This past week I was fortunate enough to play a crucial role with MSP University and their monthly boot camp held in St. Louis, MO. Approximately thirty CEOs from various MSPs from around the United States joined us to learn and share their experiences with those in attendance.
One of the sessions I taught during the CEO tracks focused on building a successful MSP from the ground up. What if you simply rebooted your MSP and started over? What would you do now based on your lessons learned?
The first thing I would do is hire smart. The first hire I would make is to invest in a great administrative assistant. Great administrative help allows you as the business owner to focus on what it takes to grow your business while leaving the administrative and even time-sucking activities to someone who can take care of those day-to-day tasks.
The next move would be to outsource many tasks related to client service. Having an exceptional outsourced help desk that can take care of day-to-day questions and issues with clients provides a solid foundation for service. Your help desk can take level 1 and 2 calls, leaving you to focus on the more complex technical issues (even this can be outsourced) or to work on projects and the business needs of your clients.
Another strategic hire would be a sales engineer who can double as a project manager. This person can aid in accelerating the sales process and also manage any new projects you bring on.
I know some of you are thinking, when do you hire the technicians to do the work? In my new MSP that I would start from the ground up, I may never hire engineers that could not double in a sales roles. There are many firms that will outsource field resources and network operation services on a fixed monthly cost.
Who would sell? Well, this is your job. Until such a time that you can bring on a sales professional, it is your responsibility to do sales and maintain all client relationships. You must focus on sales and the overall marketing of your business. Even marketing can be outsourced, but someone needs to own the overall business strategy; that is your role.
What else would I do if I was starting a MSP again? Don’t forget about the importance that having a great PSA can bring to your business. Consider hooking up with Autotask or ConnectWise; both PSA solutions help MSPs keep track of their day-to-day happenings. Your PSA becomes your business platform for everything that occurs in your business.
Running a managed services business is hard work. If I was going to do it all over again, these are the focus areas I would start with it. The last piece of the puzzle is to seek the knowledge of your peers and those who have built successful practices in the past. Many have walked a mile in your shoes; ask for help and use the knowledge of your colleagues.