If you’re an MSP, the services you provide are your lifeblood. They’re how you make your monthly recurring revenue and are your very reason for existing. However, as remote monitoring, patch management, tech support and other traditional services continue to become common commodities, it’s getting tougher than ever to stand out in this crowded marketplace. In order to give the client a real bang for their buck and come out swell in the revenue department, you often have to deliver some value-added services on the side.
A while back, StorageCraft did a guest blog post on MSP Mentor discussing the merits of business continuity as an additional service. In the end, we were able to conclude that business continuity is such an ideal service for MSPs to offer because it places a special focus on all the factors necessary to keep business operations thriving – the critical applications, job functions, and people that make things tick. It’s a priority for every organization at every level.
The folks over at Channel Pro SMB wrote an interesting piece introducing print services as an additional offering. With integration points from WiFi to mobile, printers are steadily becoming as important as desktops and servers in IT infrastructures. Printers have come a long way on the hardware and software sides, creating lucrative opportunities for vendors with the expertise to handle the technical challenges and ensure that these multifunctional devices continually contribute to network operations.
Challenges and Considerations
There are quite a few extras MSPs can tack on to flesh out their offerings. But whether it’s an intricate process like business continuity or something seemingly simple like print support, there are hurdles that must be cleared when adding on any additional service.
Evaluate Your Expertise
Microsoft Exchange is still the platform countless organizations depend on for business email. And though it has made great strides in terms of improvement, it’s still quite the beast to tame. There is guaranteed money in managed services built around popular software like Exchange and SharePoint, but before adding anything new to your portfolio, you better make sure you truly have the skills to support it. General knowledge isn’t enough. In order to fully service the client’s needs, your knowledge must be at an expert level.
Don’t Be Greedy
One interesting trend on the SMB scene involves integrating traditional PBX and VoIP to create a unified communication system that offers the best of both worlds. This level of integration is attractive because of the cost savings, call quality, and flexibility it delivers. Adding such a hybrid offering to your services could make for a nice pay day, but if you started dabbling in VoIP to get away from all the hardware challenges associated with PBX in the first place, it’s probably not worth the trouble. The moral of the story – don’t offer a service you’re going to loath providing just to get paid.
Nab Ideas from the Enemy
You can learn a lot from the competition, so monitor your rivals closely for ideas. What do they have on the menu? How are they making the extras stand out from their standard services? Don’t worry about being a copycat. They may offer desktop security, but your ability to supply a service that provides protection from desktop to mobile and everywhere in between may be even more appealing to customers in need of an end-to-end solution. It’s not always about being an innovator or trendsetter. It’s about identifying your unique selling proposition and learning to capitalize on it.
Give a Partnership Some Thought
Now that cloud computing and big data are all the rage, supporting a CRM app, analytics tool, or another type of data-friendly platform that can be deployed through an SaaS model might be worth looking into. Managing a cloud infrastructure is no walk in the park, but this isn’t something you have to handle on your own. It’s possible to forge a partnership with another company that is looking to increase their momentum in a given sector, and willing to help you expand your offerings in the process. You might not have all the resources initially, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pass up on a potentially lucrative opportunity.
Do What’s Best for Your Customers
Adding project management, application support, and other services will likely bring a whole new audience your way. That’s great if it works out, but there are no guarantees. Before going after one service or another, think about your existing clients and their needs. While being a jack of all trades will give you the biggest profit potential, you can potentially score huge loyalty points with your customers by playing to your core strengths and simply being awesome at what you already do. If tacking on new services will compromise customer satisfaction in any way, the risk probably isn’t worth the gamble.
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