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Most MSPs are started by an engineer with a desire to provide people with tech support. You saw someone who needed help and figured “I can do that!” Maybe you worked for other IT support companies and decided you could provide faster, better support. Perhaps your friends and family said, “You should charge money to do that.” Poof! A business was born.

Tech support is easy. Fixing the problem in front of you can be done by anyone, anywhere. But, perhaps you can do it faster. You know what kinds of problems your customers have and in three clicks and it’s working again. That’s great, but it’s still a commodity. Commodities are traded on price and the lowest price always wins. When three MSPs walk in the door, all offering to do things “better and faster,” then the only thing left for the customer to evaluate is price.

Yet, when you compete on price, you can’t feed your family, or the families of your staff. You experience high turnover because everyone is underpaid and overworked. There’s a constant stream of ‘emergencies’ and customers fight every invoice.

When we started Genuine Technology Group, my business partner Nate and I were very tired of the typical ways of doing business. We wanted something with clients (not customers) who paid their invoices without a second thought. A business that operates truly proactively… preventing problems, not just fixing them, was our ultimate goal. But, it required a major mindset change.

MSPs are about relationships, not tech support

In starting our MSP business, Nate and I had to completely re-think the business model. We had to look at how we sell our services, how we deliver them, and how we price them.

The answer for us, was to be selfish. What would I do if this was my network? My computers? My business applications? To quote the seagulls in Finding Nemo: “Mine! Mine! Mine!”

This probably sounds strange, and it should. As engineers, we strive to serve and support, to provide suggestions and options, not to take charge! The truth is that your clients WANT you take charge. They NEED you to take ownership and responsibility for all their technology. They want to hand off the choices and decisions of the IT world. That’s why they hired you… you know more than they do about technology.

Stop selling products, brands, projects, and shiny new toys. Take charge, take control, and take ownership of your client’s entire technology platform. From CIO-level strategy (business processes) and down.

Start in the sales process

Success depends on providing the client with everything YOU need to properly manage and secure their data and network. It’s not a choice, an option, or something that can be ‘added later.’ It’s simply there; included as part of your bundle. Take away the choices and be selfish.

Our results? On average, our clients see a 30 percent productivity boost within six months. They sleep better at night and don’t worry about IT. It’s completely handled, covered, and managed.

And for us? I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation with a client about our pricing being too high. Emergencies are rare and support needs are basic.

Unless they ask, we don’t go into details about our stack. The client doesn’t care what specifically we’re doing, they just want to know it’s handled. Complete peace of mind.

And that monthly invoice? It’s like a utility bill. Consistent, expected and paid automatically.

To see how MSPs are growing their business in the rapidly evolving IT services channel, register to join the upcoming Global MSP Day event!

Photo: fizkes / Shutterstock

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Ernest Murry

Posted by Ernest Murry

Ernest is the co-founder of Genuine Technology Group, an MSP based in Portland, Oregon and provides MSP consulting services. You can find out more about Ernest on his website:


  1. As usual, it’s about solving business problems. Technology is only part of that.


  2. great reminder, that it’s not the hardware, it’s solving a business problem


  3. Completely agree


  4. Great article!


  5. Moss Jacobson June 17, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Spot On!


  6. Jonathan Pauley June 29, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Very good article and spot on. Building a trusted advisor relationship around solving business problems leveraging technology is far more important than break/fix support.


  7. I agree with Jonathan, being a trusted advisor and effectively solving problems will lead to a stronger relationship with that customer and lead into more projects.


  8. No Kool Aid and ramp up “trusted consultative partner”


  9. Anything plain is not widely liked, just like a sandwich. A product with plain functionality is not liked, like a dumb switch. An MSP with multiple offering covering all basics and expanding beyond that would be the ideal MSP to partner with and trust.


  10. Agreed, being trusted by the customer goes a long way.


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