Five ways to prepare your MSP business for 2014

Ben Taylor

With the holiday season underway, MSP businesses can look forward to a time that’s traditionally a little less hectic than the rest of the year.

Work often becomes a secondary focus for many clients, who are instead enjoying Christmas parties and long lunches with customers of their own.

Prepare-for-2014You should obviously take full advantage of this, and ensure that you and your staff get the time to enjoy a slightly more relaxed working environment. However, before you know it, the season will be over for another year, and 2014 will arrive - complete with a new set of challenges.

In this article, we make five suggestions to help you use this quiet time productively, while still having a chance to enjoy the festive season.

1. Have a clear out

You should take advantage of a reduction in calls and (hopefully) problems, and give your premise a good clear out. This means desks, filing cabinets, and refrigerators, but also servers and equipment cupboards. The process of this clear out will be cathartic for you and your staff, and will mean you get to begin 2014 with an immaculate working environment.

2. Reward your staff

Although many firms have made cutbacks due to the global economic crisis, most companies still reward staff with a Christmas party. However, there are other ways to thank your staff for their work over the year.

Consider letting people go early on quiet days so they can complete their seasonal shopping; be generous with long lunch breaks if time permits, and think about giving out small gifts when people come in for their final day before their holiday break. All of these gestures will boost staff morale and improve their mood when they come back in the New Year.

3. Find out your clients’ plans

It’s useful to make sure you are party to your clients’ plans for the holiday season. Some firms shut down for an extended period, whereas others (often those with workaholic CEOs!) will be back on the phone with IT problems while they can still taste the Christmas pudding.

Having a clear idea of what to expect will allow you to plan out your time, and hopefully enjoy a little more of a break yourself.

4. Work on your marketing plan

If you have a tendency to move marketing to the bottom of your “to do” list when you’re busy, you’re not alone.

However, you’re probably as quiet now as you will ever be, so take some time to make some marketing plans for the year ahead.

5. Look back…and look forward

Now is a great time to look at the numbers for the past year. You may only get a vague idea of your financial position until your accountant does the official figures, but it does no harm to work out your total sales and general performance.

Having these figures in mind as you begin the New Year will give you an idea of what you need to meet and exceed to ensure a prosperous new year in 2014. Happy holidays!