From hybrid working to new security threats, here are six important considerations to address when evaluating your MSP business plan.
Life is never boring in the Managed Service Provider (MSP) industry. Especially considering the latest MSP industry trends emerging after the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year there were a range of new dynamics and new opportunities for MSPs.
Here are several points to consider as you begin shaping your MSP business plan.
1) Reevaluate the market as part of your MSP business plan
A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis is a straightforward yet powerful tool. You can use a SWOT to help develop your MSP business plan strategy.
Let’s analyze an MSP marketing strategy using SWOT.
Start with identifying the things in your control and making them work for you. Think about what business processes are successful and what advantages you have over your competition. Ask yourself what you are good at or which of your clients are the most profitable. Prior, adopt MSP habits to help you stay in touch with your customers and understand their needs.
Certainly, there are things that you might need to improve to be competitive. Think about the areas you can improve. Talk to your employees and clients and check in with them. Find out what you’re doing well and what you can improve. Pay attention to your MSP mental health and adopt stress management practices to avoid MSP burnout.
Everything in the MSP industry changes fast. Moreover, that is particularly true in the last couple of years. What’s driving these changes is global economic uncertainty. Now is the right moment to reevaluate your services and understand how your market is evolving.
Track the latest MSP industry trends to evaluate where your MSP can find new opportunities. Many businesses will soon be entering the next phase of the crisis and will need your assistance with key technology decisions. That is to say, now is a great time to take a step back and design offers that are more relevant for businesses today.
Threats are external factors you have no control over. Consider how you can help mitigate issues and problems. For example, you could adopt a remote network monitoring software like Domotz to proactively identify issues and security risks before things go wrong.
To sum up, clients expect you to bring more features without increasing prices. As a result, you, as an MSP need to find new ways to manage these demands without losing profits.
MSPs tips for success:
- Identify your minimum profitable contract.
- Outsource more in order to save money.
- Offer more pricing options to deliver the level of service clients need, without service capabilities your customers won’t use.
Check out our blog to understand more about MSP profitability tips.
2) Incorporate your MSP security strategy in your business plan
Cybersecurity should be somewhere on your MSP business plan. With a growing number of cyber threats, many MSPs recognize security as the most important service to implement, especially for their SMB customers. Check out more about global cybersecurity trends in this article.
MSP tips for getting started with cybersecurity:
- Be Aware of the Risks: As more clients migrate to the cloud, you need to provide layered security solutions. Layered solutions help keep your customers safe. Additionally, layered solutions give remote employees the same level of security they had while working from the office. The huge demands of data-driven digital infrastructure, mean cybersecurity has truly taken center stage for you and your clients. Your MSP and the SMB clients you serve are increasingly a high-priority target for cyber attackers.
- Find the Right Cybersecurity Tools: Determine what tools you need to secure your clients. Consider what tools can help you with threat analysis, compliance, penetration testing, cybersecurity training, or even physical threat detection.
- Building a Strong Cybersecurity Architecture: Building a solid network security architecture keeps your organization safe from cyber threats. Know exactly what’s in your existing network security architecture and continuously improve. Check out how Domotz can help with network security architecture and CIS controls.
- Train Your Customers on Cybersecurity: The most powerful defense against cyber threats is the end users themselves. Getting your clients to think and act with security in mind will ensure they pay attention to the settings of the tools they are using. Ensure that cybersecurity training is part of your services.
Figure out what your MSP business should consider to protect your clients. Depending on your capacity, you may want to outsource this entire piece to a third party. Either way, security is key everybody in the MSP business.
3) Look for new monetization opportunities
Every MSP today offers IT support, consulting, competitive solutions. If you’re alreadydoing a great job at providing traditional monitoring and management services for s endpoints and software, think about what’s next. . What other services can your MSP offer?
- Segment your customers and take a look at your clients. Divide them into categories of businesses that are more recession-proof and less recession-proof. Offer solutions built around their needs.
- Start monetizing pieces of technology relevant for specific customers: remotely monitoring security cameras, IP phone systems, POS, access control systems, or unified communications monitoring.
- Determine what you need to standardize, automate or outsource.
- A key to success in monetizing new components of your MSP service is having a cost-effective network monitoring software. A system like Domotz allows you to easily monitor and manage critical components of a customer’s network: firewalls, managed switches, wireless access points, and the gateways that these endpoints are sitting on as well as their performances.
4) Deliver an excellent customer experience
Customer experience is one of the most important elements in your MSP business. The reason is simple – when you focus on the customer experience you reduce churn and increase revenues and therefore improve your MSP lead generation strategy!
However, you may not be adequately tracking customer satisfaction and retention. Ultimately, you may be underestimating how the customer experience is impacting your business. If you aren’t looking at your options in the customer experience area as part of your business planning, there’s a good probability your competitor is already one step ahead.
MSP tips for developing a solid customer satisfaction strategy:
- Choose your Clients: Keep a manageable customer base to provide a high-quality service.
- Collect Feedback: Collect regular feedback from your customers. Create a slack channel, send surveys, send 1 to1 emails, and use social media.
- Set Expectations: Be sure your service level agreement is complete.
Customer satisfaction can help you differentiate your services, cross-sell and prevent churn. Bundling and cross-selling services is a core driver of revenue growth. Ultimately, happy customers are more likely to purchase other services from you and recommend you to other businesses, friends, and colleagues.
5) Develop your MSP marketing strategy
You probably neglect MSP marketing when jumping into a new planning phase. After all, it’s just easier to put your marketing efforts on hold and focus on the core business goals.
Are you ready to grow? Take a moment to consider three simple steps to help with your marketing strategy:
Know your numbers
Run your numbers. Create clear dashboards and you know what your ratios are. There are plenty of tools out there that will help you figure this out. Running your numbers and knowing them will already put you one step ahead.
While there are many tools available, it’s important to know how to use them and decide what to track. Whether you will track revenues and financial metrics, or customer service and project organization performance, tracking MSPs KPIs is crucial for your business. The bottom line is when you run your business with numbers, you make better decisions that improve customer satisfaction.
Update your MSP website
If your website looks outdated, fix it. You don’t have to spend a lot of money doing this.
- Build a Strong Website: Make your website design easy to navigate. Use simple and clear messaging. Create up-to-date website content. If you want to improve your website, check out our blog post on MSPs website design tips.
- Think about communications: Could you add a blog, product reviews, or video content? Brainstorm how you can communicate better.
- Use social proof: Include testimonials and use logos/profile pictures from real customers.
- Start with Website Content Monitoring: It is no secret that having a well-performing website is a must. Start monitoring web performance, or track unusual behavior. You can use website content monitoring to execute regular reports and analyses to discover where to focus website optimization efforts.
Identify your target audience and choose the right channels to reach them. Choose the core offerings that best meet your prospect’s needs and make sure your messaging is clear and easy to understand. Create powerful marketing messages for each of your channels. In other words, communicate something specific andof value. Moreover, carify the benefits for your chosen group of customers, and go.
6) Deal with bad customers
Take a closer look at your business and measure your clients in terms of time, effort, opportunities, and profits. If a customer is monopolizing your time, they’re preventing you from dealing with other clients who might help you grow your business. To sum up, if you analyze your efforts, you may find that about a third of your customers are taking up most of your time. If you can turn this around, you’ll start to make more profit.