Best Practices – The Low Hanging Fruit
Best practices are a common topic amongst MSPs and has been for several years. These industry standard best practices are now widely adopted and seen as a key step in building operational maturity for every MSP.
Over the years the MSP market has matured and so have these best practices, considered key to success. Seems there is a best practice for most everything an MSP does today encompassing sales, service delivery, staffing, leadership and all other aspects or running an MSP.
And while there are many best practices that MSP have developed over time, it’s important for the MSP CEO to focus on those that will have the most positive impact. What are the key best practices for MSP? As you probably can guess there are dozens, just do a Google search.
Where to Start:
For those MSPs that have fewer than 15 employees, it’s important to start with the basics. Be sure to adopt at least one key best practice for each area of your business.
For example, in the sales area a key best practice would be to ensure the MSP has implemented a ‘sales process’ or adheres to policy of ensuring a new client is a ‘right fit’.
For service delivery, adopting key industry best practices is essential for operating a profitable MSP. A good example being ‘standardization’, considered to be one of the most compelling given its impact on profitability and customer satisfaction. ‘Developing processes’ is another key best practice.
The Low Hanging Fruit:
I recently talked to an MSP business owner about his experience with implementing best practices. Leo Bletnitsky, CEO of Las Vegas Med I.T. (www.lvmedit.com), is amongst those smaller MSPs that are highly successful due to their focus on these matters.
With approximately 7 full-time employees, Las Vegas Med I.T. (LVMIT) has a vertical focus on healthcare and construction, two verticals that are a great fit for MSPs. (Read my book The MSP CEO for more on vertical specialization.)
Leo and his team at LVMIT are focused on developing processes and adopting standardization. By doing so, Leo’s staff of 7 will be much more efficient and will be able to deliver more services with fewer employees. This is the low-hanging fruit as they are easy to achieve and result in a big return.
Developing Processes: This is a best practice whereby the MSP documents all aspects of service delivery such as escalation protocols, repeatable end-user service requests, security policies and more. By doing so LVMIT’s staff will be more successful in providing a more efficient and higher quality customer experience. Leo has delegated this effort to a staff member to document the processes, and then he reviews prior to implementing.
Standardization: This best practice typically refers to supporting a limited and defined standard of technology. This is one of the most important best practices every MSP should adopt as it focuses training and support on those platforms that best fits their domain expertise.
Leo states that by “standardizing on our product stack we are much more efficient in supporting our clients.” With limited staff, LVMIT can only train on and effectively support a limited number of technologies and vendors. With a policy of standardization, LMVIT’s support staff can provide a more expert and expedient service level to their clients.
Seek out MSP vendors that facilitate MSP best practices:
LVMIT selected Axcient as their BDR platform vendor. And while there are many choices for BDR solutions, Leo’s key reasons for choosing Axcient included support, pricing and reliability.
Breadth of solutions also influenced their decision in that Axcient’s Business Availability Suite (O365 protection, cloud, business continuity, DRaS) is delivered in an integrated approach that supports standardization. In addition, Axcient recently launched their X360 platform that integrates all of their solutions into a ‘single pane of glass’, another best practice for many MSPs.
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Focus on adopting best practices for your MSP. Be diligent and select those that will have the most impact. Talk to your peers and other MSP business owners to learn what they consider to be most important. MSP peer groups are a great source for this.
In my book The MSP CEO you will find more discussion on MSP best practices from 18 of the industry’s leading MSP business owners, analysts, and sales and financial experts. If you get just one nugget from this book, the value will far exceed the cost. Download or order your copy today.
Tommy Wald is President of TW TechVentures, LLC and author of The MSP CEO: A Guide to Building a Successful MSP Business. You may contact him at Tommy@TWTechVentures.com, or go to www.mspceo.com.