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September 3, 2019
Sponsored by Kaseya
The day-to-day demands of running an MSP can keep everyone quite busy, whether they’re putting out fires or upgrading a sea of endpoints. But with the year more than halfway over, it’s a great time to step back and see how your business is tracking against your year-end goals. Even though there are not too many more months to go, there’s still plenty of time to course correct if necessary.
Step One: Get out your Goals
I’m sure that way back in 2018 you put a lot of time and thought into figuring out what you wanted your MSP to accomplish this year. Adding customers, growing top-line revenue and increasing profits are common, easy-to-measure goals.
If you went the extra mile, your objectives might have also included increasing revenue per account, decreasing incidents and downtime, shortening response times, improving staff efficiency, or diversifying revenue streams by expanding your menu of services. In addition to some of those measurable aspirations you might have had more strategic ambitions, as well, such as automating routine processes or adding new services such as dark web monitoring or compliance solutions.
While these annual goals should be taped up on the wall and revisited regularly, it’s quite possible you’ll need to search through your files a bit or blow some dust off them as more immediate demands have pushed them aside. But regardless of whether they’re on display or buried in a drawer somewhere, you can’t tell if you’re on the right track if you don’t know where you’re trying to go.
Step Two: Check your Progress
For each goal you established for your MSP, run the numbers on 2019 so far to see how things are stacking up.
Are you at least 50% of the way there yet? If not, you’ll need to take a deep dive into your pipeline and see if there are big deals closing soon. Otherwise, you’re on course for a disappointing finish to the year.
Are some metrics tracking appropriately while others lag behind? It’s not unusual to, for example, add new customers without seeing a jump in profitability due to increased onboarding costs or additional expenses tied to their launch, but you should be seeing progress on all fronts to keep those extra costs from negating your growth.
Are you overperforming in a certain area? Sometimes we set the bar too low for ourselves, and sometimes a huge windfall drops into our laps. Either way, it’s good to know if you’re in better shape than expected so you can take advantage of other opportunities.
Step Three: Dig into the Details
You now know where you wanted to be and how far you’ve come so far. Now it’s time to evaluate why things played out this way. What worked and what didn’t work? What surprises came your way, good or bad, and how did they impact things? Are individual employees pulling their weight? Are there any surprise superstars or slackers that should be recognized or dealt with?
This doesn’t have to be a solo exercise, either. Raising these questions with other senior leaders or even individual contributors can reveal interesting nuggets you may not be aware of. It’s probably best to conduct these sessions one-on-one so people are comfortable discussing the details and naming names they might be hesitant to bring up in a group setting.
Step Four: Celebrate and Escalate
With this new wealth of information, it’s time to share what you’ve learned. A mid-year or quarterly review with staff is a great opportunity to be sure everyone is aware of how things are going, and that everyone gets on the same page about what still must happen.
Start with the positives by showing where your MSP has made good progress toward its targets, highlighting the efforts of individuals when possible. This provides positive recognition and is an opportunity to share experiences or best practices with others.
For areas where your business is underperforming, it’s time to take action… you only have a few months left to right the ship at this point. Engage the team not only by identifying disappointing results but by creating definitive and measurable action plans to pursue those goals.
Based on the research conducted in Step Three, it should be clear where you must devote more time and resources, along with which top performers should be assigned to high priority tasks. Get the whole team invested and energized to make a final push for these year-end goals by offering extra incentives.
And, in the off chance that your team has overperformed and is ahead of schedule on all fronts, now is a great time to launch an additional objective to grow or improve in another area while still maintaining the positive momentum your MSP has established.
Step Five: Give your Team the Tools they Need to Succeed
Regardless of which initiatives need some extra attention to get over the finish line, you can give your employees a boost by arming them with solutions that will increase their productivity, provide a superior customer experience and help you expand and diversify your overall set of offerings.
If you’re not operating your MSP with best-in-class remote monitoring and management tools, you’re making your staff members’ lives much harder and limiting how many endpoints you can effectively manager. Automate those tasks and you’ll improve your efficiency and maximize what your resources can do.
The productivity gains don’t stop there, either, as your MSP can easily add tools for network monitoring and identity and access management that will improve performance without tying up your staff’s limited time. There are also great options to automate documentation and streamline back office functions such as billing and project management so you can focus on adding customer value instead of administrative tasks.
And if one of your goals was diversifying your offerings and increasing your value to customers while boosting your competitive advantage, you can fast forward your forays into compliance management services, dark web monitoring, and backup and recovery services. These plug-and-play tools make it quick and easy to expand your portfolio and grow your recurring revenue to hit this year’s goals and set even higher ones in the years to come.
Don’t Lead an Unexamined Life
Stepping back and reflecting on your MSP’s performance might seem like a luxury, but evaluating your progress and adjusting accordingly is the most responsible thing you can do for your business. The dynamic nature of our industry demands continual adjustments and reactions to fully exploit the opportunities we have, so indulge in a mid-year review to finish strong and hit your numbers.
Joining Kaseya in 2012, Miguel Lopez brings over 20 years of experience to his role as SVP, Managed Service Providers (MSPs). In this position, he consults daily with MSPs to help them solve their clients’ business problems with technology solutions. Prior to joining Kaseya, Miguel served as the director of consulting services for All Covered, a nationwide technology services company that is a division of Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA Inc. In 2008, All Covered acquired NetCor Technologies, a leading MSP that Miguel founded and managed since 1997. NetCor specialized in serving highly regulated industries such as healthcare, CPAs, law firms and retail companies.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.
Read more about:MSPs
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