monthly Maintenance
Scheduling Monthly Maintenance and On Site Visits
Checklist for Major Scheduled Maintenance
The Monthly Maintenance Checklist
Monthly Single Checklist
Outsourcing (some) of Your Monthly Maintenance

Section III - Service Focus: Backups and Disaster Recovery

Intro Notes
Designing a Great Backup Process
Documenting Backups
Backups 1: Defining Your Client Backup
Backups 2: Backup Philosophies and Client Communication
Backups 3: Backup Monitoring, Testing, and Management
Backups 4: Changing Technologies
Disaster Recovery - Simple Restores

End Matter

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