Charging A Premium & Going Upmarket

Welcome to the Rialto Marketing Podcast. Today's episode is a Revenue Acceleration Series interview, where we talk to seven-figure professional service firm owners that are actively trying to grow their business and get to the next level. We talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly so that you can learn from their experience.

Join Tim Fitzpatrick and Ryan Grimes for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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Charging A Premium & Going Upmarket

Tim Fitzpatrick
Welcome to the Rialto Marketing Podcast. Today's episode is a Revenue Acceleration Series interview, where we talk to seven-figure professional service firm owners that are actively trying to grow their business and get to the next level. We talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly so that you can learn from their experience. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe you must remove your revenue roadblocks if you want to accelerate revenue growth. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I am super excited to have with me Ryan Grimes from My IT Indy. Ryan, welcome and thanks for being here.

Ryan Grimes
Thank you very much, Tim. It's a pleasure to be here.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I am excited to dig into this. I can already tell we're going to have a fun conversation today. Before we kind of dig into the heart of the matter, I want to ask you a few rapid fire questions. Are you ready to rock and roll?

Ryan Grimes
Let's do that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay, so very quickly, what do you do and how long have you been doing it?

Ryan Grimes
So I'm the president of My IT Indy a B2B, which is business to business IT services company. I've been doing it since 2004, so 19 years this year.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Damn. Congratulations.

Ryan Grimes
That's what I say, too. It's like, wow.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What is the most important lesson that you've learned in running your business?

Ryan Grimes
The most important lesson in actually running the business is a lot of people get into the business like me, that are technicians that are good at a thing, and we start the business to do that thing. And the best advice is to not do that thing and be the business owner. Because it's so hard to grow a business if you don't know how to run a business. The hardest thing I had to learn was to actually run a business. I'm trying to fire myself from the technology stuff just so I could run the business more and do it sooner rather than later. And you'll probably be happier.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. So we all know growing a business is hard. Do you have any kind of mantra or some motivational quote, something that you say to help you or your team kind of push through challenges when you run into them?

Ryan Grimes
So, way back in the day, I was a janitor at my mom was a superintendent of a tiny school district, and I was a janitor there during the summer, and I had a boss, and he knew I was the knucklehead that I was. And I was working with a friend of mine, and we were 16, 17 year old dingdongs, and he just sat us down one day and said, look, guys, work is not just some place you go. It's something you do while you're there. Back then I'm like, okay, whatever. This guy is a big dumb. As I'm growing older, that's just something we say to people like, yes, the good thing is our job is fun. I mean, yeah, there's some hectic chaos in there, but overall it's a lot of fun. But we just say we just have to do the stuff we need to do and then we can have the rewards. We reward smart stuff because if you make your job easier, I'm not going to punish you and give you more work on that. That's amazing. Let's make all of our jobs easier. Every day.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love that. That's a good one. 

Building a Business Around Family: Choices, Sacrifices, and Priorities

Tim Fitzpatrick
So one of the things that we talked about in the pre interview when we connected before this call was that you made this conscious decision in your business to build your business around your family. Right. You have three kids, if I remember correctly.

Ryan Grimes
Yes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So your family was the priority, your kids was the priority. What choices did you have to make to do that? And do you feel like you made any sacrifices in doing so? That's a loaded question.

Ryan Grimes
I know, right? That's a lot of question in one question. So when we started My IT indy, it was another company named way back then, not My IT Indy. And we actually moved to Indiana to start it. So this was back in 2004, and if you remember, in 2004, you really didn't even need income to get a mortgage. We moved to Indiana. They're like, what are you going to do? I'm like, well, my wife is going to take a couple of years off and I'm going to start a business. We have no income. They're like, Cool, how much do you want? So we ended up getting a mortgage on a house. If you look at back at what we did, this is absolutely insane. So we both left good paying jobs. Actually, I was working at Apple at the time. I was working at one of the retail stores, and my wife was a teacher. We had good income. We had a future working where we were at. And we're like, yeah, we're just going to move to another state and start something completely new. So having done that, it sounds insane now that my kids are close to that age that I did that. And it was a lot of sacrifice because we had to my wife stayed home. We had already one of our children, and the deal was that she eventually got a job as a teacher here in Indiana. And as everybody knows, teachers can't take days off. If you're sick, if a kid is sick, you still have to go to work because being a teacher, it's actually harder to make subplans because you have to go to the school, make the plans, give them the person and go home. There was no emailing things back and forth. This was 18 years ago. So the role became mine. I became the person who stayed home with the kids, and they were sick, at least for the first day. Then she could get a stop or whatever. So imagine 18, 19 years ago with technology, and then all of a sudden the person that you're trying to work with is not available. It was very hard. Clients had to be very understanding. We were specifically Apple Consultants, which 20 years ago was kind of hard because their devices weren't as all over the place as they are now. So we had to make a choice. And I wanted to be there for my kids. So if my wife had to do something for work, she was a teacher and she probably worked 60 hours a week. So I became the person that was doing the It stuff for building a business without knowing how to build a business or run a business or do anything. Like I was the guy who knew computers. And then also, by the way, Alan's sick and he's throwing up green stuff and she's working long hours. So I just became the default stay at home parent, all while trying to do stuff. This is 20 years ago again, so it's not like, hey, I can fire up, Splashtop, intermoding all the computers. We couldn't do anything. And I don't regret it because I have that bond with my kids because they always know that Dad's going to be there, and that's always been the case. My youngest is now twelve. I have a 21 year old, 16 year old, and a twelve year old, and my twelve year old, when she got hurt at soccer practice, the first thing she said was, I want dad. Well, dad was all the way across Indianapolis, so dad had to leave a client drive across Indianapolis to get her and then take her. Actually, I met mom at Ortho Indie, which is I got hurt playing sports place and she wanted dad. Dad came and got her. Dad sat down with her and her arm was not broken, it was just severely sprained and we went and got ice cream. But that's the relationship I have with my kids now based on those actions I took back in the day.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Early on. Yeah. So were there decisions that you had to make to structure your business or not work with certain clients to make that a reality for yourself?

Ryan Grimes
Yeah, I mean, it really was. First off, I don't know if your listeners are familiar with the geography of Indianapolis, but it's literally a big circle. So I was all the way down on the bottom of the circle. Well, as an Apple consultant, we typically dealt with people back at the time who could afford Apple Computers and businesses that could afford Apple Computers, which were not on the bottom of the circle. Okay, so you're dealing with a 45 minutes to an hour drive minimum, one way to get to a client, and then 45 minutes drive coming back. And it was those things like, okay, I got to be back, got to get the kids. I have to structure my day. I have to be done by 02:00. If I'm not done by 02:00, there's a problem. And then I have to figure out how we're going to take care of that client while still being able to make sure that you can get my kids from after school care or be there when they got off the bus or whatever we were doing. Yeah, it was a lot to jujgle. So we had to be corporate clients were very hard to maintain and a lot of them did and they didn't want to go with the one person business either. So the other thing I was wrestling with, how do you compete against larger companies when you're yourself and that's still a thing today. A lot of one person IT companies have a hard time because of the requirements of the industry. It's not easy.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. And how many people do you have today?

Ryan Grimes
We have three or about to get four of them. Literally, the job description is on my desktop right now. We are posting that Monday. We just need more help. We are doing a lot of stuff and I'm working a lot of hours because as the business owner, I'm the overflow for everybody else. So as the technicians get busier, I have to cover. As everything happens, I'm the overflow. I still have to run the business, right? That's what I'm saying. Before I'm trying to fire myself from the technology side of It. But I'm still in it because we're just busy.

Managing Overwhelm: Strategies for Business Owners

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So I want to shift gears a little bit and I'm going to read this word for word because I think a lot of people will relate to this. One of the things that we asked in the intake was with the success you've had, what's one of the biggest challenges that you have in your business today? And you wrote, juggling all of the chainsaws with closed eyes while they're on fire. And I'm on a unicycle. And when I read that, thank you for the laugh, I appreciate that. But yeah, as business owners, so many of us, we're on the treadmill, right? And we just can't get off the treadmill. What are some of the things that you're doing or you're thinking about doing to push through this phase?

Ryan Grimes
Well, the interesting thing is that in the last three years, a lot of this has become a lot easier to do because of work from home has become more accepted. Like, I'm at my home basement office. Like three years ago, this was like, oh my God, he's got a 3D printer behind him. What the heck is this guy doing? Or like there's a dog right here that's whistling. Those things weren't accepted. So one of the things we did is we actually got rid of the things that took up a lot of time that were not important. For one thing, we got a virtual assistant to answer every incoming call. So we gave them a list of whitelisted vendors because in my industry, people just think I'm automatically going to go with their products and so they're just going to call me all the time. So we went from 25, 30 calls a day down to like three. Well, that's huge. The other thing they did is they automatically routed support to our support technician at the time and so again, didn't ring me. We put some intelligence into the phone system. After hours, they could leave messages and stuff. Like my phone rang less. And was it like if you get distracted by something from the moment you start doing the thing you're doing again, it's like, what, 15 minutes? So if you figure I saved hours of my day by not hearing the phone ring, that was a huge one. The other thing is we outsourced some of our support. So there's only three full time employees, but we actually have about 12 10.99 that we work with on a recurring basis. And one of them is an outsourced help desk because they can handle after hours request. If you call our office and ask for support, you go to them first. They pre qualify the client, make sure they are a client of ours and not just Tim Fitzpatrick iPhone doesn't boot up.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Who the hell's that?

Ryan Grimes
They prequalify everything. They make the ticket in our system. And if it's a client they can work with, they take it and they run with it. So we don't have anything to do with it until it becomes a closed ticket that's taken care of and we can look at it and we can evaluate it. Or if it's become something more than they can handle, then they send it to us with all the notes. So someone has already tried to fix the problem before it even comes to us.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. So again, you're just trying to be more efficient in your systems and your processes.

Ryan Grimes
And have systems and processes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Sorry. I assumed that that was happening. That was a bad assumption.

Ryan Grimes
I've seen everything the last two months in terms of businesses and technology. Don't ever assume they have systems of processes because you'll be sorely disappointed. Like, we've seen things, Tim, that just should not be there. And some of it's sad because somebody said this. They paid money for someone to do this to them. And the other thing is that they just didn't do anything for 20 years with their technology. So now we're like, oh yeah, all that money you didn't spend for the last two decades, you're going to spend it right now because we got to get you up to date. Yes, systems and processes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. You mentioned a couple of things that you guys have already done. Do you have any others on the plan to help get you to that place where you're not the overflow?

Ryan Grimes
Hiring. It's really what it comes down to. So one of the things we're doing is we are charging more for our services because we are changing our pricing model from simply a flat rate to a more risk and revenue based model. For instance, if you're a $1 million company and you have five users, those users, you're not charged the same rate as a $20 million company with 50 users. You're just charged differently. Because it's allowed us to, as a business owner, to be more profitable. Because we have things like certifications, we have things like training, we have to hire employees. Those are all costs that we have to bear in order to provide the excellent service. So we've raised our rates a little bit to accommodate that. So we're also hiring based on that. So now we're going to have more resources available to our clients that need that level of help.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Well, I thought it was interesting. This is probably something easy for people to miss, that you outsourced your help desk.

Ryan Grimes
Our level one. Yes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Level one. Okay. Which I'm assuming that does take out how much support is level one compared to level two? Three?

Ryan Grimes
So level one can be like, hey, my outlook crashes. Hey, I can't see the printer on the network. Hey, WiFi is not working. Like, okay, well, come here. He's whining under my desk. So it's a lot of those things that don't necessarily need our time, really. Hey, the server is down. We can't access QuickBooks and do payroll. That's something that we have to deal with immediately. So we get a technician on that immediately. That's one of our employees. Because we just know it better because it's our system. The client's local to us. It's really allowed us to focus on the bigger things and to make sure that things are getting done. And yes, it's a lot of work. People like, I'm going to outsource my help desk. It is a lot of work. You have no idea how much work it is to get because you have to document everything at all the clients because they're coming in blind. Tim's company. Okay, what does Tim even have? Tim's calling for something. Okay, let me look at the notes. If it's not documented, they have a problem. So the amount of work we had to do, and it made us better because we documented everything but it's a lot of work. It's a lot of work to get.

Tim Fitzpatrick
There, but you still would have had to do some of that work to do this effectively in house anyways. Right. So I just think it's interesting because, look, sometimes people think, oh, it's better for me to do this in house. That's really not always the case. Sometimes it makes a lot more sense to outsource certain aspects of our businesses. We just need to be open minded enough to the fact that this is a better path. It's not always the best path, but there are some cases where it definitely is a better path.

Ryan Grimes
Yes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And in this case, you're seeing that. So I think that's awesome. 

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Charging A Premium and Going Upmarket

Tim Fitzpatrick
You also touched on this. So this leads me kind of into my next question here about you're shifting some of your pricing model. When we spoke in the pre interview, you had already talked about that. Look, you're charging a premium anyways. In an industry that is competitive, and frankly, there's not a lot of people that go up market. How have you done this successfully?

Ryan Grimes
So we have taken what used to be like the nothing plans that you basically paid just a tiny little bit to get in the program. And it's a premium tier now. You get all of the same stuff. You just don't get the labor and the support and the meetings and all that stuff, like, to help you build your business, but at least you get secured. And this helped us kind of frame our mindset as to what we wanted to do for our clients because we came up with this tier of plan because everyone needs this stuff. Like, I hate to tell you, if you're not doing a lot of this security stuff, you're going to have problems. Your commercial insurance is not going to cover you. That's a whole other podcast we can talk about because we really do what the insurance industry tells us to do. They're like, are you doing this yet? We're like, yeah, now we are. And it's just something we pass through to the clients. But we've taken that. And one of the things we've really found is that businesses don't feel taken care of. Our industry is rampant with M and A. Mergers and acquisitions. And you'll see these large 300 person MSPs, which is a managed service provider, come in and they'll buy up all these small ones and be like, great, we got your book of business knowledge. And then the technicians are like, well, this sucks. I don't have the same small business I was in before. I'm out. I'm going to go do something fun. I'm going to go herd goats or whatever. Just this is terrible. And then the clients like, I don't have the same experience I have. I call support. Support's in a different state, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is what it is. And the person doesn't know me. I don't know them. I have no relationship with this person. They have to look me up in the directory. Then they have to look up all my data, and my server is on fire. But they don't even know who I am. We on boarded four clients in December. That's a lot. And every single one of them was just like, can you please take care of us? Yeah, why wouldn't I take yes? And they're like, well, you're not going to get bought out. I'm like, no, because I will make a terrible employee. Nobody wants to buy me. They will make their lives hell. I will not come to work on time. I'll work weird hours. Just whatever. I'm going to do what I'm going to do. I've been doing this for 20 years. I'm not going to change now. I'm not going to sell my company. But they just want to be taken care of. That's what they don't feel like. And perception is reality. You may be taking care of their technology, but if they don't feel like they're being taken care of, then you've lost.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. That is such a key point that so many of us overlook. Right. How they feel is the reality. Whether the reality is distorted or not, that's what it is. And if it's distorted, we need to be doing a better job to get it back in alignment.

Ryan Grimes
Exactly.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Ryan Grimes
We did do something different here, too. Sorry. We did go with a lot of our competition does a free network discovery. And I'm holding up air quotes here because it's worth exactly what you pay for. It's them walking around looking at stuff, kind of seeing what you got, and then, oh, it'll cost X amount of dollars. Well, we don't do that. We do a pay discovery that's kind of like going to the doctor for an exam. You're like, oh, yeah, I've been on the treadmill for I go to the gym every day. Be like, no, you don't. And we dig into their data, and the stuff we find is astounding like, the amount of inefficiencies and bad technology and all these things we find it would blow your mind. Like, some of the stuff we find, like, devices on the network that haven't been updated in, like, a decade that are potential Honey Pots for ransomware, or they're paying hundreds of dollars for licenses that they're not using on a platform they don't even know about. Or the domain registrar is registered to the old office manager who no longer works there and the credit card is expired. That's the whole thing. I'm sure you've dealt with that. Just all these things. And we interview employees as well. So it's not just, hey, Tim, how's your company doing? Is it doing fine? No, we talked to Tim's employees like, look, this is completely anonymous. Tell me about your technology. And the stuff we find out is if bosses knew what their employees thought, because employee is not going to go to the boss and say, hey, my computer slow. The boss. Yeah, whatever, fine. No, this is the person that's creating the billboard that's going to creating the wrap that's going to go on the office building across the street for the Super Bowl. You need to give them a better computer. Right. And we find all sorts of stuff like that. And the biggest thing we find is inefficiencies. And I'm quoting a client tomorrow, and I'm not even joking you, Tim. We found $110,000 in inefficiencies per year that they're losing money on.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So the discovery that they just paid for is well worth the price?

Ryan Grimes
Yeah, absolutely. And the great thing is, I'm such a nice guy, if you decide to go with us, after I show you this, I take the discovery fee out of your onboard. So there's no risk either way. You get a document of your stuff.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay, so you just touched on something super important from a marketing standpoint. Risk reversal. Right. So you're helping reverse some of that risk that they might have, which is key. But the other thing that I'm guessing and I want to hear you talk about this is because you guys have decided to go up market, you're really looking to attract very specific types of clients. When you have initial calls with potential clients, are you kind of going down a checklist of, yeah, they meet the criteria for our ideal people? Do you go through that type of process? It doesn't mean it's written down. It might be in your head, but you got to be working with specific types of clients, because not everybody is an upmarket client.

Ryan Grimes
Exactly. In terms of verticals, kind of sort of I love creative people. I'm a Mac user. I've been a Mac user since whenever the Mac came out, and I was an app user before that, I worked at Apple. We get creative companies. They're different. Mac users are different creatures. They typically work differently than Windows users. If a Mac using company came to me, I could speak to that all day long. I know exactly what your problems are here's this and this, and they're not doing this. And they're like, oh, my God. It's like you read my mind. Yes, we get you. Totally. Finding larger companies like that are sometimes hard because they're not as common. And honestly, I don't want to say things badly, but a lot of times, Mac users think nothing bad is ever going to happen because, like, oh, I've had my Mac forever. I've never been hacked. Yeah, that's not anywhere near anything that we're talking about. So we do have a little bit of a mind shift with them just to kind of make sure they understand that business technology is not like your home stuff. And yes, bad things can happen, and give them specific examples, because I've been in this industry for 19 years. I can tell stories all day long about bad things that happened to people who didn't listen. So we love those. Honestly, it's any larger business that's like, look, like I said before, I just want someone to take care of us. There's psychology to this because you're asking them the questions to get them to understand that they just need to give it to you and walk away like this. Please take this off my shoulders, off my plate. I don't want to worry about this and people elevator pitches. We sell good night's sleep because you don't have to. I could go. We do MDR XDR EDR DNS FTP. I can list off all the acronym suit, but at the end of the day, we sell a good night's sleep. That's it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay, so I want to touch on this real quick, because that is so critical from a marketing perspective, right? So many people make the mistake of trying to get cute clever with their marketing, and we confuse people. And when we confuse people, we've lost them. And when you really think about it, like, does anybody want to buy Cybersecurity? No, they don't. Are most of the clients you're talking to technical people? Probably not. So when you start digging into the weeds, talking at a level ten, they're like, what? No, it's like, what we do is we sell you a good night's sleep. Damn, that's exactly what I want. And then from there, if you want to dig into the weeds a little bit or they want to get more technical, you can. But so many people talk technobabble, and no, we got to keep it simple, because that is the real benefit. It's not, why am I buying cybersecurity? When you ask that question and you start to dig below the surface, that's what it is for your ideal clients, right? It's a good night's sleep. Right. But we can't get to that place until we understand who our ideal clients are actually are. So that's awesome, man. I love that message. So that's a perfect segue into marketing. Which one of the things again, man, god, you had some great quotes in your intake information. Marketing is a lot of damn work. I couldn't agree more. It's a ton of work. It's something that you've got to do consistently over time, and you must think long term with it, but it seems like you're pretty happy with what you guys are doing. I want to dig into this a little bit. It's you and three other people. What are you doing from a marketing standpoint? And what does that look like?

Ryan Grimes
Okay, so I'm my own thing. I am not part of the marketing machine. I'm like my own. I don't even know what I am. I'm kind of a tornado Tasmanian devil out there. I'm intentionally edgier than anyone else I feel in my industry because boring sucks. It really does. I could sit there and say, hey, Tim, have you thought about how your computers can get hacked today? Tim, you would just scroll, scroll so far past that you wouldn't even talk. Hey, is Russia at your front door? Do you understand how dangerous you're putting a little edge to it? You're an idiot if you don't do these things. Like whoa, wait a minute. I'm like, what things should I be doing? Get a little bit of edge to it and to get people to bite. Because everybody's content is valuable. It's just not maybe it may be boring and boring. Nobody's going to watch you. So we do outsource our marketing. It's. Not a done for you. It's a done with you. They've done a good job because as you know, I've got lots of little sound bites. I say they're marketable because they're edgier, they mean something. They resonate with people. We have our marketing person and our outsource marketing team. They take all those things and they spin them. They do the legwork, right? So they do the documents. We have a full suite of documents we send everybody. And they're not boring. They've got pictures, they've got stories. They've got these things on there. We got like a legit sales process. So at different parts stages of the sales process, you get a document like, hey, Tim, thanks for talking today. Well, the next step is we're going to do a network. We're going to do a technology discovery on your business. Here's what it looks like here's all the ten points are doing. That's it. It's not like, hey, we're going to dig into your DNS and figure out what your name servers are. No, we're where we do that on the back end. But hey, we're going to check and see if your cloud platforms are safe. We're going to check and see how we're going to give you a computer report card on all your computers. Those are things that make sense to people and like, oh, I want a computer report card. Then at the end of this whole sales process, in fact, I'm working on one right now for a client tomorrow. We give them red light, yellow light, green lights, and those are things that are easy to feed. Like, look, your cloud platforms are a red light. Well, why? Well, because if you want to know why, yes, I can go into the details. Like, you know, I don't want to know. I don't like red lights. Then we get through all that process like, oh, here's the green lights. Green lights are good. Break it down as simple as possible, but still be interesting. Our industry is so boring. I don't even like going to a lot of trade shows because I'm like, oh, I really don't want to talk technical stuff with you about how this new Microsoft patch did this thing or Apple, whatever. No, I came here to have fun and drink beer and like, alert a couple of things at the same time. Marketing is a lot of work. It's slow. Like, we've been marketing for two years and we had the best quarter four we've ever had and our quarter one is going to be better than our quarter four already.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's awesome. Dude, you dropped some serious bombs in here that I think a lot of people could easily overlook. So I want to pull out a couple of things and then I want to ask you one more question. One, talking about being edgy, right? It is totally okay to have an opinion. So I love the fact that you said that because look, and I'm trying to remember where I saw this, but somebody said, Love me, hate me. There's no money in the middle.

Ryan Grimes
Yes, I just saw that today.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It is totally okay to not resonate with certain people. Like, you can't make everybody happy, and it's totally okay to voice your opinion and voice something that's contrary and different to what other people commonly believe. It is totally okay to do that. And from a marketing standpoint, it is a great thing to do because it lets people know where you stand, what you believe in, and what's important to you, and that's how you get content to stand out. So I love the fact that you talked about that. The other thing that you touched on, too, was just having a documented sales process. Like, sales is a process, and if you're winging it, you're never going to get consistent results out of it. So I love the fact that you touched on those two things, and I do not want people to overlook those. So what would you say is the biggest thing that you're struggling with from a marketing standpoint?

Ryan Grimes
The biggest thing we're probably struggling with is you ever see I'm trying to think I was telling my wife this last time, she's our she's our part time marketing person that helps us with this stuff. And I was like, okay, so there was a movie in the 80s. It wasn't Armageddon. It was like another one with, like, Tayo Leoni and some other guy, and they're standing on the beach, and there's like this huge tidal wave coming at them. And they're just like, well, we're done. And they're like, but here's the twist. I feel like I'm standing on the beach, but all of a sudden I'm like a surf. And we're like, let's just take it. Let's run with it. Because there's all this work that's coming in that we can just see because the marketing is working. And our biggest thing about the marketing is worrying about being able to do the work because we have so much stuff coming in and being able to properly staff me and properly give the level of attention that we're known for, right? That's what happens to a lot of these companies. They grow and grow and grow and grow and grow, and the culture is lost, the empathy is lost because you got to be empathetic with your clients because they're experiencing a disaster, like, right in front of them. Like, oh, my God, we're totally on your side. Let's get you through this. It's going to be okay. We're going to take care of your stuff. Like, just talking them off that ledge. We want to keep that experience, and you just want to make sure that you have it as you get through these things. And as I get more out of the tech, that's, like, my biggest concern is that we maintain that. Now I know that the people we have there are great, but we're going to have to grow. So we grow and we add people. That culture has to stay there for me to be happy about the experience we're giving our clients, because we've had a lot of our clients for 15, 16 years. They're just never going away unless they and we don't lose clients because we're bad. We've never lost one client because we're bad. We may have lost them because they were acquired or they went out of business or they merged with another company or whatever, but we've never lost them because we're bad.

Conclusion

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I have one more question for you. Man. This has been a great conversation.

Ryan Grimes
Yes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you'd do differently?

Ryan Grimes
Kind of. The one thing I would do differently is learn to do more with less when I was starting. I didn't know what I was doing, and I was spending money on things that didn't work in terms of ads and marketing, like, hey, we need to put an ad in the newspaper. Right? Or we need to get in this magazine, and that stuff didn't work. But then again, there wasn't the amount of I mean, honestly, I don't want to say it's easy to get your name out there, but it's easy to get your name out there if you put in the work to do it right, because the mediums are there to do it. Putting your ad in the newspaper, it was 20 years ago. What are you supposed to do? There was no meetings. There was no BNI or networking groups or any of this stuff. I wish I would have done the legwork I'm doing now back then at the levels I could have. So go out and meet businesses. Go out to join the chambers. If they had them. Go out and do the legwork, that was free. Financially, yes, it had some sweat equity into it, but I would literally cold call everybody because that was you probably paying per minute, but back then, but just cold call, do the free things to get your name out there, and hustle, hustle, hustle. I was like, I'm a great technician. I put my ads out there, and I just be like, yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I think it's interesting you bring that up, because I think the biggest mistake that I see businesses making when they start to invest in marketing is jumping right into the tactics. There's so many different marketing channels now. We feel like, I have to be on Facebook, and I've got to have a YouTube channel, and I got to have my website. But if we just jump into the tactics without really having a strategy and a plan and understanding who your target market is and having a strong message, the vehicles you jump into don't have fuel. And so that's when we have conversations where people are like, yeah, I did that, and it didn't work. Well, it doesn't mean that that doesn't work. Odds are something was out of alignment, and usually it has to do with the tactics, with the strategy. So yeah, dude, I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that. Where can people learn more about you, man?This has been fun.

Ryan Grimes
I am on LinkedIn all the time on there every day. Hit me up. Connect with me. I'll absolutely connect with you, but if you sell me in the first message, I'm going to block you. Look, I don't want to be sold the first conversation you have with me. Nobody does. If that's your automated tool does, drop it. Nobody likes it anymore. You can also hit us up at myitindy.com if you want to talk technology, if you're like. Oh, my God, I need this guy's advice, and he can help me. There's an initial conversation button there. You can click on that. You can schedule 15 minutes of my time. Yes, you will be putting in some information that you'll be getting some marketing, but at the same time, yes, we can talk for 15 minutes and see if we can help you out.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. I love it. Well, make sure those are all in the show notes, myitindy.com and then on LinkedIn, just search Ryan T. Grimes. Ryan, thank you so much, man. I really appreciate it. This has been a fun conversation. For those of you watching, listening, thank you for doing so. If you want to connect with us, you can always do that over at rialtomarketing.com. The other tool I will make available to you is over at revenueroadblockscorecard.com. If you want to accelerate revenue growth, you have to remove your roadblocks and over at revenueroadblockscorecard.com, you can discover and assess which roadblocks are slowing down your growth. Thank you so much. Till next time. Take care.


Connect With Ryan Grimes


Links From The Episode

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About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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