The Heart of an MSP: People, Not Technology
Looking around at an MSP, whether it’s on the ground floor, or within the heart of an organization, is quite interesting. Going from one MSP to another, it’s fascinating to see the similarities and also the differences on how we in the MSP community are delivering very similar services, yet going about it in very different ways. I personally find great enjoyment speaking to MSP owners and seeing how they do what they do. I enjoy learning about how to improve myself and my organizations to be better, achieve bigger, and deliver stronger service to our customers.
One thing I have found common among us is the dark room where the techs work. I know in my MSP I would love to go in and open all the blinds and let in as much natural light as possible, but that would be a losing battle because all the blinds would be closed again the next day. So I came to the realization that if it’s neither hurting anyone nor impacting the teams productivity, should I really even care?
This might have been one of the battles that my techs won over me and you might feel the same way about certain battles you face in your MSP.
Naturally, there are things that you will see differently than your team, though not everything should be compromised. Let’s make it clear: As an MSP, we are in the business of people – not technology. Let that sink in for a minute, as it’s important to be on the same page before we continue.
So now that we know we are in the business of people — and not technology — look around your MSP and the tools your team is using. Are they designed to help your team deliver great customer service? Are they designed to save your team time? Do they save you money in the long run?
In our analysis, we found that techs only enjoy 64% of their day. The rest of their time is generally filled with admin or paper work, which is working against being a profitable MSP.
Team Members and Your Why
For me, one of the hardest challenges I find when running my MSP is finding great people to join the team. As Simon Sinek has said time and time again, it’s always about the WHY. When new team members decide to come on board and join your MSP, they see something about your company and the WHY behind why you do what you do. They bought into your vision of the future and want to be part of it.
To be frank: you’re not the only MSP out there that they can join, unless you are able to provide remuneration that is well above others in your area or the applicant is fresh out of school and very green. If those are the cases, then the candidate is looking at other job opportunities. They evaluated you, your MSP, your ethos, and your vision at the same time you were assessing the candidates’ abilities to help deliver these exact points.
So what is the hardest challenge of an MSP? It’s when that great team member walks into your office and lets you know they are moving on to another organization. All the time, money, and effort you have put into the partnership are about to walk out the door.
Starting fresh is always hard, and depending on your tools and process, or lack thereof, what’s really walking out the door is knowledge and your Intellectual Property (IP). In many cases, this is what scares MSP owners the most, especially in circumstances where former employees are willing to risk your reputation and the livelihood of your clients by selling access to these customers on the dark web.
Look around your MSP, look at what your team is doing, how they are doing it, and most importantly, don’t forget to look at the WHY. When you see your team is doing something different compared to how you want it done, look for the WHY. I am a firm believer that most of your team does not come to work to be a pain or rock the boat. When you look past what they are doing differently and focus on the WHY, you will soon find that in many cases it’s because it’s too hard or time consuming to do what you want them to do. Don’t think of this as being lazy, as I am sure that is one of the first things many MSP owners fall back on. Be thankful that they are not wanting to waste their time, which means your money is doing what it’s supposed to be doing.
Take the opportunity to be thankful that they are showing you areas that are open for improvement. If your Techs win and are able to waste less time doing something they don’t want to do (in most cases this is paperwork), you will be winning too since they will be able to replace this time doing more of what they love to do: tech work.