As you’re ringing in the new year, have you thought about the direction of your MSP for the next quarter of business? If the answer is no, you need to start today. Every MSP should have a quarterly action plan to help them go from mediocre to World Class.
So, what is a quarterly action plan? Well, as part of your business planning process, you should have set quarterly goals. These goals are the actual implementation of your business plan. It’s how you align your actions today with your long-term goals for the future.
There are four necessary components of developing a successful quarterly action plan.
Before you dive into a new year of business, you need to set goals for the direction in which you want your MSP to go this quarter – goals for both yourself and your team:
- Revenue goals – The actual revenue you want to achieve during the quarter.
- Sales goals – The amount of new monthly recurring revenue you want to gain this quarter.
- Sales activities – The activities around sales that help you achieve your financial goals.
Make your goals realistic and actionable steps to turn your business into a top MSP. While they should be challenging, you don’t want to work all quarter toward objectives that are impossible to achieve.
Once your goals are set, explore the actions your team must take in order to make those goals a reality. You may have a lot of items you want your team to accomplish in a quarter, but this step is about paring down your to-do list and selecting the three to five most important actions to help you achieve the quarterly goals you’ve set. These actions could be anything from optimizing your processes or improving your sales focus to increasing your AISP for a better pricing model.
So, how do you choose which action items to accomplish this quarter? “Most important” is the key phrase to focus on. Make a list and start arranging priorities. While you want to optimize your business and become a top MSP, you can’t make that happen in a single quarter. You have limited resources.
One way to set the priorities for your quarterly action items is by detailing a to-don’t list. Put aside the action items that are important for you to accomplish but that could wait until the next quarter.
Now that you have your goals and you’ve determined strategic actions to achieve them, you have to focus. When you focus on the top priorities – those items you believe are holding you back today – you’ll see improved results from your changes faster.
First, focus your team. Schedule one day each quarter to talk about what your priorities for the quarter are. Communicate to your team your goals for the quarter and the three to five actions you want to take to achieve them.
Once you’ve communicated these goals and action items, get to work. Break your team up into task forces, each focused on one action item. Plan weekly meetings for them to assess their progress and determine what they should do to improve their efforts.
The final piece to making your quarterly action items a reality is accountability. After you’ve focused your team on making these improvements, you have to make a person or team accountable for each action item. They’ll be responsible for raising a red flag when the right steps aren’t being taken or when the team is getting off track.
If, for example, one of your action items is to optimize your processes, a team should be accountable for creating playbooks, looking for inefficiencies and providing solutions for better processes. Accountability is key to ensuring that all the goals you’ve set are achieved by the end of the quarter.
Let’s look at a goal from the top of the action plan down. Say you’re losing a lot of time on your IT tickets (and I’m sure many of you are.) To improve your profitability and increase the amount of revenue you’re bringing in, one of your action items is to get your IT ticket numbers down. Focus on this goal and determine how you’re going to make it happen. You could hire a Network Administrator, take actions to align your customers’ standards or strive to be more proactive in your system management. Appoint a person or a team to be accountable for these steps and to ensure that the action item is actually achieved by the end of the quarter.
Now, what’s your quarterly action plan, and how are you going to enact it? Transforming into a top MSP starts this quarter.
Interested in learning more about business planning? Download our free business planning ebook.