If I Were Launching an MSP Now | Anthony Oren
Anthony Oren, CEO of New York City-based Nero Consulting, shares three suggestions he’d apply if he were launching an MSP from scratch today:
1. “Outsource” is a good word – The biggest misconception in the technology industry is that “outsource” is a bad word.
When you properly outsource your IT, you get everything you need.
You receive a higher level of expertise.
You get better day-to-day support and backup support if you already have an IT company, and most of all, outsourcing means leveraging an entire team instead of just one in-house IT person.
Don’t be afraid to call yourself an outsourced IT department, because when you show a prospect the value of having an entire team full of talented technicians, at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee without all the overhead of benefits, bonuses and salary; the conversation shifts right away.
My advice to anyone having a conversation about being a MSP to someone with an in-house IT staff, is that when you have an in-house employee, you may see him or her all the time roaming the office but often times you have no idea what they are doing 9 to 5.
Alternatively, when it comes to outsourcing, I tell all our clients and prospects – as your MSP, we’re always there, working behind the scenes.
And if you do see us on site as an outsourced MSP, then that’s not a good thing because that means that something bad happened: outages, server crashes, something that we can’t handle remotely.
So in contradiction, if you don’t hear from us, that means we’re doing our job.
2. Don’t chase problems – There are two philosophies in providing IT support.
The first is the idea that you have to chase the problem.
I know a lot of IT professionals who we call break-fix, who build their entire companies around the philosophy of chasing after problems.
My advice to anyone is that this type of mindset is a death wish for anyone wanting to start an MSP because that means they need enough problems to occur for them to stay in business.
At the same time, when they do get enough problems, getting what they wish for so to speak, they often find that they can’t afford to handle all those problems happening all at once.
So, it’s a two-headed monster, where you’re always looking for problems to fix so that you can get paid and at the same time you can’t develop so many problems that you that you can’t do it all at once.
The philosophy that I started my business with is proactive maintenance.
Set up an MSP around a proactive approach for a flat fee based on your estimate of how many hours you will devote to preventing problems.
3. Think like a C-level exec – When you’re having a conversation as an MSP with a prospective client or anyone else, don’t talk like an IT guy who just fixes computers when things go wrong.
My advice to anyone wanting to break into IT or become an ISP is to get into the habit of thinking and talking like CIOs or CTOs, or a C-level executive.
When you speak with business intelligence to the person you’re offering services to, they’ll start to understand you a lot better and relate to you more when the dialog is the same.
Instead of talking about computers, servers, networks, switches; talk to them about budgets, revenues, profits and margins.
Put a roadmap together that is more about the business rather than the technologies.
That goes a long way.
Editor’s note: Comments are edited to improve readability.
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