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5 Steps to Building Your Managed Services Business

Author: Len DiCostanzo, SVP of Datto

With cybersecurity a new focus for SMBs around the world, along with a need for even more technology to support expanding business operations, sophisticated users and an ever-growing mobile and remote workforce, the demand for technology expertise is stronger than ever. And for IT Service Providers and MSPs, there has never been a better time to move clients and prospects away from supporting them with a break/fix model to a more proactive, automated and profitable managed service relationship.

Here are 5 things to consider when building your managed services practice:

1. Zone in on Key Verticals. You can’t be all things to all clients. Successful MSPs find when they focus on a vertical market and specialize in it, they build longer lasting and stronger relationships with clients, and can deliver better solutions, service and support. Take a look at your existing client base and identify verticals you are already working in.  Document the business needs you have resolved with technology already, and consider what else you can do. Perhaps the vendor who supplies their line of business application has a partner program you can join. There are many verticals MSPs tend to focus on, including manufacturing, construction, professional services (e.g., legal, finance),  education, and healthcare. Find the right vertical and then become a trusted, strategic advisor to your clients—talk their talk and walk their walk.

2. Price Services Like a Pro. There is an art and a science to pricing managed services and making that jump for your business. This is best done with an accountant’s expertise and guidance but you can certainly educate yourself on pricing models to consider before jumping in. We do offer tools for you to price managed services effectively in our helpful Smart IT Guide: 5 Steps to Pricing Managed Services. Find the Guide here, and a webinar here.

3. Collaborate to Be Great. To be a super successful MSP, it really takes a village. It’s essential to partner with your peers who are good at delivering services you are not, and with solid vendors who provide you with the right mix of cutting-edge and highly functional technology solutions, you can customize to meet client business and technology needs.

4. Meet and Exceed Client Expectations. To truly delight your clients, you need to set and manage expectations. Respond timely to meet and exceed your service level agreements, follow best practices and show the value you deliver every day with relevant reporting and regular communications.

5. Have the right tools in your arsenal. It’s not just about having the right solutions and managed services to deliver to your clients; make sure you are using the right tools in your business to ensure world class business management and service delivery.

To help SMBs embrace digital transformation, you have to evolve and grow to more effectively meet the world of on-demand, always on, highly consumable business technology needs.  Shifting as much of your business as possible from break/fix to managed services will help you and your clients achieve better results.

And here are other great resources to get the ball rolling with managed services:


Author Len DiCostanzo is SVP of channel development at Datto. Read more Datto guest blogs here.

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