July MSP Growth Habit: 3 Tips to Help Meet Goals in 2023

Arrow rising up with bar graph on dark blue background. illustration of growth business success or goal development, financial investment profit graph and leadership motivation strategy achievement.
Author: Stefanie Hammond, head sales and marketing nerd, N-able
Author: Stefanie Hammond, head sales and marketing nerd, N-able

We are now more than halfway through 2023—how is your MSP doing?

Thinking back to January and the personal and business goals you set for yourself… Are you still on track, are you enjoying a successful year so far, or are you struggling?

There are many studies out there that speak about the various success rates of individuals and businesses in keeping their new year’s resolutions and their business financial and operational goals. The conclusion that many of these studies seem to land on is: although well-intentioned and highly motivated at the outset, most people do not follow through in reaching their goals.

So, why do so many organizations fail at meeting their business goals and objectives, and what can be done to improve the odds? Below I’ve set out three key strategies that can help.

3 Strategies to Ensure You Meet Your MSP Business Goals in 2023 and Beyond

  1. Develop a Roadmap for Your MSP
  2. Communicate, Delegate and Hold People Accountable (including Yourself!)
  3. Eliminate the Distractions

Strategy 1: Develop a Roadmap for Your MSP

 “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin

If you find yourself thinking: “We want to expand our Managed Services business, but we are unsure how”, then developing a roadmap for your business will become an invaluable exercise.

It’s important to realise that a business roadmap is NOT the same as a business plan. A business plan tends to be a high-level, very text-heavy document, that is most often needed to secure funding from banks or investors. That isn’t what I am referring to in this instance.

A business roadmap is considered more tactical and specific in its details. It is used to spell out what needs to happen, when it needs to happen, and who needs to be involved to make it all happen. It’s all about setting goals and priorities, then documenting all of the steps that are needed to help turn the business roadmap into a reality. And it is something that is very dynamic and fluid in nature, as it is designed to be something that can be easily updated as trends or circumstances change.

And while a business plan typically takes a longer-term planning view—say three to 10 years—business roadmaps are typically one year in length and broken into quarters. You can then create quarterly action plans out of this. Every year the roadmap gets reviewed and updated with new priorities, tasks, and responsibilities that serve to help move your MSP in the direction that you want it to go.

While having a roadmap won’t necessarily guarantee that your MSP will grow faster or make more money, those companies that do achieve consistent growth and profitability year over year, do have an actionable business growth roadmap that they follow.

Strategy 2: Communicate, Delegate, and Hold People Accountable

“Just because you made a good plan, doesn’t mean that’s what’s gonna happen.”
Taylor Swift

Ultimately as an MSP business owner, it is up to you to decide how far you wish to take your business.  And while developing a plan is one thing, executing that plan is something entirely different. It will be important to recognize that you won’t be able to execute your business roadmap all on your own, so you will want to share and communicate your roadmap with your team and solicit their support.

Ideally, for each activity that has been included in your roadmap, you will want to assign someone from your team to be responsible for completing that specific activity. By going through this exercise of assigning tasks to team members, you will quickly recognize if you will have any resourcing issues that might need addressing, which could impact your priorities, or who does what.

And be as transparent with your staff as possible throughout this entire roadmap planning exercise. By demonstrating this kind of visibility to your team, everyone will understand and should support you in what you are trying to achieve, and they will also be able to gain perspective around what everyone else’s roles and responsibilities will be to help your company get there. It will set expectations for the whole team and create a level of accountability within your organization—because everyone plays an instrumental role in the company’s success.

You have developed a strong team around you, so don’t hesitate to lean on your team’s talents and skillsets to move your business forward.

Strategy 3: Eliminate the Distractions

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”
Tom Landry

I was listening to a podcast a while back that was focused on MSP growth strategies, and one of the individuals being interviewed was Stuart Warwick, who authors the newsletter ‘Scaling With Confidence’ and is co-founder of a UK firm called The MSP Growth Hub. During the podcast, he made this incredibly insightful remark: “Businesses grow to the size of the thinking of the owner.”  And I truly believe this to be the case when it comes to separating the growth-oriented MSPs from those MSPs who continue to toil with gaining any degree of measurable growth.

It is absurdly easy to let the day-to-day pains, issues, and struggles get in the way of what you ultimately want to achieve for your business—if you let them. But to achieve real MSP market growth, it comes down to removing your technician hat and putting your CEO hat on and focusing on those items that successful business owners constantly obsess over:

  • How to grow the business
  • How to make money
  • How to drive efficiencies
  • How to manage costs

It is the difference between working IN the business verses working ON the business.

Successful MSP business owners give themselves the gift of time and the permission to regularly step back from the day-to-day stuff so that they can focus on the business development activities that are vital in growing their practice. And they make it a point to do what they can to eliminate distractions, because they understand that there will ALWAYS be customer and employee issues to deal with, if they allow them to take over.

For other MSP growth habits, check out: New Habits to Target for MSP Growth in 2023

Stefanie Hammond is Head Sales and Marketing Nerd at N-able. You can follow her on LinkedIn and on Twitter at @sales_mktg_nerdRead more N-able guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of ChannelE2E’s sponsorship program