“If you can keep your head when everybody round you is losing his, then it is very probable that you don’t understand the situation,” goes the old saying. Well, we disagree.
Staying calm in a crisis isn’t easy, but situations like the one we’ve found ourselves in now – a pandemic-induced recession – often involve an upheaval of received truths and these can be quickly capitalised on by cool heads. If your MSP business is flexible and willing to be creative, it will likely to come out of the crisis ahead of its competition.
For example, the requirements around travel and social distancing that have emerged due to the spread of COVID-19 have created a new paradigm in remote working. Nobody is in a better to capitalise on this shift to digital workspaces than owners and employees of managed service providers (MSPs). The fact is, MSPs are capable of being the most agile responders to the COVID-19 crisis and the ensuing pandemic, and you can make sure your business is at the forefront of that wave with the following tips.
Be the helping hand
In times of uncertainty many of your current and prospective clients are likely to be operating in a state of high stress, or even panic. The hard sell will fall on deaf ears as people focus on the bare essentials required to stay afloat. Rather than attempting to upsell your services at the juncture, reach out to see how you can help them as they try to understand it.
By being the first to lend a hand in solving for your client’s new needs, you’re building a reputation that will pay dividends down the line. Of course, this doesn’t mean working for free, but re-pitching your sales message to focus on core services and problem solving will mean your message gets through.
In times of crisis additional filters arise on people’s perceptions, and it can simply be harder to be seen and heard. It’s crucial for your MSP that you stay visible, so that people can understand your services and reach out when they need them. Keep your social media pages up to date with the latest information and references to the ongoing crisis, and keep the message clear: you’re logged on and ready to help.
Stay focused on what’s important
Every business runs up against the conflicting demands of the important versus the urgent, and on a daily basis it’s the urgent that tends to take precedence. In a crisis, everything can suddenly seem all the more urgent, but it’s essential that we keep perspective.
Walter Worley, tech blogger at NextCoursework and Write My X suggests that “rather than getting carried away on an ever growing tide of urgency, revisit your original plan for 2020 without getting swept up in what’s changed. What has to still happen, regardless of the crisis?” By remembering your original goals and staying focused on what’s important, you’ll escape one of the key traps of a crisis.
Adapt, adapt, adapt
Reacting quickly and adapting your services to fit the new and evolving paradigm is essential to surviving any crisis. Yes, the pandemic will pass but we will be seeing a new normal and it’s vital that you adapt for this.
“Managed services will need to take into account the new hybrid home/office environment in the services they bundle,” reports William Kipp, business writer at Britstudent and 1Day2Write. “Hardware needs will change with laptops and webcams becoming ever important, and software that supports secure remote working will be essential.” Ensure the message to clients is clear – when it comes to managed service needs, your business is ahead of the curve.
Surviving a crisis is all about adapting – but you need to be resilient too. To that end, revisiting your cash flow is essential as it allows you to weather the storm whilst you make the changes required to thrive in the new environment. If you can slow down payments and speed up your processes for collecting cash, you’ll accrue liquidity and be in a stronger position going forward.
A crisis can be an opportunity to reinvent yourself and your business – take advantage and you’ll come out ahead of the competition.
Photo: KellyNelson / Shutterstock