Top tip Tuesday – Getting started as an MSP

Debbie Thomson

At MAX-IQ we know that no one can know what it’s like to be an MSP better than an MSP, that’s why we will bring you as much information as we can direct from the people who know! So to start us off here is our first ever Top Tip Tuesday!

Our theme today is ‘Getting Started’ and we have some brilliant tips from MSPs who have been there!


Richard Tubb (@tubblog) of Tubblog says: "Don't try to be a jack of all trades"

"The challenge for the owners of most Managed Service Provider businesses is that, in the beginning, they don’t like to turn work down. The fear is that if they say “no” to something, then another good opportunity may not come along.

The problem with this attitude is, the work you’ve said yes to often takes twice as long as it should do, requires you to learn on the job, and ultimately – rarely deliver what the client actually needs.

One solution to this problem is to build Strategic Alliance partnerships with other companies who you know, like and trust to deliver solutions to your clients on your behalf.

Relationships with such Strategic partners ensure that your client receives the level of service they are expecting and not a “best endeavors” attempt that both you and the client are unlikely to be happy with.

It also frees up the MSP’s time to concentrate on their core business, which they are experts in and can deliver in a timely and cost effective manner."


Damian Gunner (@Efin_Consulting) of Efiniti Consulting says: “Keep on top of your accounts”

“One of the most important aspects of running any business is keeping on top of your accounts. Accounting to anyone other than an accountant is a chore and can be time consuming and stressful and is therefore best left to an expert. Hire an accountant, let them work out your taxes, salary payments and compile your yearend accounts whilst you work on your business.

Having an accountant also means access to a wealth of information that you otherwise might not have or know where to find. They are also aware of current regulations such as VAT changes, personal allowances etc. There is also the risk factor - how confident are you that you can produce your accounts without an error and not run the risk of potential fine? Further an accountant might actually save you money e.g. by advising which VAT scheme to use or advise as to which expenses you can claim - or not!

Just as you probably don't spend the weekend fixing your car every time it goes wrong (because you're probably not a mechanic and you have better things to do) the same is true of your business accounts, pay an expert and avoid the stress, late nights and hassle, instead enjoy the nice weather, relax and focus on your business!”


Steven Thom of Thom Infotech says: “Avoid getting into debt”

"My number one tip for those starting out as an MSP is to avoid the biggest pitfall they'll ever encounter, namely, debt. Most start-up MSPs are already strapped for cash - that's usually the reason they are taking the leap towards the MSP model in the first place.

My company found this out the hard way by leasing an expensive RMM platform in 2008. We struggled to transition to the MSP model, so those lease payments really took their toll. We survived but I sure wish I knew then what I know now.

This is where GFI MAX really shines - you only pay for what you're using. GFI MAX helped us bounce back from the financial mistake of leasing our previous RMM tool. GFI's pricing model is an excellent way to avoid debt and cash-flow your way to prosperity."

Do you have any tips for getting started as an MSP? Share them below!