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Business Development and Growth

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

Featured Post

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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How to Increase the Success of Your Marketing Efforts with Buyer Personas

Posted by Meaghan Moraes on October 19, 2017

How to Increase the Success of Your Marketing Efforts with Buyer Personas

If you’re an IT service provider trying to improve marketing and scale business but you’re not quite sure why you’re getting stuck, here’s some comforting news: You’re not alone. I recently spoke to a number of Continuum partners when working at Navigate 2017’s Grow Your Business Hub—and my Buyer Persona Creation station (along with five other valuable marketing stations) was completely booked for just this reason.

When speaking to MSPs about how to increase the success of their marketing efforts with buyer personas, my colleague Joe and I advised that knowing your audience is really the foundation to achieving targeted and actionable marketing. Instead of sending out generalized messaging about your company to all clients and prospects, it’s crucial that IT providers adopt a persona-based marketing strategy in order to better resonate. Here are some steps you can take to get you there!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing

How to Equip Your Sales Team for the Pitch and Close

Posted by Lily Teplow on October 11, 2017

If you expect to grow your managed IT services business by closing more prospects, you can't leave your sales team to do all of the work alone. Salespeople can be that perfect combination of charismatic and trustworthy, but none of these skills can be put to use if they also have a limited understanding of your business and services. Your sales team needs to not only understand your products inside and out, but also the capabilities of your organization, as well as internal processes and the benefits of working with your company and solutions.

Once your sales team understands the main selling points for your offering and can discuss them with ease on a pitch or qualifying call, you have to help them communicate this information in a digestible and reader-friendly format that enables the sale. How has your progress been in winning new accounts and growing your business? Learn how to better assist your sales team by keep reading!

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

Live from Navigate 2017: Day 3 Coverage

Posted by Lily Teplow on October 5, 2017

Navigate-Day-Three-Coverage.png

Greetings again from day three of our Navigate 2017 conference, focused on empowering our MSP partners with the tools and insight they need to define their path and achieve success in the IT space.

Day two was jam packed with informative breakout sessions, enlightening keynotes presentations, plenty of announcements and discussions about Continuum Security and much more! To briefly recap all that we covered in the past three days and the fun that we’ve had along the way, take a look at the video below:

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Industry News, Navigate 2017

Live from Navigate 2017: Day 2 Coverage

Posted by Lily Teplow on October 4, 2017

Live from Navigate 2017: Day 2 Coverage

Greetings again from day two of Navigate 2017, Continuum’s user conference focused on empowering our MSP partners with the tools and insight they need to define their path and achieve success in the IT space.

We saw a lot happen during day one, including Continuum University sales and advanced technical trainings, various breakout sessions ranging from cybersecurity, to business development, to partner success, and finally an inspiring (and daunting) keynote from infamous hacker Kevin Mitnick. Riding off the coattails of an eventful and successful day one, here’s a look at what day two of Navigate 2017 had to offer.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Navigate 2017

3 Keys to Automating MSP Success

Posted by Craig Fulton on September 28, 2017

3 Keys to Automating MSP Success

Being a managed services provider (MSP) has as many challenges as rewards. You work hard day in and day out, but you usually find yourself faced with limited time and resources. Even if you wanted to, you probably don’t have the freedom to dedicate an entire team to improving your internal operations.

Fortunately, you don’t have to. With the right tools on board, you can streamline your workflows and make the move from a reactive to a proactive growth model for your business. Start with these three strategies for building your success.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

Where's the Achilles Heel in Your Client Onboarding Process? [QUIZ]

Posted by Nicole Hunter Hart on September 27, 2017

Client-Onboarding-Quiz.png

Welcome back to the last installment of my blog series focused on helping you increase your client retention and revenue through onboarding best practices and strategies! Throughout this series, we’ve discussed how to analyze your onboarding journey from the client’s perspective, demonstrate your value from day one, properly set expectations with touchpoints, and overcome common onboarding challenges. If you’ve been following along, you’re well on your way to building long-lasting, profitable relationships with your clients. However, for those of you who still struggle with low client retention rates or decreased client satisfaction, it’s time to uncover where the weak points are in your client onboarding process.

By taking the short quiz below, you’ll be able to better understand where your strengths are in your onboarding process and where there may be some gaps. I will then provide you with the resources you need to start making improvements, optimize your onboarding process, and accelerate your retention and growth rates. Let’s get started!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Client Acquisition and Management

Growth Opportunities with Microsoft and Office 365

Posted by Ian Waters on September 13, 2017

Growth Opportunities with Microsoft and Office 365

The managed IT services space has gone through major changes over the last few years. The software we now support and the products we sell have been updated and improved drastically. What’s more, the shift to the cloud with Office 365 has meant that we all had to learn new skills and do some adapting of our own—with both our solutions and our way of thinking.

Luckily, many of us in the IT world are problem solvers and solution providers. New technologies provide new ways to solve old problems, and we embrace it! There are many growth opportunities available for MSPs today, so let’s take a deeper look into a few that can help you bring in extra revenue this year.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Backup and Disaster Recovery

6 Tips for Becoming a Lean MSP

Posted by Joshua Oakes on September 7, 2017

6 Tips for Becoming a Lean MSP

There are two main ways to improve your bottom line: increase your revenue or decrease your costs. For many managed services providers (MSPs) today, you’re busy dealing with tickets going up and head counts remaining flat, which makes it hard to find the time to develop new lines of business or aggressively expand your client base. Focusing on cost reduction is a great way to increase profits and address the issue of higher ticket counts, but where can you start? First, you need to adopt a lean philosophy. 

Lean philosophy was developed in manufacturing, but has been adapted to the service industry, and the principles that drive waste reduction in other lines of business can easily be applied to the MSP. Here are six tips that will help you create more value for clients with fewer resources and become a more lean organization.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Navigate 2017, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

6 Steps to Mastering MSP Sales

Posted by Robert Kocis on September 6, 2017

6 Steps to Mastering MSP Sales

As a managed services provider (MSP), you’re primarily focused on delivering exceptional IT services to clients and optimizing your efficiency. However, this may cause you to let sales and marketing slip to the bottom of your list of priorities. But when you’re busy managing your existing client base, how can you ensure that you’re filling the sales pipeline and growing your MSP business?

Running a business is hard enough without also having to be a sales expert. Follow the following six steps to improve your sales effectiveness.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

3 Ways MSPs Can Achieve Greater Growth and Profitability with Continuum [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Lily Teplow on September 1, 2017

3 Ways MSPs Can Achieve Greater Growth and Profitability with Continuum [INFOGRAPHIC]

As technology continues to evolve and mature, so too do the challenges facing those in the IT industry. This is especially true for managed services providers (MSPs). Hiring and retaining technical talent is becoming increasingly difficult, putting many MSPs at a disadvantage to maintain a lean operation and maximize profits. What’s more, some MSPs are seeing decreased margins as a result of downward market trends. So, what can MSPs do to counteract these trends and avoid falling behind?

Fortunately, MSPs who partner with Continuum are able to overcome these challenges—among others—by leveraging our transformative IT management and service delivery platform. In the infographic below, we’ll take a deeper look at the three main ways MSPs can benefit from Continuum’s model and dive into the data behind how Continuum partners are achieving greater growth and profitability.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency, Service Leadership Index

How to Increase Your MSP Sales Opportunities by Going for “No”

Posted by Paul O'Donnell on August 29, 2017

How to Increase Your MSP Sales Opportunities by Going for “No”

As a managed services provider (MSP), you’re always looking for ways to gain more leads and drive business growth. All your sales and marketing efforts may be directed towards getting that “yes” from your prospects and adding another number to your potential client tally, but what if I told you that you could have more success with going for the “no” instead.

Although this might sound like a fast track to sales failure, this strategy can help you better understand your prospects’ needs, get to the root of the problem, and increase your sales efficiency. So, whether you have a dedicated MSP sales team or are a one-man-band, here’s how you can increase your sales opportunities by going for the “no.”

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Client Acquisition and Management

Top 3 Takeaways from CompTIA ChannelCon 2017

Posted by Nate Teplow on August 25, 2017

Top 3 Takeaways from CompTIA ChannelCon 2017

It’s been almost a month since CompTIA ChannelCon 2017 wrapped up, and I finally found some time to sit down and digest all of the great content, ideas and meetings that came out of this year’s event. There’s so much going on in the IT industry and a lot for us all to be excited about, but we’re also faced with a number of challenges that we need to plan for and adapt to ensure the continued success of this industry.

To that note, I’ve summarized my top three takeaways from this year’s event that we should all keep in mind as we move forward together.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Industry News, CompTIA

Making Your Way to $10M: Taking on the Future of IT

Posted by Peter Melby on August 24, 2017

Making Your Way to $10M: Taking on the Future of IT

Over the past couple of years, my company has evolved and grown to reach the $10 million mark and beyond. How did we accomplish that? Well, we tackled it in a handful of different ways—some of which I’ve laid out in my previous posts—but the most prominent was the exercise of constantly looking at ourselves and our industry in the mirror. By taking the time to consider the best plan of action and assess where we need to evolve and how we can innovate, our MSP business was able to remain relevant, competitive, and progressive.

To wrap up this series, I’m going to share how MSPs can take full advantage of the future IT has to offer. With that being said, here are a couple of key trends we’re seeing in the crystal ball.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

The Untold Benefits of Increased Visibility

Posted by Tara Callinan on August 22, 2017

The Untold Benefits of Increased Visibility

After you close a new client contract, what should be your next step? Successful managed services providers (MSPs) will start with planning, meaning they’ll look to their team to determine the right people to take on the job. If you’re like most MSPs, however, there might be one thing holding you back: you don’t have any insight into who on your team is available to take on more work!

As an MSP business owner, you’re focused on serving your clients and overseeing projects in the most efficient way possible. Therefore, you need to have a clear view of your team schedules to ensure everyone is being utilized to their fullest potential. With this kind of visibility, you can assign tasks accordingly, avoid overworking someone who already has their plate full, and most importantly, ensure your projects stay within scope. So, to give you the visibility you need to run a more successful MSP business, here are three ways you can leverage smart automation technology to improve collaboration and efficiency.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

Managing and Retaining Technicians: 6 Steps for Creating Value

Posted by Ian Waters on August 16, 2017

Managing and Retaining Technicians: 6 Steps for Creating Value

As a managed IT services providers (MSP), you understand that great technicians are hard to come by, and sometimes even harder to keep hold of. As business owners and managers, we invest so much time and money into staff recruitment and training that it can hurt when vital employees leave. All that investment literally walks out of the building, and if not addressed properly, that turnover can be a repeating drain on your business.

So, what are some tips for properly managing a team of technicians? If you are having trouble retaining your IT staff, it may be time to start engaging with your employees and implement a training and development plan.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Benefits of Using an Integrated RMM and NOC Platform

Posted by Lily Teplow on August 11, 2017

Technicians play an absolutely critical role in every Managed Services Provider (MSP) organization today—but finding, hiring and retaining the right talent are often difficult and expensive processes. And while MSPs do need an in-house team to conduct onsite work and meet with customers, they can further-extend their capabilities and remain cost-effective by leveraging an outside Network Operations Center (NOC). 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Remote Monitoring and Management, NOC

Improving Your Work-Life Balance Part 3: The Right Behavior

Posted by David Deckard on August 10, 2017

Improving Your Work-Life Balance Part 3: The Right Behavior

Welcome back to my series, where I’ve been walking you through how you can improve your work-life balance one step at a time. In my previous posts, we’ve discussed having the right mentality for balance, as well as acquiring the right tools. For this final installment, let’s take a look at three of the habits and behaviors that can inhibit a healthy work-life balance, and then we’ll discover what actions you can take to help you become successful in your business and available in your personal life.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

How to Build More Profitable Client Relationships

Posted by Courtney Swift on August 8, 2017

How to Build More Profitable Client Relationships

Relationship building is a key component to any successful business, and this is especially true for managed services providers (MSPs). You’re in a services business, which means that your clients depend on you to maintain and take care of their IT infrastructures. Not only does this put a lot of pressure on you, but your clients need to feel that they can trust you—and properly cultivating client relationships is the only way you can achieve that.

From prospect, to onboarding, to customer, there are a few ways your MSP business can be effective when building profitable customer relationships. Let’s take a look at the top three:

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Customer Service, Client Acquisition and Management

3 Key Factors That Impact MSP Growth Margins

Posted by Lily Teplow on August 4, 2017

3 Key Factors That Impact MSP Growth Margins

As a managed services provider (MSP), you likely entered this line of business because you wanted to help organizations optimize their IT infrastructures, get the most out of their technology, and become a helpful and strategic business partner. What started as a dream has now turned into a full-time business—one that you must ensure remains successful.

Now, it’s probable that you didn’t earn your MBA to become an MSP, but now that you’re in charge of your business you need to become well-versed in the business-side of things—like finances, accounting and mergers and acquisitions. For example, you may have a goal this year to grow your bottom line, but what does that actually mean? What goes into that metric? If you want your MSP business to grow and succeed, you need to start thinking like a chief finance officer (CFO). Use this post as your guide to better understand the factors that can impact your profitability and learn how to maximize your managed services margins.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Outsourcing

Common MSP Onboarding Pain Points (and How to Tackle Them)

Posted by Nicole Hunter Hart on August 3, 2017

Common MSP Onboarding Pain Points (and How to Tackle Them)

Welcome back to my blog series, where we’ve been discussing how you can enhance client engagement and increase revenue and retention through onboarding. I hope you’ve enjoyed our journey through onboarding so far and have picked up a few key takeaways throughout the series to aide you in increasing client retention and satisfaction. In a previous post, I talked about the importance of interacting with clients to create a thoughtfully-crafted experience and build the foundation for a long-lasting relationship. To build upon this, let’s dig into some common onboarding pain points and then take a look at how MSPs like you have successfully overcome them.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Client Acquisition and Management

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of July 2017

Posted by Lily Teplow on August 1, 2017

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of July 2017

Is it just me, or is this summer flying by way too fast? I always long for those longer, lazier summer days, but as a managed services provider (MSP), you know that your line of business never gets the day off. So, to make the most of your summer and help you set up your MSP business for long-term success, we’ve gathered our most helpful and valuable blog posts from July.

This past month was full of tips and best practices to help you grow your MSP business, including how to make impactful relationships with clients, what every MSP should include in their LinkedIn profile, which cybersecurity threats you need to look out for and much more. Let’s take a look at what the month of July had to offer on the MSP blog!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Client Acquisition and Management

4 Ways MSPs Can Improve Operations and Create Efficiencies

Posted by Joel Kennedy on July 26, 2017

4 Ways MSPs Can Improve Operations and Create Efficiencies

In this day and age, achieving “operational efficiency” sure sounds like something every managed services provider (MSP) should want to do. It implies a smoothly run operation that is functioning at peak levels of performance and thus optimizing all the resources on hand. We oftentimes talk about MSPs needing to achieve operational efficiency, but what exactly do we mean by that and how can you actually accomplish this as an MSP?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

Understanding the MSP Sales Process Part 3: The Proposal

Posted by Blake Loughran on July 25, 2017

Understanding the MSP Sales Process Part 3: The Proposal

Welcome back to my series, where we’ve been exploring the four key stages of the MSP sales process in order to help you increase client acquisition. In our previous entries, we talked about how to tackle MSP prospecting and the certain steps you should take before and during your initial meeting. After doing your research and determining how your business can best fit your prospect’s needs, now it’s time to move onto part three: presenting and proposing your solution.

The proposal stage is crucial to the sales process because—when done right—it can ultimately compel your prospect to buy. Many MSPs will have the urge to jump into the proposal stage prematurely. However, it’s imperative that you first understand your prospects’ pain points and business objectives. If you can strategically present your services in a way that aligns with their priorities, solves their problems and helps their business excel, you’ll have a major advantage. Here are some tips on how you can make a successful MSP proposal.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Client Acquisition and Management

5 Ways Outsourcing Can Empower Your MSP Business

Posted by Lily Teplow on July 21, 2017

IT Outsourcing: 5 Benefits to Empower Your MSP Business

As a managed services provider (MSP), you strive to be an IT superhero for your clientscovering all of their needs and providing exceptional serviceall within a certain budget. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Supporting your customers’ every need can become wearying, overwhelming and costly, which is why many MSPs are beginning to seek outside help. Every superhero needs a sidekick, and outsourcing can empower you to elevate your business and become the leading provider you strive to be.

Whether you’re looking to free up your staff to work on more strategic projects or reduce in-house costs and resources, outsourcing has plenty of advantages for MSPs. Let’s take a closer look at the top five benefits of augmenting your business model by outsourcing certain functions to a third-party provider.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Service Leadership Index

3 Tips for Achieving Long-Term Growth as an MSP

Posted by Arielle Shnaidman on July 20, 2017

3 Tips for Achieving Long-Term Growth as an MSP

For most managed services providers (MSPs) today, long-term growth means planning for the future—for more clients, more staff, and more work. What most MSP owners don’t think of, however, is that focusing on sustainable success over short-term wins is critical for long-term growth. As things become more complex, it’s essential that you implement a strong foundation to help your business run like a self-driving car, or a well-oiled machine. That way, you can grow your business without the growing pains.

With that in mind, here are three tips to consider as an MSP if you’re looking to achieve long-term, sustainable growth for your business.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

Independent Study Shows MSPs Achieve Greater Profitability with Continuum

Posted by Lily Teplow on July 19, 2017

Independent Study Shows MSPs Achieve Greater Profitability with Continuum

Today, we released an analysis from Service Leadership, Inc., the leading financial and operational benchmark organization for MSPs and IT solution providers worldwide, that indicates that Continuum’s partners are able to achieve greater profitability, operate more efficiently and withstand market pressures better than other MSPs as a result of our transformative platform and business model. Let’s take a deeper look into these findings and how leveraging Continuum could be the key to becoming a world class MSP.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Service Leadership Index

How to Establish a Clear and Powerful Vision for Your MSP Business

Posted by Nate Teplow on July 18, 2017

How to Establish a Clear and Powerful Vision for Your MSP Business

As a managed services provider (MSP) owner, you’ve given everything to your business, but have you ever felt as though you’ve run out of steam or hit the ceiling? Don’t worry, this can be common for many entrepreneurs, businesses and departments. But if you take a step back and work to create a solid vision for your company—one that a team can rally behind—it can help you take your MSP business to the next level.

On a recent MSP Radio episode, we welcomed Mike Paton from EOS Worldwide to discuss how MSPs can create a clear and powerful vision for their company. Mike spoke from personal experience on why he decided to rethink his business’ mission and look for an operational model for his business, and here are his key insights.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Podcast

Making Your Way to $10M: Getting a Seat at the Big Table

Posted by Peter Melby on July 11, 2017

Making Your Way to $10M: Getting a Seat at the Big Table

There is little that has been more valuable to our MSP growth than our ability to create strong relationships with CEOs and other key client executives. Executives are notorious for stonewalling IT initiatives for budgetary or other reasons, but these relationships have proved to be the opposite for us. The technical responsibilities of today’s executives are changing, and most would love to have a strong technical resource on which to rely.

In my previous post, I shared five ways you can use your company culture to your advantage in order to grow your MSP business. In this post, I'm going to switch perspectives from MSP owner to CEO. MSPs and IT professionals are often seen as mid-level business resources managed by the Operations Manager. The larger the organization, the lower it seems the MSP naturally sits in this organizational structure. However, if you want to be a $10 million MSP, you need to get a seat at the table. Here are some tips we've learned in our pursuit of building effective executive relationships.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

Decluttering Your Desktop: 4 Helpful Tips

Posted by Lily Teplow on July 7, 2017

Decluttering Your Desktop: 4 Helpful Tips

With the second half of the year officially underway, now is a perfect time to start thinking about how you can be more productive and work more efficiently. Of course, you want to focus on making your IT products and services as efficient as possible, but there is one thing in front of you that may need your immediate attention: your desktop.

For most people, the desktop is our go-to place to store email attachments, photos, downloads and other items. However, once we’ve opened or dealt with a certain file, it tends to just sit there gathering virtual dust. Then, lo and behold, your desktop has become an untamed forest of icons and thumbnails!

To prevent this from happening to you, take the following four steps that will help you avoid future headaches and organize your desktop for optimal productivity.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

5 Important Onboarding Touchpoints Every MSP Should Know

Posted by Nicole Hunter Hart on July 6, 2017

5 Important Onboarding Touchpoints Every MSP Should Know

When bringing on a new client, the first 90 days is the most crucial period in ensuring their success with your IT services. If you’ve been following along with my blog series, you’re already well on your way to optimizing your MSP onboarding process. In my first post, you asked and answered five critical onboarding questions to provide important insight into your client onboarding experience. In post number two, we embellished on your learnings to create a client onboarding journey to help you visualize the end-to-end process and identify areas of improvement. Now, it’s time to talk about impactful touchpoints during client onboarding that are not to be missed.

Let’s take a deep dive into how you can properly set expectations for a successful start to your partnership—starting with these five important onboarding touchpoints.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Client Acquisition and Management

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of June 2017

Posted by Lily Teplow on July 4, 2017

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of June 2017

Happy 4th of July from all of us here at Continuum! Are you planning on heading to the beach or your local barbeque for America’s most patriotic holiday? As you search for those star-spangled pair of flip-flops or pack up your cooler, why not bring along June’s most popular MSP blog posts for some light reading?

This month, we’re sharing tips on how to demonstrate your MSP value to new clients, which IT certifications you should equip your techs with, the MSP’s guide to Petya ransomware and much more. Let’s dive right in!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

Improving Your Work-Life Balance Part 2: The Right Tools

Posted by David Deckard on June 27, 2017

Improving Your Work-Life Balance Part 2: The Right Tools

As a managed services provider (MSP), your day-to-day is generally taken up by dealing with the constant ups and downs of your clients and the industry. Therefore, maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. It takes commitment, and the trajectory is not always up and to the right. However, if you have the right tools at your disposal, you may be able to achieve that sought-after balance.

This series is dedicated to helping MSPs achieve a better work-life balance by developing the right mentality, obtaining the right tools, and maximizing those tools with the right behavior. In my last post, we discussed how to get in the right state of mind. Now, let’s see what tools you can use to avoid burning out and pursue a more balanced lifestyle.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

Examining the Top Challenges to Optimizing Your IT Operations

Posted by Lily Teplow on June 23, 2017

Examining the Top Challenges to Optimizing Your IT Operations

By just about every measure, technology continues to shape the world around us. With the emergence of trends such as the digital workplace and the Internet of Things, today’s IT operations need to constantly keep up with the surrounding landscape. Businesses are now demanding to do and adopt more, obligating IT functions to go faster than the norm. Because of this, managed services providers (MSPs) and IT leaders are facing constant change and new challenges in their efforts to support their clients and continue to drive value.

As an MSP struggling with this, how can you increase the velocity or your IT operations, become more nimble and responsive to business needs and still balance business stability? Let’s break down some top challenges IT organizations face in achieving optimized operations and how you can overcome them.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

5 Strategies for Growing Your MSP Business Through LinkedIn

Posted by Lily Teplow on June 22, 2017

5 Strategies for Growing Your MSP Business Through LinkedIn

While most people may look to LinkedIn for job opportunities, references and networking, it also serves as a great platform to grow your MSP business. Adding LinkedIn to your marketing strategy can help you expand your network, find new clients and promote your business.

Let’s explore five ways LinkedIn can help you grow your business, from building your brand to expanding your prospect list and everything in between!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Hiring and Recruiting

Understanding the MSP Sales Process Part 2: Information Gathering and Your Initial MSP Meeting

Posted by Blake Loughran on June 20, 2017

Understanding the MSP Sales Process Part 2: Information Gathering and Your Initial MSP Meeting

Welcome back to my series, Understanding the MSP Sales Process, where you’ll learn all about the four key stages of the MSP sales process. In part one, I gave you actionable tips on how you can tackle the first stage—prospecting. Today, we’ll be discussing how you can use information gathering to schedule a meaningful first meeting with your prospects and build successful business relationships.

Almost every celebrated sales methodology compartmentalizes each stage of their strategy. Instead of going about it this way, MSPs need to focus on how each stage of their sales process flows into the next—all the way to the end. A well-planned prospecting strategy will inevitably produce initial meetings with new prospects. Just as the goal of prospecting is not to immediately sell a new contract, the goal of initial appointments is to gather the right information so your proposals ultimately align with your prospects’ priorities.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Client Acquisition and Management

How to Become an MSP Sales Leader

Posted by Robert Kocis on June 16, 2017

How to Become an MSP Sales Leader

Managed IT services is something the average person could research all day and still not fully understand. Even in the age of the informed consumer, MSP sales teams are typically selling on a different level than other sales teams.

In my 20 years of sales management, I have learned that a structured management operating rhythm is critical to your success as a sales manager. For the average MSP, you’re wearing multiple hats—acting as the business owner, head of sales, client manager and so on. So, it can be easy to get caught up in deals, client issues and all types of other projects. However, you can’t forget that the key to success is driving the right inputs on a consistent basis. To do so, you need to put on that “sales manager” hat and start your journey of becoming a more knowledgeable, experienced sales leader. Here are some tips to get you there.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

Making Your Way to $10M: Rethinking Company Culture

Posted by Peter Melby on June 13, 2017

Making Your Way to $10M: Rethinking Company Culture

Company culture is a complicated topic for many managed services providers (MSPs). If you’re struggling to build or define your own culture, it’s important to note that it can actually affect more than just your day-to-day. Personally, I want to look forward to coming into work every day, and I want our employees to feel the same way. Today, my company considers culture our greatest competitive advantage, but we got off to a rocky start. 

In the first post of this series, I talked about five important lessons all MSPs should know before beginning the journey to $10 million. In the second post, I discussed how you can optimize your current team for success. Now, it’s time to think about your company culture and how it can play a role in your business’ long-term growth and success.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Closing the IT Skills Gap: 3 Strategies for MSPs

Posted by Lily Teplow on June 9, 2017

Closing the IT Skills Gap: 3 Strategies for MSPs

Let’s face it: the hiring process can be a bit overwhelming these days—especially for those in the IT industry. Changes in technology are rapid and constant, leading to an influx in demand for new IT skills. However, organizations are still struggling to find IT professionals with the skills they need and desire. For managed services providers (MSPs), not having the proper level of talent can hinder your profitability and growth. So, what can you do to close this gap?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

Introducing a White-Label Sales Deck to Help Accelerate Your MSP Sales Opportunities

Posted by Lily Teplow on June 2, 2017

Introducing a White-Label Sales Deck to Help Accelerate Your MSP Sales Opportunities

Do you struggle with effectively communicating your business value to prospects? If you’re like most managed services providers (MSPs) out there, the answer is a resounding yes. Whether it be dealing with common objections or not having the sales resources available, there are many challenges that can stand in the way of selling your IT services and growing your business. 

If you’re looking for help to overcome these challenges, you can download our new white-label sales presentation deck! This comprehensive deck is designed to help you showcase your unique value as an MSP, accelerate your sales opportunities, persuade SMB decision makers and sell your IT services with ease.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

How to Demonstrate Your MSP Value from Day One

Posted by Nicole Hunter Hart on June 1, 2017

How to Demonstrate Your MSP Value from Day One

As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. For the average managed services provider (MSP), that chance comes once your client signs on the dotted line. Managing the client onboarding stage is a must, because once this process begins, your client sees your service delivery team in action for the first time. Do it right, and you will quickly establish trust and confidence. Get it wrong, and your client relationship may be short-lived.

Client retention is an essential component of being a successful MSP. In essence, this is why I’m authoring this client engagement series; to help you increase your retention and revenue through onboarding strategies and best practices. In my previous post, I left you with five important questions to consider from your client’s perspective. Let’s take a deeper look at how this exercise can help you set the stage for long-term success with a new client from the outset of your onboarding process.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Client Acquisition and Management

5 Non-Monetary Compensation Strategies Your MSP Should Be Using

Posted by Dave Boulos on May 25, 2017

5 Non-Monetary Compensation Strategies Your MSP Should Be Using

Money is many things, but it isn’t everything. It can be tough out there for managed IT services providers who want retain top talent, but don’t always have the means to pay them. Luckily, there are several non-monetary ways that you can offer your employees compensation that actually help to enrich your staff’s daily work environment. Incorporate these non-monetary compensation strategies, and you could see a more positive company culture, more engaged employees, and a more loyal, productive workforce.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Improving Your Work-Life Balance Part 1: The Right Mentality

Posted by David Deckard on May 18, 2017

Improving Your Work-Life Balance Part 1: The Right Mentality

Work-life balance (insert eye-roll here) is a great theory; however, putting it into practice is another thing. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance isn’t always easy, especially in the IT services space. And let’s face it, there are very good reasons why.

At Continuum, we have Account Managers speaking to over 5,600 partners discussing consistent narratives, from the demands of constantly being on the hunt for talent to the episodic nature of the IT world. What this means is that, ultimately, there are rarely “typical” workdays. MSPs need to be on 24 hours a day, 365 days out of the year. Additionally, running an MSP business requires a plan that demands daily, weekly and monthly goals are met. All of these elements require attention, often at the expense of the well-intentioned balance. So, where can you begin to improve your work-life balance?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Making Your Way to $10M: 5 Questions for Building a Team of Top Talent

Posted by Peter Melby on May 11, 2017

Making Your Way to $10M: 5 Questions for Building a Team of Top Talent

Talent retention seems simple: hire qualified people, treat them well, pay them fairly, and they’ll stay for life, right? Well, it’s not quite as simple as it sounds. Finding and retaining top talent is a hot topic, especially in IT market. As my MSP business has reached the $10 million mark, I’ve learned that how you approach talent can either drive your business’ success or lead to its failure. Unfortunately, there is no middle ground. If you want to set your business up for success and become a $10 million MSP, you need to focus on nurturing and retaining your rising stars. So, where can you start?

In the first post of this series, I talked about five important lessons all MSPs should know before beginning the journey to $10M. Now that we’ve started, let’s take a deeper look into how you can optimize your current team to ensure sustainable success. Here are five key questions you should be asking yourselves to help build a team of top talent:

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Backup to the Future Part VI: How (and When) to Switch Your Current BDR Vendor

Posted by Joseph Tavano on April 26, 2017

How (and When) to Switch Your Current BDR Vendor

Let’s face it: switching the technology you use every day—especially if it’s a core service your business provides, like BDR—is no simple undertaking. After all the blog posts, eBooks, and discussions with account managers, in the end MSPs are responsible for migrating to a new platform, updating their endpoints, training their staff, talking with clients and much more. It takes time. It takes effort. And, if it’s not the right decision, it can cost the business profits in the short and long term.

There’s a reason why “ripping and replacing” is discussed in hushed whispers; no one looks forward to it, really, and a lot is at stake. When you decide to replace your BDR vendor, you need to be absolutely sure it’s the right move, and you need to have a well-defined plan in place to roll it out efficiently to minimize adverse impacts on your clients and the business.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Vendor Management

3 Strategies for Increasing Your Productivity as a Business Owner

Posted by Lily Teplow on April 20, 2017

3 Strategies for Increasing Your Productivity as a Business Owner

If you own your own business, you're an extremely busy person. It's important to find ways to be more productive, but also make sure you're getting the rest and separation you need to be an effective business owner. This can be a lot easier said than done.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a struggle for many managed services providers (MSPs). You are knowledge workers, and process a tremendous amount of information in your day-to-day. But in order to be a topnotch provider for your clients and run a successful MSP business, you need to maximize your time and be as productive as possible. So, as a business owner, how can you increase your productivity while maintaining a healthy work-life balance? Start with these three strategies.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

Making Your Way to $10M: 5 Important MSP Lessons

Posted by Peter Melby on April 11, 2017

Making Your Way to $10M: 5 Important MSP Lessons

Growing a business is exciting. In this industry, the idea of being a $10 million MSP is something many see as a top possible accomplishment. There are thousands of tips and best practices out there to help ensure we’re on the straight and smooth path to reaching this milestone. However, I have been down that path before, and let me tell you, it’s not as straight and smooth as you’d think.

The journey to becoming a $10M MSP is full of obstacles and reroutes, and you might even find yourself stumbling off one or two cliffs. If you aspire to take your business to the next level, you should beware that there will be challenges at every turn. In reflecting upon my own journey, I wanted to share a few important lessons that I’ve learned along the way. Making your way to $10M can be worth it, as long as you don't forget these key things:

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

All MSPs Need to Be Performing Quarterly Business Reviews. Here’s How.

Posted by Lily Teplow on April 4, 2017

All MSPs Need to Be Performing Quarterly Business Reviews. Here’s How.

It’s officially April, which brings one specific thing to mind. Now, I’m not talking about taxes or the long-awaited start of baseball season. I’m referring to the first quarter of 2017 coming to a close, which opens the opportunity for you to perform quarterly business reviews (QBRs) with your clients.

As a managed IT services provider (MSP), your goal is to build strong, long-term relationships with your clients. This relationship is usually defined by the quality of your work and the value you are delivering to the client. A great way to demonstrate this value is to perform QBRs. These are an essential component of your service offering and they help set you apart as an elite MSP partner, rather than just a vendor.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

Backup to the Future Part II: Bridging the IT Skills Gap as Backup Environments Become More Complex

Posted by Joseph Tavano on March 29, 2017

Backup to the Future Part II: Bridging the IT Skills Gap as Backup Environments Become More Complex

“Backup to the Future” is a blog series that explores the state of the backup and disaster recovery as a service today—and the challenges that come with offering it—and looks forward to the ongoing new paradigms that are dramatically transforming the sector into tomorrow. Through this eight-part series, you’ll learn the forces that are shaping the business models for MSPs offering BDR today, and how to evolve to take on new business more efficiently and more profitably for long-term success.

As discussed in part one of this series, many current BDR solutions available to MSPs today feature an outdated labor model that restricts growth and scalability. In this article, we’ll dig a little deeper into one of the crucial reasons why this is so: the growing IT skills gap.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Marketing KPIs All MSPs Should Be Tracking

Posted by Nate Teplow on March 28, 2017

Marketing KPIs All MSPs Should Be Tracking

In today’s increasingly-digital business landscape, everything is measurable. For growth-oriented MSPs, key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential in making sure your business is on a path to greater profitability and success. Now, there are certain profitability and sales KPIs you should be keeping track of, but what should you measure when it comes to marketing? If you’re looking to develop or refine an analytic strategy for your marketing efforts, here are some key metrics you should consider.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

8 Ways to Reduce Your Technician Turnover Rate

Posted by Mary McCoy on March 3, 2017

Did you know that today is National Employee Appreciation Day? It’s a day for companies to thank and recognize their employees for their hard work throughout the year. In honor of this, we wanted to know what MSP business owners could do to appreciate their techs and reduce their turnover rate. We all know that employee turnover is a business killer in the IT industry, but why is that? Bottom line: there’s a shortage of IT talent and a widening skills gap.  

In fact, there are about 593,500 IT jobs in the United States that have remained open for 90 days or longer. That equates to 50,000,000 days of lost IT productivity each quarter! So, what can be done about this? We turned to Spiceworks, a community of online IT professionals, to ask: What is one thing your boss could do to make your job more enjoyable? The influx of responses was astounding! After scanning the 64 (and counting) comments for common themes, we picked these eight ways to cut down on employee churn!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, IT Community, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

6 Tips and 8 Tools for Greater Workplace Productivity

Posted by Mary McCoy on February 22, 2017

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Do you ever struggle with work piling on and on that you feel like you’re playing an endless game of catch-up? Our frustration peaks as productivity plummets and we're left with only one thought: "Where did the day go?"

We've all been there, right? We stare at our list of to-do items for the day knowing full well we can't cross them off until we buckle down and eliminate distractions. But let's face it, sometimes this works better in theory than in practice.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

3 Tips for Unleashing Your Managed Services Sales Potential

Posted by Lane Smith on February 15, 2017

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We’re already well into the first quarter of 2017, and I bet you’re thinking about how you can amplify the sales of your managed IT services. Many MSPs still struggle with selling their services because there are countless variables to consider. For example, who are your ideal clients and what is your target market? What should your sales force look like and what should your sales cycle look like? The list can go on and on. While you’re figuring these factors out, it’s likely that you’re out selling your managed services already. To help you get started and maximize the effectiveness of your sales team, here are three steps you can take to accelerate your sales cycle and increase your close rates.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

5 Simple Ways to Break the $1M Revenue Barrier

Posted by Frank Bauer on February 8, 2017

Who Wants to be an MSP Millionaire

Who wants to be an MSP millionaire? OK, so we’re really talking about annual revenue for your business, but still impressive, no? Isn’t the dream of achieving those financial goals part of the reason you started your practice in the first place? Maybe you haven’t reached this important milestone yet. You used up all of your lifelines, and the pressure of the “hot seat” got to you. That’s OK! Chris Harrison might judge you, but we won’t. Instead, let’s put two minutes on the clock as we demonstrate five simple steps you can take to hit your $1 million revenue mark!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

Align Your Business for Success: An Organizational Chart Built to Scale

Posted by Ben Barker on February 8, 2017

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By now, you have heard all about the benefits of partnering with a third-party NOC and Help Desk. You know that offloading day-to-day tasks frees up your technicians to be more proactive and focus on the big picture. But once you make that move and get to a place where your team no longer needs to work reactively, you need to adjust your organizational structure. It won't happen automatically, it won't happen overnight, but it needs to happen if you want to grow and scale your MSP business.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Webinar Highlights

Reasons to Use Managed IT Services in 2017

Posted by Mary McCoy on February 3, 2017

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As cited in CompTIA's 5th Annual Trends in Managed Services report, "the global managed-services market is predicted to grow to $193B by 2019, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.5%." What is fueling this impressive level of adoption? Why are so many business owners fans of your business model? We dug into this report and more to examine the top reasons small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) list for working with MSPs and IT solutions providers. As you build your 2017 sales strategy, pay attention to these main market drivers.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

What to Look For in Your First Full-Time Marketing Hire: The Weekly Byte [VIDEO]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on January 23, 2017

The Weekly Byte Episode 39

The right resources, messaging and marketing strategy can transform just about any MSP website into a lead-generating engine—but who’s going to actually create the content? If you’re preparing to hire your first full-time marketer, what are the key characteristics and background you should look for?

This episode of The Weekly Byte provides a high-level overview of the types of candidates you should seek out when beginning to build out your own marketing team. Tune in now to learn more!

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Hiring and Recruiting, The Weekly Byte

3 Strategies for Achieving Operational Efficiency

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on January 19, 2017

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As a managed services provider in the SMB market, the challenge of growing your operational maturity, bringing on more clients and simultaneously caring for existing accounts can be daunting. From the moment that first contract is signed, tickets begin to come at your team at 1000 mph from all directions – all with the same level of urgency. Your support staff gets stretched too thin, yet all the while your sales team is out looking for new clients that will also need support!

So, the questions begin to pile on. Do you invest in a bigger support team so you’re ready for newly acquired business? Or do you hire an outside sales rep to generate the revenue to pay for your team? Do you hire an internal account manager to offload the customer service requests? Or do you invest in more specialized training for your current team? The list goes on and on. But as the old adage goes, the key is to "work smarter, not harder."

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

How to Reduce Operational Expenses and Increase Revenue

Posted by Ben Barker on January 18, 2017

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Where has the IT industry been and where is it going? When Eric Townsend, Director of MSP and SMB Marketing for Intel Corporation, joined us for last week’s webinar titled “The Top 5 Ways to Reduce Operational Expenses and Increase Revenue in 2017,” this is the question we began with. “Where have we been and where are we going?" For many of us in the IT industry, we’re probably familiar with the answer to the first part of this question. However the second part, "where are we going?," has a more surprising answer. According to Townsend, we are heading toward the world of managing all devices.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Webinar Highlights

Creating a Career Path for Your Technical Team

Posted by Lane Smith on January 17, 2017

Creating a Career Path for your Technical Team.pngWith the unemployment rate for the technology sector hovering around 2 percent, finding and retaining top talent needs to be a priority for any MSP business. While there are many factors that contribute to a successful MSP business, I have found that developing a clear career path for employees is one of the core foundations for success.

When owning and or running a small business, you start out with a specific vision for the company, which often incorporates your personal career path. It’s extremely easy to get caught up in this vision because you see the future of the company and how you fit into it. But can you say the same about your employees?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

4 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Growing Your Managed Services Business

Posted by Matt Waters on January 12, 2017

If there’s one constant in the IT industry, it’s change. For many managed services providers, this change presents a significant opportunity in the market to expand. Being poised for growth is a key component to your profitability, yet scaling your MSP effectively can be a lot trickier than it sounds. Whether it be struggling to meet your current demand or securing your IT platform, there are a handful of barriers to face when seeking to take your business to new heights. To capitalize on this opportunity, though, you’ll need to be sure your own organization is prepared to face the challenges that exist when growing your business. Here are four common mistakes you should avoid when scaling your MSP business.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

How to Incentivize Your Employees Towards the Right Behavior

Posted by Matt Waters on January 10, 2017

How-to-Incentivize-Your-Employees-Towards-the-Right-Behavior.pngBeing a successful MSP today means going beyond traditional project-based work and support for your clients. The business landscape is changing every day, and as a business owner you need to be constantly improving to stay competitive, or better yet, to lead the charge. Whether it be providing annual IT budget advice, vCIO support or rolling full IT management into your contracts – your number one focus should be on developing strategic partnerships with your clients. In order to do so, you must first ensure that your internal team is all working in the same direction. 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

Is Remote IT Damaging Your Client Relationships?

Posted by Joel Kennedy on January 4, 2017

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The advent of remote monitoring and management (RMM) software has transformed the way we deliver IT, paving the way for the managed IT services industry. Indeed, the market is projected to be worth $242.5 billion by 2021!

But while RMM helps MSPs enjoy enterprise-level automation and monitoring, collect monthly recurring revenue (MRR), optimize end-user uptime without disruption during servicing, increase technician utilization and productivity and more, the technology often creates one unintended side effect. Has your proactive IT service delivery left you out of sight and out of mind with your clients? 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

Note to MSPs: Be a Car Manufacturer, Not a Parts Dealer

Posted by Ray Vrabel on January 3, 2017

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Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? In managed IT services, absolutely.

Let’s say I just started my own business as a traveling salesman. In order to power my business, I need to invest in a mode of transportation. Assuming I’m staying local, to travel from point A to point B, I decide to buy a car. Now, rather than purchase wheels, an engine, pedals and all other parts required to assemble an automobile, wouldn't it just be smarter to leave that to the professionals and drive the fully-built car off the lot hassle-free? 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing

8 Strategies for Cross-Selling and Upselling Your Current Clients

Posted by Nate Teplow on December 27, 2016

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One of the most effective ways to grow your business is by expanding your services with your current clients. They know you, so the cost of upselling or cross-selling an existing client is much lower than acquiring net new business. In adopting this strategy, you can expect a much higher response rate because you've already established a relationship with these decision makers. And since they already understand and buy into the value of your managed IT services, it’s a much shorter sales cycle! 

If you're looking for quick wins and easy growth, here are some strategies that will help you cross-sell and upsell your clients.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of November 2016

Posted by Mary McCoy on November 30, 2016

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If you're reading this, it means you were not trampled to death at your local Best Buy last Friday.

Does this whole month seem like a blur? Are you feeling behind at work? Catch up with the latest helpful content! In addition to season's greetings, we're bringing you November's top 5 MSP Blog posts, a platter of material your MSP peers and fellow IT professionals absolutely devoured! OS hardening tips, ways of working with millennials, managed IT services pricing strategies, we're sharing it all. Pile on your plate! 

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Hiring and Recruiting, Pricing and Packaging, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Managing Millennials: Clarifying Job Expectations to Retain More Talent 

Posted by Mary McCoy on November 17, 2016

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Entitled. Self-absorbed. Lazy. These are a few of many unflattering words used to describe my generation, the Millennials. We're the population of smartphone-clutching, selfie-snapping trophy winners born between 1982 and 2000, and we represent the largest share of the U.S. labor market.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

The IT Skills Gap is Real, But Not Impossible to Overcome

Posted by Ben Barker on November 16, 2016

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What is a skills gap? According to Gary Beach, best-selling author of "The U.S. Technology Skills Gap" and former publisher at CIO Magazine, a skills gap exists when a company is no longer able to execute its strategies or grow its revenue because it cannot hire and retain the talent needed.

Recently, Gary joined Continuum partner and President of Greystone Technology Group, Peter Melby, on a webinar to discuss how MSPs can effectively avoid this gap by hiring, retaining and growing top IT talent. Here are some of the main takeaways! 

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Topics: Hiring and Recruiting, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

11 Ongoing, Tedious Backup Tasks Your Techs Are Sick of

Posted by Mary McCoy on November 2, 2016

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How much time do your technicians spend managing backups for each client?

It's easily a full-time job, and yet, maybe only represents a small fraction of their responsibilities. For most MSPs, backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is just one of many offerings in their service portfolios. Clients rely on your round-the-clock technical support to power their businesses. You provide the peace of mind that the entirety of their IT environment remains secure, efficient and online. Understandably, this level of service can result in long hours and overworked technicians.

But what tasks actually consume so much of their time and effort and how much of it is avoidable? With a booming BDR market and the need for constant data accessibility, you certainly don't want technician bandwidth to be a hindrance to the growth of your business continuity services. Instead, think about how you can more efficiently support this offering internally. You should ask yourself if any of your techs are forced to carry out these 11 times, and more importantly, what this could mean for your business.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Hiring and Recruiting, Continuity247, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Pricing Managed Services the Right Way

Posted by Tim Busa on November 1, 2016

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Developing an effective and complete marketing strategy for your business is never a simple task. The first place to start is with the Marketing Mix, otherwise known as The Four P’s of Marketing: Product, Promotion, Place and Price.

As the term "mix" would suggest, these elements are meant to work in concert with one another, however, most marketers spend very little time thinking about the price of their products and services. Fewer than 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a full-time function dedicated to pricing, according to data from the Professional Pricing Society, the world’s largest organization dedicated to pricing. McKinsey & Company has estimated that fewer than 15 percent of companies do systematic research on this subject [source].

So this means that you are spending hours developing and fine-tuning your product offering. You are coming up with innovative and creative promotions in order to drive demand. You’ve carefully selected your location and are taking advantage of all of your local channels and connections. But what about your price? How did you come up with it? Have you ever revisited what you’re charging?

Here are a few considerations when pricing managed IT services:

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Topics: Pricing and Packaging

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of September 2016

Posted by Lily Teplow on September 30, 2016

Autumn is officially in full swing! But before we break out the Halloween decorations, let’s take a look back at the MSP blog posts you couldn’t get enough of this past month! We covered a lot in September, including inbound marketing best practices, how to sell your managed IT services, MSP pricing and much more! Here’s a roundup of the top five posts:

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Help Desk, Pricing and Packaging

Company Culture and Retaining IT Talent: Q&A with Kathy DeShields

Posted by Lily Teplow on September 15, 2016

Do you ever feel like your employees aren’t excited about coming into work, or that employee engagement is lower than it should be? Today, retaining quality IT talent has become a critical issue that many MSPs struggle with. What they don’t know, though, is that culture plays an important part in employee retention.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Three Factors that Influence MSP Pricing & Profitability: The Weekly Byte [VIDEO]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on September 5, 2016

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There are a number of important factors to consider when pricing and packaging managed IT services—especially when it comes to understanding margins and profitability. In this episode of The Weekly Byte, we explore three factors that can influence your MSP pricing strategy. Tune in to learn more!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Pricing and Packaging, The Weekly Byte

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of August 2016

Posted by Lily Teplow on August 31, 2016

Are you sick of seeing back to school commercials already? It’s hard to believe another month of managed IT services blog posts has flown by, but to prevent those end-of-summer blues we’ve rounded up our top posts of August! Have you ever wondered how to price your managed services? Do you have the right onboarding strategy when taking on new clients? We’ve answered these questions and more in this month’s roundup!

Without further ado, here are the MSP blog posts our readers couldn’t get enough of this August!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting, Client Quick Tips, Pricing and Packaging

How Do I Price Managed Services?

Posted by Brandon Garcin on August 9, 2016

“Do you have any managed services pricing strategies or tips?” That’s the single most common question I get asked by business owners trying to evolve from a break/fix model to a managed IT services model. Ultimately, you understand the need to evolve your product portfolio and expand into offering more proactive IT support. As a business model, managed IT services provides monthly reoccurring revenue and aligns your interests with those of your clients, thereby making those clients stickier. But still, MSPs with varying levels of maturity often lack confidence in your current pricing strategy. So what is there to consider when pricing managed services, and what are some of the most popular pricing approaches today?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Pricing and Packaging

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of July 2016

Posted by Lily Teplow on August 4, 2016

The heavily anticipated Olympic Games opening ceremony premiers tomorrow night – where the best athletes from all around the world will come together and compete for the gold. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up the best of our MSP blog content this past month! We covered a variety of topics, including how managed services differs from break/fix, tips for enhancing your service delivery and SLAs, how to create and host successful webinars, and more. So before you tune into the Olympic games, be sure to go for the gold by following these best practices highlighted in our top blog posts of July!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

3 Major Pitfalls & Profits When Promoting from Within

Posted by David Russell on August 2, 2016


People debate about whether it is best to promote employees or hire seasoned talent. It really depends on your company culture.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

12 Driving Forces to Maximize Employee Productivity

Posted by David Russell on July 19, 2016

I am often asked how to motivate employees. The answer may surprise you: You can't. Your only option is to provide an environment where they motivate themselves.

Yes, this is hard work, even with employees who are naturally self-motivated. It is a discipline of systematic power to engage them in work that is individually meaningful to them, and communicate your value to them in ways they prefer. But how do you identify specifically what motivates each employee in your organization?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Which 3 Critical Leadership Habits Will Transform Your MSP Operation?

Posted by David Russell on July 5, 2016

Lately Inc. Magazine has gone into hyperdrive with article headlines stating the number of best practices you must practice to be a great leader and save time. This is our bread and butter at Dave's Charm School, because we believe it's fundamentally important that every MSP business owner knows what separates a manager from a leader. To give you a taste of our training program, here are three leadership habits every IT solutions provider needs to adopt. In doing so, I guarantee you'll be a better leader than 98 percent of the people in management positions across the globe.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Creating Equity Compensation Plans to Retain Your Rock Star Employees

Posted by Joseph Tavano on June 8, 2016

Losing key employees can have a significant impact on your business. Most MSPs have trouble finding and retaining their top talent, however, equity compensation plans are a great way to incentivize employees to stay with your company. There’s a lot to consider when building equity compensation plans, so how do you ensure you’re building effective plans that will help you keep your rocks tar employees?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Podcast, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Why You Should Attend Navigate 2016

Posted by Joseph Tavano on June 1, 2016

Conferences are a great way for MSPs to network, learn, connect with their vendors and focus on growing their businesses. That’s why we created Navigate, Continuum’s Annual User Conference, to help our partners grow their business--and Navigate 2016 is sure to be one of the highlights of the year.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Navigate 2016, Vendor Management, Podcast

How to Get More out of Your Vendor Relationships

Posted by Joseph Tavano on May 25, 2016

The IT channel has evolved quite a bit over the past decade. No longer are IT companies described as VARs, resellers or distributors to their vendors, but rather, they are partners. So how do you get more value out of your vendor relationships?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing, Vendor Management, Podcast

Staffing up: Who and How to Hire for a Scaling MSP Business

Posted by Joseph Tavano on May 24, 2016

Congratulations! You’ve done well. You started your MSP business from the ground up, and it’s grown over time. Your forecasts are up and to the right, and clients are beating down your door. All good things, right?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

Robin Robins Boot Camp Takeaways

Posted by Joseph Tavano on May 18, 2016

Nate is back from the Robin Robins Boot Camp, and he brought back some important takeaways from talking to numerous MSPs.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Pricing and Packaging, Podcast

Managed IT Services Pricing Strategies to Maximize Margins [White Paper]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on May 17, 2016

As managed IT services technology and best practices continue to evolve, understanding how to effectively price and package solutions has become increasingly complex. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to MSP pricing that can guarantee success, it’s important to have a strong foundational understanding of today’s popular approaches in order to determine which is best for your business.

To provide an overview of today’s pricing landscape, we’ve published a new white paper: Pricing Profitably: Managed IT Services Pricing Strategies to Maximize Margins.

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Topics: Pricing and Packaging

MSP Pricing Model Tips and Strategies

Posted by Joseph Tavano on May 11, 2016

Effectively pricing and packaging your services can be one of the most difficult challenges to tackle as an MSP. How do you know you’re maximizing your profits while not scaring away prospects with prices that are too high?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Pricing and Packaging, Podcast

5 Ways to Hire the IT Best & Avoid the Rest

Posted by David Russell on April 26, 2016

Have you ever wished you could go back in time and un-hire an applicant? They seemed like the perfect choice at first, but you quickly realized they weren't right for the position. The time to discover this is not after extending the full time position, but before!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

7 Actions You Must Take to Retain Top IT Employees

Posted by David Russell on April 12, 2016

Too often leaders convince great people to join their company and then assume they are happy until the day comes when the superstar resigns.

When you find and hire true IT talent, that is the start of your “selling process,” not the end of it.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

Quick-Start Guide to Pricing & Packaging Managed IT Services [SlideShare]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on April 11, 2016

Quick-Start Guide to Pricing & Packaging Managed IT Services [SlideShare]


As managed IT services technology continues to evolve, pricing and packaging strategies and best practices are becoming more complex. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all method that can guarantee success, it’s important for service providers to have a basic understanding of the pros and cons of various approaches in order to determine which makes the most sense for their business. 

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Pricing and Packaging

3 Tips for Finding, Hiring and Managing Super IT Talent

Posted by Mary Crogan on April 8, 2016

Is recruiting skilled technicians a challenge for you? Do you follow traditional HR hiring practices: Write a job description, post it, interview candidates, look for a technical skill match, and then hire subpar IT candidates because you can’t afford top talent and likely are losing them to companies with deeper pockets?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

How MSPs Price & Package IT Services Today [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Mary McCoy on March 10, 2016

How are your MSP peers pricing and packaging their IT services today?

That's a question we aimed to answer when we surveyed over 150 IT providers, all with their own strategies and tactics for service offerings and delivery. As captured in the following infographic, the approaches MSPs are taking to maximize margins are far from uniform. Bundled or A la carte? Flat fee or Tiered? Per Device or Per User? We've got the results, including typical margins per service and leading factors affecting pricing. Where do you fall along the MSP spectrum? We get down to dollars and sense.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Pricing and Packaging

Are You Ready to Hire Your First Sales Rep?

Posted by Mike Barnes on January 11, 2016

At Navigate 2015, our annual MSP user conference held last September, I hosted a table topic on “How to Generate More Qualified Leads.” As with all other sessions at the event, each of our partners in the group asked relevant questions and passed along helpful advice to peers. I had hoped my contribution would be to share best practices for acquiring more high-quality prospects through various marketing campaigns and activities, thinking lead generation was the biggest challenge the group needed to overcome. And while finding leads without having to rely on referrals is often a struggle for MSPs, this particular conversation quickly switched gears, with attendees asking:

“Now that I have all these leads, what do I do with them?”

There is no value in having an endless supply of leads that never close into new clients. Your marketing efforts are useless if they don’t grow your customer base. That being said, you can't have all your employees solely focused on making the sale. Have you thought about hiring your first sales representative? If you're like the people at my table topics session, you may not know when the right time to do this is. As you continue to plan your growth and think about what your business will look like in 2016, consider these takeaways from our discussion.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Navigate 2015, Hiring and Recruiting

What to Ask and Look for When Interviewing a New IT Hire

Posted by Steve Flanigan on December 30, 2015

Your company has decided to hire a new member for your IT Department, and you have been tasked with the job of advertising the listing and interviewing the applicants. In the job description, you've defined the position, what it entails and the minimum requirements the ideal candidate must meet. But let's take the case of a general IT technical position, one in which there is no specific specialization required. Once you have posted the position both internally and externally and received many, if not hundreds of resumes for this one position, how do you narrow down the selection to find the most qualified applicant? This is where your work really begins!

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Topics: Hiring and Recruiting

Disconnect to Reconnect: How to Build a Healthy Work Life Balance

Posted by Ben Barker on December 8, 2015

If you're like many people these days, work does not end when you head home from the office. The ease of access and connectivity that our devices provide us with makes it increasingly difficult to truly "leave" work at the end of the day. It may seem like being able to stay constantly connected to your work through your personal devices would allow you to operate more efficiently. However, as Scott Spiro, Founder and President of Computer Solutions Group, Inc. communicated at Navigate 2015 in Las Vegas, the exact opposite happens. When you don't have a healthy balance between your work life and your life OUTSIDE of work, there are negative repercussions on both ends. 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Accelerating Your Growth Through Acquisitions: MSPradio 60

Posted by Nate Teplow on August 11, 2015

 

There's a lot of acquisition activity in the managed services industry. There are opportunities to be acquired as an MSP, but there's also opportunities to make an acquisition and accelerate your growth. But how do you know if you're ready to make an acquisition?

On this episode of MSPradio, we welcome back George Sierchio, Vice President & Senior Partner at Cogent Growth Partners, who talks about how you know if you're ready to acquire and how you can be successful in that acquisition.

Tune in now and learn if you're ready to accelerate your growth!

Have any thoughts to share or want to be on an upcoming show? Email us at mspradio@continuum.net

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Information Security, Mergers and Acquisitions, Podcast

How to Find and Retain the Best Talent for Your Business: MSPradio 55

Posted by Nate Teplow on July 2, 2015

Finding and retaining good talent is something all small business struggle with. Employee churn is one of the biggest hurdles to growth, so how can you be sure to not just find good talent but keep good talent when it comes to your business?

On this episode of MSPradio, we chat with Wayne Rampey, CEO, and Todd Billiar, Director of Channel Sales & Marketing at VAR Staffing. Wayne and Todd cover some of the key steps in the MSP talent acquisition process and what you need to know to be successful.

Tune in now to learn how to prevent good talent from slipping through your fingers!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Hiring and Recruiting, Podcast

Create "Hire"works to Recruit Top Talent

Posted by Lily Teplow on July 2, 2015

Break out the fireworks - America’s most patriotic holiday is right around the corner! Fourth of July is a day where barbecue tongs circulate tabletops, and there’s never a shortage of hot dogs. It’s a day where people parade around in those American flag shorts they’ve had since college, and get zero judgment for it. This holiday may be a massive display of red, white, and blue, but our nation's birthday is mainly a day you spend surrounded by friends and family. Everybody enjoys good company, especially in the office. Having talented and valuable employees is what makes a company most successful. This brings us to our next July 4th-themed item on our MSP Summer BuckIT List: create “hire”works to ramp up your recruiting efforts!

Keep reading to learn how you can recruit and hire top talent for your business!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of June 2015

Posted by Alicia Lazzaro on July 1, 2015

With June wrapping up, we have a lot to look forward to in the coming summer months: weekends away at the beach, barbeque's that last all day and roasting marshmallows by a campfire. Even though there is a lot of fun to be had in the summer, there is still work to be done and lots of blog posts to be read. Check out some of these highlights from June, including why break-fix services are bad for your business, ways to stay secure online and the most common types of user error and how to prevent them.

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Topics: Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Data Loss, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Better Call an MSP: Hiring Long-Term, Effective Employee Talent

Posted by Ray Vrabel on March 26, 2015

In previous blog posts, I've discussed various tips on how MSPs can break the cycle of various “bad” business habits. In keeping with that same theme, I would like to welcome you to this year’s new blog series, “Better Call an MSP.” For this new monthly blog series, we are changing how we choose each monthly blog topic for discussion. We would like to hear from you, the MSP community, and discuss what you need to know! Comment below with any questions or challenges you have.

For this first post, we're discussing hiring and recruiting processes. Having personally participated in those that have worked, here are some tips to keep in mind when starting the hiring process to save both time and money – and to ensure that the hire is an appropriate long-term fit.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Hiring and Recruiting

What You Should Look for in Mergers and Acquisitions: MSPtv Episode 40

Posted by Tim Lewis on March 24, 2015

 03-24-2015-Ryerse.png

Mergers and Acquisitions can be exciting events for Managed IT Service Providers. Being acquired can provide access to new product lines, clientele, and knowledge on new technology. But before you sign on the dotted line, it's important to see if your business can really mesh well with your new business partner. Sure, there is a big financial reward in M&A's, but having a similarity in culture and intentions can be just as important in the long run. One of our partners, Jay Ryerse, CEO of JTECH Networks, was recently acquired by Digitel Corporation. We decided to sit down to speak with him about the recent acquisition. Tune in!

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Topics: Mergers and Acquisitions, Video

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