If I Were Launching an MSP Now | James Riley
James Riley, the CEO of Tucson, Ariz.-based JNR Networks, shares three suggestions he’d apply if he were launching an MSP from scratch today:
1. Be a better leader – Make sure the leadership is as strong as possible.
That would start with me, because it starts at the top.
If someone is not coming in exactly at my position, I would invest more time and money into developing myself as a leader to make sure that I can lead the company well, and that I didn’t make a lot of common leadership mistakes due to leadership inadequacies.
I would read a lot more.
I’d read people like Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni, and Simon Sinek.
I’d read a lot more about leadership and what it means.
I would make sure that I had a clear definition and understanding of what would need being accomplished and why, and that I had a quality of leadership in me and around me in my people to be able to drive that forward.
So, I would definitely read more, dialogue more with people: with my team about leadership concepts, how we are doing and how we should improve, and with other leaders to get their perspective, insight, counsel and critique.
And I would seek counsel more.
2. Get a team that matches your culture – Don’t worry a drop about skillsets.
Maybe a drop, but definitely not two drops.
Worry almost exclusively about character and culture fit.
Focus on building a team not just so that they can perform tasks, but so that they can function well together.
3. Have a solid handle on the financials – We were blessed in that as we grew, our financials were solid, but that was more of an accident than it was intentional.
Many times I’d go for quite a long period of time and didn’t know whether we were making a profit or taking a loss.
And if we were, how much of one or the other.
Fortunately, we were consistently profitable, but that was an unwise thing to do.
Looking around and seeing a lot of other businesses I talked with, that’s a consistent issue that a lot of companies have when their financials get disorganized.
Sometimes it gets to a point where you can’t get them back in order.
We’re very disciplined and conservative in our spending.
We never really carried debt, so we didn’t really ever get into a lot of trouble.
But it was because we had a sort of a baseline of being very disciplined financially, which would be a good element of getting your financials under control.
The key element is knowing where your financials are, how much you have, where the money is coming from, what your profit or loss looks like, and understanding the balance sheet.
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