MSP Growth: 9 Things I wish I did soonerOct 28, 2021
This week I'm going to tell you what I wish I did sooner in my own IT Business, before I exited last year and after it grew to over £1m in turnover.
They are things that I now teach on my course to other IT business owners, and I will be implementing these very early on in starting a new MSP, so here they are and in no particular order, to try and help you not to make the same mistakes that I did.
Number 1 is to put together a management team with regular bi-weekly meetings and work on implementing Traction by Gino Wickman.
Even if you are there all by yourself, schedule a bi-weekly 'management meeting' for you to run through the important stuff.
The key here is then as you grow and take on staff, you can build that management team as you grow.
So it may be just you to start with, but in time you may want to include your one and only account manager, your senior engineer, your accounts person, and your marketing apprentice.
As you grow, that can develop into your service desk manager, head of accounts, head of marketing - and whoever you feel that you need in that meeting to tackle any business issue and to push the business forward.
Number 2 for what I wish I did sooner, was regular One on One catch-ups with staff. Not appraisals, but going for lunch, a drink, a walk - something that gets them out of the workplace. This gives you and them time to relax and get to know them, and understand what's important to them. My eyes were genuinely opened when I had my 1:1 Sessions and it meant that I could help in areas that I never realised before.
Number 3 - Encouraging staff feedback. I don't mean the 'Door is always' open, but using tools like Office Vibe, and even low tech solutions like a suggestions box. Leave it somewhere inconspicuous where staff can drop suggestions in. It shouldn't really need to be said here, but once you get feedback - ACTION IT.
Number 4 - MHFA Courses for all. MHFA stands for Mental Health First Aider. Something that is even more so needed in today's world, and I'd highly recommend getting all of your staff to take this course.
Number 5 - Break up all of your income into separate account codes. Something our accountant never even suggested to us but dramatically improved the information we have to work with. By splitting account codes for 365 vs Online Backup vs Security vs Project Work vs Support Contracts and then breaking the expenses down into those similar account codes, you can see how profitable each area of your business is. In some cases, you might actually find that some areas of your business aren't generating a profit at all. In which case, now you have the information you need to do something about it.
Number 6 - I wish I got my head around Google Adwords and Facebook Ad campaigns sooner. I signed up for a third-party service and paid them £400 per month plus £1,000 per month ad spend, only for them to load it into AdEspresso and hit the ‘automatically optimise’ button. Pretty much Zero work involved for them, and considering the setup fee and monthly management fee it was a complete waste. The IT Industry specifically seems to be very niche for PPC campaigns. Many Google Ad companies I know won't even touch us nowadays because it's so hard for them to get a good conversation at a good cost. So if you are early on in your MSP journey, I'd hire marketing, wait wait...
Number 7 - I'd hire a marketing apprentice sooner and get them skilled up on every area where you need to learn more about. Google Ads of course - stick them through all of the Google training, find the various online courses, and get them to learn it inside out. Now you can keep with the times and keep your ad campaigns relevant when Google decides to change things up.
Number 8 - I wish I'd turned away business that’s not right for us sooner. I personally have a massive desire to help people, which would get in the way when I see someone in need of help but couldn’t afford us or perhaps just appreciate how we did things. Ultimately they would turn into a dissatisfied customer and we'd end up letting them go after a short time because they just had unrealistic expectations or were basically just a nightmare customer. Cut your losses and move on - you will be happier you did it, and hopefully, that client goes on to find someone who can meet their needs.
Number 9 - Organise your Asset Register. Don't make a mistake here. Over time with all of the equipment you buy as an IT Business, for clients and for yourself, It can get confusing to accountants or bookkeepers who belong where. So be sure you check over your Asset Register and make sure it actually contains all of your business assets.
With that said thank you guys for reading, subscribe to the YouTube channel if you're not already and next up I would highly recommend you go and watch this video around how to automate your customer feedback, as that can make a huge impact on your business, getting new clients and retaining existing clients.
Talk to you in the next one. Cya.
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