The cavnessHR Podcast can be found at the following places or you can just type in cavnessHR on the respective app.
Google Play: https://cavnesshr.co/ff773
Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/mx64
Social Media links for Derek Below!!
Outsourced CIO FB: https://www.facebook.com/ociollc
Outsourced CIO LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ociollc/
Outsourced CIO Twitter: https://twitter.com/ociollc
Outsourced CIO Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113433682955628265074
Outsourced CIO Blog: https://ocio.biz/blog/
Outsourced CIO Blog: https://ocio.biz/
Outsourced CIO Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ociollc/
Derek’s email: email@example.com
Derek’s Book Recommendation!!!
“What’s Best Next” by Matt Perman
Derek’s Resources Below!!!
I'm giving away an e-book, “12 things to consider when choosing a managed service provider”. If you want to go deeper than that. I'll gladly send you my current five subject areas plus 35 questions. I also wanted to put it into a nice easy media with an e-book that anybody can go to our Web site on the Contact Us page. Check the box for the ebook on 12 things to consider when choosing a managed service provider. I'll gladly send a copy of that book.
Jason: Hello and welcome to the cavnessHR Podcast. Today's podcast is brought to you by Audible. Get a free audiobook download and 30-day free trial at www.audible.com/cavnessHR. Our guest today is Derek R Iannelli-Smith . Derek, are you ready to be great today?
Derek: Yes sir.
Jason: Derek is the CIO and founder of Outsourced CIO LLC. His clients say he has helped to demystify technology and remove the fears and uncertainties that many face in this area of business. Outsourced CIO simplifies technology so you can focus on your business at hand. If you or somebody you know has a growing company that could use an Outsourced IT leader, please visit their contact page. In the Army, he had a top secret clearance and completed training as an Information Systems Security Officer, ISSO. After talking to a mentor, Derek started Outsourced CIO LLC. in November 2017. His best ideas reflect extensive knowledge of a technology sector. He tries to find time to get on the elliptical and listen to trance dance techno 80s 90s music. Derek, what is your focus right now.
Derek: My main focus is working through continuing to escalate the traction that Outsourced CIO has been generating and your podcast is one of the areas that I've been asked and blessed to be able to speak to. But I've had some other speaking engagements and coaching other veterans and being on panels and those type of things. It's been pretty exciting.
Jason: So how has being a former military member helped you in starting and growing a business?
Derek: Thank you for asking that. First of all, I'm just very thankful for my military experience and other veterans out there. I probably have to break it down to possibly like three areas one integrity and chain of command. Doing what you say you're going to do those three things helped me about my business and set myself apart.
Jason: So is their a certain size business or industry you are trying to go after?
Derek: Actually, I started Outsourced CIO because as we all know in technology. Customer service experiences are atrocious. You talk to anybody who wants to get on the phone with AT&T or Comcast and you hear a groan. It was things like that that really made me aware that something needed to change and there's some knowledge hoarding in my industry. I was working 60, 80 hours a week because I couldn't depend upon the systems in place and you know cutting corners, beta testing on clients with solutions that were not hammered out. Lying and stealing and all those other types of things and I said there's got to be another way. People have got to be servicing people with technology in a much better manner than they have. That's how Outsourced CIO started.
Jason: Have you found you had to market your business differently based on the age of the owner? Based on the different generations?
Derek: That's a great observation and one of the things I did have to realize was who my customer was. So the customer for Outsourced CIO is usually an office manager, an overwhelmed administrator or the C level. But that doesn't mean that folks underneath them or in the offices don't understand what we're doing. But they tend not to see the strategy and the business value that I'm providing. So yes it's kind of an upper echelon kind of conversation. I try to demystify technology. So I'm not putting a lot of buzzwords out there and being the traditional tech, where people's eyes are glazing over.
Jason: How are you marketing your business?
Derek: So traction is being established in many venues. I am all over social media with the big four. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I am doing some writing with blog posting and things like that. I have published a book called MSP or Fail a few years ago. That is still getting some residuals and things for consulting. Being a thought leader on local panels and with the Association of Information Technology professionals. I've also been doing Facebook live interviews. I was on a panel for cybersecurity for entrepreneurs getting the word out there and just being a connector. You know showing some generosity and reciprocity with connections that I do have and again and getting people together. Obviously, word of mouth is one of the best. It's a warm introduction with those types of things.
Jason: Yes, I talk to people all the time. As a business owner, you have to get out there and press the flesh so to speak. I mean you have to refine your pitch and say it over and over and over again..
Jason: In your time with your current company what are you finding that most of them are getting wrong.
Derek: So most people tend to think that I am their CIO. What I mean by that is they believe that I am going to be the guy that's sitting in front of their computer. Watching the bars, installing the applications, troubleshooting their server, or installing the computer, or helping them fix their cell phone. I can do that. What I end up telling them is do you really want a C level or Chief Information Officer doing that at 200 to 250 dollars an hour and the lightbulb usually comes off.
Jason: Derek, why should a small business owner use your company?
Derek: Many small and medium sized growing businesses cannot afford a Chief Information Officer. What I have been finding is that many of them really would need that kind of asset. But like I said it's such a far reaching place that they don't feel like they have the infrastructure in place to afford a CIO. Robert Half recently came out with an IT salary guide. It's one that I actually carry around with me. The top 25 percentile for Information Officers right now excluding you know demographics of Charleston, for instance, is making about Two hundred ninety five thousand dollars a year. So they can't afford a guy like that, in many cases. What I offer is without the overhead, the employee, the benefits packages and those types of things. Giving the same assets and resources to that small business without that kind of overhead.
Jason: From your point of view when should a company bring on a CIO? What number employee?
Derek: Most of the time its companies with over five users. Service industries they tend to be maybe 11 users. But five users and above and planning on growing. They really need to make their technology competitive. Because they're are all over the place. Again some overwhelmed individual is sitting there looking at all of these things trying to put out fires. Trying to get it all ingrained and trying to put together an IT budget. Most of the time it's reactive. Five and up across multiple verticals it's not discriminative or prejudice when it comes to businesses. Like I said, I think the overall standard is about five users and above.
Jason: Derek can you talk about a time you were successful in the past? What you learned from this and what we can learn from this.
Derek: This is probably a personal core value of Outsourced CIO and permeates everything that I do. As you mentioned earlier I did hit the ground running with most monthly reoccurring revenue customers in November. Where the early adopters who had been previous clients when I was an account manager. They got the pitch, immediately got Outsourced CIO and saw the value in it. I learned to trust those early adopters with good ideas and feedback. Because only four of us are doing this. This CIO only offering and we're demographically separated. From the success that I'm having is we're sharing information. We're getting feedback from the early adopters. We're taking advantage of that lean startup model without necessarily a product. But we're offering a service where folks are like Hey could you could you work that out a little bit more. Oh I see the value of that. Really listening to them customizing services and offerings for them has really been a success for me. So I couldn't have done it without my support squad and my strategic relationships.
Jason: So I just thought of another question. From the start of your business to now, how many times have you had to pivot?
Derek: Ten plus. I stopped counting after a while because I realized that I would have gotten frustrated. But I also understood that in doing something like I'm doing. Because it is a niche market. Because it is a new area where folks are actually looking to outsource this area. I wanted to make sure that customers and vendors were what Seth Godin calls sneezers for me. Meaning evangelists for me. I wanted to get feedback from them. So I changed my value proposition a few times. I've changed my product a few times. Changed my business card a few times. Changed the website a few times. But I think that dust is all settled for that Jason and we've got a baseline and now I'm just spending 50 percent of my energy on traction and 50 percent on you know continuing to service the customers I do.
Jason: I think it is very important for our listeners to hear that. A lot of small business owners say here is my plan and I am sticking with it. No, you can't do that. You have to be flexible, you have to listen to customers. The competitors are going to have a say in it. You can't be stubborn. You have to be able to pivot and be open to new ideas.
Derek: I think working with Bunker labs. I was part of the winter 2018 cohort as well. I was all in for those 20 weeks. I really allowed all of that time experience coaching ,training to really change and transform things. I'm also a firm believer that you can establish a baseline and at least start from somewhere. Because again, Seth Godin said that if you continue to change things for the sake of changing things you're not really doing anything. I had some great folks that helped me fine tune my value proposition. Demystifying technology for growing businesses.
Jason: Yes it does. I am in the next Bunker Labs Cohort in Seattle that starts in August. I am looking forward to learning and gaining a lot of knowledge.
Derek: It's fantastic I recommend it to everybody.
Jason: Next question, now talk about a time you failed. What you learned from this and what we can learn from this.
Derek: Not vetting partners and vendors thoroughly enough would be a failure that I learned. I trusted a channel I was involved in and the people who got me involved who said that they would have helped me and didn't. Which resulted in recommending IT companies to some of my clients and services. But the customer service skill sets were atrocious. That led me to have to rescue my clients. Because I recommended them. My clients were paying for this recommendation as a result that was a lot of non-billable time. Lot of meetings with a vendor giving them opportunities to do the right thing. Not having a framework. What ended up happening from that and that failure of learning to vet vendors that I was working with. Was I actually spent about 3 months putting together what I call an MSP or an IT company vetting process with about 35 questions. If you don't answer those questions to my satisfaction. They don't need be perfect but to my satisfaction you're not gaining access to my client and my network. I'm not going to refer you or send you any business. A humorous part of that Jason was I had somebody at an IT company who wanted access to my contacts. Recently said you send the referral and I'll answer the question. Again the lesson learned was I'm sorry no answers no referral. Just because I don't want a beta test on my clients again or go through that scenario.
Jason: Next, talk about someone who has helped you in the past and how they helped you.
Derek: I have two entities that have helped me out a lot. One is Daniel. Daniel wrote a book back in 2009 called "How to build a computer repair business." I was so fired up about that book. I immediately got in touch with him. Daniel is now a mentor in my life. We actually wrote a book together called MSP or fail. The second entity would be Bunker Labs the Launch Lab Online. The support squad, Justin Walker, Todd Connor, Christine Morrison. The folks that were in my small group. All of those folks are part of the support squad for Outsourced CIO and I can't do it without them. I mean it's just invaluable.
Jason: Derek tell us something about yourself that most people don't know. Your close friends and family know this. But most people don't know this about you.
Derek: Most people don't know that I was a foster kid in trouble with the law and joined the military as it was either that or go to jail. I went to seminary. I love Jesus. Most don't know that the catalyst for getting me out of my hometown. Joining the army on the threat of going to jail. So giving back all of those who have put up with me gives me great joy these days.
Jason: It is amazing how many people in the military have that story. They come from humble backgrounds, really not on the right path. The military sets them up for success later on.
Derek: I was the first of my family to join the military and get honorably discharged and wasn't drafted. First in my family to get a master's degree. I attribute that all to the military and that catalyst day. You can either go to jail sir or join the military and I choose the Army.
Jason: Derek, I understand you have a book to recommend to our listeners.
Derek: I actually have two books that have been pivotal for me in regards to my business that I review every single year. One of them is called, "What's best next" by Matt Perman and "never eat alone. Those books are based upon priorities and networking for generosity and reciprocity again. I recommend that to everyone.
Jason: I understand you have something from for our listeners today.
Derek: As I mentioned earlier about vetting MSP and IT companies. I'm giving away an e-book, 12 things to consider when choosing a managed service provider. If you want to go deeper than that. I'll gladly send you my current five subject areas 35 plus questions. But I also wanted to put it into a nice easy media with an e-book that anybody can go to our Web site on the Contact Us page. Check the box for the ebook on 12 things to consider when choosing a managed service provider. I'll gladly send a copy of that book.
Derek: Thank you Derek is very valuable for our listeners. Can you provide us your social media links for yourself and your company so people can reach out to you.
Derek: Sure most social medias like I mentioned earlier. I'm on the big four Facebook, LinkedIn Twitter and Instagram. The tag or hash is 0CIO LLC.
Jason: We will have the links to all of social media and his books and his e-book on our show notes. The show notes can be found at www.cavnesshrblog.com. Derek, we are coming to the end of our talk. Can you provide any last minute wisdom or advice for our listeners on any subject you want to cover.
Derek: Sure, thank you so much again Jason for this humbling opportunity. As I mentioned before, I listen to a lot of your blogs. I think you told me I was the first one to scribe through Google Play and you are doing great service. Some advice and maybe some knowledge I can provide to your listeners would be to be a continual learner. But also slow down enough to assimilate and develop a baseline. When involved in a cohort for instance in the 20 weeks. I must have changed my Minimum Viable Product and value proposition ten plus times as I mentioned earlier. Along with business cards and elevator pitches and things like that you can get into an environment with entrepreneurs and startups. Where the mode of living is change change change change. That's not going to serve your customers they'd want to have some reliability on some of the things that you're doing. I would say be a continual learner. But also slow down enough to assimilate and develop a baseline.
Jason: Thank you for your time today Derek. I know your time is valuable.
Derek: Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve you and your community.
Jason: To our listeners thank you for your time as well. Remember to be great every day.