MSPs often rely on business solutions to help their business grow, but how do you know which tools are right for your organization? This post discusses the steps that MSP managers should take to select and optimize business tools, ensuring that the right platforms are ultimately selected to help your organization thrive in a crowded market.
If you’re searching for new ways to help your MSP business grow, there are a number of potential options to choose from. For example, investing in manpower and physical resources can probably help you attract and retain customers, but at what cost? For most MSPs, the best growth opportunities lie in their operations and the tools they use every day to automate processes, communicate with customers, close new deals, and measure business performance. Typically, these tools take the form of software applications that are available to managed service providers and similar organizations. But, with so many options out there, how do you know which are the right solutions for you? And once you settle on a new system, how can you ensure it’s optimized for your business?
Here are four steps to best choose and implement the right tools to help your MSP grow the right way and achieve long-term success.
As an MSP manager, you likely have an idea of where you’d like to see your business in the future. For managed service providers, growth typically comes from increasing revenue, expanding services, and entering new markets. By offering a larger suite of services, moving into new geographies, and optimizing your pricing for profitability, you’re likely to find incremental success over time. The key is to be intentional about how you’ll actually achieve success.
Your growth goals should always be clear and specific. With a defined outcome, you’ll be able to develop a clear roadmap and plan the tools and resources you need to get you there. For example, if your specified goal is to increase revenue, then you should plan to invest more in sales and marketing tools to help you attract new customers.
If you’re looking to grow by offering more services to existing clients, then it’ll be worthwhile to invest in solutions that can help you grow customer satisfaction and measure the profitability of existing clients.
Take a close look at your existing solutions and business operations. Are there things that are working well? Are there areas you can improve? What’s holding you back? The answers to these questions will help you identify gaps and opportunities. There are a number of tools and resources available on the market today that can help fill those gaps. But, without the understanding and acknowledgment of what you need, you don’t know what to look for.
A thorough assessment starts with gathering feedback. Ask everyone from technicians to senior leaders about the tools they use today and what can be improved upon. You can also dive into your business analytics to identify areas for improvement as well. The evaluation stage is probably the most important part of this process. Only once you have a solid understanding of your needs can you go out and find the right solutions. Otherwise, it’s a fruitless effort of finding and testing various platforms and programs, which can be a costly and time-intensive exercise that may not yield the results you’re looking for at the end of the day.
Once you have a solid understanding of what you need to help your business thrive, it’s time to go on the hunt. The most common solutions that MSPs turn to are professional services automation (PSA) software, remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools, marketing platforms, and helpdesk systems. Depending on your objectives, these resources can help you better manage your operations, improve customer satisfaction, and drive positive revenue performance.
While the market is ripe with solutions, not all are created equal. When evaluating different products, it’s important to examine them thoroughly before committing. First, always dive into the promised features. For example, if you’re looking for project management tools, consider how easy they are to set up and if intensive training will be required to get staff on board. Of course, pricing should also be an important factor to ensure these solutions fit within your budget. Lastly, also be sure to check for compatibility and integration.
Especially as you grow, you’ll want solutions that will be able to work together seamlessly. Endlessly switching between platforms to solve a problem or find information is not ideal.
Once you’ve made a decision on which tools will work best for your business, it’s time to put them to work. In order to ensure that your team takes full advantage of your new investment, it’s not enough to just “set it and forget it.” You should take time to ensure everyone across your organization is fully knowledgeable about these solutions. At the onset, take time to schedule training sessions with team members in order to cover all key features and benefits. This will help your team smoothly transition toward the new platforms and ensure they are taking full advantage of everything the products offer.
Over time, take opportunities to measure the impact of these tools. Have they saved your team time? Do they have positive impacts on revenue and customer satisfaction?
Identifying areas of improvement is key to your overall business optimization strategy. Don’t shy away from soliciting feedback from regular users as well to better understand where the tools are not meeting expectations. Business needs change, and a solution that was useful a few years ago may no longer best support the current needs of your organization.
When using tools to help your MSP business grow and succeed, it’s important to be intentional about purchasing and implementing any new solutions. Always first define your growth goals and be specific about what you’re looking to achieve and how tools can help you get there. From there, you should evaluate your existing platforms and consider what can be improved upon. Only then should you go to the market to explore options. Once implemented, always seek to optimize and ensure that what works today continues to work for you tomorrow and in the future.
For many MSPs, PSA platforms are the most useful tool in their toolkit. Zest is one such option that can help your MSP reach its full potential. With a focus on productivity, Zest helps MSPs automate and optimize the way work is done. This helps technicians stay focused and gives all members of the team full insight into account health and overall business performance. Staying on top of your operations ensures you’re ready to take on new clients and expand into new markets.
Don’t risk installing a tool that adds more complexity to your business. Try Zest for free today, and see how it helps support your growth goals.