TubbTalk 117: How to Grow Your Business in an MSP Community Like IT Nation
An Interview With Dan Scott
Dan Scott is the IT Nation Community Director, EMEA, for ConnectWise. The IT Nation is an MSP community group, brought to you by ConnectWise, the IT software and services company.
IT Nation membership includes conferences, community events, product training sessions and more. The supportive community is what really helps MSPs to grow their businesses and thrive, even in times of uncertainty. This interview was recorded live at the IT Nation Connect event in Orlando, Florida, in November 2022.
What Happens at IT Nation MSP Community Events
First of all, Dan explains that IT Nation events aren’t restricted to ConnectWise users – all are welcome. All delegates hear from expert speakers, learn from each other, network and find out about new products and services from a range of vendors.
Attendees receive a warm welcome from the volunteers who are invested in their success. Dan adds that they deliver “Big ideas – not just operational tactics or tools and tricks, but big-picture thinking stuff. Golden nuggets that will give you a new way to think about things.”
Why You Should Embrace MSP Community Groups
People worry that if they attend an MSP Community group, their competitors will steal their ideas or their clients. Dan says there are more than enough customers to go around. “It’s not just a community full of people who want to see you do well, but a way for you to help others too. You’ll get so much more back that way.”
Working in IT can often be chaotic, and Dan adds that MSP community groups give members some time out to work on their business and get support on challenges from people who really understand. And, they learn what others are doing to grow their own MSPs and take inspiration from them.
The ConnectWise Evolve Programme
Dan explains that ConnectWise Evolve is a peer group programme. The members – all business owners – get together once a quarter for two days of meetings and a third day which features expert speakers and other valuable content.
Each meeting involves the same group of people so they all get to know each other well. The aim is to support their peers personally and professionally to help them achieve their most ambitious vision of success.
They hold each other accountable, share challenges and wins, and become friends. Everything is confidential and nothing is off-limits. Dan explains he stays only for the part of the meeting where he’s providing the update, and leaves the group to it.
How Feedback Scorecards Improve Work/Life Balance
Sometimes business leaders forget that work isn’t everything and they need a healthy balance with their home life. The scorecards are given out to spouses and significant family members, who score the business owner on a variety of things.
People quickly realise when they were dropping the ball at home. Dan says that the scorecards are a great way for MSP community members to have a holistic view of their life and business from the people who know them best. Their peers will then support them to change things that need to be improved.
How MSP Community Members Measure Their Progress
Ambitious business owners can often compare their own progress to that of their peers and competitors. Dan says that they often feel that they’re not growing the way they want to because they only get feedback from the people within their organisation.
In the ConnectWise Evolve programme, the members are all completely open about their finances, and they get honest comments about where things are working and where they’re not. This helps with benchmarking and working out next steps to growth.
How the MSP Community Groups Work
Dan says there are about 550 companies who are members of the Evolve community. As well as in-person meetings, there are online groups so members can get feedback and support as and when they need it.
Evolve groups came from HTG, a company bought out by ConnectWise in 2018. Once that happened, Dan says they got rid of the requirement for members to also be ConnectWise customers. Today, it’s an open ecosystem, just like IT Nation is.
The biggest commitment is attendance at the quarterly meetings, which aren’t optional. “Not for me, but for your group. They expect you there to support and help them and value your opinion.” The groups work the same way globally, although the culture can be different.
How to Connect with Dan Scott
- IT Nation
- Follow IT Nation on LinkedIn
- Like IT Nation on Facebook
- Follow IT Nation on Twitter
- Connect with Dan on LinkedIn
- Email Dan
How to Connect with Me
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Mentioned in This Episode
- Event: IT Nation Share
- The Tech Tribe
- Event: Acronis CyberFit Summit
- Book: The Go-Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann
- ConnectWise Evolve
- Event: IT Nation Connect
- Event: IT Nation Secure