It’s getting a little bit too crowded in MSP Town, isn’t it? If I remember correctly from when I first launched TruMethods, there were about 10,000-15,000 MSPs in all of North America. Now, from what I’ve been told, there are 35,000-40,000 MSPs across the entire continent. It’s time to adjust strategy, and this isn’t only because of increasing competition. There’s something a lot bigger going on — a new adventure is awaiting us.
Take a look at your business and how your customers perceive you. Do they consider you to be integral to their businesses, or are you just another expense item, tucked away under SG&A? Are your customers willing to pay top dollar for your services, or are they looking to go with the cheapest rate? Understanding where your customers fit you into their business plans tells you where you as an IT provider need to shift approaches.
Many of your customers today view technology as an operating expense on their income statements. They’re categorizing your managed services under selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A). What does this mean? It’s simple: Your customers are grouping your managed services with office supplies, utilities, rent and cleaning services.
Sometimes team members leave us, and there’s nothing we can do about it. To push through, we keep our heads high, thank them for their service and wish them the best of luck with their future endeavors. Afterward, we get back to business, and begin our search for someone new, a candidate with the skills we need to continue, but more importantly, grow. If you already have a defined hiring process, then you’re set (you’re on your way), but if you don’t, and you’re a bit lost, there are some things to consider.
Understanding top IT challenges gives you an advantage over your competitors; while they’re reacting to problems, you’re tackling them head-on. Knowing what to look for ahead of time gives you the upper hand, and saves your client time and money in the long run. As Schnizzfest nears, there are three top IT challenges you should look into.
I want to spend some time talking about vertical markets, and how you, as an MSP, can venture into them — so what are the pros and cons of shifting to vertical markets? Let’s review (I know some of you in the forums have been asking questions about this topic).
MSPs have been maturing, and because of this, players in the field have had to evolve — especially with regard to data management and security. While the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR) will give privacy rights back to EU citizens (that’s the legislation’s goal, at least), it’ll also create a lot of challenges for MSPs with clients across the Atlantic Ocean. Understanding what GDPR is, how it’ll impact clients and what needs to be completed ahead of time will aid MSPs with overcoming top GDPR obstacles.
Sometimes losing a client is a good thing. Just because you haven’t lost a client in five years doesn’t mean you’re doing a good job. In fact, it could mean the exact opposite. Even though breaking up is hard to do, there are times you should take the chance.
Nothing comes easy in the channel — that’s for sure. Developing standards takes up a lot of time and energy, but with the right steps and processes in place, an MSP can overcome many initial challenges and gain a significant advantage over its competitors.