Continuing on from the first part of this article, this second part lists the final 5 things you need to get a new MSP business up and running.
The five items on this list begin to get into the nuts and bolts of running your MSP and bringing in customers:
Whatever happens, do not permit yourself or your staff to start tinkering with client servers until you have the correct insurances in place. Aside from ensuring you have all the mandatory policies required for running a business in your country of operation, invest in an “errors & omissions” or “professional indemnity” policy. This will cover you if inadvertent and damaging mistakes are made while providing ongoing support.
You need to put serious thought into the daily operation of your MSP. If you don’t do it at the start, you will end up with messy processes that have to be unpicked at a later date.
You need to think about how you plan to log calls, monitor systems and keep track of your clients' timesheets and invoices. You also need to consider internal matters such as how to pay your staff on time and manage sickness and holidays.
These things are dull and earn you no money – but they are utterly essential.
Unless you plan to do everything yourself, you’re probably going to need some partnerships in terms of cloud service providers, antivirus vendors and other software companies.
Take time to assess the market before things get busy, so that when they do, you already have a list of trusted partner products that you are confident to sell, support and make money from.
With everything organized, you’re going to need to package your MSP services, and it’s best to have a clear idea of service offerings and prices before you start talking to prospective clients. The last thing you want is to appear to be “winging it.”
Take the time to run the numbers, check your margins and compare your offerings to those of your competitors. Even if you’re new to the marketplace, you don’t need to make the fact apparent. You can always tweak your packages later on, but don’t make them up as you go along.
While an MSP with no customers would be easy to run, it wouldn’t make any money. So, once everything else is in place, it’s time to wear the sales and marketing hat and get some clients on board.
Regardless of your chosen sales methods, you shouldn’t ignore the potential value of your existing business contacts when first launching the business. Perhaps there are individuals you have worked with in the past who could become your first clients, or perhaps they would recommend you to people.
Make use of everyone in your personal network to spread the word as wide as possible, and before you know it, the phones will be ringing with the first IT problems.
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