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Business Development and Growth

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

Featured Post

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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Examining the Top Challenges to Optimizing Your IT Operations

Posted by Lily Teplow on June 23, 2017

Examining the Top Challenges to Optimizing Your IT Operations

By just about every measure, technology continues to shape the world around us. With the emergence of trends such as the digital workplace and the Internet of Things, today’s IT operations need to constantly keep up with the surrounding landscape. Businesses are now demanding to do and adopt more, obligating IT functions to go faster than the norm. Because of this, managed services providers (MSPs) and IT leaders are facing constant change and new challenges in their efforts to support their clients and continue to drive value.

As an MSP struggling with this, how can you increase the velocity or your IT operations, become more nimble and responsive to business needs and still balance business stability? Let’s break down some top challenges IT organizations face in achieving optimized operations and how you can overcome them.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

5 Strategies for Growing Your MSP Business Through LinkedIn

Posted by Lily Teplow on June 22, 2017

5 Strategies for Growing Your MSP Business Through LinkedIn

While most people may look to LinkedIn for job opportunities, references and networking, it also serves as a great platform to grow your MSP business. Adding LinkedIn to your marketing strategy can help you expand your network, find new clients and promote your business.

Let’s explore five ways LinkedIn can help you grow your business, from building your brand to expanding your prospect list and everything in between!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Hiring and Recruiting

Understanding the MSP Sales Process Part 2: Information Gathering and Your Initial MSP Meeting

Posted by Blake Loughran on June 20, 2017

Understanding the MSP Sales Process Part 2: Information Gathering and Your Initial MSP Meeting

Welcome back to my series, Understanding the MSP Sales Process, where you’ll learn all about the four key stages of the MSP sales process. In part one, I gave you actionable tips on how you can tackle the first stage—prospecting. Today, we’ll be discussing how you can use information gathering to schedule a meaningful first meeting with your prospects and build successful business relationships.

Almost every celebrated sales methodology compartmentalizes each stage of their strategy. Instead of going about it this way, MSPs need to focus on how each stage of their sales process flows into the next—all the way to the end. A well-planned prospecting strategy will inevitably produce initial meetings with new prospects. Just as the goal of prospecting is not to immediately sell a new contract, the goal of initial appointments is to gather the right information so your proposals ultimately align with your prospects’ priorities.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Client Acquisition and Management

How to Become an MSP Sales Leader

Posted by Robert Kocis on June 16, 2017

How to Become an MSP Sales Leader

Managed IT services is something the average person could research all day and still not fully understand. Even in the age of the informed consumer, MSP sales teams are typically selling on a different level than other sales teams.

In my 20 years of sales management, I have learned that a structured management operating rhythm is critical to your success as a sales manager. For the average MSP, you’re wearing multiple hats—acting as the business owner, head of sales, client manager and so on. So, it can be easy to get caught up in deals, client issues and all types of other projects. However, you can’t forget that the key to success is driving the right inputs on a consistent basis. To do so, you need to put on that “sales manager” hat and start your journey of becoming a more knowledgeable, experienced sales leader. Here are some tips to get you there.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

5 IT Certifications to Equip Your Techs with this Year

Posted by Brandon Garcin on June 15, 2017

5 IT Certifications to Equip Your Techs with this Year

Given how constantly technology changes, managed services providers (MSPs) must be lifelong learners. On one side, you learn to identify client needs and how best to support them, and in so doing, gain their trust to create a long-lasting business relationship.

But there’s more to being an MSP. Do you know how to stay on top of new demands in high technology to maintain the awesome customer service and support you already provide to your clients? You can optimize service delivery by making sure your technicians constantly learn new skills and gain new IT certifications. By doing this, they'll be even more of an asset to your company.

With so many certifications out there, we thought we would shorten the list and give you the top five to target in order to grow your MSP business in 2017.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Help Desk, Customer Service

Making Your Way to $10M: Rethinking Company Culture

Posted by Peter Melby on June 13, 2017

Making Your Way to $10M: Rethinking Company Culture

Company culture is a complicated topic for many managed services providers (MSPs). If you’re struggling to build or define your own culture, it’s important to note that it can actually affect more than just your day-to-day. Personally, I want to look forward to coming into work every day, and I want our employees to feel the same way. Today, my company considers culture our greatest competitive advantage, but we got off to a rocky start. 

In the first post of this series, I talked about five important lessons all MSPs should know before beginning the journey to $10 million. In the second post, I discussed how you can optimize your current team for success. Now, it’s time to think about your company culture and how it can play a role in your business’ long-term growth and success.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Closing the IT Skills Gap: 3 Strategies for MSPs

Posted by Lily Teplow on June 9, 2017

Closing the IT Skills Gap: 3 Strategies for MSPs

Let’s face it: the hiring process can be a bit overwhelming these days—especially for those in the IT industry. Changes in technology are rapid and constant, leading to an influx in demand for new IT skills. However, organizations are still struggling to find IT professionals with the skills they need and desire. For managed services providers (MSPs), not having the proper level of talent can hinder your profitability and growth. So, what can you do to close this gap?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

How to Get Technician Buy-In for an Outsourced Network Operations Center (NOC)

Posted by Matthew Waters on June 8, 2017

How to Get Technician Buy-In for an Outsourced Network Operations Center (NOC)

Have you considered changing your managed IT services business model to cut and smooth labor expenses, thereby growing profit margins? If you have, you've likely thought about the advantages of working with a Network Operations Center (NOC), a team of highly certified technicians and engineers that you pay a monthly fixed cost for. This all sounds good, right? Unfortunately, not everyone at your company may be as easily sold. Your technicians may feel threatened that they'll be let go and replaced with this new team of experts. So, how do you get past this? Luckily, I've talked to many partners who've found remarkable success by leveraging dedicated technical support!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Network Operations Center

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of May 2017

Posted by Lily Teplow on June 6, 2017

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of May 2017

Can you believe that the end of the quarter is right around the corner? As we commemorate May and look towards hitting our June goals, let’s revisit the best content provided on the MSP Blog this past month! 

It’s no surprise that IT security continues to be top-of-mind for most managed services providers (MSPs). Also included in this month's roundup, discover how you can leverage visual statistics to boost your sales and marketing efforts, how to build a team of top IT talent, and how you can optimize your client onboarding experience for long-term success. Check out all of this and more in our most popular posts below!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

Introducing a White-Label Sales Deck to Help Accelerate Your MSP Sales Opportunities

Posted by Lily Teplow on June 2, 2017

Introducing a White-Label Sales Deck to Help Accelerate Your MSP Sales Opportunities

Do you struggle with effectively communicating your business value to prospects? If you’re like most managed services providers (MSPs) out there, the answer is a resounding yes. Whether it be dealing with common objections or not having the sales resources available, there are many challenges that can stand in the way of selling your IT services and growing your business. 

If you’re looking for help to overcome these challenges, you can download our new white-label sales presentation deck! This comprehensive deck is designed to help you showcase your unique value as an MSP, accelerate your sales opportunities, persuade SMB decision makers and sell your IT services with ease.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

How to Demonstrate Your MSP Value from Day One

Posted by Nicole Hunter Hart on June 1, 2017

How to Demonstrate Your MSP Value from Day One

As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. For the average managed services provider (MSP), that chance comes once your client signs on the dotted line. Managing the client onboarding stage is a must, because once this process begins, your client sees your service delivery team in action for the first time. Do it right, and you will quickly establish trust and confidence. Get it wrong, and your client relationship may be short-lived.

Client retention is an essential component of being a successful MSP. In essence, this is why I’m authoring this client engagement series; to help you increase your retention and revenue through onboarding strategies and best practices. In my previous post, I left you with five important questions to consider from your client’s perspective. Let’s take a deeper look at how this exercise can help you set the stage for long-term success with a new client from the outset of your onboarding process.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Client Acquisition and Management

5 Non-Monetary Compensation Strategies Your MSP Should Be Using

Posted by Dave Boulos on May 25, 2017

5 Non-Monetary Compensation Strategies Your MSP Should Be Using

Money is many things, but it isn’t everything. It can be tough out there for managed IT services providers who want retain top talent, but don’t always have the means to pay them. Luckily, there are several non-monetary ways that you can offer your employees compensation that actually help to enrich your staff’s daily work environment. Incorporate these non-monetary compensation strategies, and you could see a more positive company culture, more engaged employees, and a more loyal, productive workforce.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Understanding the MSP Sales Process Part 1: Prospecting 101

Posted by Blake Loughran on May 23, 2017

Understanding the MSP Sales Process Part 1: Prospecting 101

Most successful business owners agree that enforcing process is critical to maximizing efficiency in other departments; but why are so many slow to implement a formal sales process? Perhaps the sheer number of potential sales methodologies is intimidating, or perhaps their cost is a hindrance. In this four-part series, Understanding the MSP Sales Process, I’ll provide a proven framework based on common threads shared by the most popular sales methodologies. We’ll take a close look at how these steps are pertinent in the MSP industry and how to best leverage each to increase your bottom line.

In their purest forms, the most prevalent sales processes follow four chronological stages: prospecting, information gathering, proposal, and closing the deal. Each of these steps is as important as the others and will be covered in separate monthly entries. Today, we’ll focus on the first step, prospecting, which is defined as a systematic method of developing relationships that can potentially be fostered into new clients.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Client Acquisition and Management

Improving Your Work-Life Balance Part 1: The Right Mentality

Posted by David Deckard on May 18, 2017

Improving Your Work-Life Balance Part 1: The Right Mentality

Work-life balance (insert eye-roll here) is a great theory; however, putting it into practice is another thing. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance isn’t always easy, especially in the IT services space. And let’s face it, there are very good reasons why.

At Continuum, we have Account Managers speaking to over 5,600 partners discussing consistent narratives, from the demands of constantly being on the hunt for talent to the episodic nature of the IT world. What this means is that, ultimately, there are rarely “typical” workdays. MSPs need to be on 24 hours a day, 365 days out of the year. Additionally, running an MSP business requires a plan that demands daily, weekly and monthly goals are met. All of these elements require attention, often at the expense of the well-intentioned balance. So, where can you begin to improve your work-life balance?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Partner Spotlight: Congratulations to All Our Top 100 MSPs!

Posted by Joseph Tavano on May 12, 2017

Partner Spotlight: Congratulations to All Our Top 100 MSPs

Recently, ChannelE2E published their Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs List 2017, based on Q1 2017 research, and there were many familiar names that make the list!

We’d like to take this time to congratulate all the Continuum partners among the top 100. These prestigious partners include:

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, IT Community

Making Your Way to $10M: 5 Questions for Building a Team of Top Talent

Posted by Peter Melby on May 11, 2017

Making Your Way to $10M: 5 Questions for Building a Team of Top Talent

Talent retention seems simple: hire qualified people, treat them well, pay them fairly, and they’ll stay for life, right? Well, it’s not quite as simple as it sounds. Finding and retaining top talent is a hot topic, especially in IT market. As my MSP business has reached the $10 million mark, I’ve learned that how you approach talent can either drive your business’ success or lead to its failure. Unfortunately, there is no middle ground. If you want to set your business up for success and become a $10 million MSP, you need to focus on nurturing and retaining your rising stars. So, where can you start?

In the first post of this series, I talked about five important lessons all MSPs should know before beginning the journey to $10M. Now that we’ve started, let’s take a deeper look into how you can optimize your current team to ensure sustainable success. Here are five key questions you should be asking yourselves to help build a team of top talent:

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

What Is Your Client Onboarding Experience? (Hint: If You Don't Know, You're Doing It Wrong)

Posted by Nicole Hunter Hart on May 4, 2017

What Is Your Client Onboarding Experience? (Hint: If You Don't Know, You're Doing It Wrong)" class="hide" width="638" title="What Is Your Client Onboarding Experience? (Hint: If You Don't Know, You're Doing It Wrong)

Did you know that it is six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one? As a managed services provider (MSP), you know this first hand. Finding and closing a new client deal takes time and money, and that’s before you’ve even factored in onboarding! Many businesses are under the impression that acquiring and adding new clients is what keeps them successful. While this is a factor, in reality, a long-term client is of much more value than a single-deal client. When you focus your attention on existing clients and retaining them for a longer lifecycle, you’ll be able to build a revenue foundation that is more profitable and predictable. Let’s take a deeper look into how you can do just that.

I’m writing this new blog series in the hopes of helping you increase your client retention and revenue through onboarding best practices and strategies. Throughout the series, you will learn how to analyze your client journey from the client’s perspective, effectively structure your onboarding experience for maximum impact, successfully demonstrate your value and set the stage to build lasting client relationships by leveraging a customer-centric model. Each post in this series is designed to build upon the previous, so be sure to come back regularly as we provide you with top tips for enhancements, homework questions to consider, and helpful templates to aide in elevating your client onboarding journey.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Client Acquisition and Management

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of April 2017

Posted by Lily Teplow on May 1, 2017

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of April 2017

Did you know that this week is National Small Business Week? Every year since 1963, we take time to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. As an MSP, this hits close to home because many of your clients are small business owners themselves. It is your core mission to do everything you can to protect these businesses and ensure all their IT needs are covered. Therefore, we’ve dedicated this month’s roundup of our top blog posts to helping both your business and your clients’ businesses be as successful as they can be.

Read up on how you can strengthen your clients’ cybersecurity strategy, how to perform quarterly business reviews to ensure successful service delivery, how to engage current and prospective clients with newsletters, and much more in our most popular posts below!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing

Partner Spotlight: How Using AIDA to Sell IT Support Can Help MSPs Gain More Clients

Posted by Nuresh Momin on April 28, 2017

Partner Spotlight: How Using AIDA to Sell IT Support Can Help MSPs Gain More Clients

Managed services providers (MSPs) provide a wide range of IT services that are vital to modern business. With the help of your expertise and services, clients have more peace of mind knowing you’re monitoring, managing and caring for their IT infrastructure. However, IT services don’t always sell themselves. Valuable IT providers need a structured approach to convince prospects of their value.

One of the best sales strategies follows the AIDA model, which stands for:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

Leveraging the AIDA model has helped my MSP business win over new clients, so let’s take a closer look at how it can help you do the same.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Partner Success

Backup to the Future Part VI: How (and When) to Switch Your Current BDR Vendor

Posted by Joseph Tavano on April 26, 2017

How (and When) to Switch Your Current BDR Vendor

Let’s face it: switching the technology you use every day—especially if it’s a core service your business provides, like BDR—is no simple undertaking. After all the blog posts, eBooks, and discussions with account managers, in the end MSPs are responsible for migrating to a new platform, updating their endpoints, training their staff, talking with clients and much more. It takes time. It takes effort. And, if it’s not the right decision, it can cost the business profits in the short and long term.

There’s a reason why “ripping and replacing” is discussed in hushed whispers; no one looks forward to it, really, and a lot is at stake. When you decide to replace your BDR vendor, you need to be absolutely sure it’s the right move, and you need to have a well-defined plan in place to roll it out efficiently to minimize adverse impacts on your clients and the business.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Vendor Management

3 Strategies for Increasing Your Productivity as a Business Owner

Posted by Lily Teplow on April 20, 2017

3 Strategies for Increasing Your Productivity as a Business Owner

If you own your own business, you're an extremely busy person. It's important to find ways to be more productive, but also make sure you're getting the rest and separation you need to be an effective business owner. This can be a lot easier said than done.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a struggle for many managed services providers (MSPs). You are knowledge workers, and process a tremendous amount of information in your day-to-day. But in order to be a topnotch provider for your clients and run a successful MSP business, you need to maximize your time and be as productive as possible. So, as a business owner, how can you increase your productivity while maintaining a healthy work-life balance? Start with these three strategies.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

How to Solve the MSP Marketing Struggle

Posted by Meaghan Moraes on April 18, 2017

How to Solve the MSP Marketing Struggle

Business growth: it’s on every MSP’s mind yet tends to fall to the bottom of the list when it comes to your day-to-day tasks. As a business owner, you’re constantly dealing with endless moving parts, so conserving your time and effort is really the only way to scale your business. Maybe you haven’t been focusing on marketing—even though it is circled and underlined three times on that to-do list—or maybe you’re taking a whack at this seemingly foreign concept.

The key point to consider here is that when you do marketing, it’s crucial that you understand how to do it right. So, what’s the first step in solving the MSP marketing struggle? You must develop and deploy an effective marketing strategy.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing

Partner Spotlight: How Standard Operating Procedures Can Help Your MSP Grow

Posted by Josh Giesing on April 14, 2017

How Standard Operating Procedures Can Help Your MSP Grow

Conducting business in today's competitive, technology-focused environment is becoming increasingly complex. As a fellow managed services provider (MSP), you know this first-hand. Today, we have to stay on top of not only our own market and technology developments, but also on the changing landscape of our clients’ markets. With all the ebb and flow of this industry, don’t you wish there was something to provide your business with more stability? Well, the answer might be to create and implement standard operating procedures (SOPs).

SOPs ensure consistency, create organization so that tasks can be easily completed, provide transparency for all key parties and make communication and training more seamless. Here are several ideas for implementing SOPs that can help MSPs increase efficiency and profits, leading to sustainable growth in the future.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

How to Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition and Differentiate Your Company

Posted by Nate Teplow on April 13, 2017

How to Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition and Differentiate Your Company

With the growing competition in the MSP landscape, developing a unique selling proposition is more important than ever. As the marketing continues to evolve and consolidate, it can be tough to identify and articulate what makes your MSP unique – especially in a services-based environment. You need to offer prospects an immediate glimpse of what sets your company apart in order to effectively sell your services and close more deals. So, how exactly can you make yourself stand out from all of the managed IT services offerings available?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Podcast

Making Your Way to $10M: 5 Important MSP Lessons

Posted by Peter Melby on April 11, 2017

Making Your Way to $10M: 5 Important MSP Lessons

Growing a business is exciting. In this industry, the idea of being a $10 million MSP is something many see as a top possible accomplishment. There are thousands of tips and best practices out there to help ensure we’re on the straight and smooth path to reaching this milestone. However, I have been down that path before, and let me tell you, it’s not as straight and smooth as you’d think.

The journey to becoming a $10M MSP is full of obstacles and reroutes, and you might even find yourself stumbling off one or two cliffs. If you aspire to take your business to the next level, you should beware that there will be challenges at every turn. In reflecting upon my own journey, I wanted to share a few important lessons that I’ve learned along the way. Making your way to $10M can be worth it, as long as you don't forget these key things:

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

All MSPs Need to Be Performing Quarterly Business Reviews. Here’s How.

Posted by Lily Teplow on April 4, 2017

All MSPs Need to Be Performing Quarterly Business Reviews. Here’s How.

It’s officially April, which brings one specific thing to mind. Now, I’m not talking about taxes or the long-awaited start of baseball season. I’m referring to the first quarter of 2017 coming to a close, which opens the opportunity for you to perform quarterly business reviews (QBRs) with your clients.

As a managed IT services provider (MSP), your goal is to build strong, long-term relationships with your clients. This relationship is usually defined by the quality of your work and the value you are delivering to the client. A great way to demonstrate this value is to perform QBRs. These are an essential component of your service offering and they help set you apart as an elite MSP partner, rather than just a vendor.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

Backup to the Future Part II: Bridging the IT Skills Gap as Backup Environments Become More Complex

Posted by Joseph Tavano on March 29, 2017

Backup to the Future Part II: Bridging the IT Skills Gap as Backup Environments Become More Complex

“Backup to the Future” is a blog series that explores the state of the backup and disaster recovery as a service today—and the challenges that come with offering it—and looks forward to the ongoing new paradigms that are dramatically transforming the sector into tomorrow. Through this eight-part series, you’ll learn the forces that are shaping the business models for MSPs offering BDR today, and how to evolve to take on new business more efficiently and more profitably for long-term success.

As discussed in part one of this series, many current BDR solutions available to MSPs today feature an outdated labor model that restricts growth and scalability. In this article, we’ll dig a little deeper into one of the crucial reasons why this is so: the growing IT skills gap.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Marketing KPIs All MSPs Should Be Tracking

Posted by Nate Teplow on March 28, 2017

Marketing KPIs All MSPs Should Be Tracking

In today’s increasingly-digital business landscape, everything is measurable. For growth-oriented MSPs, key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential in making sure your business is on a path to greater profitability and success. Now, there are certain profitability and sales KPIs you should be keeping track of, but what should you measure when it comes to marketing? If you’re looking to develop or refine an analytic strategy for your marketing efforts, here are some key metrics you should consider.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

Overcoming Cybersecurity Challenges with Managed IT Services

Posted by Lily Teplow on March 16, 2017

Overcoming Cybersecurity Challenges with Managed IT Services.png

If there is one thing we can be certain about when it comes to cybersecurity, it’s that the landscape will remain dynamic and turbulent over the coming years. Today, news headlines are dominated by cyberattacks and breaches that span across all industries – causing security to be top of mind for almost all businesses. However, these headlines don’t seem to be slowing down, which means that businesses are still struggling to keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape.

So, what are the biggest obstacles businesses face in achieving a stronger cybersecurity posture, and how are MSPs best-suited to help clients and prospects overcome these obstacles?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Managed Security Services

A Look at Today’s Changing Managed IT Services Landscape

Posted by Brandon Garcin on March 15, 2017

A Look at Today’s Changing Managed IT Services Landscape.png

The managed IT services market today is experiencing significant change. Businesses across all industries are becoming increasingly dependent on technology, and the skills gap in this industry continues to widen. What’s more, we’re beginning to see the potential for new legislation or policy that may impact how IT outsourcing services are delivered and consumed.

As these trends converge, MSPs must take a tactical approach to ensure that they’re aligning the right internal and external resources, putting the right processes in place and placing themselves on a path toward long-term success and stability.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Industry News

How to Write an Elevator Pitch for Your MSP Business

Posted by Frank Bauer on March 14, 2017

How to Write an Elevator Pitch for Your MSP Business.png

If there is an Achilles Heel of MSPs, it’s the role of sales and marketing. MSPs, by their very nature, are technology driven. They are comfortable in the realm of tech and can do things that others simply can’t fathom – it’s exactly why they exist! Although sales and marketing are essential in sustaining a profitable business, many MSP owners are often so immersed in the day-to-day of their business that they don’t have the time to market or sell.

But let me tell you something that MSP owners often don’t realize: you’re actually selling at all times. Think about it, you’re in a front-facing role where you’re frequently networking with other business owners. The trouble is, though, that you’re not always in “sales mode.” So, how can you better incorporate sales into your day-to-day in a way that feels natural?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing

8 Ways to Reduce Your Technician Turnover Rate

Posted by Mary McCoy on March 3, 2017

Did you know that today is National Employee Appreciation Day? It’s a day for companies to thank and recognize their employees for their hard work throughout the year. In honor of this, we wanted to know what MSP business owners could do to appreciate their techs and reduce their turnover rate. We all know that employee turnover is a business killer in the IT industry, but why is that? Bottom line: there’s a shortage of IT talent and a widening skills gap.  

In fact, there are about 593,500 IT jobs in the United States that have remained open for 90 days or longer. That equates to 50,000,000 days of lost IT productivity each quarter! So, what can be done about this? We turned to Spiceworks, a community of online IT professionals, to ask: What is one thing your boss could do to make your job more enjoyable? The influx of responses was astounding! After scanning the 64 (and counting) comments for common themes, we picked these eight ways to cut down on employee churn!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, IT Community, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of February 2017

Posted by Lily Teplow on March 1, 2017

The-Top-5-MSP-Blog-Posts-of-February-2017.pngCan you believe it’s already March? With only one month left in the quarter, it’s time to focus on maximizing your client relationships, closing those deals and ending this month on a high note. Now, if only there were some blog posts out there that would help you do just that... Oh wait!

Although February is a month shorter in days, there was no shortage of valuable posts on the MSP Blog. A lot was covered this past month, including how to strengthen your MSP sales strategies for 2017, how to align your IT services with your clients’ and prospects’ business priorities, tools and tips for greater workplace productivity and much more! So without further ado, here are the top five blog posts our readers couldn’t get enough of this February.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing

2017 Cybersecurity Trends and How MSPs Can Capitalize

Posted by Scott Spiro on March 1, 2017

2017 Cybersecurity Trends and How MSPs Can Capitalize.pngOver the last several years, cybersecurity has become one of the most vexing problems for companies of all sizes. Today, business owners know hackers are out to steal information from their networks and endpoints, but few have IT experts with the right experience to fight off cybercriminals. However, this situation creates a ripe opportunity for your MSP.

Before you can meet the needs of existing and potential clients, though, you'll need to understand the emerging cybersecurity trends and how to capitalize on them.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Managed Security Services

How to Build a Successful BDR Line of Business

Posted by Nate Teplow on February 28, 2017

How to Build a Successful BDR Line of Business.pngThe backup and disaster recovery (BDR) market has seen tremendous growth over the last five years and presents a big opportunity for managed IT services providers. The small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) you serve now require effective disaster recovery and continuity planning as part of their daily operations, and MSPs are best-suited to deliver these services. However, many IT providers still struggle with developing a BDR line of business and profitably servicing their clients. So, what are some strategies MSPs can use to build, strengthen and deliver a successful BDR offering?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Podcast

6 Tips and 8 Tools for Greater Workplace Productivity

Posted by Mary McCoy on February 22, 2017

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Do you ever struggle with work piling on and on that you feel like you’re playing an endless game of catch-up? Our frustration peaks as productivity plummets and we're left with only one thought: "Where did the day go?"

We've all been there, right? We stare at our list of to-do items for the day knowing full well we can't cross them off until we buckle down and eliminate distractions. But let's face it, sometimes this works better in theory than in practice.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

3 Tips for Unleashing Your Managed Services Sales Potential

Posted by Lane Smith on February 15, 2017

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We’re already well into the first quarter of 2017, and I bet you’re thinking about how you can amplify the sales of your managed IT services. Many MSPs still struggle with selling their services because there are countless variables to consider. For example, who are your ideal clients and what is your target market? What should your sales force look like and what should your sales cycle look like? The list can go on and on. While you’re figuring these factors out, it’s likely that you’re out selling your managed services already. To help you get started and maximize the effectiveness of your sales team, here are three steps you can take to accelerate your sales cycle and increase your close rates.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

5 Simple Ways to Break the $1M Revenue Barrier

Posted by Frank Bauer on February 8, 2017

Who Wants to be an MSP Millionaire

Who wants to be an MSP millionaire? OK, so we’re really talking about annual revenue for your business, but still impressive, no? Isn’t the dream of achieving those financial goals part of the reason you started your practice in the first place? Maybe you haven’t reached this important milestone yet. You used up all of your lifelines, and the pressure of the “hot seat” got to you. That’s OK! Chris Harrison might judge you, but we won’t. Instead, let’s put two minutes on the clock as we demonstrate five simple steps you can take to hit your $1 million revenue mark!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

Align Your Business for Success: An Organizational Chart Built to Scale

Posted by Ben Barker on February 8, 2017

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By now, you have heard all about the benefits of partnering with a third-party NOC and Help Desk. You know that offloading day-to-day tasks frees up your technicians to be more proactive and focus on the big picture. But once you make that move and get to a place where your team no longer needs to work reactively, you need to adjust your organizational structure. It won't happen automatically, it won't happen overnight, but it needs to happen if you want to grow and scale your MSP business.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Webinar Highlights

Reasons to Use Managed IT Services in 2017

Posted by Mary McCoy on February 3, 2017

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As cited in CompTIA's 5th Annual Trends in Managed Services report, "the global managed-services market is predicted to grow to $193B by 2019, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.5%." What is fueling this impressive level of adoption? Why are so many business owners fans of your business model? We dug into this report and more to examine the top reasons small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) list for working with MSPs and IT solutions providers. As you build your 2017 sales strategy, pay attention to these main market drivers.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

What to Look For in Your First Full-Time Marketing Hire: The Weekly Byte [VIDEO]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on January 23, 2017

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The right resources, messaging and marketing strategy can transform just about any MSP website into a lead-generating engine—but who’s going to actually create the content? If you’re preparing to hire your first full-time marketer, what are the key characteristics and background you should look for?

This episode of The Weekly Byte provides a high-level overview of the types of candidates you should seek out when beginning to build out your own marketing team. Tune in now to learn more!

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Hiring and Recruiting, The Weekly Byte

3 Strategies for Achieving Operational Efficiency

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on January 19, 2017

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As a managed services provider in the SMB market, the challenge of growing your operational maturity, bringing on more clients and simultaneously caring for existing accounts can be daunting. From the moment that first contract is signed, tickets begin to come at your team at 1000 mph from all directions – all with the same level of urgency. Your support staff gets stretched too thin, yet all the while your sales team is out looking for new clients that will also need support!

So, the questions begin to pile on. Do you invest in a bigger support team so you’re ready for newly acquired business? Or do you hire an outside sales rep to generate the revenue to pay for your team? Do you hire an internal account manager to offload the customer service requests? Or do you invest in more specialized training for your current team? The list goes on and on. But as the old adage goes, the key is to "work smarter, not harder."

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

How to Reduce Operational Expenses and Increase Revenue

Posted by Ben Barker on January 18, 2017

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Where has the IT industry been and where is it going? When Eric Townsend, Director of MSP and SMB Marketing for Intel Corporation, joined us for last week’s webinar titled “The Top 5 Ways to Reduce Operational Expenses and Increase Revenue in 2017,” this is the question we began with. “Where have we been and where are we going?" For many of us in the IT industry, we’re probably familiar with the answer to the first part of this question. However the second part, "where are we going?," has a more surprising answer. According to Townsend, we are heading toward the world of managing all devices.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Webinar Highlights

Creating a Career Path for Your Technical Team

Posted by Lane Smith on January 17, 2017

Creating a Career Path for your Technical Team.pngWith the unemployment rate for the technology sector hovering around 2 percent, finding and retaining top talent needs to be a priority for any MSP business. While there are many factors that contribute to a successful MSP business, I have found that developing a clear career path for employees is one of the core foundations for success.

When owning and or running a small business, you start out with a specific vision for the company, which often incorporates your personal career path. It’s extremely easy to get caught up in this vision because you see the future of the company and how you fit into it. But can you say the same about your employees?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

4 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Growing Your Managed Services Business

Posted by Matt Waters on January 12, 2017

If there’s one constant in the IT industry, it’s change. For many managed services providers, this change presents a significant opportunity in the market to expand. Being poised for growth is a key component to your profitability, yet scaling your MSP effectively can be a lot trickier than it sounds. Whether it be struggling to meet your current demand or securing your IT platform, there are a handful of barriers to face when seeking to take your business to new heights. To capitalize on this opportunity, though, you’ll need to be sure your own organization is prepared to face the challenges that exist when growing your business. Here are four common mistakes you should avoid when scaling your MSP business.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

How to Incentivize Your Employees Towards the Right Behavior

Posted by Matt Waters on January 10, 2017

How-to-Incentivize-Your-Employees-Towards-the-Right-Behavior.pngBeing a successful MSP today means going beyond traditional project-based work and support for your clients. The business landscape is changing every day, and as a business owner you need to be constantly improving to stay competitive, or better yet, to lead the charge. Whether it be providing annual IT budget advice, vCIO support or rolling full IT management into your contracts – your number one focus should be on developing strategic partnerships with your clients. In order to do so, you must first ensure that your internal team is all working in the same direction. 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

Is Remote IT Damaging Your Client Relationships?

Posted by Joel Kennedy on January 4, 2017

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The advent of remote monitoring and management (RMM) software has transformed the way we deliver IT, paving the way for the managed IT services industry. Indeed, the market is projected to be worth $242.5 billion by 2021!

But while RMM helps MSPs enjoy enterprise-level automation and monitoring, collect monthly recurring revenue (MRR), optimize end-user uptime without disruption during servicing, increase technician utilization and productivity and more, the technology often creates one unintended side effect. Has your proactive IT service delivery left you out of sight and out of mind with your clients? 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

Note to MSPs: Be a Car Manufacturer, Not a Parts Dealer

Posted by Ray Vrabel on January 3, 2017

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Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? In managed IT services, absolutely.

Let’s say I just started my own business as a traveling salesman. In order to power my business, I need to invest in a mode of transportation. Assuming I’m staying local, to travel from point A to point B, I decide to buy a car. Now, rather than purchase wheels, an engine, pedals and all other parts required to assemble an automobile, wouldn't it just be smarter to leave that to the professionals and drive the fully-built car off the lot hassle-free? 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

8 Strategies for Cross-Selling and Upselling Your Current Clients

Posted by Nate Teplow on December 27, 2016

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One of the most effective ways to grow your business is by expanding your services with your current clients. They know you, so the cost of upselling or cross-selling an existing client is much lower than acquiring net new business. In adopting this strategy, you can expect a much higher response rate because you've already established a relationship with these decision makers. And since they already understand and buy into the value of your managed IT services, it’s a much shorter sales cycle! 

If you're looking for quick wins and easy growth, here are some strategies that will help you cross-sell and upsell your clients.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

Why MRR Should Be Every MSP's End Game

Posted by Scott Spiro on December 21, 2016

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Is your cash flow all over the place? Perhaps you accept too many big-ticket IT projects that help you get by in the short-term, but funds run out before landing your next large contract. Solely targeting these one-off projects places tremendous pressure on your business—not to mention your margins—especially if too much time passes in between clients.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

Transitioning from Referral Only to an MSP Sales Powerhouse: Part 3

Posted by Mike Barnes on December 20, 2016

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In part one of this series, we addressed transitioning out of a “referral only" sales mindset. In part two, we began to explore criteria for building a successful sales team, examining the advantages and disadvantages of part-time and full-time labor, “hunters" versus “farmers" and various compensation plans.

To be certain, there is no perfect, out-of-box, this-is-right-every-time scenario when it comes to building a sales team. In fact, compared with building a technical team, it might be even more difficult. Technical talent can be measured, or at least vetted, based on certifications and actual hard skills. Sales, on the other hand, is very much a soft-skills profession. There are countless sales programs and techniques that any given salesperson may have been trained in, but there is literally no way to predict how well a salesperson will perform for your business — especially if there is no existing system in place.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

Is Your Managed Services Business Running Into These 5 Problems?

Posted by Ray Vrabel on December 13, 2016

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The managed services market is predicted to grow from $145.33 billion in 2016 to $242.45 billion by 2021 at a 10.8 percent CAGR! With such an outlook, it's no wonder so many MSPs are seizing this opportunity.

Whether proactive IT management has been your primary business model for years or you're exploring the managed IT services advantage for the first time, the potential for revenue growth is significant. Yet, maybe you've struggled to capitalize on this growing market. You're not alone. Here are five of the most common problems MSPs encounter and how you can avoid these pitfalls in your own business.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

How to Find the Perfect Appliance for a BDR Client

Posted by Lily Teplow on December 8, 2016

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So, you’ve just gained a new client that wants to leverage your business continuity services. That’s great! But what’s the next step? As their MSP, you’re promising to ensure continuous uptime and complete data protection, so you need to be backed with the right technology. An essential component to your BDR offering is the appliance itself – but the challenge is that these machines can come in many different shapes and sizes.

Finding the right BDR appliance isn’t an easy task, and it means putting in the time to evaluate exactly what your client’s needs are. You need to understand the benefits of each solution and their requirements before settling on the best choice for you and your client. So what exactly should you consider when searching for a new BDR appliance?

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Selling Managed Services: What Sales Roles Will You Need?

Posted by Lane Smith on December 8, 2016

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As you close out the year and finalize annual revenue targets going forward, consider whether you have the right internal resources needed to hit these goals. And by this, I don't just mean bodies available to answer and make sales calls. Have you established a sales super team? Perhaps you already have dedicated sales personnel or plan to hire more sales reps in the future. No matter where you fall along this spectrum, to grow revenue and profitability for your managed IT services business, it is vital that you build your team along the following guidelines.  

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

How to Decrease Your RMM Support Costs

Posted by Nate Teplow on December 7, 2016

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If you want to increase your margins, there are two main ways to do so. Option 1: you can increase your prices, which may lead to tough conversations and/or client churn. Option 2: you can decrease your costs, which can be much more effective because it gives you more control over your margins and isn’t client-facing.

In this blog post, we’ll outline some key considerations and strategies to decrease your remote monitoring and management (RMM) support costs to help you optimize your profitability and grow your business.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Remote Monitoring and Management

6 Simple Mistakes That Cost IT Support Companies Business

Posted by Scott Spiro on December 1, 2016

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Your IT support company offers an excellent set of managed services for potential clients, but you can't seem to land as much new business as you'd expect. Why is that?

You could be unintentionally driving prospects away or missing lucrative opportunities. Whether you're looking to speed up your sales process, drive more qualified leads or develop a more profitable, loyal client base, growth in the new year is possible. You just have to get out of your own way. 

Here are 6 IT support mistakes MSPs make that push clients into the arms of their competitors. 

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of November 2016

Posted by Mary McCoy on November 30, 2016

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If you're reading this, it means you were not trampled to death at your local Best Buy last Friday.

Does this whole month seem like a blur? Are you feeling behind at work? Catch up with the latest helpful content! In addition to season's greetings, we're bringing you November's top 5 MSP Blog posts, a platter of material your MSP peers and fellow IT professionals absolutely devoured! OS hardening tips, ways of working with millennials, managed IT services pricing strategies, we're sharing it all. Pile on your plate! 

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Hiring and Recruiting, Pricing and Packaging, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Transitioning from Referral Only to an MSP Sales Powerhouse: Part 2

Posted by Mike Barnes on November 22, 2016

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In the first part of this series, we discussed the time in every MSP’s development where a decision needs to be made: Do we take the business from a referral-only operation to a sales operation?

This is a seminal moment in the life of a growing MSP, and the choice should not be made lightly. There are many angles to consider in putting together a legitimate sales effort in the MSP space. In this installment, we are going to examine a few elements that move an MSP from a referral business to a sales machine.

This is, admittedly, a lot of ground to cover, but here we go.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

Managing Millennials: Clarifying Job Expectations to Retain More Talent 

Posted by Mary McCoy on November 17, 2016

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Entitled. Self-absorbed. Lazy. These are a few of many unflattering words used to describe my generation, the Millennials. We're the population of smartphone-clutching, selfie-snapping trophy winners born between 1982 and 2000, and we represent the largest share of the U.S. labor market.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Is Your RMM Solution Holding You Back?

Posted by Joseph Tavano on November 16, 2016

There’s only a few weeks left in 2016, which makes it a great time to start reevaluating the products, subscriptions, services and contracts for your technology, to decide if they are still the best fit for you business. Often, it becomes apparently clear over time when your technology is not aligned to meet the current needs of your business. However, when forecasting for greater growth in the future, the outlook can become murkier.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Remote Monitoring and Management

The IT Skills Gap is Real, But Not Impossible to Overcome

Posted by Ben Barker on November 16, 2016

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What is a skills gap? According to Gary Beach, best-selling author of "The U.S. Technology Skills Gap" and former publisher at CIO Magazine, a skills gap exists when a company is no longer able to execute its strategies or grow its revenue because it cannot hire and retain the talent needed.

Recently, Gary joined Continuum partner and President of Greystone Technology Group, Peter Melby, on a webinar to discuss how MSPs can effectively avoid this gap by hiring, retaining and growing top IT talent. Here are some of the main takeaways! 

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Topics: Hiring and Recruiting, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

How We Generate and Retain Business Through Wine Mixers

Posted by Megan Augustine on November 8, 2016

How-We-Generate-and-Retain-Business-through-Wine-Mixers-Micro-Doctor-IT.jpgDid you know that 69 percent of B2B marketers consider in-person events effective (Sensible Marketing)? In-person events allow you to break down barriers, make eye contact with someone and shake their hand.

As Marketing Manager of Micro Doctor IT, I’ve discovered the value of face-to-face interactions after three years of holding Joint Venture Marketing events. Originally inspired by premier IT marketing consultant, Robin Robin’s Technology Marketing Toolkit, we mix it up by capitalizing on the growing popularity of wine tastings. With all the new wineries and micro-breweries popping up, wouldn’t an event that brings in high-end wines for decision makers to taste be a success?

That’s what we’ve found with our Wine Down Wednesday Business Mixers. Since starting these events in 2014, Micro Doctor has landed two to five new monthly recurring revenue (MRR) clients per year. We are still working seven leads from our last event on October 19th alone, and I would expect to close at least half of those. Besides landing new MRR managed services clients, these events have helped us strengthen relationships with existing clients and build market awareness. Want to know our secret?

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

Growing Revenue by Adding New Clients: Paul Chisholm Keynote Part 2

Posted by Lily Teplow on November 3, 2016

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Recently, Paul Chisholm, retired CEO of mindSHIFT Technologies, led an illuminating keynote about revenue growth at Navigate 2016. If you didn't get the chance to attend, we're continuing our two-part recap of his session. In part 1, we established the need for MSPs to defend, protect and grow their existing client base in order to generate additional revenue for their business. Client satisfaction, retention, upsells and cross-sells are all needle-movers, but how can you take this a step further and seek out new opportunities for expansion?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Navigate 2016

11 Ongoing, Tedious Backup Tasks Your Techs Are Sick of

Posted by Mary McCoy on November 2, 2016

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How much time do your technicians spend managing backups for each client?

It's easily a full-time job, and yet, maybe only represents a small fraction of their responsibilities. For most MSPs, backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is just one of many offerings in their service portfolios. Clients rely on your round-the-clock technical support to power their businesses. You provide the peace of mind that the entirety of their IT environment remains secure, efficient and online. Understandably, this level of service can result in long hours and overworked technicians.

But what tasks actually consume so much of their time and effort and how much of it is avoidable? With a booming BDR market and the need for constant data accessibility, you certainly don't want technician bandwidth to be a hindrance to the growth of your business continuity services. Instead, think about how you can more efficiently support this offering internally. You should ask yourself if any of your techs are forced to carry out these 11 times, and more importantly, what this could mean for your business.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Hiring and Recruiting, Continuity247, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Pricing Managed Services the Right Way

Posted by Tim Busa on November 1, 2016

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Developing an effective and complete marketing strategy for your business is never a simple task. The first place to start is with the Marketing Mix, otherwise known as The Four P’s of Marketing: Product, Promotion, Place and Price.

As the term "mix" would suggest, these elements are meant to work in concert with one another, however, most marketers spend very little time thinking about the price of their products and services. Fewer than 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a full-time function dedicated to pricing, according to data from the Professional Pricing Society, the world’s largest organization dedicated to pricing. McKinsey & Company has estimated that fewer than 15 percent of companies do systematic research on this subject [source].

So this means that you are spending hours developing and fine-tuning your product offering. You are coming up with innovative and creative promotions in order to drive demand. You’ve carefully selected your location and are taking advantage of all of your local channels and connections. But what about your price? How did you come up with it? Have you ever revisited what you’re charging?

Here are a few considerations when pricing managed IT services:

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Topics: Pricing and Packaging

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of September 2016

Posted by Lily Teplow on September 30, 2016

Autumn is officially in full swing! But before we break out the Halloween decorations, let’s take a look back at the MSP blog posts you couldn’t get enough of this past month! We covered a lot in September, including inbound marketing best practices, how to sell your managed IT services, MSP pricing and much more! Here’s a roundup of the top five posts:

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Help Desk, Pricing and Packaging

Company Culture and Retaining IT Talent: Q&A with Kathy DeShields

Posted by Lily Teplow on September 15, 2016

Do you ever feel like your employees aren’t excited about coming into work, or that employee engagement is lower than it should be? Today, retaining quality IT talent has become a critical issue that many MSPs struggle with. What they don’t know, though, is that culture plays an important part in employee retention.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Three Factors that Influence MSP Pricing & Profitability: The Weekly Byte [VIDEO]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on September 5, 2016

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There are a number of important factors to consider when pricing and packaging managed IT services—especially when it comes to understanding margins and profitability. In this episode of The Weekly Byte, we explore three factors that can influence your MSP pricing strategy. Tune in to learn more!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Pricing and Packaging, The Weekly Byte

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of August 2016

Posted by Lily Teplow on August 31, 2016

Are you sick of seeing back to school commercials already? It’s hard to believe another month of managed IT services blog posts has flown by, but to prevent those end-of-summer blues we’ve rounded up our top posts of August! Have you ever wondered how to price your managed services? Do you have the right onboarding strategy when taking on new clients? We’ve answered these questions and more in this month’s roundup!

Without further ado, here are the MSP blog posts our readers couldn’t get enough of this August!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting, Client Quick Tips, Pricing and Packaging

How Do I Price Managed Services?

Posted by Brandon Garcin on August 9, 2016

“Do you have any managed services pricing strategies or tips?” That’s the single most common question I get asked by business owners trying to evolve from a break/fix model to a managed IT services model. Ultimately, you understand the need to evolve your product portfolio and expand into offering more proactive IT support. As a business model, managed IT services provides monthly reoccurring revenue and aligns your interests with those of your clients, thereby making those clients stickier. But still, MSPs with varying levels of maturity often lack confidence in your current pricing strategy. So what is there to consider when pricing managed services, and what are some of the most popular pricing approaches today?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Pricing and Packaging

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of July 2016

Posted by Lily Teplow on August 4, 2016

The heavily anticipated Olympic Games opening ceremony premiers tomorrow night – where the best athletes from all around the world will come together and compete for the gold. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up the best of our MSP blog content this past month! We covered a variety of topics, including how managed services differs from break/fix, tips for enhancing your service delivery and SLAs, how to create and host successful webinars, and more. So before you tune into the Olympic games, be sure to go for the gold by following these best practices highlighted in our top blog posts of July!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

3 Major Pitfalls & Profits When Promoting from Within

Posted by David Russell on August 2, 2016


People debate about whether it is best to promote employees or hire seasoned talent. It really depends on your company culture.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

12 Driving Forces to Maximize Employee Productivity

Posted by David Russell on July 19, 2016

I am often asked how to motivate employees. The answer may surprise you: You can't. Your only option is to provide an environment where they motivate themselves.

Yes, this is hard work, even with employees who are naturally self-motivated. It is a discipline of systematic power to engage them in work that is individually meaningful to them, and communicate your value to them in ways they prefer. But how do you identify specifically what motivates each employee in your organization?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Which 3 Critical Leadership Habits Will Transform Your MSP Operation?

Posted by David Russell on July 5, 2016

Lately Inc. Magazine has gone into hyperdrive with article headlines stating the number of best practices you must practice to be a great leader and save time. This is our bread and butter at Dave's Charm School, because we believe it's fundamentally important that every MSP business owner knows what separates a manager from a leader. To give you a taste of our training program, here are three leadership habits every IT solutions provider needs to adopt. In doing so, I guarantee you'll be a better leader than 98 percent of the people in management positions across the globe.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Creating Equity Compensation Plans to Retain Your Rock Star Employees

Posted by Joseph Tavano on June 8, 2016

Losing key employees can have a significant impact on your business. Most MSPs have trouble finding and retaining their top talent, however, equity compensation plans are a great way to incentivize employees to stay with your company. There’s a lot to consider when building equity compensation plans, so how do you ensure you’re building effective plans that will help you keep your rocks tar employees?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Podcast, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Why You Should Attend Navigate 2016

Posted by Joseph Tavano on June 1, 2016

Conferences are a great way for MSPs to network, learn, connect with their vendors and focus on growing their businesses. That’s why we created Navigate, Continuum’s Annual User Conference, to help our partners grow their business--and Navigate 2016 is sure to be one of the highlights of the year.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Navigate 2016, Vendor Management, Podcast

How to Get More out of Your Vendor Relationships

Posted by Joseph Tavano on May 25, 2016

The IT channel has evolved quite a bit over the past decade. No longer are IT companies described as VARs, resellers or distributors to their vendors, but rather, they are partners. So how do you get more value out of your vendor relationships?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing, Vendor Management, Podcast

Staffing up: Who and How to Hire for a Scaling MSP Business

Posted by Joseph Tavano on May 24, 2016

Congratulations! You’ve done well. You started your MSP business from the ground up, and it’s grown over time. Your forecasts are up and to the right, and clients are beating down your door. All good things, right?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

Robin Robins Boot Camp Takeaways

Posted by Joseph Tavano on May 18, 2016

Nate is back from the Robin Robins Boot Camp, and he brought back some important takeaways from talking to numerous MSPs.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Pricing and Packaging, Podcast

Managed IT Services Pricing Strategies to Maximize Margins [White Paper]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on May 17, 2016

As managed IT services technology and best practices continue to evolve, understanding how to effectively price and package solutions has become increasingly complex. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to MSP pricing that can guarantee success, it’s important to have a strong foundational understanding of today’s popular approaches in order to determine which is best for your business.

To provide an overview of today’s pricing landscape, we’ve published a new white paper: Pricing Profitably: Managed IT Services Pricing Strategies to Maximize Margins.

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Topics: Pricing and Packaging

MSP Pricing Model Tips and Strategies

Posted by Joseph Tavano on May 11, 2016

Effectively pricing and packaging your services can be one of the most difficult challenges to tackle as an MSP. How do you know you’re maximizing your profits while not scaring away prospects with prices that are too high?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Pricing and Packaging, Podcast

5 Ways to Hire the IT Best & Avoid the Rest

Posted by David Russell on April 26, 2016

Have you ever wished you could go back in time and un-hire an applicant? They seemed like the perfect choice at first, but you quickly realized they weren't right for the position. The time to discover this is not after extending the full time position, but before!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

7 Actions You Must Take to Retain Top IT Employees

Posted by David Russell on April 12, 2016

Too often leaders convince great people to join their company and then assume they are happy until the day comes when the superstar resigns.

When you find and hire true IT talent, that is the start of your “selling process,” not the end of it.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

Quick-Start Guide to Pricing & Packaging Managed IT Services [SlideShare]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on April 11, 2016

Quick-Start Guide to Pricing & Packaging Managed IT Services [SlideShare]


As managed IT services technology continues to evolve, pricing and packaging strategies and best practices are becoming more complex. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all method that can guarantee success, it’s important for service providers to have a basic understanding of the pros and cons of various approaches in order to determine which makes the most sense for their business. 

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Pricing and Packaging

3 Tips for Finding, Hiring and Managing Super IT Talent

Posted by Mary Crogan on April 8, 2016

Is recruiting skilled technicians a challenge for you? Do you follow traditional HR hiring practices: Write a job description, post it, interview candidates, look for a technical skill match, and then hire subpar IT candidates because you can’t afford top talent and likely are losing them to companies with deeper pockets?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

How MSPs Price & Package IT Services Today [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Mary McCoy on March 10, 2016

How are your MSP peers pricing and packaging their IT services today?

That's a question we aimed to answer when we surveyed over 150 IT providers, all with their own strategies and tactics for service offerings and delivery. As captured in the following infographic, the approaches MSPs are taking to maximize margins are far from uniform. Bundled or A la carte? Flat fee or Tiered? Per Device or Per User? We've got the results, including typical margins per service and leading factors affecting pricing. Where do you fall along the MSP spectrum? We get down to dollars and sense.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Pricing and Packaging

Are You Ready to Hire Your First Sales Rep?

Posted by Mike Barnes on January 11, 2016

At Navigate 2015, our annual MSP user conference held last September, I hosted a table topic on “How to Generate More Qualified Leads.” As with all other sessions at the event, each of our partners in the group asked relevant questions and passed along helpful advice to peers. I had hoped my contribution would be to share best practices for acquiring more high-quality prospects through various marketing campaigns and activities, thinking lead generation was the biggest challenge the group needed to overcome. And while finding leads without having to rely on referrals is often a struggle for MSPs, this particular conversation quickly switched gears, with attendees asking:

“Now that I have all these leads, what do I do with them?”

There is no value in having an endless supply of leads that never close into new clients. Your marketing efforts are useless if they don’t grow your customer base. That being said, you can't have all your employees solely focused on making the sale. Have you thought about hiring your first sales representative? If you're like the people at my table topics session, you may not know when the right time to do this is. As you continue to plan your growth and think about what your business will look like in 2016, consider these takeaways from our discussion.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Navigate 2015, Hiring and Recruiting

What to Ask and Look for When Interviewing a New IT Hire

Posted by Steve Flanigan on December 30, 2015

Your company has decided to hire a new member for your IT Department, and you have been tasked with the job of advertising the listing and interviewing the applicants. In the job description, you've defined the position, what it entails and the minimum requirements the ideal candidate must meet. But let's take the case of a general IT technical position, one in which there is no specific specialization required. Once you have posted the position both internally and externally and received many, if not hundreds of resumes for this one position, how do you narrow down the selection to find the most qualified applicant? This is where your work really begins!

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Topics: Hiring and Recruiting

Disconnect to Reconnect: How to Build a Healthy Work Life Balance

Posted by Ben Barker on December 8, 2015

If you're like many people these days, work does not end when you head home from the office. The ease of access and connectivity that our devices provide us with makes it increasingly difficult to truly "leave" work at the end of the day. It may seem like being able to stay constantly connected to your work through your personal devices would allow you to operate more efficiently. However, as Scott Spiro, Founder and President of Computer Solutions Group, Inc. communicated at Navigate 2015 in Las Vegas, the exact opposite happens. When you don't have a healthy balance between your work life and your life OUTSIDE of work, there are negative repercussions on both ends. 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Accelerating Your Growth Through Acquisitions: MSPradio 60

Posted by Nate Teplow on August 11, 2015

 

There's a lot of acquisition activity in the managed services industry. There are opportunities to be acquired as an MSP, but there's also opportunities to make an acquisition and accelerate your growth. But how do you know if you're ready to make an acquisition?

On this episode of MSPradio, we welcome back George Sierchio, Vice President & Senior Partner at Cogent Growth Partners, who talks about how you know if you're ready to acquire and how you can be successful in that acquisition.

Tune in now and learn if you're ready to accelerate your growth!

Have any thoughts to share or want to be on an upcoming show? Email us at mspradio@continuum.net

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Information Security, Mergers and Acquisitions, Podcast

How to Find and Retain the Best Talent for Your Business: MSPradio 55

Posted by Nate Teplow on July 2, 2015

Finding and retaining good talent is something all small business struggle with. Employee churn is one of the biggest hurdles to growth, so how can you be sure to not just find good talent but keep good talent when it comes to your business?

On this episode of MSPradio, we chat with Wayne Rampey, CEO, and Todd Billiar, Director of Channel Sales & Marketing at VAR Staffing. Wayne and Todd cover some of the key steps in the MSP talent acquisition process and what you need to know to be successful.

Tune in now to learn how to prevent good talent from slipping through your fingers!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Hiring and Recruiting, Podcast

Create "Hire"works to Recruit Top Talent

Posted by Lily Teplow on July 2, 2015

Break out the fireworks - America’s most patriotic holiday is right around the corner! Fourth of July is a day where barbecue tongs circulate tabletops, and there’s never a shortage of hot dogs. It’s a day where people parade around in those American flag shorts they’ve had since college, and get zero judgment for it. This holiday may be a massive display of red, white, and blue, but our nation's birthday is mainly a day you spend surrounded by friends and family. Everybody enjoys good company, especially in the office. Having talented and valuable employees is what makes a company most successful. This brings us to our next July 4th-themed item on our MSP Summer BuckIT List: create “hire”works to ramp up your recruiting efforts!

Keep reading to learn how you can recruit and hire top talent for your business!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of June 2015

Posted by Alicia Lazzaro on July 1, 2015

With June wrapping up, we have a lot to look forward to in the coming summer months: weekends away at the beach, barbeque's that last all day and roasting marshmallows by a campfire. Even though there is a lot of fun to be had in the summer, there is still work to be done and lots of blog posts to be read. Check out some of these highlights from June, including why break-fix services are bad for your business, ways to stay secure online and the most common types of user error and how to prevent them.

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Topics: Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Data Loss, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Better Call an MSP: Hiring Long-Term, Effective Employee Talent

Posted by Ray Vrabel on March 26, 2015

In previous blog posts, I've discussed various tips on how MSPs can break the cycle of various “bad” business habits. In keeping with that same theme, I would like to welcome you to this year’s new blog series, “Better Call an MSP.” For this new monthly blog series, we are changing how we choose each monthly blog topic for discussion. We would like to hear from you, the MSP community, and discuss what you need to know! Comment below with any questions or challenges you have.

For this first post, we're discussing hiring and recruiting processes. Having personally participated in those that have worked, here are some tips to keep in mind when starting the hiring process to save both time and money – and to ensure that the hire is an appropriate long-term fit.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

What You Should Look for in Mergers and Acquisitions: MSPtv Episode 40

Posted by Tim Lewis on March 24, 2015

 03-24-2015-Ryerse.png

Mergers and Acquisitions can be exciting events for Managed IT Service Providers. Being acquired can provide access to new product lines, clientele, and knowledge on new technology. But before you sign on the dotted line, it's important to see if your business can really mesh well with your new business partner. Sure, there is a big financial reward in M&A's, but having a similarity in culture and intentions can be just as important in the long run. One of our partners, Jay Ryerse, CEO of JTECH Networks, was recently acquired by Digitel Corporation. We decided to sit down to speak with him about the recent acquisition. Tune in!

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Topics: Mergers and Acquisitions, Video

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