The Launch Pad is seeking VARs and MSPs to become managed services franchises. The company, based in Tampa, Fla., is leveraging ConnectWise, QuoteWerks, Zenith Infotech and other managed services platforms to help franchise MSPs promote "business in a box" solutions to SMB customers. We're intrigued but we're also curious about the larger question: Are managed services franchises taking off in North America? Here's some perspective.
Let's start with The Launch Pad's strategy. The "business-in-a-box" effort includes an integrated approach to marketing, sales, service and management; community outreach initiatives; actions items for improving your business; and modules such as RevITup Easy-to-GreenIT or VirtualGreen Office. There are Connectwise prebuilt service boards, Zenith Infotech standardized backend setup and over 20 branded templates from QuoteWerks for quoting customer proposals.
"The offering came as a natural progress of our business," said Ilene Rosoff, CEO of The Launch Pad. "We want to help entrepreneurs and IT companies grow and excel when it comes to managed IT."
The offering is designed to remove what Rosoff says are the many barriers MSP's face when trying to grow their business: lack of structure, time-consuming integration processes, lack of a marketing system and the lack of investment dollars to develop effective training and documentation. The company's franchise model, Rosoff claims, gives aspiring MSPs a blueprint to follow. It's a repeatable process, Rosoff adds, which means it's easier and quicker for businesses to train their employees on how to use the service.
Familiar TrendNo doubt, there are numerous franchise models in the MSP sector and across the broader IT channel. Names that come to mind include CMIT Solutions, TeamLogic IT and The Utility Company. On a somewhat related note, multiple Master MSPs -- companies like Do IT Smarter and Virtual Administrator -- help aspiring MSPs to leverage pre-selected tools and best practices in the managed services market.
MSPmentor isn't in a position to endorse any particular franchise -- especially since we don't have access to all the start-up fee information, potential revenue share/commission structures, etc. Plus, we don't know if the parent companies are profitable and built to last.
If you're researching the franchise opportunity, we can safely recommend the book Franchise: Freedom or Fantasy? It was written by Mitchell York, one of my former managers during my days at a large media company. York summarized franchise opportunities and challenges in this MSPmentor article.
Additional reporting by Joe Panettieri. Sign up for MSPmentor’s Weekly Enewsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center. Follow us via RSS, Facebook, Identi.ca and Twitter. Check out more MSP voices at www.MSPtweet.com. Read our editorial disclosure here.