Note: This article also appears on MSP Mentor
Perhaps the most useful thing about managed services isn’t just the easy pricing model or the simplicity the services bring to small businesses, it’s in addressing potential issues before they happen.
I recently spoke with a StorageCraft partner who had a story about two types of people. One type knows the value in technology and is willing to invest in it, and one doesn’t. This partner had a promo offer of two free service hours to local businesses. Usually, these two hours let them come in and assess networks and offer a few suggestions, and hopefully win a larger managed service contract. One business who reached out said they wanted to pocket the two hours and use them when there was a problem. Our partner told him to keep the hours for later, but mentioned that they’d still come and do a free evaluation to identify potential problems, but the business still refused.
Cut to a few days later and our partner is at this business’s office trying to figure out how to rid them of the Cryptolocker virus that had just encrypted their files. Because our partner never had a chance to go onsite and make suggestions about antivirus and backup, this business had a virus they couldn’t get rid of and no backups to use for recovery. This business had two options: pay a ransom and hope the files will actually be decrypted, or lose critical business data and potentially go out of business. All of this happened because they refused to be proactive.
On the flip side of this, the same partner found another business who invested in new hardware, backup, anti-virus, and decided to let our partner manage their entire network. When Cryptowall somehow found its way into their systems (despite the antivirus), it was simple to restore a backup, and business went on as usual.
This story serves to illustrate how a business’s willingness to invest in technology can ultimately affect their future. One took a few simple, proactive steps ahead of time and dealt with issues easily. The other may be out of business right now.
Stories like these are useful when you’re selling managed services because you’re selling so much more than a lot of people realize. You’re taking IT off of a business’s back and at the same time you’re mitigating potential threats before they happen, whether those threats come from downtime, malware, hardware failure, or what have you. Troubleshooting issues after the fact is much more costly than taking measures to prevent them upfront. Data loss is no joke and its prevention is really simple: be proactive. If you can get potential clients to understand this idea, your services will be an obvious choice.
Photo credit: Computer Repairs by Gerry Dincher