MSP profitabilityQ: Going into the new year, I want to assess my processes and see where I can increase efficiency and profitability for my MSP business. How can I effectively evaluate our processes and identify the ones that aren’t working?

Taking a step back and accessing your organization’s productivity and day-to-day processes is an essential step to building a successful and profitable MSP business—and the new year gives you the perfect opportunity to do so! According to Gary Pica, business owners often fall into the trap of thinking that success is right around the corner and that they’ll make the necessary changes when they have time. However, the average business owner never ends up getting around to it. So now is the time to take action!

We highlighted three areas from Gary Pica’s MSP Profitability Playbook to help IT service providers identify inefficiencies in their current processes before the new year gets hectic. Start increasing your profitability in the new year by making small changes to your business processes and finding out which bad reactive IT service habits are holding you back.

3 Bad reactive IT service habits you need to break

Many MSPs are making the same reactive mistakes, which can cost them time and money down the road. When looking to become more profitable, some providers think they can increase their revenues simply by adding new managed service clients. But, Gary Pica points out that with each additional client there are additional tickets and monitoring alerts. That’s why it’s important to assess each business process. Here are three bad reactive IT habits that are preventing you from increasing your profitability:

1. Lack of standardization and alignment. Unfortunately, most service providers only implement standards twice: when they install a new piece of software or equipment and when something needs to be fixed. However, the equipment and solutions you implement for your SMB customers are used on a frequent—if not daily—basis. So, what happens after customers use something incorrectly? It creates problems that result in tickets. Ongoing standardization and alignment can help alleviate extraneous tickets your technicians are left to solve.

Plus, the more you standardize, the easier processes and procedures will be for your technicians. Document all processes thoroughly, and train new technicians on how to implement them. This can be done in a how-to guide, a checklist, or a simple training video.

2. Absence of a network administrator. Whether you’re a team of two or a team of 200, there should be an individual at your MSP who is in charge of assessing your solutions and ensuring that each customer’s IT systems meet your standards. Ideally, this should be an individual who is solely responsible for standardization and making sure customers’ systems stay in alignment. However, if you don’t have the staff to make this a dedicated role, find another way to address this concern, such as making account managers responsible for checking regularly to ensure their customers’ systems stay in alignment. The time you spend on this will pay off by reducing the number of tickets you get down the road.

3. Failing to optimize regularly. While you may already have processes in place, one of the biggest mistakes MSPs make is keeping them as is for too long. As your MSP continues to add new clients and new services, you should routinely review your current processes and look for ways to improve. Think about evaluating your business on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis to ensure that you and your team are doing things the most efficient way and to uncover any potential problems. For example, tracking the amount of tickets that are generated on a weekly basis and looking at why those tickets are being created can help you identify underlying issues that need to be addressed.

As the new year begins, now is your chance to look at where simple changes can be made. Do you have a client who shuts off their computers on Friday so they end up missing a critical backup, which creates a ticket on a weekly basis? Small things like looking into ticket patterns and finding a fix can help you and your technicians get more time back into your day — and ultimately make your MSP more profitable.

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Lauren Beliveau

Posted by Lauren Beliveau

Lauren is an Editorial Associate at Barracuda MSP. In this position, she creates and develops content that helps managed service providers grow their business. She also regularly writes The MSP’s Bookshelf and our Ask an MSP Expert column.

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