As an MSP, what should I focus on right now? I know it’s a difficult time for everyone. I know most MSPs are concerned about the future and looking to stabilize. Now is the time to focus on the important things.
- Know your risk. If you know your risks, you can manage them. Look at your client base by industry. You should know which industries are typically at highest risk of collapse now. Retail, hospitality, tourism, and any other industries that require people to be out and about in order to spend their money. Now is the time to reach out to those clients and have a conversation. Watch your accounts receivable closely for these clients and any clients that are not on a direct debit system. Don’t ignore late payers, work with them and make it easy for them to pay you. Now is the time to setup an easy online payment portal system or at least a system that can easily take credit card payments or similar for your clients. If you’re doing projects which include hardware and software licenses, do everything you can to get paid upfront before delivery. Partner with a financing company if need be to offer finance to your customers if they can’t meet those terms.
- Know your recurring revenue figure. Recurring revenue is the goldmine of any MSP and if you can make that figure greater than your outgoing expenses from month to month then you’re always going to be ahead. We’re moving into an environment where project work is going to dry up as clients start to put projects on hold until they’re more confident about where everything is heading. Given this if your monthly recurring revenue is greater than your monthly recurring costs then in general you should be able to weather the storm.
- Keep up the marketing activity. This is critical, your clients still need to know that you’re there for them. And after this storm is over, I believe that there will be many small businesses that will judge their MSP based on their performance and perceived value in this climate. The MSPs that are out there providing relevant and helpful information in the form of content marketing and going the extra mile in the services they provide will not only retain their client base but also pick up new clients in an environment that is ripe for change. If you’ve already got a well-oiled marketing machine that shows regular blogs, LinkedIn posts, and an email marketing list you’re more likely to be top of mind when small business owners are looking for change.
It’s always been hard to pick up new small business clients for an MSP because small businesses generally think the devil, they know is better than the devil they don’t know. I expect this to change. A lot of MSPs tout being a business partner and not just an IT provider, the proof will be in how supported their clients feel in this crisis. Your clients will either see you as a go to partner for business advice or simply someone that tried to keep the lights on during the crisis. The former is invaluable, the latter replaceable.