One area that can often get overlooked in MSPs is operational strategy and process building. MSP business environments are chaotic by nature, often with small, nimble teams constantly putting out fires—which makes it easy to put off process-building initiatives. Revenue, profits and customers are always top-of-mind, and anything that remotely looks like it would impede the positive outcomes of these objectives is often deprioritized. Below, we’ll dive into some reasons why building these processes is so important and share insights on how they can catapult your team to greater success.
It can be difficult to break the habitual feeling that you could lose out on revenue or risk a bad review from one of your customers if you aren’t moving at 100 miles per hour each and every moment. The important reality, however, is that process and prioritization (with continued refinement) can get you to your business objectives quicker and sets you up for future growth should you take that path. In fact, through efficiency gains, business objectives like customer acquisition and customer retention can be achieved by being a process-focused MSP. It’s time to think about working smarter so the hard work pays dividends. Here are three questions to help you get started.
Question #1: How do you free up time to build a process-based framework?
Two common ways to become more efficient and recoup time savings are: automating your tasks/workflows and leveraging outsourced resources. These tactics inherently save time as they tend to reduce busy work, but it’s what you do with those time savings that can truly set you up to see comprehensive gains. Each advantage and efficiency you capitalize on with these tactics can show incremental results on the backend.
When outsourcing lower end tasks, here are some key things to keep in mind:
- Identify and document what types of tasks you want to outsource.
- Build processes to set my any outsourced work up for success.
- Determine if there are additional ways you can leverage outside resources to further build your MSP.
When building automation capabilities, consider the following:
- Make sure processes are are put in place so you don't have to be on call 24/7 even when you are on vacation.
- Build a framework that can easily inform new hires or outside resources to prepare for uncertainty.
Question #2: What does building out these processes help enable for you and the company?
As you start to comb through and refine your documentation, you should be able to free up more time for you and your team. The time saved and freed up through efficiency gains can now be used in various other ways to help strengthen your business.
Below are a few ways to redeploy the resources and time saved through your efficiencies:
- Focus your efforts on higher margin, project-based work.
- Invest time in training yourself and obtaining certifications to help build your subject matter expertise.
- Play a more hands on role with your customers—be that virtual CIO for their businesses!
Question #3: How is this going to really affect my business objectives?
Building out processes and creating efficiencies are only important if you see results on the other end. The great part about building processes within your org is that the benefits are all-encompassing. Your MSP can’t thrive without various objectives constantly being met—including, but not limited to revenue, profit margin, CSAT and employee advocacy/retention.
Below are just a handful of ways thorough process building can help you get to your objectives :
- Quicker ticket close times
- Improved customer ramp times
- More face-to-face time with customers
- Expanded customer acquisition opportunity
- Professional development opportunity for employees
In the end, maximizing your business process is an extremely important component in an MSP business as it ties so many important other business components. If your processes are not built for optimization and aren’t continually refined, it opens the door for a breakdown somewhere within the business. Whether it ends up costing you clients, employee turnover or just a general lull in revenue or acquisition, a lack of process can be detrimental to your business.
We always love to continue the dialogue with our partners and other folks in the industry, and would love to hear how you implement processes at your MSPs and learn what we can do to help enable you to thrive and strengthen your business as much as possible. Sound off in the comments, or feel free to reach out us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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By Gretchen Hoffman