The world can be tough for MSPs. I know from speaking to some of our partners that more often than not, they’re running around with their hair on fire. Things are busy, but busy is good. Busy means there’s work and if you’re good at what you do, work means profit. But being busy can put a damper on certain things. It’s tough to expand a business when you’re spending most of your time finding water for that blazing scalp of yours. Luckily for MSPs, there are some things they can leverage pretty easily that will help them put out some of these fires and expand business.
1. Community groups
HTG, CompTIA, and ASCII are some community groups dedicated to helping IT professionals become more successful. If you’re not a member of any peer groups, you might consider joining one because they have loads of valuable resources that you’ll have at your disposal like training documents and even legal templates. Curious about how to branch into a particular vertical? They’ve got documents on that. Does someone owe you money and you’re not sure what a collections document should look like? You can find out. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to attend conferences with IT professionals like yourself so you can share what you’ve learned and learn something new about how to be a successful VAR or MSP in your space. Community groups are a great way to expand your business in ways you may not have thought of.
2. Service Agreements
As mentioned by industry leader Karl Palachuk in a recent article, service agreements can seem a little bit frightening to those that aren’t experienced at using them, but they not only protect you and the client, they also help both of you manage expectations. You’ll know what you’re responsible for and not responsible for, and you should also be able to pinpoint exactly how much recurring revenue comes your way each month. For a closer look at service agreements, look at Karl Palachuk’s two-part article. If you’re a member of one of the community groups I mentioned, be sure to delve into their resources, some of them have extremely easy-to-use service agreement templates. Alternatively, you can check out these templates from Rocketlawyer.com. Please note, however, that any legal matters should be discussed with your attorney before put into action.
3. RMMs and PSAs
When it’s time to step up to the next level as an MSP, you’ll probably want some form of remote monitoring and management (RMM) or professional services automation (PSA) tools. These allow you to control and monitor client networks remotely, send clients bills, and receive service ticket submissions from your clients. The more you can do at your office, the better, because the second a service truck starts its engine, you start losing profits you’ve worked so hard to gain. Why worry about stopping at a client’s office to complete upgrades or install patches or take backups when you can do it all remotely? Save your effort and only go to the client site when they really need you. Another great thing about these tools is that many offer various levels of integration with StorageCraft so if you’re using us already, you don’t have to find a new backup and disaster recovery vendor. For a list of our alliance partners, check out this page.
4. Online training
We recently posted an article about how to determine whether an educational YouTube video is credible. Obviously, you don’t want to lean on non-credible Youtube videos, but there are plenty available that can help you fill in any blind spots you might have as an IT professional. In addition, check out the Spiceworks forum, where IT pros like you post their questions and get answers from other experts. Also, keep an eye out for free webinars on topics you’re interested in—these are great ways to learn about solutions that can save you money and make your job easier.
Oh, and while we’re on training, be sure to think about StorageCraft Academy if you haven’t already—our online classes work with your schedule so you can go over everything you need to know about StorageCraft solutions whenever it’s most convenient for you. You’ll even get 24/7 emergency support for free with purchase of Academy and you’ll gain access to our instructor-led courses once you finish the online prerequisites. Additionally, you may want to check out our YouTube channel for other helpful videos about ShadowProtect and other StorageCraft products.