Time management tips for MSP owners

Ben Taylor

Nobody has ever tried to claim that running an MSP business is easy. If you went into this sector expecting an easy and predictable nine to five, it’s fair to say that you deluded yourself.

time-managementHowever, you shouldn’t feel as if you are continually “chasing your tail.” If you are, your time management skills could use a little work.

In this article, we provide you with five tips to help you manage your time a little better. By following them all, you could manage to free up a little more time, and maybe even boost your revenue at the same time.

1. Use technology properly

If you work in an MSP business, then presumably you’re constantly extolling the virtues of new hardware and software solutions. You really should be using them for your OWN business too.

Despite this, a surprising number of MSPs try to run their own internal IT on a shoestring budget. This is flawed logic.

Examples: Your email, contacts and calendars should be synced and instantly available from anywhere and on any device. You should have solutions in place that allow you “at a glance” status information on all of your client systems. Finally, nobody on your team should be trying to work with creaking old technology, just because they know how to coax it into keeping on working.

2. Work ON the business, as well as IN the business

The above tip is stated so often in books and on business websites that it borders on cliché, but it really is sound advice.

If you are spending all of your time dealing with day-to-day stuff, and never thinking about marketing, projections and long-term plans and innovations, you will never see your MSP business reaching its full potential.

3. Set limits for meetings

Meetings can prove a serious time drain, so be smart about how you conduct them. Don’t spend a day travelling to and from a prospective customer site until you’ve spoken to the prospect on the phone and pre-qualified them as a serious potential client.

People are always keen to grab a little free IT advice. Make sure they only get a little before they start paying, or before you know it people will start to take advantage.

4. Learn to delegate

Many IT professionals find it very hard to let go of certain tasks and duties, especially when they first move from being a “one man band” to a larger IT service company.

However, if you don’t learn to delegate, you’ll still do everything yourself AND have to pay someone else to sit there feeling bored and unmotivated. Make sure you select staff that are up to scratch, and trust them to do what they’re paid to do.

5. Set sensible deadlines

“Under promise and over deliver” is such a simple strategy in all businesses, yet so many people fail to do it.

If you think you’ll have a task completed by Tuesday, say it will be done by Friday. Then, still aim for Tuesday. The result? You’ve just exceeded that client’s expectations. So simple, yet so often forgotten.

 Do you have any advice to help improve time management? Share your tips with a comment below!