This article also appears on MSP Mentor
Getting wrapped up in your day-to-day operations is all too easy. There’s a lot to get done, time comes at a premium, and we’ve got various priorities like budgets, spreadsheets, and cat videos. Given the nature of business, it can be tough to find time for certain tasks, but there are a number of things an MSP business can do to make life easier. No matter how busy you are, it’s time to add a few new things to your to-do list.
Selling disaster recovery as a service
A lot of IT providers are still just selling simple backups when the real money is in disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). DRaaS and backups differ in that backups are just a copy of data. DRaaS is your guarantee that if equipment goes down, you can get it back up and running in a timely manner. Basically, for a monthly fee your clients get peace of mind in knowing their data is safe and recoverable. But what you get is something more than just monthly revenue—your clients’ trust. When you show your clients that you can spin up a backup as a virtual machine in a number of seconds, they’ll really understand why you’re worth trusting. Once you’ve done that, you’re on the road to relationships that last.
Testing backup and disaster recovery plans
It’s easy to take a backup and assume everything went fine. Some backup software allows you to automatically verify the integrity of backups, so why would you need to test? Well, not all tests are equal. Just like backups are different from disaster recovery, different tests are good for different things. A backup verification is a quick way to verify integrity, but to really know what goes into a good test, you need something more in-depth, such as testing a file and folder recovery or even a full restore. Just remember that a backup test is just as important as the backup itself. Look for our upcoming Recover-Ability guide “Don’t Let a Disaster Be Your First Backup Test” to learn more about testing.
Branching into new industries
As we noted in a previous article, it can certainly be beneficial for an IT provider have a specific industry, whether it’s healthcare, hospitality, legal, or what have you. Although your general IT skills can help you provide services to a number of industries, having special knowledge in a specific niche can elevate you above the competition. A healthcare practice would likely prefer an IT provider that focuses on healthcare specifically, just like a provider that focuses on legal has a leg up in that industry. There can be hurdles, but it’s something your business can overcome with a little bit of extra work. You’ll be rewarded in no small way once you’ve got it down.
There might not be so-called stupid questions, but there are those that can waste your time. If you’re having trouble with clients asking silly questions, it might be time to drop some knowledge. There are a number of ways you can educate your clients on topics as diverse as cyber-security, online safety, and even computer basics. If you find there’s a need, investing some time in educating clients might save you in the long run. Here are six easy ways to empower them through education.
Providing that “special something”
Your special something could be something simple like dropping off donuts at your clients’ offices or something more advanced like thinking of innovative ways to save them money, but a lot of businesses forget that extra flourish that makes them stand out. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to make a grand impact, so take some time to think about the little things you can do to help clients not just respect and trust you, but to care about you too.
Every IT provider’s priorities are a little different, but adding a few things to your to-do list can make an impact on your business operations, your employee productivity, and even your bottom line. So take some time to think of how you can really step it up as a company, there’s a lot to gain.
Photo credit: Betsy Weber via Flickr