Desktop and Server Backups for MSPs
June 7, 2019 in Interviews
Founder, Magnus Box
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hello everyone! My name is Mike Slodowski and I am the owner of Magnus Box LLC. We offer a white-labeled, channel only, and unlimited cloud backup solution.
Give us a sense of the size of the business
As of this writing, we have
- 27 servers
- Servers/partners in 5 countries
- 110 technology partners
- 320 endpoints on our network
- $3,000 a month in recurring revenue
What technologies or products is your business built with?
Mangus Box is powered by
- Comet Backup - This is the software that handles all of the backups and the encryption.
- SMTP2GO - This is used to handle all of the outgoing email for the servers
- Vultr & Digital Ocean - Partner servers. We split the servers between each vendor depending on where our Magnus Box Partner is located
- OVH - Allows us to push a lot of traffic without any issues. OVH is the backbone of our storage array servers
- Wasabi - Failover copy of the data on our storage arrays in case our servers were to go offline or have any network issues
- Chargeover - We use this for our subscription billing system
- GSuite - Handles our email, calendars, and demos (Google Meet).
- Stripe Credit card processing
- Siteground - Hosts our website
- CloudRadar - Fellow SaaS company that we use to monitor all of our servers
- Uptime Robot - Secondary monitoring system. Also powers status.magnusbox.com
- Zoho Desk - Ticketing System
How did you come up with the idea?
Magnus Box started as a fun little project back in January 2018. I had just received a call from a client. It was a business client that stored all of their CAD drawings on an external hard drive. The client felt safe storing all of that data on the drive claiming it was a “backup”.
They came into the office one morning and the drive was making a clicking noise. They discovered that they were unable to access their data. They called us later that day and brought the drive in. We shipped it out to a data recovery company in Wisconsin. The quote to recover their data was over $2000. The client could not afford to pay for the data recovery. Since that was they only copy of their data, they were forced to shut down a few months later.
I started Magnus Box to provide an affordable backup solution to my clients originally. We launched to the public in March of 2018 and instantly 20 of my existing clients had signed up. However, we learned that it is difficult to sell a backup solution to the general public. Around Thanksgiving 2018, my good friend Paco was talking with me on the phone. He looked at our platform and loved what we were doing. I told him how I was struggling to get anyone to sign up. He then planted the idea that started a wildfire. He said “Why don’t you become channel only”. The rest is history.
Over Thanksgiving, I ripped out and rebuilt all of the systems that I had put in place to sell to the public. I then re-launched Magnus Box a week later with the one rule that we only sell to other technology companies.
What was your personal situation like when starting the business?
I currently own Magnus Box LLC, Ctrl-Alt-Delete Computer Repair LLC, I also work full time as the Technology Manager at a local Credit Union. I am happily married to my best friend / the love of my life going on eight years. I also have four beautiful children.
How did you go about putting together your offering?
Initially we were planning on selling to the world. It did not go very well. We now only sell to other technology companies or technology departments. Our current and original offering is $5 per workstation and $15 per server for unlimited data. We also charge a platform fee of $65 for custom branding.
How did you get the word out about your new business when you launched it?
We get a majority of our business from Facebook groups along with advertising on the Podnutz Network. We are also currently sponsoring TechCon Unplugged which has brought in a lot of partners.
How did you acquire your first 10 customers?
We got our first 10 Magnus Box Partners by joining up with Facebook Groups along with word of mouth. I have been in the technology industry for 14 years and a lot of our current partners have known me for a long time.
How has the business changed since launch?
Not much has changed since we launched as a channel-only company. I spend a lot of my time, maintaining servers and answering support tickets. The biggest thing though is using a ticketing system. Using our inbox for a help desk system was getting overwhelming.
How do you acquire customers today?
Utilizing the same methods listed above. Going on podcasts has been a huge boost along with Facebook. When a new partner is interested in our platform, they fill out a form on our website. We use that form to capture their info along with how they heard about us.
Any books, training, or advice you would recommend?
Where can readers find you if they have additional questions?
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