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Bigger, better, nimbler, faster, stronger. Those are just a few of the adjectives MSPs should get accustomed to whether they plan to be a force in the industry or simply keep their doors open five years from now. Stagnant simply isn’t a business plan, at least if you want the organization to be successful.

Even the most profitable MSPs lose clients over time. No matter how well providers innovate and manage their systems, some customers are bound to fail or move on to other providers. MSPs usually end up firing at least one or two clients over the years ─ those who use an excessive amount of resources while contributing little to your bottom line. Others just make life difficult and need to go. The stress they create can be extremely detrimental to your employees’ morale as well as to the lifestyles of its management team. Late night calls for non-critical issues or never-ending problems with well-documented procedures: they make things more difficult than they need to be, no matter what you do.

While discarding customers seems counterproductive, it frees up valuable resources that can redeployed to more productive activities. Techs and account managers have a limited number of hours to get the job done each week, as do owners, managers, engineers and developers. The larger their paycheck, the more valuable each wasted hour of their time is─ particularly to the bottom line.

Few MSPs downsize their customer base as a long-term growth strategy. Some realign their operations from time-to-time to take advantage of the latest business trend, or make temporary staff reductions to get through rough patches, but most providers’ main objectives continue to be centered on growth. They develop loftier goals each year for themselves, their people and their organizations; not to mention the customers their businesses are built to serve. Bigger remains better, especially in the managed services arena.

All About the Breadth

Many MSPs remain focused on the “go big or go home” mentality. That may have more to do with their customers’ growing tech and solution needs than with their own organization’s need to expand. The same, long-standing IT business rules still apply: providers with the most comprehensive sets of solutions, services and support options have a distinct advantage over those who don’t. All-inclusive MSPs not only project a larger presence to prospects and clients, but they have the ability and people that show it’s not an illusion.

In today’s high-tech world, businesses without a competent IT partner are at a distinct disadvantage. Even organizations with their own tech resources still run into issues. Without a substantial number of qualified specialists, how could any business possibly manage every potential network, system, device and solution it might need? That’s where a well-positioned outsource partner fit in, bridging gaps for some and supplying the full portfolio of services for others.

Expect that mix of technical and solution support needs to grow substantially in 2015. An unrelenting focus on business system protection is sure to continue as will the expansion of remote workforce needs. The demand for specialized services shows no signs of abating, including the need for additional expertise relating to:

  • IT Security: An aggressive array of cybercrimes will likely continue grabbing headlines, so MSPs with the proactive capabilities will fare especially well. Prevention is more cost effective than repair.
  • Mobility: Many SMB organizations need help with BYOD and MDM, as well as the infrastructure and devices that drive them. App development is truly a differentiator for MSPs, and providing specialized support (beyond what carriers provide) can be a major advantage.
  • BDR: In 2015, the word “backup” should eliminated. Some customers still think a simple copy of their files is good enough when they should have more comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery solutions in place. Compliance audits and DR plans are helpful and profitable service opportunities.

With direct-sales vendors and telecom and cable companies each promising end-to-end solutions to address virtually every business need, the competitive landscape has gotten larger and even more convoluted. Combine that with the constant growth of local rivals, and 2015 could be a make or break year for MSPs who don’t have a winning strategy in place.

Are you looking at cost-effective ways to expand your service and support in the coming year? How will you find time to fill any holes in your managed services portfolio or gain the new expertise your clients need and make look elsewhere for? The choices are pretty clear. You either make potentially high-risk hiring investments or simply find a trustworthy, capable outsource partner to handle the most time consuming tasks.

That’s where Global Mentoring Solutions can step in. With a help desk program specifically tailored to MSPs, we offer a variety of services that can boost your company’s footprint as well as its real customer-facing capabilities. Ready to “GO BIG” in 2015? Give us a call.

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