This article also appears on MSP Mentor.
Managed service are extremely useful, but it’s easy to lose sight of the real value your clients get from you. How can new clients see the value of your services if you aren’t sure how to explain it yourself?
With that in mind, here are five big reasons why IT managed services are such a stellar option for small to medium businesses. Keep these in mind as you approach new clients because they illustrate the value you provide and make your offer seem irresistible.
The biggest benefit of managed services comes down to freedom. With IT, it’s really easy for the tool to become the job. In fact, the complexity of these tools is the reason you have your job. Help prospects understand that when someone shoulders the IT burden for them, they can focus on increasing profit and improving business processes, rather than fussing with software and hardware systems. New headcount and the large expense associated with their salaries and benefits can go toward other non-IT related functions that will let them build their business. As they scale, so too will their networks and IT needs and you’ll be there to help them make it happen.
A single point of contact
The nightmare of multiple emails, phone numbers, ticket forms, trial and error with generic fixes that may not work, and repeat help requests all add up to lost income producing time that can never be recovered. Your client eliminates all of that by having you as their single touch point for a quick solution.
Experience from a group of IT people is a valuable thing for a client. Two or more minds working together can offer better solutions more quickly than one in most situations (most situations. Even the experts call on experts). This means a client who uses you as a provider gets more minds working on issues than they could get even if they hired an IT pro full time. And that collective experience doesn’t just apply to brain power, it also applies to processes. More resources make big projects run faster and smoother, whether it’s a hardware refresh, a tricky system update, or a large migration that demands extra brain power to stay on track.
Software licensing can be tricky when all you need is one license—just think of the huge variety of license types available for Windows 7 and you’ll see what I mean. Now add in licenses for CRM solutions, backup and DR, antivirus, and whatever else a client needs. Now multiply those by all the employees at an organization and you have a rat’s nest of product keys, maintenance plans, and who knows what other complicated problems. With an IT provider, your clients can let you worry about licensing and maintenance. Plus, you may even find opportunities to reduce costs on licenses by doing things like moving to open-source options or purchasing licenses in bulk.
Training and education
Lunch and learns, webinars, tech tips, blog articles, and newsletters are all ways an IT provider can provide educational materials to clients and client employees. I try to advocate for this because I believe more empowered users are more productive and also cause fewer burdens to IT professionals. If you’re willing, make certain types of training and educational materials available to clients. This won’t likely be something you charge for, but rather, you’ll do this as a service to your end clients to help make their employees more effective. It may not be for every IT provider, but it’s certainly an option that will make you even more valuable to clients.
IT providers really have a lot to offer businesses, and it usually won’t take much cajoling to help them see the value. There are always cases where they may not like the idea of going all in with your services right away, but you can still offer a few things under the managed services model. Backup and recovery in particular stand out as some initial services you can provide because they often require a higher level of skill that a client might not have. When clients are satisfied with that, they might be curious about other ways you can make things easier or improve the way their technology functions. As soon as you can make more things easy for them, they’ll start to see the value, and once that happens, they’ll be hooked.