As this summer draws to a close and the kids head back to school, it’s the perfect time for MSPs to reflect on their own business education. IT services organizations are, by nature, transitional models that require continuous transformation to meet the constantly changing needs of their clients.
Those who fail to move forward are setting themselves up for eventual failure.
Effective and profitable MSPs are as proactive in building their own businesses as they are at managing their clients’ infrastructure. They continually research new technologies and operational techniques. Education and training programs never stop, for employees as well as the owners and other key stakeholders.
Successful channel partners pay close attention to market conditions, client issues, and innovation. Many MSPs operate under the philosophy that bigger isn’t always better, though they may scale operations to take advantage of new revenue opportunities or better support their existing customers. At the same time, they may streamline business practices and automate processes to improve their efficiency and reduce overhead.
Striking the right balance between expansion and control can be tricky. In general, channel professionals understand the difficulties involved in managing an IT services business’ day to day activities while simultaneously building and executing strategic plans.
The challenge? With so many ongoing and recurring activities, priorities tend to shift, and projects get delayed or completely overlooked. The longest-term business plans are often the first things to go off track, especially with MSPs who prefer tech more than meetings. While some IT professionals feel equipped to assume the role of CEO as their organization grows, others can get overwhelmed and may be more comfortable running operations.
Taking a tough help desk call or solving a complex technical issue may be more in their wheelhouse than talking with investors or leading strategic growth initiatives. Not everyone has the skills or patience to run a 100+ employee organization.
A Faster, Stronger, More Profitable MSP
A thriving MSP needs a future looking leader, someone to set course and keep the “ship strategy” pointed in the right direction. That’s a commitment every managed service business owner must make if they want their organization to succeed long-term. No sugar coating, no short-cuts. Just a continual commitment to improvement.
First off, MSPs need to focus on the fundamentals. Every operational and training process in their business should be refined, documented, and rehearsed frequently. Procedures should be automated whenever possible. From help desk and remote management activities to sales and marketing processes, they should upgrade every process that a program or machine could do more cost-efficiently. That will give your team more time to focus on the firm’s real issues and opportunities.
Delegation is Critical to New Practice Success
The second issue MSPs face is time management. Few people are built to handle a dozen or more projects at a time ‒ in other words, what many IT services businesses have in play at any point in time. As an MSP owner, you have two options: delegate or end up losing your mind at some point.
The smart entrepreneurs choose the former. They hire one or more people with leadership potential as well as technical, sales, and marketing abilities, and then mentor them to lead certain activities. The quicker they can assume those roles, the faster your business will grow (check out this recent Forbes article for more suggestions).
For example, an MSP’s portfolio requires continual evaluation and enhancement. Owners should include timelines and development details in their strategic business plan, and continually assess vertical market opportunities and evaluate the products, services, and solutions required to land (and support) those new customers.
Specializations are the perfect place to delegate. Many MSPs put a tech in charge of their PSA and RMM tools, and have others manage applications such as Office 365 or vertically-focused solutions.
Put Delegation to the Test with VoIP
Hosted VoIP is a real area of opportunity for MSPs. Since you’re probably like most owners, bogged down with their own responsibilities running the business and managing people, why not put a trusted employee in charge?
Let them research the solutions options (hook them up with the ConnectMeVoice team, we’ll be happy to help) and develop a market plan. Set clear objectives and review their progress, offering suggestions and asking for more details when needed. Let them drive the project through to fruition and reward them appropriately for the new revenue it brings to the company
When key employees assume this role, it’s much easier for you to focus on building the long-term business strategy. Delegation is a key to future growth. It gives MSP the free time to work on their businesses, not in the business. That’s how successful channel professionals build winning teams and maximize their potential opportunities.
If you enjoyed this blog, you might also be interested in the blog: The Five Essential MSP Tools for Supporting Remote Workforces