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Your Guide to a Solid MSP Business Plan

Author: CloudBerry Lab Director of Marketing Alexander Negrash

Without a complete business plan, an enterprise is likely to fail, and managed service providers are no exception. A business plan is an essential item for any MSP that wants growth and profits.

Initially, your IT company might have gained its first clients from referrals or business acquaintances, but by itself, this is an unreliable channel. Growth requires a business plan.

In spite of the importance of a business plan, there are many service providers in the market that operate without one. In this article, we’re going to review how to create an effective MSP business plan that will help you move your business ahead.

1. Executive summary

First, you should describe your current business situation, what you have now, and how you’ve managed to get to this point. You should provide:

  • A brief summary of what your company does
  • Key milestones in your company’s history
  • The team, who helps you to run the project, and how experienced these people are
  • What helps you to stand out from competitors
  • Your current financial state.

2. Local market analysis

Next, you should gather and summarize information about the other companies currently in your market that offers similar services to similar customers.

Try to find out as much information about your competitors as you can: what they offer, where they advertise, the resources of their capital and other key metrics.

3. Mission statement

If you still don’t have a mission statement, you absolutely need to create one for your IT services business plan. Your mission statement is the core of your business, and the reason why you do what you do. Of course, the first thing that you may think of is money. But let’s look a bit farther outside of your office. What value can you offer to the world?

Here are some good examples of what a strong MSP strives to do:

  • Help small businesses create and maintain effective IT infrastructure
  • Provide effective support for client hardware
  • Develop and maintain efficient and secure IT systems to support all customers
  • Become a technology leader and the best IT service in the provider’s local area.

Once you establish your mission, share it with your team to make sure that everyone has the same mindset and shares the same values.

4. State your vision

To create an effective mission statement, you need to have a clear understanding of where you would like your business to be in one, five and even 10 years.

What would you like your key metrics to be over time? How many clients do you plan to work with, and how much revenue do you want to receive on a monthly basis?

5. Set up clear goals and objectives

The following are the metrics that can be measured and expressed with the help of precise numbers:

  • Number of customers
  • Number of new customers you plan to onboard per month
  • Monthly recurring revenue
  • Number of devices to monitor
  • Number of new devices to be added each month
  • Number of workers

6. Structure of operations

This portion of your MSP business plan should contain a step-by-step guide describing how you plan to reach your goals.

List exactly what should be done on a daily basis, and what functions your employees need to fulfill. What should be done to set up your office? How will you scale your operations to correspond with your future growth? What kind of skills should your workers have?

Review every aspect of your business and list all current operations and any projected future needs that align with your business plan.

7. Marketing plan

As we’ve already stated above, you can’t rely solely on referrals. You should always have a solid marketing plan to attract new customers.
Write down the sources that you’re going to use for advertising: your blog, CPC (cost-per-click) or CPM (cost-per-media) platforms to drive traffic to your website, or traditional media such as print and TV/radio advertising. Learn what b2b lead generation tactics you might want to use.

Calculate your advertising budget and how much you expect to pay per lead.

8. Sales plan

Finally, you should calculate and write down your sales metrics.

How many leads per salesperson do you expect to get per month? How many salespeople do you need in total? How much will each one be compensated per month? How are you going to compensate them for their efforts?

Conclusion

A solid business plan is an advantage for any managed service provider. Knowing what to expect in the near future and beyond can eliminate several headaches for a business owner.

When you know how to compose a business plan, you set up a strategic roadmap for your IT company and have something to show to potential investors. As soon as you implement the plan into your business processes, you will notice the benefits and how much easier your business processes become.


Alexander Negrash is director of marketing at CloudBerry Lab. Read more CloudBerry Lab blogs here.

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