How to build an effective MSP Toolkit – TubbTalk #68

TubbTalk - Josh Weiss, LA Creative Technologies - How to build an effective MSP Toolkit

TubbTalk - Josh Weiss, LA Creative Technologies - How to build an effective MSP Toolkit

Richard chats to Josh Weiss, the founder, president and CIO of LA Creative Technologies, a progressive MSP serving businesses in Los Angeles, California. They discuss how Josh chooses his clients, and the scoring tool he uses to assess them.

They also talk about the tools LA Creatives use for themselves and their clients, the key to a good vendor relationship, and how Josh uses international virtual assistants to run his business.

An Interview with Josh Weiss

Who is Josh Weiss?

Josh Weiss is the founder, president and CIO of LA Creative Technologies, a progressive MSP serving businesses in Los Angeles, California. Josh describes the company as “an IT firm that works with creative and passion-driven industries.” 

The company started as a pure-play MSP (managed service provider) on fixed-fee project work, but with a focus on the art and creative sectors. Josh explains that there are two reasons for that: a lot of competition for banking and medical industries, but also his own 20-year experience in DJing and non-profit radio. 

How Josh Chooses his Clients

Josh says he has a couple of basic tests that help him decide if a potential client would be a good fit for him or not. He says: “Do I have to pretend to be somebody I’m not to be able to work with you? Then we’re not a good fit.” 

'Do I have to pretend to be somebody I’m not to be able to work with you? Then we’re not a good fit.' @LA_CreativeTech on choosing clients. Click to Tweet

He says there’s also a cultural side to it – he attends meetings in a blazer and T-shirt, so businesses, where the staff wear suits and ties, aren’t a match. Josh says none of his clients dresses like that, but many are drawn to LA Creatives because of their branding, which reflects their understanding of what’s going on in the world. 

Finally, Josh explains that he prefers not to work with low-tech companies who don’t understand the importance of investing a lot in IT solutions, or who aren’t prepared to work on improving their tech. LA Creatives offer a boutique service, so aren’t suited to creative companies who don’t want to grow their business properly. 

The Client Scoring Tool Josh uses

Josh says that working with Managed Service Platform, along with the other companies they’ve partnered with, have helped him understand how to grow the business. They have a platform that allows them to run an audit of a potential client. 

That gives them a strategic overview of how the company manages its infrastructure, software, security and strategy. The client is given a score for each out of 100, and it allows Josh to quickly see if they should work together. 

The company may have to invest in improving or upgrading its software or tools, but the scoring platform also tracks how the client improves, which they can see in personalised reports. 

The Tools LA Creatives use With Their Clients

LA Creative Technologies uses several tools for its clients on a regular basis. They use ConnectWise as a PSA (professional services automation) and Continuum as RMM (remote monitoring and management) for help desk, security operations centre and network operations centre. They also have a full-time technician who is contracted through Continuum and is based in India.

They use Auvik as their network manager, Office 365 for software and Slack for both internal and external communications. Their security offering and phishing tests are done through Breach Secure Now/PII Protect. 

The Key to a Good Vendor Relationship

Josh says that he has built up good relationships with vendors over time because he’s been a long-standing customer. He realised early on that he needed to get to know the senior staff at the vendors.

He gives the example of using Continuum’s help desk in the early days when it wasn’t as good as it is now. He looked up the details of the leadership team and emailed them to explain the frustrations he was having. 

Josh says he wasn’t simply complaining about the platforms, but giving valuable feedback and explaining what they could offer to make the tool better. His willingness to engage regularly with the vendors meant that they came to value him as a customer, ultimately inviting him onto their podcasts and even to speak at conferences. 

Giving valuable feedback and having willingness to engage regularly with the vendors means that they come to value you as a customer - @LA_CreativeTech Click to Tweet

How LA Creatives use Virtual Assistants

Josh has a virtual assistant (VA) who’s based in the Philippines, who he says is just as much an employee as anyone else in the company. He found her via Virtual Staff Finder, which serves as a recruitment agency – they helped him find the right person for the role and set the right salary, and then he employs her directly. 

His VA had worked for Accenture, so was already familiar with IT and project management, but she has also been proactive on sending update emails and chasing Josh to complete tasks. Having her support makes a big difference.

Read more about How to find a virtual assistant for your business.

Connect with Josh

You can find out more about LA Creative Technologies here: www.lacreativetechnologies.com

Email: [email protected]

Connect on LinkedIn: Josh Weiss

Follow Josh on Instagram: LA Creative Tech, or find his DJ page: DJ Gozar LA. 

Mentioned in this episode

Richard and Josh mentioned the following companies during their conversation:

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