4 Approaches to building your MSP - Image by Mohamed Hassan from PixabayOrganizations are increasingly outsourcing IT management for many reasons — a shortage of skilled technicians, increasing compliance and regulatory burdens, and the ever-present threat of cyberattacks. That’s why the MSP market is growing and is expected to be worth $411 billion by 2027.

As an MSP owner, you have the skills to capitalize on this increasing interest in IT outsourcing. However, expertise and experience aren’t enough to help you grow your MSP. With that in mind, let’s look at four focus areas to help you build a sustainable and successful MSP business.

1. Create value

The MSP market is certainly growing, but it is also becoming increasingly competitive. While the market conditions offer plenty of opportunities to establish and grow your business, your competitors also see the same opportunities. So, how can you differentiate your MSP to stand out among the crowd?

Don’t start out by trying to be everything to everybody. You won’t have the time or resources to succeed. Start by specializing in a specific geography, technology or business sector instead.

MSPs that specialize in services like cybersecurity, or cater to specific industries like healthcare, are valued for their specific expertise. Understanding industry regulations, challenges, constraints, and jargon builds trust and assures clients that you can manage their technology, cybersecurity and compliance issues.

Focusing on a geographic area gives you a similar advantage. Clients that outsource to MSPs like getting quick responses from someone locally. By focusing on certain locations, you can build a reputation for responsiveness and get “word-of-mouth” referrals more easily by taking this approach.

Specialization allows you to embed yourself in your clients’ operations and even possibly charge premium rates for your service. However, you could still be displaced if your customers start to look elsewhere for services you don’t offer.

That’s why, once you establish your MSP, you should look to provide additional services (like security awareness training and dark web monitoring) so your customers have no reason to turn to other MSPs to meet their IT requirements. By working closely with your customers, you will be in a perfect position to understand the additional services they need.

2. Proactively reach out to potential clients

A successful business needs customers. Avoid slipping into the “If we build it, they will come” mentality because it does not work. You need to spend time on marketing, especially in the early days. While this may be outside your comfort zone, here are a few ideas to help get your message across:

Many MSPs start out with an initial customer. Ensure you deliver excellent service and use them as a reference customer to establish your wider credibility to potential customers.

Create and communicate a compelling message to differentiate yourself — whether it is specializing in technologies, sectors or even geographic areas.

Investigate the possibility of joining local business groups and generate awareness by sponsoring meetings or emailing members. Also, you can be part of thought leadership talks around IT services and how IT is essential for remote work, cybersecurity, and other relevant topics in which you are specialized.

Invest in a professional website. Ensure you have an easy-to-remember URL so people can find you. Explain your services, credentials, message and any customer references. Ensure this is updated regularly.

Make use of social media. For example, you could join relevant groups on LinkedIn and actively post content to build your profile and get your message across.

If budget permits, invest in digital marketing for quicker results, but get professional help to ensure the investment is well spent.

3. Overcome price resistance

Although selling is probably the most difficult part, resist the temptation to sell at the lowest price because that approach isn’t sustainable. Don’t be scared to charge a realistic rate for your services. It isn’t a problem if some people think it is too expensive, but it is a problem if everyone thinks so.

If you deliver value to your customers, pricing resistance falls away. Unfortunately, a lot of the work MSPs do is hidden from view, so it is difficult for clients to understand and value your work and its impact on the health of their IT environment. You need to establish regular contact with your customers and report on metrics like uptime percentage, average response time, number of issues prevented (like viruses detected and ransomware attacks detected) and more.

Do not offer tools directly, as the customer could look for cheaper alternatives, which will devalue your services.

Price services appropriately to cover your costs and make a living. You need the right tools and the right pricing to build a solid foundation for success and growth.

4. Optimize service delivery

Once you have made the sale, the hard work starts. Success breeds success. If you deliver on your promises, customers will be happy and more likely to expand their relationship with you. Happy customers are also more likely to recommend your services to their friends and colleagues.

To consistently deliver high service levels, make money and still have time to proactively grow your business takes planning. You need to carefully research the market to determine service offerings and pricing.

Here is a practical example of this. The RMM solution you choose – like Pulseway – needs to be robust and complete, with good remote control capability, network and device management, patch management, auto-remediation (and the ability to automate regular IT tasks), a full-function mobile app, and so on. Furthermore, complementary automated solutions, like Ransomware Detection, Endpoint Backup, and an integrated PSA (professional services automation) are essential to increase efficiency with no extra headcount.

Keys to success

To succeed in this increasingly competitive MSP landscape, you need to set yourself apart by specializing in specific technologies or sectors, and as your business grows you’ll be able to expand your services by setting up a full-service operation. You need to invest in marketing your services and choose the right tools to deliver excellent service and fulfil your promises.

Remember, the right tools used in appropriately priced services, along with happy customers, will help your MSP achieve sustained success and stay ahead of the competition.

PulsewayMMSOFT Design, Ltd. is the maker of Pulseway, a mobile-first IT management software that helps busy IT administrators look after their IT infrastructure on the go. Easy-to-use, cloud-hosted solution with a user-friendly mobile app that abstracted the desktop away, Pulseway is used by over 13,000 businesses worldwide including BestBuy, DELL, Louis Vuitton, Canon and Siemens.


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