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7 Key Considerations for Your U.K. MSP Business Plan

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Craig Sharp

Craig Sharp is the founder of MSP Wingman based in Birmingham, UK. Retaining a stake in local MSP Abussi Ltd, Craig has a proven record in managing, growing and transitioning an MSP from break-fix, through VAR and into a true Managed Services Provider over the past 20+ years. Craig believes passionately that the key to IT / MSP business success is reducing the tech, and building business focused relationships. Additionally, Craig helps smaller IT / MSP businesses grow through targeted and innovative marketing approaches. Most importantly Craig has a passion to educate and inform. Follow Craig on Twitter @MSPWingman or #MSPWingman.
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Recent Posts

Top Takeaways from CompTIA EMEACon16

Posted by Craig Sharp on 21 October, 2016

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As an MSP, you no doubt have attended one or more large IT conferences in the past few years. Vendors frequently hold events to promote their services and explain how they can add value to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but there are few events that are ‘vendor neutral’ and entirely focused on IT professionals, their specific interests or their personal and professional development.

After 20+ years of providing IT services to UK SMEs, I still benefit from attending events like CompTIA’s UK EMEACon16, which was held in London last week. Over the course of two days, I was able to network and learn from peers, as well as walk away with new insight on the direction of the technology industry as a whole. So what were some of the conference’s main takeaways?

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Topics: IT Services

How to Scale Your MSP Business Using a NOC

Posted by Craig Sharp on 22 September, 2016

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Primarily focused on growing technical skills and expertise, IT professionals tend to be a very particular bunch. Technical ability is at the heart of their world and, understandably, many take pride in being able to solve pretty much any problem. After 20+ years of providing IT services to UK SMEs, I've experienced this firsthand. I know that within my own MSP business our technical team tends to focus too much on the details and not enough on the business dynamic. In other words, they may waste time working through low-impact technical changes and in effect, reduce bandwidth for IT services that drive revenue.

If you want to grow your MSP business, then you need to strike a balance between technology and business strategy. Yes, your MSP business is there to solve clients' problems. That's how you earn revenue. Still, you can't afford to neglect other revenue-generating initiatives, like upsells, cross-sells and any program that grows client stickiness. But how can you free up company time and resources to accommodate these demands?

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Topics: Business Growth, RMM

7 Key Considerations for Your U.K. MSP Business Plan

Posted by Craig Sharp on 20 July, 2016

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All organisations need to write a formal business plan as a guide, even if it's just at the beginning. Business plans help you manage transitional periods and growth within an existing business; working out where you are and where you want to be in the future.

Many MSP business owners come from a technical background and therefore, business best practices don't always come naturally to them. For this reason, drafting a business plan is more important than ever. By sticking to this blueprint, you'll make sure you stay true to your business vision, objectives, financial goals and more. 

After 20+ years of providing IT services to U.K. SMEs, I understand that writing and enforcing official business documentation can be nerve wracking for MSPs with little related experience. Rather than struggle to find examples to model yours after, optimise your MSP business plan by checking out my seven point plan approach.

The plan–based off of the tried and true McKinsey Seven S's plan–is purposely designed to be broad and open to interpretation but by following it, you’ll set your MSP business up for success in the long-term!

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Topics: Business Growth

5 Things to Know About the U.K. SMEs You’re Selling IT To

Posted by Craig Sharp on 12 July, 2016

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Ah, you've landed that coveted prospect meeting, but what you're hoping to get out of it and what the SME is hoping to get out of it are two very different things. 

From your perspective, you may be trying to expedite the managed IT services sales process. Perhaps you typically prepare for these prospect meetings by working out your fees, printing contracts and developing pitch presentations. While all of these materials are sales essentials, your prospect is typically working toward a different agenda than yours. At this point in their buyer's journey, they may need more convincing that you're someone to do business with. 

How can you use that first meeting to guide them towards a close down the line? Hint: not by discussing the speeds and feeds of your various technology products.

After 20+ years of providing IT services to U.K. SMEs, I've learned what resonates with potential clients. Here are the top five considerations you, as a professional MSP, should know before that first prospect meeting.

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales & Marketing

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