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My guest on the show today is the owner of an MSP called Infinite Edge based in Melbourne, Australia. His name is Martin Haak. Martin has what I think is an interesting story. He started Infinite Edge as a one-man shop and ran it as a one-man shop for six years.
There are various reason why he kept it small for so long and we go over those in the interview. But after six years, he decided he did want to grow and scale the business, but he still didn’t want to hire any staff. So he chose to outsource all of his service delivery to a support team in the Philippines, which was very successful for him.
We talk about what that process looked it, the results he saw, and some of the lessons he learned along the way.
Just before we get to my chat with Martin Haak of Infinite Edge, we have our 1 Thing segment, where we talk about 1 thing—a tip, an idea, a tactic—anything that can make a difference to your MSP. Today, we’ve got Dom Price of Atlassian talking about the importance and power of focus.
1 Thing (#MSP1T)
[04:23] Most of us think we can’t give up some of the things we do, because they are terribly important, Instead we spread things around. But that doesn’t work.
[05:04] If you want impact, do fewer things and do them well.
What’s your 1 Thing? What idea, strategy, tool, book, process, thing made a real difference to your MSP career or business. Put another way, let’s say a new MSP walked up to you at conference and said, “I’m just getting started in this space. What advice can you give me? What’s worked for you?” and you can only tell them 1 thing. What would that 1 thing be?
Tell us in a voice memo and email the recording to [email protected]. Not only could you be podcast-famous by being featured on the show, I’ll also send you a Frankly MSP t-shirt. They’re pretty cool and I want to give them away!
Interview with Martin Haak – How Outsourcing Transformed This One-Man MSP
[06:24] Martin ran Infinite Edge as a one-person MSP for a long time.
[06:34] He wanted to learn all aspects of the business by doing them himself. He was a tech before he was a business owner.
[07:33] He also liked the idea of a lifestyle business where he could work from wherever he had internet. His client base was small, around 250 to 300 endpoints.
[08:32] When his daughter turned two, he decided he wanted to scale. He just wasn’t sure how. He decided to try offshoring.
[09:31] He didn’t want to overthink it, so he just decided to make it happen. He booked an overseas trip for his family, told his clients he was getting a team, and engaged Benchmark 365.
[11:18] There was a transition period. Martin found it hard to let go after all those years of being hands-on with his clients. It was a good learning experience for him.
[12:04] For a couple years, it was just Martin and the offshore team. He also used subcontractors for on-site visits in Australia.
[12:51] Last year he hired someone to help focus on sales, but they discovered Martin actually needs help developing, refining, and improving processes. Once that’s done, she’ll to more of an sales role.
[14:26] The transition to offshoring was amazing for Martin’s mindset and it really crystalized a lot of things for him. For starters , he realized he needed to work on his pricing model. Once he factored in his true costs, he saw that in some cases he was working for less than minimum wage,
[15:35] He switched to a prepaid block time model.
[16:06] MSPs can sometimes spread themselves too thin and neglect clients.
[16:35] His revenue and profitability increased once he changed his pricing model.
[17:30] His clients do know that his service delivery is done offshore.
[18:29] With outsourcing you aren’t spreading yourself as thin, and you can actually help your clients better.
[18:57] If Martin had to do it all over again, he would definitely offshore sooner.
[19:39] You have to give offshoring at least six months to begin with. It took Martin 18 months to fully see the results he wanted.
Offshoring can really highlight the flaws in your processes and documentation.
[20:32] It’s better to over-communicate. Make your offshore workers feel like part of your team.
Links from this episode
- Unlearning Your Way to Greater Productivity – FMSP 013
- Infinite Scale, by James Vickery
- Benchmark 365 on LinkedIn
- Lessons Learned From Offshoring an MSP Team – FMSP 003
- SMBiT Professionals
- Infinite Edge
- Martin Haak on LinkedIn
- Frankly MSP Community
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