Best practices for successful MSPs
To be a successful MSP in today's world, just doing the right things is not enough. It's extremely important to do things right as well. This is what sets you apart from the competition. An MSP has to think about so many things before starting up and will face all kinds of challenges in its journey to establish its business as a legitimate option for other organizations.
From learning how to start out, what to offer, and how to package and price its services, to choosing MSP tools, an MSP will face many challenges. However, once you've set up your MSP business, standing out requires a different approach altogether.
Below are some key best practices that can help you become an offer that organizations will not be able to refuse:
#1. Perform detailed profit and loss analysis
Develop a detailed pricing strategy with costs for each service and bundle, calculate your total operating expenses, conduct detailed break-even analysis, and quantify your ROI. Figure out how much to charge by deciding on the pricing models you want to adopt to bill your customers (see Pricing models).
Create and offer service bundles based on the impact each one can have on your client's IT infrastructure and, ultimately, their entire business.
#2. Develop a way to quickly handle quotes for smaller equipment and parts
Even though small parts such as cables look quite unimportant in the larger picture, you need to have a system in place to quote prices for this type of equipment. This doesn’t just become important in large-scale installations and projects but also saves a lot of time and makes the billing process effortless.
#3. Keep an audit trail
Through your PSA tool, maintain a record of all the data related to each client separately in an easily trackable manner. This helps make the billing process faster and more accurate. These records can also be used in case of any conflicts that arise during or after service provisioning.
#4. Define and document repeatable processes
In order to provide consistent services across your entire client base, you need to define and document all the repeatable processes with visuals, such as flowcharts. This helps when training new employees and establishing a unique work culture for your organization.
You should also institutionalize process outcomes and implement processes that have a broader impact on delivering quality services, such as ITIL®.
#5. Make cloud services your strength
Everyone's shifting to the cloud these days. Offering cloud services in your various bundles acts as a huge value addition for clients and helps the sales and marketing teams successfully convert leads.
#6. Find a unified management platform
Handling numerous clients while managing things like different service plans, different service levels, remote monitoring, billing and invoicing, provisioning, data backup and support, and ticketing for each client requires a comprehensive platform. Opting for multiple tools to provide all these capabilities may cause a lot of issues.
Look for a help desk system that offers all or most of these capabilities under one roof, along with flexible integration capabilites to smoothly interact with third-party software.
#7. Create high-percentage entry points
As MSPs are highly dependent on recurring revenue for long-term success, many work towards building high-percentage entry points. Some clients are inclined to get into an all-inclusive kind of contract with a new partner. You should intentionally limit the scale of services and try not to take over a large piece of a client's business at the first go.
This way, you’ll create an opportunity to find out the actual requirements and expectations of the client without appearing too eager to grab their business, thereby gaining their trust. Once trust is established, you can openly talk to the client about possible expansion scenarios and take the services to the next level. Converting accounts in such a manner can drive revenue equivalent to acquiring a new client.