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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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The More SMBs Know: BDR Edition

Posted March 23, 2015by Joseph Tavano

Managed IT service providers are experts in their field (and often in many others as well). Day in, day out, they are focused on a variety of services and issues that are commonplace in the channel: closing tickets, providing support, meeting client needs, and growing business, among many others.

However, time and time again, MSPs find that there is a significant disconnect between the services that MSPs provide and the IT issues SMB clients feel are critical to the success of their business. This can lead to a situation where MSPs are providing all the services requested by their client, but not all the services the client optimally needs. Specifically, many SMBs have gaping holes in their BDR and security strategies that they don’t know even exist.

Are your clients running on WordPress?

Take, for example, that it was recently reported that over 75% of users on the popular website platform WordPress do not back up their sites, with 22% of these saying that backup is unimportant to them. For emphasis, this is a platform that many SMB businesses are based on, and a security breach, data loss incident, or other data disaster could wipe out their site and cripple their business. Clearly, there is a trend in certain SMB sectors to place little importance on backups as a mission-critical priority. And, while there are many factors unique to the WordPress platform such as its ease of use that can obfuscate the direct need for security and backup for these independent SMBs, it does shed light on a systemic issue. Because of the intensive nature of most SMB businesses, the key decision makers are typically focusing on the core business issues: serving their clients, addressing their business issues, and optimizing growth.

Related: 5 SMB IT Channel Trends for 2015: MSPradio 39

What your clients don't know could destroy their business

Because of this SMB focus, managed IT service providers need to be one step ahead of their clients, assessing and anticipating their business needs beyond the initial request and provision. Specifically, while BDR solutions may not always be the driver for initial calls, it is nonetheless essential for virtually every business operating today. With the majority of businesses closing their doors within a year of a data loss incident, what your clients don’t know could destroy their business.

Related: BDR Facts that Might Shock You: Pop Quiz!

Too little, too late

It may come as a surprise, but another significant trend persists—many MSPs wait until an SMB suffers a data disaster to offer backup and disaster recovery services! Discussing BDR solutions following a data disaster is just too late—in addition to losing a chance to increase the service offering with an essential service, MSPs who wait until after a data loss incident could be hindering their own business as well. Since the statistical majority of clients in this scenario will fold, an MSP’s client roster will effectively shrink as well.

Related: Always Be Closing: The ABCs of the MSP Sales Process

To optimize your business growth, it just makes sense to optimize your clients’ business continuity. By anticipating their IT needs, MSPs have an opportunity to position themselves as a go-to resource for SMBs, keeping the door open to future business potential. With this in mind, it’s important for your clients to know what their up against in terms of the potential for business failure resulting from the impact of data loss. Once informed, SMBs will view a robust BDR solution as the sound investment that it is.


Business-Continuity-the-MSPs-guide-to-backup-and-disaster-recovery

Joseph Tavano is Senior Content Marketing Manager at Continuum, with more than 12 years of experience in content creation and editorial in various disciplines. He is the author of numerous eBooks, eGuides, blog posts and other collateral that enable Continuum partners and IT service providers in the channel to make their businesses stronger and grow their profits. He is also the producer of the Continuum Podcast Network, which publishes multiple shows every week and reaches tens of thousands of IT professionals every year. A native of Boston, he holds bachelors in English and History from Suffolk University and resides in Salem, Massachusetts.

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