Steven Freidkin, president and founder of McLean, VA.-based Ntiva, shares three suggestions he'd apply if he were launching an MSP today.
1. Build a rock star team and pick the right tools – I would make sure that we build a team that actually goes around our technical talent. So, the goal there would be to make sure that we are recruiting and retaining the best technical talent and creating an environment that does that. What I mean specifically is making sure we have passionate rock stars that love supporting clients and helping them use technology for their business, and supporting them by giving them the tools that they need to be successful. That means picking the right RMM, picking the right PSA tool, implementing it properly from the get-go, and making sure that as much automation as possible is in place so that boring repeat tasks are being done by a machine and the super smart technical talent are really helping the client use technology to improve their business.
2. Properly leverage your CRM – It's something I would do correctly from the get-go, 100 percent of the time. Start with what data fields we need every time, and setup the system and train our people to use it. Use the tool to gather proper email addresses, categorized for prospects and active clients, to allow for automation of proactive communication to prospects and clients. Basically, it’s building a pipeline, setting up the statuses and the information to be able to communicate with prospects as well as customers. That is something that was really, really hard and we're still working on how to implement, now that we're bigger. Had we had that going in the beginning, we would have been in better shape.
3. Set up great dashboards – This means setting up our systems, tools, and processes to do really great dashboard reporting for both internal use as well as client use, around SLAs, response times, accuracy, and categories of issues that come up. Those are all things that in the beginning, if you create properly, you're going to be able to always have great data coming in and be able to state that in a meaningful way to clients. Being the managed service provider in a kind of an internal market is really challenging because at the core, if you charge somebody money every month and things are working, they wonder why they pay you. If you charge somebody money every month and something is not working or something goes wrong, they also wonder why they pay you. So, having those proper dashboards and information as well as technical talent that can really provide value beyond keeping things running is critical.
Editor’s note: Comments are edited to improve readability.