It’s the beginning of a new year! You’ve had a great 12 months, are rested after the holiday break, and are now raring to make this year your MSP’s best one yet.
You’re enthusiastic and you’re energetic. But how can you turn this positive energy into business success?
Start by using these seven suggestions to kickstart your MSP for (almost) immediate improvements.
1. Start logging your team’s time
When I ran an MSP, I was fortunate enough to be taught by some of the smartest, most successful people in the IT industry.
These fellow MSP owners taught me one hugely valuable lesson that helped my business lower costs and dramatically improved profitability: Log all of your team’s time in your PSA.
By logging all the time you spend on tickets, you’ll be able to highlight clients who aren’t bringing you enough profit. You’ll also be able to identify servers, workstations, and even members of staff who can be made more efficient.
And if you’re the business owner, you’re not exempt. Start leading by example, logging your time, and living by the rule, “If it didn’t happen in our PSA tool, it didn’t happen.”
2. Start going to networking events
Most MSPs I speak with struggle to market their businesses. They often ask me how they can stand out from their competition.
While the typical answer of “direct mail, social media, and telesales” is still true—and important—I’d urge you to start your new year by attending some local business networking events.
By getting yourself out to the right local events, you can raise your profile, forge relationships in your local business community and, inevitably, find new clients.
After all, the adage goes, “People do business with people they know, like, and trust.”
And here’s a bonus tip: Schedule time to prepare before attending an event to achieve better results.
3. Create an upselling matrix
You want to grow your business in the year ahead, and your first thought is to focus entirely on finding new clients. Not so fast.
Your existing clients can be a goldmine of opportunities. To see what I mean, try this exercise:
- On a piece of paper, draw two axes.
- On the first axis, write all the services and solutions you have available to sell to clients.
- On the second axis, write all your existing clients names.
- Go through each box and tick off the services that each client currently buys from you.
Done? Then you’ve likely noticed there are lots of empty boxes. These are your sales opportunities for the new year!
Contact your clients and talk to them about these additional services. For every service you sell, you’ll be making your service desk team’s life more straightforward by reducing your cost of support and increasing your profit.
4. Schedule engineer walkabouts
The central tenet of managed services is that you can serve many clients while sitting in your office thanks to remote support tools that have revolutionized the IT industry.
But the most successful MSPs realize they still need to show their faces at client sites. How can you do the same? Scheduling regular client site walkabouts for your engineers is one way.
While they’re onsite, encourage your engineers to chat with employees and ask them if there’s anything they can help with.
This facetime between your engineers and your clients can help uncover festering issues as well as some tasty sales opportunities. It’s also another excellent way to reduce your support costs and—you guessed it—increase your profits.
5. Schedule your attendance at MSP events
I mentioned earlier that my own MSP business benefited from being taught by some of the best in the IT industry. I found that advice by attending MSP conferences, and you can too.
So start your new year by scheduling some time out of the office to attend these fantastic learning opportunities. Do it now, before the weight of responsibility blocks your calendar full.
Not sure which events to attend? Take a look at my list of awesome events for MSPs. Once you’ve decided on which events you’re going to attend in 2020, take some time to learn how to make the most of the ideas you bring back from MSP conferences so they actually benefit your business.
6. Gain control of your finances
Most small businesses fail due to cashflow problems, and these include many MSPs. In the year ahead, it’s time to commit to gaining control of your MSP’s finances.
Even if you aren’t an accountant or savvy with business finance terms, you can easily create a weekly financial report that’ll help you keep your finger on the pulse of your business.
When you’ve got a regular eye on the costs and income within your business, you can quickly make adjustments as needed.
7. Prioritize self-care
Do you remember how you felt just before you went on vacation this holiday season? For most MSP owners, words like exhausted, stressed, and anxious probably come to mind. The fact is the vast majority of business leaders don’t look after themselves.
But it doesn’t have to be this way, and in 2020, it shouldn’t be. It’s your year to put yourself first. Set office hours and stick to them. Make sure to turn your phone off when you’re at home. Go for a walk at lunchtime. Drink plenty of water.
Trust me, not only will you feel better, but your staff and your clients will notice a difference too.
Ready to have your best year yet? These are all simple tips, but if you execute on them, you will!