‘World-Class MSP’ is a title not many MSPs achieve — and there are a couple of reasons for this.

First, being a World-Class MSP isn’t easy. You need to have dedication and discipline to deliver consistent results for your customers. Not many MPSs are mature enough to recognize that and execute accordingly.

Second, the gap between average MSPs and top performers continues to widen. While many MSPs stepped up their game during the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of opportunities presented to them, others did not. Many MSPs are struggling today simply because they refuse to adapt to the changing times.

While there is a lot of work that goes into becoming a World-Class MSP, you can start your journey to the top today by understanding what it takes.

Do you have an MSP business plan in place?

Achieving operational excellence requires discipline. World-Class MSPs have extreme discipline around the business planning process. It doesn’t matter how talented you are in a particular business area. If you lack discipline, you will not succeed in the business world.

For example, you don’t need to be the best at business planning. You just need to be willing to write a plan. You can’t wait until you have “cleared the deck” to start writing your business plan; it’s not going to happen. Something is always going to come up — no matter what.

Writing a business plan and following through with it is the only way you are going to grow your business. Use the business planning process to align short-term actions with long-term priorities. Your business plan should answer important questions about your MSP. What are your goals? What’s your mission? What are your quarterly targets? Your MSP business plan is the compass to guide all your decisions for the future.

Know what you sell and how you can sell it properly

Do you know what you sell and how to sell it? World-Class MSPs do. If you don’t, think about how much time you spend defining the end results you deliver. Start there and work backwards.

Are you defining your success by the results your clients receive? Once you know what you sell and how to sell it, you can define it uniquely to your customers, and your job gets much easier.

Are you running a sales-focused MSP?

There’s a difference between an organization focused on sales and an organization that is only interested in sales. Do you know which type of organization you are running? It’s not that hard to figure out.

Do you have resources dedicated to adding MRR? Do you have a goal for new MRR? Do you have a weekly sales meeting? Do you focus on both warm and cold lead sources? If you’re a sales-focused organization, you’ve answered “yes” to every question.

Refocusing your organization around sales increases your effectiveness and helps you generate more MRR at the right price.

A World-Class MSP makes money by building processes

World-Class MSPs are process-driven in all areas of business, including sales, finance, business planning and service delivery. Being process-driven is key to becoming a World-Class MSP. It’s simply impossible to become a World-Class MSP without first having processes in place for your organization and customers.

Think about it like this: You’re in the services business. The way services businesses make money is by building processes and driving efficiency. If your organization isn’t process-driven, establish a culture of process. You can do this by involving your entire team, improving your processes, and creating a rhythm (by setting up weekly and monthly meetings) to ensure processes are followed.

Processes help MSPs identify problems and resolve them well before they occur. Don’t make the same mistake many average MSPs make — taking a reactive approach to servicing customers.

Do you have command of your organization?

World-Class MSPs understand that everything in business is connected. Having command of your business means you understand your organization’s packaging, pricing, sales, and finances. You essentially have a 360-degree view of your organization at your fingertips and are ready to use it at your disposal.

Gaining command of your organization starts with understanding key cost drivers in your business and Smart Numbers, holding yourself and others accountable, and having fantastic discipline. Without having command of your organization, you can’t generate MRR at the right price.

You don’t accidently become a World-Class MSP. It takes hard work, dedication, and determination to become a successful MSP owner. (Trust me, I know from experience.) While many MSP owners are fully capable of handling the day-to-day pressure of running a business, many fail to understand what it actually takes to run a successful business for long-term growth.

Photo: KieferPix / Shutterstock

Posted by Gary Pica

Gary Pica is a pioneer in the managed services field. He is one of ChannelPro's 20 industry visionaries and MSP Mentor's most influential leaders. He has already built two top-performing MSPs. Today, Gary is the President of TruMethods, a training, peer, and accountability firm aimed at helping IT solution providers reach their full potential as MSPs and cloud providers. Gary shares the key ingredients that transformed his business and his life through his training process. Today, hundreds of IT providers around the world utilize the TruMethods business transformation framework.

8 Comments

  1. Great article Gary! Thanks for sharing!!

    Bob

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  2. Like the statement of don’t “taking a reactive approach to servicing customers” jumping on fires to fix things is not how to solve things.

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  3. Fantastic article! I would also add that networking and speaking with other IT service providers can help provide great guidance and connections.

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  4. The biggest challenge I find is being able to scale a service when you are successful. It’s great when you’ve got well rehearsed senior staff who know their customers inside out, but when there’s turnover (or promotions) and new people come in there need to be well-defined processes and crystal clear communication or the service levels are reduced and your new customers aren’t happy. (The old ones don’t enjoy this very much either!)

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  5. Great article

    Reply

  6. Thanks for the post

    Reply

  7. Nice article. Thank you for sharing your insights with us!

    Reply

  8. Thanks Gary, for showcasing these valuable qualities to build better MSP. It will surely help in many ways.

    Reply

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