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Empowering Your MSP Business to Grow and Prosper—One Post at a Time

5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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3 Key Elements to Building a Successful MSP Business

Posted November 1, 2016by Chris Day

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The pathway to building a successful MSP business is anything but smooth. A lot of valuable lessons have to be learned along the way – some of which are universal to any MSP, regardless of size, location and the clients they serve. But what makes the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful MSP business?

Essentially, MSP success boils down to three main elements: people, process and technology. If you want to strengthen and grow your MSP business, focus on enhancing these key areas.

1. People

Your employees are often the first interaction potential clients have with your business, so don’t you want to make a lasting impression? In order to grow a great MSP business, there are two important requirements when it comes to the people you employ:

Great Leadership

To grow any company, you need great leadership. But this is different than just management. A manager lights a fire under people; a leader is able to light a fire within people. Great leadership can help spread a company-wide passion that will be instilled in your employees and even carry over to your customer service. This makes all the difference in the world when it comes to taking your business to the next level.

Great People

Remember that this is a service business, so it’s essential to find the best people to deliver those services. To do so, you need a constant hiring process. If you’re simply hiring to fill in holes or fill up chairs, you won’t have the same success as if you’re always on the lookout for the best people. Hiring and retaining quality IT talent is a challenge that many MSPs struggle with, but these people are critical to your business’ success and growth. Putting in the extra effort to find employees who are knowledgeable and experienced will help increase your overall efficiency and customer satisfaction.

2. Process

Dependable processes are responsible for improving your business operations, maximizing your margins and driving your business forward. What I have learned in my experience is that successful MSPs:

  • Get the processes out of people’s heads and documented in a place where everyone in the organization can easily access it.
  • Create a culture of documenting your processes by making it a core value within the organization.
  • Establish a rhythm for your processes. This means that you’re always working to set monthly and quarterly goals and help your team to get into a rhythm that respects their workflow.

One of the most important takeaways here is that process = margin. With a solid and dependable process, your team becomes highly efficient, your organization reduces waste dramatically and your margins improve substantially.

These processes should not just cover your IT help desk, but all areas of your business. One of the biggest challenges for MSPs is in the area of sales and marketing. However, sales is a process – just like anything else. Work to develop a strong sales process that clearly defines your lead generation, lead management and closing strategy. Doing so will allow you to easily identify the different factors that drive your conversion ratio.

3. Technology

Lastly, you need to simplify your technology stack. It does not matter how good your people are – if your techs are working with five or six different systems (e.g. firewalls), it makes for an inefficient operation.

This is where integrated platforms are especially beneficial because they allow your team to access information whenever they need it and all in one place. By standardizing your technology stack, you give your team the opportunity to perform at their best.

 

IT Glue and Continuum: Integrated Technology at Its Best!

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Continuum and IT Glue™ are now integrated to allow MSPs to create great documentation using asset information stored directly within Continuum’s Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) platform. This deep integration provides access to information such as memory, disk, CPU and more directly into IT Glue – making it fast and efficient for your engineers to find the information they need to serve your clients.

This integration provides MSPs with a number of benefits including:

  • Assessing near real-time information
  • Eliminating the need to enter configuration data manually
  • Minimizing downtime by reducing the time it takes to troubleshoot problems
  • Improving overall efficiency

Using IT Glue’s powerful documentation platform, MSPs can document structural information (domains, passwords, software licenses, etc.) and procedural knowledge (KBs and SOPs). Find out more about IT Glue.
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Chris is an industry veteran within the Managed Services sphere. Having founded Fully Managed in 2002, he grew this MSP to become one of Western Canada’s largest and most successful technology companies. In 2013, Chris founded IT Glue with the vision of profoundly changing the way people create, manage and interact with IT documentation; one of the industry’s most challenging problems. IT Glue has grown in a short time to support over 1,500 clients globally, with 30,000 users in 5 continents.

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