Operating a successful IT firm can be challenging, especially with today’s rapidly changing technology landscape. Here are 8 insider secrets to being an effective Managed Services Provider (MSP) from Los Angeles IT firm GenIX, and how you can get expert help marketing your IT services.
1. Grow Your Business Alongside Technology Growth
Technology is changing faster than ever before and many IT companies are having difficulty keeping up. However, today’s businesses need a complete IT solution, and the demand for Managed Service Providers that can offer the newest and most trusted technologies is growing. It’s worthwhile to invest time, money, and effort into upgrading your offerings when new technology is available.
Your MSP can make the most of technology growth by using it as an opportunity to expand your service offerings and provide new solutions to your customers. You can attract new more new customers by staying at the forefront of technology changes as well as prevent established accounts from discontinuing their service in lieu of obtaining IT services from another provider.
2. Employ People With Diverse Skill Sets
You may be tempted to trim overhead costs by hiring fewer employees who can do a little of everything, however, this is unlikely to be beneficial for your company. You don’t necessarily want a person who is highly adept at IT infrastructure but lacks customer service experience answering your phones.
Recognize that your company will likely benefit more from hiring more employees with a wider variety of skills and delegate tasks accordingly. Focus on the strengths of your staff and put them in the departments they are most likely to excel in. Instead of investing in the cross-training of established employees, consider the cost of hiring a new employee in comparison. You may find that your ROI is higher when your staff is focused and doing work they excel at instead of scrambling to get things done.
3. Cut Overhead Costs With Remote Work
While trying to keep your payroll costs low by having a smaller staff is likely to backfire on you, saving money by taking advantage of a remote working environment is possible. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 across the globe, a large majority of non-frontline workers have shifted to a work-from-home environment. Many MSPs are reevaluating their expenses after discovering how much money could be saved by cutting out commercial real estate rent, utilities, and other costs associated with having a brick-and-mortar office.
Look at ways you can provide your employees with the resources they need to work remotely and how you can transition your IT firm from in-office work to doing the majority of their jobs in the cloud.
4. Utilize Cloud Technology Whenever Possible
Speaking of cloud technology, this is a valuable resource that your IT company should utilize to its fullest. Cloud storage and remote applications allow users to access critical data and files from anywhere, meaning that your employees don’t have to be in any particular place to perform their jobs. They can also transition from location to location seamlessly by simply logging in on another device; there’s no need for the transportation of files, drives, or equipment.
Cloud tech enables MSPs to create a flexible working environment that can be calibrated based on a company’s needs. When COVID-19 dissipates, many MSPs will want to go back to somewhat of a normal working environment. You can use the cloud to create a hybrid environment that is easily adjusted to remote or in-person work.
5. Create a Business Continuity Plan
COVID-19 illustrated to the world’s businesses that continuity planning is critical for the longevity and sustainability of a company. Failure to plan for business continuity truly is planning for your business to fail, and creating a continuity strategy is of the utmost importance.
Use this opportunity to develop a continuity plan designed to help your company remain operational in lean times or under the threat of closure. The goal of a business continuity plan is to create an executable plan of action that instructs the company on what to do in the event of different circumstances. This helps reduce the amount of downtime a business has during a crisis event and is designed to help companies recover from disasters and near-disasters as quickly as possible.
6. Offer Flexible Services to Meet Unique Needs
Your IT firm’s customers need flexibility as much as your own company does during difficult times. They may also be creating hybrid business environments wherein employees work part-time from home and part-time from the office, or some other remote work arrangement. They need to be able to trust that their Managed Services Provider can keep up.
Offer your customers a variety of services that allow them to build a customized IT and cybersecurity plan for their business, whether employees work remotely, in the office, or an ever-changing mixture of both. Enable them to tailor a managed services package that not only fits them now but also flexes and adjusts to meet the future needs of the business.
7. Make Sure Your Own Security Is Up to Snuff
In your efforts to stay up-to-date with the latest in IT technologies for your customers, don’t neglect to ensure that your own company’s security is adequate for the needs of the businesses who are using your networks. Whenever you increase your service offerings for customers to include the newest in digital threat mitigation, evaluate your own security to ensure there are no holes.
Your customers will want to know if your MSP is using the same software and cybersecurity tactics that you’re recommending to them and if you’re not, why. Don’t get stuck trying to answer this question on the spot when a curious customer asks; instead, plan ahead to regularly assess the efficacy of your company’s own security and make sure it’s up to scratch.
8. Add Value to Your Services
Value-added services are the bread and butter of today’s IT businesses. Customers are looking for ways to get the most out of what they pay for and Managed Service Providers worldwide are tailoring their service offerings to meet these increased demands.
Review your services and look for ways you can add additional value to them without adding cost to the customer or increasing your overhead expenses by much. This may be difficult to do at first and may require some creativity on your company’s part. When you do create a value-added service, be sure to market the change and be clear about what customers will be getting now compared to what they received with the same service in the past. Evaluate your advertising materials to ensure that they accurately depict and clearly convey the additional value.
MSP Marketing That Works
Ulistic provides effective, cutting-edge marketing for Managed Service Providers. We offer a comprehensive outsourced marketing solution for MSPs of all sizes, so you can make the most of your SEO, PPC, and social media marketing opportunities. We’ll help your MSP create a customized digital marketing strategy that fits both your advertising needs and your budget.
Reach out to us today to learn more about how Ulistic can provide you with the resources you need to market your IT services.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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