Prepare to Launch: The Smart Way to Start Your Own MSP Business
Unlike the prospect of scoring millions from (yet another) exiled Nigerian prince, the financial benefits of transitioning from break-fix reseller to MSP operation are firmly grounded in reality. While becoming an MSP requires greater effort than awaiting riches from fictional royals, it also provides a more concrete payoff:
- MSPs enjoy a consistent, predictable revenue stream from their clients; this adds a level of financial stability to their operations just not possible in typical VAR businesses. The steady income generated by monthly billing for recurring services establishes a much more solid fiscal foundation.
- Delivering business-critical services helps MSPs cultivate long-term client relationships by building trust and familiarity with them; this reduces churn and maximizes client retention, ensures clients will rely on their MSP for additional services and thus strengthens the MSP’s bottom line.
- MSPs can boost efficiency by standardizing on one set of solutions across their entire client base; this rationalized approach improves client uptime while reducing the MSP’s support costs by streamlining the deployment and management of those solutions.
As such, the “Why?” of becoming an MSP is certainly obvious…but the “How?” is frequently less clear for aspiring and newly-minted MSPs. The following Q & A discusses some common customer issues that VARs and other IT professionals should consider when contemplating the move to MSP operation:
How can I convince current clients the MSP model benefits them?
Many existing break-fix customers may believe they are saving money by only paying for IT services when a problem arises. But this reactive, ad-hoc service model is actually less efficient and cost-effective than the MSP model, wherein the MSP proactively monitors the client’s IT environment (e.g., by using RMM tools) for signs of trouble and takes preventative action to avert the problem.
The most obvious benefit of this MSP approach is that it dramatically reduces client downtime; the lost productivity (and thus lost revenue) that clients suffer from such downtime vastly exceeds the typical fees an MSP contract entails.
Any specific examples I can use?
A classic “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” illustration involves hard drives failures. Windows automatically alerts when it encounters bad sectors on an HDD, giving early warning of a possible impending system failure. But in a break-fix setting, that warning is only valuable if the client is watching for it. By contrast, an MSP—consistently monitoring the client’s systems—can promptly detect a suspect drive and preserve its valuable data before the drive fails.
Are there other client benefits to the MSP model I can explain?
The most immediately compelling advantage for MSP clients is that they’ll no longer be burdened with managing their IT environment; this gives them the freedom to fully focus their expertise and energy on their core business operations, a far more efficient and profitable use of their time.
MSP clients also enjoy clear hard dollar savings by shifting their IT infrastructure costs from capital expenditures to operational expenses. No longer do they need to budget for costly periodic hardware upgrades; instead they just pay the MSP a monthly service fee for leasing out and managing their entire IT environment.
How can I make sure clients understand the value I’m delivering?
Some break-fix customers may become uncomfortable after signing an MSP contract, second-guessing the wisdom of incurring new monthly MSP fees for services that often take place in the background. To help alleviate these client concerns, MSPs should commit to delivering regular (e.g., monthly) detailed client-level efficacy reports that validate the value of the MSP’s services.
For example, MSPs can access features within their endpoint and email security solutions to automatically generate threat report summaries that clearly show their clients the type and quantity of malware attacks that have been successfully thwarted. This type of reporting is key to helping clients see the ROI of their MSP expenditures.
Another key element of successfully adopting the MSP business model is taking care to partner with MSP-centric solution providers. Offering a complete portfolio of advanced security products that are purpose-built for MSPs, VIPRE helps resellers streamline and simplify their transition to MSP operation. Check out this resource for Five Tips to Switch to Managed Services. To get the complete story on the VIPRE MSP Program, check out https://www.vipre.com/partners/msp/.