What kind of lifestyle does your business afford you?

Let us help you determine the optimal mix of PROFIT & GROWTH to give you an idea of how close your perception is to reality.

Business & Sales Consulting for Profitable Growth

Getting your business in shape requires a few steps in between. You’ve started your business with an end goal in mind. Whatever the goal, getting from point A to point D requires you to address points B and C in between.

Life, finances, employees, and the day to day issues of running a business keep many owners from achieving their goals. You don’t have to have an answer for every scenario but you better know where to get the best answer.

 

Bering McKinley uses a proven methodology for helping business owners get to where they want to go.

Bering McKinley evaluates EVERY aspect of your business helping you clearly and quickly understand how you’re performing.

Our one-on-one Consulting help you overcome the daily obstacles that keep business from growing. We tell you in plain English where the gaps are, how to fix them, and most importantly WHY to fix them.

Peer Teams and Workshops keep you accountable, using a common language, working towards a common, to achieve uncommon results.

We help you achieve your stated goals by preparing your business for a sale, succession or whatever goal you have in mind.

Let’s us help you get from point A to point D.

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True Confessions of a Business Owner

Why I chose to Invest in a Peer Team

At Bering McKinley, we have been running peer teams for years, but we often take it for granted as to why owners do or do not choose to participate in peer teams. Rather than trying to articulate the value, we turned to MSP and peer team member Phil Neuman of PDN Consulting to help us understand the value of a peer team.

True Confessions from a Business Owner

Moderator: What attracted you to a peer team?

Phil: Truth be told, I did not know what a peer team was. In fact, I was a one-man shop at the time, doing both tech and sales work and I wondered how or if I was going to grow. Today we are a team of nine employees. Still small compared to some, but going from one to nine has been steady and measured growth, and peer teams played a big role in helping me grow my business.

Moderator: Tell us about it.

Phil: Well, like most businesses I had a lot on my plate with limited amounts of time in the day. I was trying to grow from a single consulting business into to a “real” business. So, when I was contacted by a manufacturer whose product I sold at the time and asked if I was interested in peer teams, I was at the very least willing to listen. Besides, there was a lot buzz in the industry about peer teams and I was curious as to what it was all about.

Moderator: What was compelling to you about a peer team?

Phil: First of all, the idea of being around other businesses that were similar to me, had similar issues, and had been down a road that I was traveling was very interesting. They talked about putting tangible best practices into place and being held accountable before a group of peers for growing the business.

Moderator: Did you join?

Phil: Not initially. Remember, I was the technical person in my business, sales, and owner. Taking time off was difficult.

Moderator: What did you do?

Phil: I had to really evaluate what I wanted for my business. I had to be willing to ask myself the hard question, “Am I going to make this next step to grow my business or not?” It is easy to fall into the day to day trap of working in the business and being distracted. “Urgent vs. Important.” There are a lot of things that are urgent that need to take place, but they may not have the importance attached to it. Keeping that front and center helped me make up my mind to join and commit. I wanted to be focused on what matters most, growing my business.

Moderator: Sounds like a good choice. How long have you been a part of a peer team?

Phil: A little over five years. Sure, there are times I think, “gosh, I’ve learned enough and I could probably do this on my own.” But then I stop and think, this industry is constantly changing. There is no way I will be able to stay on top of everything. I need a team to help me stay on top of all the trends, changes and tweaks to my business that need to be made to be successful.

Moderator: So, what are the benefits of a peer team from your perspective?

Phil: Here goes…

  • I now have a financial language about what to look at in my business.
  • I have a solid business structure to help me grow my business.
  • I have access to other people who are going through the same thing as me. These team members provide great ideas that have made a substantive difference in my business. And I can ask questions about what I am going through and what they have experienced.
  • I also have the opportunity share and give back to others. This matters to me.
  • At the end of the day, I ask a bunch of questions and suck in a bunch of information. It’s therapeutic.

Moderator: Anything else?

Phil: (pausing) Yes, I suppose there are the added benefits of getting the teams feedback on industry tools, marketing tips and real-life advice on sales.

Moderator: What’s your number one takeaway you would tell a non-peer member to consider?

Phil: From what I am spending and getting out of my peer team investment, I feel like I have grown and I am offering my clients more. That’s it in a nutshell.

peer teams

 

Or speak with Josh Peterson directly. [Schedule a Meeting]

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Peer Teams – Why Bother?

While the idea of peer teams (peer-driven accountability groups) are not a new concept to the IT Reseller space, the participation of peer teams by technology-focused owners, service and sales managers has ebbed in popularity over the years. Manufacturers of both technology and software have attempted to brand peer teams over the years to help business owners acquire the business acumen needed to grow their business and to secure wallet and mind-share.

What makes peer teams so attractive is their ability to provide owners and leaders with the opportunity to implement practices and methods that lead to greater success and profitability (or at least in theory). Through these teams, a participant can share and learn from the successes and failures of their industry peers and short-cut the mistakes that often come with growing a business for the first time.

Of course, the challenge most business owners face is simply the balance of working both in and on the business. Finding the time to commit to travel, group calls and time out of office can be daunting when many of the owners wear multiple hats and play both owner and sales role.

The benefits of belonging to a peer team are equally as rewarding. Peer team members gain the immediate advantage of being able to talk with their peers, broaden their perspective and take a step back from the day-to-day rigmarole to gain a fresh perspective on issues around employees, performance, and profitability.

So, why would not every business leader be a part of a peer team?

First all, not all peer teams are created equal. As mentioned earlier, there are peer-led teams, manufacture or software-branded teams, business consulting teams and more. Nearly every flavor of peer team is available in the market.

Secondly, not all peer teams are effective. Peer-lead teams are just that, peer lead. They often lack an outside facilitator to keep the group on topic and focused.

And finally, not all business owners are dedicated to doing what needs to be done to grow; not everyone has time; not everyone is in the same place in their business, etc. There are many reasons why leaders and owners do not join teams, but none of these reasons outweigh the benefit. We have put together the three of the most valuable reasons to consider a peer team. Helping you understand what to look for and what to expect will help you make a more informed decision.

3 Key Elements to Look for in a Peer Team Environment:

1. Look for a group that will provide the roadmap to help you organize your business on a solid infrastructure.  

This means that you are going to look for a team that brings templates and best practices to the table. At Bering McKinley, we believe strongly in the “Documented Business.” Working through the Peer Team environment, we help participants evaluate best practices around the daily challenges, procedures, and decisions, and to turn those best practices into a documented process that helps each business owner make a more rational, vetted decision.

In short, the documented business helps owners remove emotional purchases and ad hock or under-evaluated decision making that gets a business into financial trouble.  For example, our teams will build best practices around topics like how to build compensation plans, sales performance reviews, employee promotions, dispatch ticketing, evaluating the profitability of a contract (and much more). An effective peer team will help you dissect the routine tasks that keep many businesses from performing better.

Peer Teams

2. A Peer Team should provide a sound understanding of your financials and what impacts those financials have on your business.

Not all financials are the same. Many groups will collect the service results of hundreds of businesses, display the results and tell you if you fall above or below the boggy line. What they fail to teach (not tell) is the reason behind those numbers. The $1.5 Mil annual revenue IT provider has dramatically different issues, cash flow, and processes than that of a $22Mil IT provider. This type of reporting does not take into consideration your IT stack or your specific type of portfolio (i.e. percentage of hardware vs. services).  Simply looking at how you compare in numbers will not help your business grow if you can’t pinpoint the root cause of the problem and determine which action to take.

Bering McKinley uses a proprietary set of metrics we call the Magic 14. We believe that having the numbers in front you provides owners with a starting point for a conversation around the core financials of the business. The Magic 14 is a starting point, not an ending point that helps business owners evaluate how to make systematic improvements that are on-going.

Consider this:

  • What makes up your Net Profit?
  • Is it too high or too low?
  • If I have 7.5 % Net Profit, is it because my general admin costs are too high relative to my income?
  • Is it because my sales expenses are not yielding an appropriate return?
  • Or, is my Product Gross Profit or my Service Gross Profit too low?
  • And, if my Net Profit is high, an owner needs to know why so that he/she can continue to repeat the actions that got them here.

Bottom line: numbers need to tell you what actions to take next.

Being a part of a financially focused peer team that understands the right numbers and knows what actions to take helps owners be proactive in their success. Numbers without action will never move the needle.

3. A Peer Team must create a deep sense of accountability and comradery for the participant.

Let’s talk comradery. Many owners find themselves in a position of isolation. They run, hire, manage and make many executive decisions alone. One owner once told us that running a business is like having dinner night after night at a “table for one.”

You carry the weight of the business on your shoulders and there is often no one else in the business who understands or does what you do. If you have ever found yourself sitting in your office wondering how you got into this position, then a peer team is long overdue. The real value of peer team is simply the fact that you are sitting around a table with nine other (really smart) people that do what you do, understand your struggles, and can provide meaningful input and advice on the very things that you do daily.

peer teams

Phil Neuman, CEO and founder of PDN Consulting, a technology MSP out of Scotts Valley California, told us, “I need to be around businesses similar to me that share ideas and will be honest about helping me grow my business. Prior to joining a peer team, I had no one to keep me accountable and to encourage me to go beyond what was comfortable. I was not going to grow until I was willing to leave my comfort zone.” [Read Phil’s entire story on how Peer Teams helped his business to grow.]

 

What’s Next for You?

Peer teams can have a massive impact on daily tasks as well as your ability to strategically position your organization for growth. Finding the right team is a matter of setting some criteria, evaluating your options and committing the time to get the most out of a peer team investment.

At Bering McKinley, we offer Peer Teams for leadership, sales and service professionals. Our teams are crafted around the unique roles of different individuals within the management structure. As a result, you will find our meetings to be convenient, relevant and impactful. We have invested heavily in our training and in our development to bring you an amazing experience every time.

peer teams

Or speak with Josh Peterson directly. [Schedule a Meeting]

 

 

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Grupo Sin Nombre Team Meetings 2018

April 9-10 in Phoenix, AZ

September 13-14 (Location TBA)

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Fresh Start Peer Team Meetings 2018

January 25-27 in Phoenix, AZ

April 4-7, Nashville, TN

July 26-28, Nashville, TN

October 18-20, Nashville, TN

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Peer Team 3 Meetings 2018

March 13-14 in Chicago, IL

September 10-11 in Chicago, IL

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Peer Team 2 Meetings 2018

March 13-14 in Chicago, IL

September 10-11 in Chicago, IL

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Bering McKinley Steps for Getting Your Business into Shape

Simple, elegant, and clean solutions are the hallmark of Bering McKinley consulting. Let’s not over complicate it. We are always thinking in terms of minimum, effective solution:

  • Simple and effective compensation plans.
  • Simple and profitable benchmarking.
  • Simple and effective sales process.

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Others in the Bering McKinley Community

 
 
Every time I hear Bering McKinley speak I leave with a new outlook and I am excited to implement what I’ve learned.
Jim I.

Catalyst Technology Group

Bering McKinley opened my eyes to a lot of sales management deficiencies in our organization. We have work to do.
Ian S.

Gresham, OR

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