Gareth McKee, owner and CEO of Burnt Orange Solutions, based in Saskatoon, Canada, shares three suggestions he’d apply if he were launching an MSP from scratch today:
1. Don't think people will come to you – I'm a technician and an engineer. I wasn't a businessman when I first started Burnt Orange.
I think there are a lot of technical guys out there who are definitely good at their jobs and believe they can run a technical business.
And they probably really can run a technical business.
But what they don't realize is that they need to become a salesman and a marketer, from day one.
I think that's a hard lesson to learn for a lot of technicians and engineers out there.
They just think that because they're so fantastic at IT, that the business will just come to them, when that's not reality.
I think realizing this business has to sell in order to make money, and market to make money, is huge.
2. Clearly define your services – Try not to be all things to all people.
Especially early on, everyone is chasing every penny they can and they try to please everybody.
This just makes things harder in the long term.
Because you don't know what contracts are in place, what people, what's covered, what services you're offering.
It just gets far too complicated.
I think from day one, if you got one or two or three packages, clearly define them and then people have to fit in with you.
You're the expert.
3. All parts of the business need to be process driven – Not just the helpdesk, the technical side of life; but the marketing, the sales, the billing, the recovery of money.
Everything needs to be process-driven.
If on the 15th of every month you send out invoices, then it needs to be on the 15th day every month.
If on the 1st of every month you send out newsletters, it needs to be the 1st of every month.
And again, going back to engineers starting an IT business, this is all brand-spanking new to them and it needs to be absolutely clearly defined.
Editor’s note: Comments are edited to improve readability.
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