The MSP of 2021 and beyond isn’t just a lifestyle business, it’s a growth machine. In the past few articles in the Enterprise Fuel series, we’ve talked about the size and growth of the managed services market. The pandemic may have slowed business down a bit, even a lot in some sectors, but the broader trends towards increased technological dependence for business, and a lack of technical staff on the job market means that the demand for managed services will remain on an upward trajectory for the foreseeable future.
For any MSP that wishes to get into the growth game, this is a fantastic time to be in managed services, and to start exploring the market for co-managed IT services. To play the growth game, however, requires thinking a little bit differently than an MSP that is basically a lifestyle business. Think of it this way – the lifestyle MSP is a means to an end. It only needs to be efficient and productive enough to supply a comfortable lifestyle and halfway viable asset for the ownership, and a healthy living for the staff.
Those aren’t bad things, but they aren’t growth, either. That’s not a business on the path to enterprise level. If you’re a large MSP with an enterprise mindset you already know that efficiency isn’t an end; it’s a way of life. You are always seeking to increase efficiency, because you know that there’s always room to get more out of your scarce resources.
There’s a good way and a bad way to get more out of scarce resources. The bad way is to cut costs, invest in nothing, and work your team harder. This approach works in the short run but it’s the bad way to get more out of scarce resources because it inevitably results in burnout, poorer service, higher turnover and all sorts of other negative outcomes.
The good way to get more out of scarce resources is to invest in things that help make your team better. It doesn’t have to be technology, either – sometimes investing in talent makes all the difference. One good leader can shatter a team’s inertia and give it a sense of focus and momentum.
Or, of course, the investment could be technology. Integrations between key tools vary considerably. In many cases, there’s a lot of time that gets lost in “the space between”, the areas where your techs are toggling between tools looking for information, using multiple tools to perform routine tasks, and that sort of thing. If you’re using tools that have deeper workflow integrations, then you see efficiency gains to eliminating a lot of that space between – meaning, you gain 10%, 20% or whatever the number is without any new talent in your organization at all. Obviously, be selective when examining tools, and look at them as investments – assets that improve your revenue, your margins or both.
Now that you know that investing for efficiency is good for business, especially if you’re looking for a little enterprise fuel, what investments are you planning to make to set yourself up for growth? Might we suggest the world’s best IT documentation platform? See what IT Glue can do to help you streamline your workflows and organize your mission critical information.