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Empowering Your MSP Business to Grow and Prosper—One Post at a Time

5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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7 Habits of Highly Successful IT Service Providers: Habit #2

Posted December 28, 2017by Joseph Tavano

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You may own your own MSP business, but that doesn’t mean you need to be alone at the top of the org chart. In this second installment of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful IT Service Providers, you’ll learn about the benefits of participating in a structured peer group, and how it can help your business be more successful.

At Navigate 2017, Continuum CEO Michael George outlined seven habits that the most profitable, growth-oriented MSPs in the industry all seem to have in common. Designed as actionable skills you can put to use immediately in your business, these seven habits of highly successful IT service providers are proven building blocks for success in a modern managed IT services business. Each of the seven posts in this special series will explore one habit in greater detail.

Habit #2: Participating in a Peer Group

As discussed in the first part of this series, a metrics-based approach to your business is essential for success. Once you’ve put that in place, a great way to network with others and hold yourself accountable to those metrics is by joining a peer group.

Peer groups give you an opportunity to be intellectually honest and transparent about how your business is running, and they often lead to modifying behaviors and processes in ways that are immediately beneficial to your business. It’s in these peer groups that you can learn what you’re doing correctly, and what might be missing the mark. The adjustments that are made based on insights from a trusted peer group can have a very tangible impact on the day-to-day success and growth of your organization.

If you can learn from successful MSPs who have already achieved the goals you are striving for, why re-invent the wheel? Formal peer groups are a chance to learn and grow, with tried and tested methods, in open environments designed for sharing. Peer groups not only share experience and wisdom, they also hold up a mirror to see your business from a perspective you may not have had before. You’ll discover new ways to tackle existing problems you may not have already known, new strategies for growth, and actionable ways to effect change for faster and greater success.

Benefits of Joining a Peer Group

Accountability – Peer groups allow you to hold yourself accountable for the success of your business, helping to take action on issues that may need to be addressed.

Proven Methods – Peer groups take time-tested best practices and learnings and transform them into a methodology of processes designed to help your business grow. You’ll have a framework for growth with the guidance to get where you want to be.

Experience – With business owners at every age and stage of their career collected into one group, you’ll have access to decades of experience and a breadth of expertise in areas you are not currently in. You’ll be able to see further down the road and anticipate the challenges that come along the way.

A Trusted Network – With an open environment focused on sharing and learning, you’re able to leave competition at the door and focus on what you can do to improve your business—and help your peers as well.

Which Peer Group Is Right for You?

There are a number of successful peer group organizations in the managed IT services industry; some of which are specific to certain vertical industries or market segments. The leaders among these industry-specific peer groups are:

HTG – Focused on transformation, HTG hones in on personal, leadership, business and legacy success with a data-driven approach to accountability, with facilitators, consultants and collaborators offering guidance every step of the way.

TAG – Technology Assurance Group is an organization of leading unified communications companies, whose mission is to increase the profitability of their members through education, and to bring of new technologies to market by leveraging their combined purchasing power. In addition to various member resources, TAG has a 3-step process for MSPs to sell managed services more profitably.

GAP – Growth Achievement Partners provide strategic sales and operational consulting to growth-oriented companies. They offer education, events and other services, geared toward existing technology dealers entering the managed services space.

CompTIA – Since 1982, CompTIA has brought together members of the IT channel for an open dialogue between IT vendors and partners. Today, CompTIA is one of the largest technology groups in the space, empowering IT professionals worldwide to enhance their businesses and careers through the trainings, certifications, advocacy and philanthropy that they offer. In the managed services space, CompTIA offers insight, tools, certifications and events so its members can stay on top of emerging trends in the channel and optimize their businesses accordingly.

Network Group – The leading technology community in the United Kingdom, Network Group has a simple philosophy: to make its members and partners more profitable through collaboration. Network Group members leverage the strength of their numbers for collaboration, support, connections, networking, and the best supplier pricing and relationships for MSPs in their country. For service providers entering the managed services space in the UK, Network Group provides consultancies designed to grow market share and maximize ROI.

While there are many other peer groups—too many to mention in one blog post—many of our most successful partners are affiliated with the organizations listed above and more.

Joining a peer group may be exactly what your business needs to achieve the next step to success and beyond. With so many resources available, it could one of the best ways to accelerate your growth trajectory. If you are an MSP who is interested in joining an industry peer group, click on any of the links above to be taken to their websites to get started.

Click here to read habit #3!

 

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Joseph Tavano is Senior Content Marketing Manager at Continuum, with more than 14 years of experience in content creation, content marketing, event marketing, marketing communications, demand generation and editorial across a range of industries. He is the author of several eBooks, blog posts, thought-leadership articles and other marketing and product collateral that enable Continuum partners and IT service providers in the channel to make their businesses stronger and grow their profits. In 2016, he launched the Continuum Podcast Network, which publishes multiple shows every week and reaches tens of thousands of IT professionals every year. A native of Boston, he holds bachelors in English and History from Suffolk University and resides in Salem, Massachusetts.

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