As a Managed Service Provider (MSP) leader, you can’t just wing it.
Your customers and their end users rely on you for their livelihoods. Therefore, nothing less than a robust, success-oriented strategy is required.
Having objectives is a good start, but you must see them through.
There are many ways to manage your goals. The majority, however, begin with a basic definition. You can only achieve something repeatable if you have yet to decide what you’re after.
Here are some pointers on adopting a goal-oriented mindset that helps you thrive:
- Pin Down Firm MSP Goals
- Explore Various Metrics
- Engage in Targeted Marketing
- Invest in Workforce Knowledge
- Boost Customer Experience
- Set New MSP Goals for 2024
#1 Pin Down Firm MSP Goals
How do you write effective goals? One tried-and-true method is the SMART goals acronym. To clarify, SMART goals mean making them Specific/Strategic, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic/Relevant, and Time-based/Trackable.
Here’s an example. Don’t just say you want to boost revenue. Be more specific, like targeting a fixed amount of Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR). Setting an exact monthly amount you can measure allows you to track your progress. It’s easier to achieve your objectives when you keep yourself honest.
“Don’t take on any work in your MSP unless it drives MRR.”
Read more on how to be profitable on MRR.
#2 Explore Various Metrics and KPIs
The previous example is missing something. Even if your primary goal is MRR, it’s still worth defining other metrics and MSP KPIs you can use to measure progress.
Why? Well, factors like MRR are hard to measure continuously. If you’re waiting until the end of the month to gauge performance, you’re waiting too long. Tracking metrics you can assess weekly or daily keeps you in the know.
Of course, no metric tells the complete story. Choose a combination of measurable data points that complement each other. Your metrics must also reflect the realities of your business model – so keep them relevant. With that in mind, some suggestions include:
- MRR: As mentioned above, setting an exact monthly amount you can measure allows you to track your progress.
- Churn rates: Track the number of customers abandoning your service and find the reason why if you see an abnormal trend.
- Customer Lifetime Value: Understanding your customers’ average value over time will help you run a tighter ship.
- Social media best practices and engagement among your target audiences, like B2B buyers on LinkedIn.
Customer base management metrics
- How long does resolving tech support issues for existing customers take you?
- How many of your customers upgrade to your premium features?
- How do your employees perform in simulated and real-life event response scenarios?
Network monitoring metrics
- How much power do you use to run data centers, and how well do your servers balance loads during usage surges?
- Network inventory and crucial device statistics
- Network uptime and speed history
- Average time of ticket resolution
- Potential IT issues prevented
#3 Engage in Targeted Marketing
Outreach is critical to any company’s success. It’s easy to overlook this as an MSP – you can get entirely lost in running your company!
You need a firm marketing strategy.
As before, there are plenty of ways to get this job done. Most solid marketing plans include:
- Goal-setting: Approach your marketing campaign as a separate project with independent goals.
- Cost management: Sending money into marketing black holes is easy. Track your expenditures from the start to get a grip on your ROI.
- Unified planning: You might run different ads and target diverse audiences, but you need a central theme. Decide what message you want to get across and what tone your brand should adopt. Also, consider which kinds of clients (new vs. existing) you want to engage.
- Repetition: Good branding is about staying front of mind. Be sure your marketing plan is (fiscally) sustainable enough to draw continued attention. Getting noticed once and then forgotten does you nothing.
#4 Empower Your Workforce With Knowledge and Support
Your teams can help or hinder you, and it all comes down to your leadership. Ensure you give them the necessary resources, but keep them in the loop. In other words, boost your staff’s knowledge and awareness of the greater mission.
Building a more inclusive corporate culture and leveraging transparent leadership styles are powerful strategies. People should feel comfortable suggesting ideas and contributing.
Transparency is crucial when pursuing added-value workforce improvements, like security training. Remember: feedback tells you whether your education program works and helps you build a company culture!
#5 Make Life Easier for Your Customers
Getting customers on board with how you operate can be a game-changer. For instance, it increases satisfaction by ensuring people know what to expect. But, finding the right strategy to win or upsell clients can be challenging.
First, you should develop a plan for how to generate more leads for your MSP.
Second, a strategy to turn more of those leads into clients. Here, another thing to remember is to rely on a ready-to-use MSP onboarding checklist to simplify the process.
Third, decide how to upsell more MRR services to existing clients.
And finally, develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to promote all of this.
How to Set New MSP Goals for 2024
The preceding five goals aren’t only good for 2023 – they’re evergreen. But you’ll still need to adapt to new challenges.
We recommend investing in building a growth-oriented roadmap. Making a long-term MSP business plan can help you take market ups and downs in stride.
Another helpful tactic involves creating a prospecting plan. This strategic asset will inform your marketing efforts and ideal customer personas. You’ll have to work out a few kinks to start. With time, however, you’ll refine your outreach strategies for improved ROI.
Want to learn more about thinking like an MSP? Check out our complete blog series!