MSP Spotlight: Meet Darren Fippin, CEO of Network Management Solutions

Tell us a little about your MSP…

Network Management Solutions is located in Santa Cruz, California. We serve Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Jose and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. The business was established in 1984 by Greg and Robin Sirakides under the name ‘ComputerLand of Capitola.’ I began working for them in 1998 and offered to purchase the business from them in 2006. I renamed the business in 2009 and began migrating my clients to an all-you-can-eat monthly support model. We enjoy serving our clients and giving back to the community that we live in!

How long have you been a member of The 20?

I believe we’re close to 3 years!

Why did your MSP originally look to partner with The 20?

We wanted to augment our support staff with a 24/7 service desk that was US-based. Additionally, we were already operating a managed IT department and liked the idea of partnering with like-minded MSPs to extend our breadth and depth of skill and location.

Tell us about the biggest change in your business since joining The 20.

Joining The 20 caused me to focus on the type of deals that were win-wins for both us and the client. This meant that I needed to start saying ‘no’ to opportunities, which was one of the best things I could have ever done. Not all deal are the right deals.

What do you like most about being a member of The 20?

The community. I have been a part of other networking groups, but everyone in this group is conducting business essentially the same way — and it helps when getting and giving advice.

What do you think is the most important quality necessary for success?

Having a growth mindset. All businesses make mistakes, including myself, including the service desk — it’s what we learn from those mistakes and how we grow from them that make us better and creates a better offering for our clients.

What are your biggest business challenges?

I have had 2 significant challenges to face in the last 4 years. First: finding and keeping good talent. This business is often a platform for younger people to launch there careers. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just that the churn is hard.
The second issue is that in the course of a 2-year period, I lost my 2 biggest clients to circumstances out of my control. It made my business feel stagnant for several years even though we were still growing; the problem was replacing what we once had.

What are your areas of focus for 2019?

We are making sure to discuss with each of our clients what the current cybersecurity landscape is and ensure that they are as protected as possible.

What advice would you share with an MSP looking to scale their business?

Make sure to start working on process now. Document the way you do business. Scaling is hard when you’re attempting to reinvent the wheel each time.

What book are you currently reading?

I am currently re-reading Traction and implementing more items. I plan on reading The Checklist Manifesto next.

Favorite blogs / podcasts

Seth Godin
The Hustle

 

Interested in becoming a Partner? Click here for more information!