Work culture has evolved dramatically and every MSP has been forced to adapt as remote and hybrid models remain the popular choice among the workforces of many businesses and organizations.
During this time of change, MSPs should be looking both inward and out to the marketplace to identify growth opportunities. In doing so, it is important to focus on core areas that have the highest probability for MSPs to successfully scale their businesses.
Here are five key considerations:
Promote operational efficiency
First, MSPs of all sizes should focus on being efficient. It is critical that organizations have a solid understanding of their cash flow situation. That means knowing where every dollar is spent so that accurate decisions and adjustments can be made through mission critical investments or even something as simple as a shift in priorities. For example, automating mundane tasks can allow for technicians to dedicate their time to more important tasks geared toward improving the customer experience.
Know the customer
To remain effective, MSPs should consider the general makeup of their customer base and the profile of their ideal customer. Once this has been established, it is important to specialize and define your market niche or service speciality to match the ambition of your organization. Ideal customer profile attributes often include easily quantifiable things like the range of users or endpoints, geographic location, a vertical industry, or Windows or Mac users.
It also can include things that are not as easily determined — for instance, if a client views technology as an investment or an expense. Finding out which attributes make up your more profitable engagements, and then targeting more of those types of clients for growth, helps streamline how you deliver service.
Diversify your managed service offerings
Offering a variety of services is an easy way for an MSP to increase their scale and growth projections without having to have a net-gain of new customers. We saw that happen in 2020 with the massive shift to remote and hybrid work, which allowed MSPs to widen their service portfolios considerably.
Some examples of a diversified services offering include helping customers improve cybersecurity or connectivity performance, or enabling them to shift from on-premises servers and local software to the cloud.
Building out new offerings doesn’t necessarily mean that an MSP has to create new products, design new services themselves, or even hire new workers. Instead, security services can be based around an outsourced security operations center (SOC), where the provider monitors for threat detection with specialty software and provides security information and event management (SIEM) services, etc. The right mix of offerings will be different for every MSP but diversifying into security can help scale the business.
Develop the skills of your MSP team
Investing in the training of team members can lead to greater efficiency and technical capabilities and can help the MSP scale existing services or even add new ones.
Training also increases confidence, quality of service and customer satisfaction. It does not have to be only for engineers and technicians. MSPs should invest in every employee in order to grow sustainably and profitably. Career development plans should identify and align to the business needs and benefit both the employee and the business.
Building out new offerings doesn’t mean that an #MSP must create new products or hire new workers. Instead, #cybersecurity services can be based around an outsourced security operations center #SOC
Training on the tools being used (RMM, PSA, Security, Backup, etc.) brings efficiency and automation; vendor-specific training as part of partner programs brings product knowledge and status in the program; security training and certifications brings reduced risk and awareness; and management training for those on a management path brings effective skills to an often overlooked part of a growing business.
Demonstrate positivity and empathy in hard times
In the modern technology landscape, a company’s reputation can be revealed in a few simple clicks of the mouse. Previous and current employees can all publicize their opinions online and the power of word of mouth should not be underestimated. Thus, giving employees the opportunity to develop skills and actively train new talent not only looks great, but also helps to create a culture of success.
Supporting a local non-profit or charitable organization and participating in volunteer opportunities are additional examples of how an organization can become more involved in its community, while at the same time providing employees with ways to cope and recover from stress.
Other ways to engage and improve company culture are through virtual social events, even something as simple as weekly Zoom calls to highlight successes. It is important to maintain positivity and empathy toward customers and employees. Ensuring everyone on the team feels valued and fulfilled can help MSPs create a strong work culture, as happy employees can lead to happy customers.
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