John Rutkowski, founder and CEO of Newark, Del.-based BOLDER Designs, shares three suggestions he’d apply if he were launching an MSP from scratch today:
1. Scale processes – This is an important one and I get that question asked a lot because I'm a captain of a peer group of other MSPs within Robin Robins Technology Marketing Toolkit, and also, the Captain of The 20, which is an association of the MSPs.
You can't start an MSP business based on the knowledge of one person. You can't scale yourself.
You need to scale processes. Processes allow you to replicate the successes and avoid failures.
That's one of my rules of running BOLDER Designs: if you can solve it for two, you've solved it for two thousand.
This allows you to scale your business because in order to scale, you need to automate. So, figuring out how to automate for two takes more time, but it is well worth the investment because once you automate, you can deploy to 2,000 without any more labor.
2. Join a peer group – Get hooked up with a peer group of other business owners or other MSPs.
You are only the smartest person in the room once, and having a number of other experts that you can call on regarding various topics also allows you to scale your business. Having that fundamental of the peer group is what allows you to find the solutions, what has worked for other people, and validate your business ideas.
3. Don’t overlook marketing – Marketing is the oil well: a consistent way of delivering your message to the outside world.
Marketing changes over time.
Google AdWords is one way to get it started.
Your spend rate is going to be fairly high but you’ll need that spend rate to be No. 1 in search position in your area, in order to get an effective return.
The other marketing components are direct mail, email marketing, webinars, seminars and having that marketing plan in place for repeat touches to your prospects.
You've got to implement these tips in that order: scalability, peer groups and then a reliable marketing engine.
Editor’s note: Comments are edited to improve readability.
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