Blog | February 10, 2014

What I Learned At RSPA INSPIRE 2014

By The Business Solutions Network


This morning I had a chance to browse through some of my notes from last week's RSPA INSPIRE. This event is always good for providing plenty of nuggets of wisdom, and business and personal takeaways.

  • There were 160 attendees at this year’s INSPIRE, making it the second largest ever (only to Maui, go figure).
  • Our industry needs more benchmarking. “If you don’t do benchmarking, you don’t know what good is,” said Arlin Sorensen, of HTG Peer Groups. Many resellers think they’re doing great until they see how their peers are doing. How much profit are you leaving on the table?
  • Many of the resellers in the room have built recurring revenue into their businesses. Awesome!
  • While many resellers in the room have very strong internal business processes, they are not yet leveraging automation tools like PSA (professional services automation) or RMM (remote monitoring and management) — which could help lower expenses and increase profitability — or expanding their recurring revenue opportunities outside POS stuff — further increasing monthly recurring revenue.
  • There was some reservation about the education topic of peer groups before the event started which caused HTG to alter their education plan. On the final day, we got closer to true peer interactions and those in my group said, “why didn’t we start with this!?” Quick lesson: while you might belong to a peer group or have past experience with one, the HTG Peer Group framework is on a different level and seems like it could be very effective.
  • I was surprised that HTG spent time talking about interacting with the Millennial demographic from both workforce and retail influence standpoints. I didn’t think the Millennial demographic was something to spend a lot of time and energy thinking about, but, based on the response from the group, I was wrong. Jim Roddy did a great job of covering this in a previous article on the topic.
  • Being an owner, leader, and manager require different skills.
  • Thought for owners: “Employees don’t come to work worried about how to create value.”
  • Thought for leaders: Leaders influence people, have followers, and create other leaders. Think you’re a leader? Reality check: is anyone behind you?
  • Thought for managers: “What gets measured, gets managed,” says Peter Drucker. Don’t run your business using P&L; that’s history. You need to look forward.
  • This might seem off-topic, but it fits into HTG’s holistic view of development, which includes your personal life: Update your will and secession plan! Many resellers in attendance said it had been years since they’d updated their documents.

If you didn’t attend INSPIRE, you missed great education and networking. If you’re not big on education or think you know it all, the networking is worth the price alone. Where else can you have lengthy face-to-face meetings with vendors and peers to build relationships, forge alliances, and refine your strategy? If you don’t want to network, the education will always give you more than enough to take back and apply to your business and personal life.

The Gran Melia Golf Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico hosted the RSPA INSPIRE Thought Leadership Summit Feb. 2-5, 2014. For complete coverage of RSPA INSPIRE, go to and