C-Suite Advisory

3 Best Practices for Growing Your MSP: Read Or Miss Out

Nearly 30 million small businesses exist in America, and most are trying to tread water in a world fraught with IT challenges, security concerns, and rapidly evolving technologies.

Seemingly small tech problems can snowball quickly, costing companies exorbitant time and money to fix if they’re mishandled. At the same time, 62 percent of CIOs say they have difficulties finding skilled IT talent.

The days of Jerry the IT guy swinging by to flip the on/off switch are gone. Modern businesses need partners with the technology to move quickly, and many are turning to managed service providers, or MSPs, to do the job.

But this insatiable demand for skilled IT talent is far higher than the MSP industry’s supply. Furthermore, a wide range of IT and tech-related service companies have jumped into the market and rebranded as MSPs, making it harder to differentiate among businesses.

The high demand for help from MSPs makes this a great time to be in the industry. But as market pressure increases, how can you stand out from your competition?

Wiring Your Company for Success

Companies such as TeamLogic IT, which keeps its finger on the pulse of the entire tech infrastructure, know how to do just that. Its team is always vigilant, proactively updating content, backing up information, and ensuring its systems run smoothly. Its leaders’ obsession with constant vigilance has lead to rapid growth and industry recognition as a top global managed service provider.

Want to follow in their footsteps? Consider implementing these best practices in your company right away:

Invest in hiring and retention.

Finding and retaining top talent is the lifeblood of any IT company, so each must spend the time and money required to create a smooth yet thorough hiring and training process. Start by considering sources you might not have tapped yet, such as graduates of technical schools, military veterans, or even recruits fresh out of high school. Find out whether any of your current employees in nontechnical roles might have what it takes to make the transition.

Successful individuals act like consultants, suggesting the tech that will genuinely benefit each client rather than defaulting to the most expensive options each time. You also need employees who can talk the talk with the tech team and explain issues clearly to nontechnical managers to build trusting long-term relationships.

Continuously educate your employees.

Your team should always be learning about your industry. It should never fall to your clients to suggest new products or solutions — you need to make sure your team can innovate. Training can be a large investment, but it will lead to further opportunities and market angles for you to explore.

For example, many companies are managing office cloud services with little to no support. As software-as-a-service, or SaaS, solutions reduce client dependency on MSPs for automation, custom identity-as-a-service, or IDaaS, solutions that enhance these cloud applications are a great opportunity. Offering IDaaS solutions allows you to capture more of the cloud services market without competing directly with SaaS companies.

Use technology to build the best support.

The easiest way to lose to the competition is to have poor customer service. An emergency is the height of emotional distress for a client, and not being at your best when you answer is the worst mistake you can make. Over half of B2B clients report dropping a partner after a miserable experience.

Build a dedicated team with exceptional knowledge of your clients’ accounts to support customers. Ensure each client’s profile includes notes about the setup and any specific parameters that apply. Find a great contact management system that helps your team see contracts, terms, and support history easily. Then, ensure you have an emergency line, and answer it when it rings. When something goes wrong, customers want to speak to someone who can quickly address their issues — offering that service is a must.

Implementing these tenets is not easy, but you’ll know your efforts were worth it when you start to see an uptick in client and employee retention as well as new client sales. Keep these best practices in mind at every level of your organization, and you soon won’t have time to worry about your competition — you’ll be too busy managing growth.

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Jim Winters
Jim Winters is principal of Sapper Consulting, which replaces cold calling for its clients. It’s cooler than it sounds.