If I were to start my MSP / IT company today, what are the 3 things I would focus on? An excellent question!
- A support first culture
And, it may sound like a strange list and some of you might be thinking:
What about the right people, you’re an IT recruiter!
What about strategy and business planning?
What about hiring a BDM to fuel growth from the start?
Well, this kind of top 3 list could be debated until the cows come home. Let me explain very briefly why I would concentrate on these.
Technology has moved to the point where this is easily possible. Many business processes can be automated very simply. IT companies and MSPs need to lead the way internally by having their systems automated as efficiently as possible.
They need to start with their back-end systems so that they can spend less time, money, and resources on admin and focus instead on customer support and revenue generating activities. Then, they need to take that knowledge and apply it across their client base and automate as much of the maintenance, administration, and business processes of their clients that they can.
This 2-way approach of automating their client’s business processes as well as their own tech support systems allows them to both value-add and reduce the time it takes for them to deliver support and maintenance services. When you combine this with the true MSP model of all you can eat support services for a fixed monthly fee then you are financially incentivized to automate as much of your client’s environment as possible. This will enable you to keep support calls low and you can utilize smart scripts and automated routines to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to solving common problems and reporting.
Why choose marketing above everything else as something to concentrate on? Simple. Marketing is the future of sales.
I fully believe this. Gone are the days of cold calling.
In 2019, we’re in a unique position to leverage marketing in a way that we’ve never been able to in the past due to the power of social media, marketing automation, and the track-ability of your prospect’s interaction with your marketing efforts.
I fully believe there’s no better lead generating option for an MSP than a well-executed and monitored marketing plan. Those MSP owners out there that have wasted hundreds and thousands of dollars on BDMs who’ve tried desperately to generate activity but failed dismally in the very first step (generating leads) will understand that business development managers are not lead generators.
If you want to hear more of my thoughts about that, please have read my blog about the most difficult role for MSPs and IT services companies to fill.
So why a culture of support first?
Well, MSPs live and die by the support that they give.
The strength of the MSP business is in the invoices that get rolled out every month with predictable income because of the support services they provide.
A well-structured MSP will have their costs covered by the support revenue that comes in month on month as predictable revenue and they earn their profit on the project work that they win on top of the monthly support work. This allows them to be profitable using their existing clients without always needing to find the next new client with the next new project in order to make money.