Mike Jackson, President of Mission, Kan.-based Pendello Solutions shares three suggestions he’d apply if he were launching an MSP from scratch today:
1. Pick your clients wisely – Have standards for your clients.
When you're starting out, it's really easy to grab any client or any revenue that comes your way.
In the long run, it's going to create quite a few headaches.
When you're a more established MSP, I think it's easier to have standards and pick your clients that are going to be the best fit.
But when you're starting out, it's really difficult, which then creates inefficiencies and problems down the road.
Don't go and grab the first client that comes your way.
Make sure they're a good fit for you and that they truly have an interest and the same mindset when it comes to technology.
2. Standardize the product stack – From day one, make sure you're choosing your vendors wisely, and that you're standardizing your product stack from the top down.
That's going to do two things.
It's going to make you more knowledgeable about your product, about all the ins and outs, the struggles with certain products and how you get around them, as well as the advantages of those products.
Also, as you bring people on, it's going to be easier to train them so that you're not training them on fifteen different products – say, five different firewalls.
Train them on one, maybe two, based on a situation.
Then it's easier to get them up to speed.
3. Make sure you spend the necessary time with early hires – The first couple of people are so critical to the success of the business.
Make sure you spend the necessary time with them.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but when you're starting a business, you're out there doing the setup, the sales, the technology; probably all the operations.
You're bringing on that first person and it's really easy to just say “ok, go do your job while I’ve got mine to do over here.”
You get caught in that whirlwind.
Make sure you provide the time to that person to train them up and help them understand not only the vision of the company, but also how you expect things to work.
That's going to pay huge dividends down the road.
When we are a more experienced company, obviously, we have more time to go and develop our people.
But it seems to get lost at those first couple of people.
That's why I think often we see a huge turnover when the companies get started, high frustration, and poor quality.
People aren't going to understand their true roles, what they are supposed to be doing and, as a result, you're going to see that either through people leaving or through clients' dissatisfaction.
Editor’s note: Comments are edited to improve readability.