Many MSP owners lack business acumen skills, but that’s not entirely their fault.
MSP owners typically start off as technicians before becoming business owners. The skillset required to succeed for each role is vastly different. Once they come to this realization, they oftentimes look to hone their business acumen skills through a variety of means.
There are three ways for you to begin building your business acumen.
Figure out how your customers make money
Remember: You’re not in the technology business as an MSP. You’re in the business of helping your customers with achieving their business objectives. That’s how you generate monthly recurring revenue (MRR) at the right price (and become a World Class MSP). But how exactly do you help your customers with overcoming their business challenges? You must first understand how they themselves generate revenue. In other words, how do they make money? Who are their customers primarily? Are their customers consumers or other businesses? By finding out how your customers generate revenue, you can better position yourself as not only a trusted IT advisor but also a business consultant to them.
Find a mentor or peer group
If you’re not a business expert, you’re not alone. Like many MSP owners, you probably started as a technician. At some point, you decided to open up your own shop. Eventually you realized the importance of implementing processes and looked for some outside guidance, as many MSP owners do. Turning to a mentor or joining a peer group is one of the easiest ways to help you with overcoming business challenges you’re unfamiliar with. There are MSP owners who’ve already gone through what you’re going through today. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel when there are other MSP owners with the answers to your business problems.
Again, technology is your business, not the customer’s. If you specialize in verticals, educate yourself on what’s going on in them. Attend industry conferences, read industry publications, skim industry blogs, speak to industry thought leaders and listen to industry podcasts to learn more about what’s being discussed, day-to-day challenge and top trends. If you don’t know where to begin, reach out to your customers. They know their industries better than you.
While you may feel like you don’t have the time to build business acumen, you do. There’s time in your schedule; you just need to find it. If you need to hire someone, do it. If you can automate manual tasks, hire a vendor to help you. Without a strong business acumen, your business will never reach its full potential.