One of the biggest impediments to getting resolutions—even ones focused on your business—to stick can often be trying to implement them all at once. So, a strategy that I am going to implement this year to see if I can get more of my resolutions to stick is to take on one resolution at a time.
Building a resolution plan for 2023
Instead of trying to improve EVERYTHING all at once, I’m going to focus on one resolution at a time and build up that habit. Once that habit is firmly entrenched (or at least I have a good handle on it), I’ll focus on my next resolution. I’m going to put aside the ‘all-or-nothing’ notion that seems to be inherent when making resolutions, and I’m going to build a resolution plan that will allow me to slowly and methodically tackle my list of resolutions one at a time over an entire year.
I believe this same concept will work for those of you who might be struggling with how to grow your MSP businesses further in 2023. Many MSPs that I speak with are full of drive and enthusiasm at the start of the year, but by the time September/October rolls around, they’ve allowed work and life to get in the way, and all of the good intentions that they had set for themselves back in January have sadly been abandoned.
So, this year, I’m proposing that you select one MSP growth tactic at the start of each month and then dedicate that entire month to implementing it. By having this singular focus, the goal is to allow this business-improvement habit to take root, and then build on this by tacking on a new habit from your resolutions list to focus on the following month. This way, by the end of 2023, you will have successfully implemented 10-12 new business-building habits that your MSP can then take into 2024 and beyond.
To help you achieve this, my blog focus for 2023 will be to provide you with a 12-month MSP Business Improvement Plan to help you successfully expand your MSP in 2023. Each month I will discuss one habit in detail that you can consider implementing if it is something that you are not doing currently.
So here are the 12 habits that I will be blogging about in 2023:
- January: Never stop learning
- February: Look for love
- March: Explore new markets
- April: Seek help when needed
- May: Put yourself out there and give back
- June: Keep it real
- July: Remember to smell the roses
- August: Master time management
- September: Listen. Not to respond but to hear
- October: Try something new
- November: Pay attention and promote gratitude
- December: Reflect. Rinse. Repeat for 2024
Now, let’s kick it off and explore the first growth habit …
Never stop learning
Successful business owners have a thirst for learning and finding ways to stay motivated to propel their businesses forward. Thankfully, there are huge amounts of great content out that to draw from. It’s about uncovering what interests you the most and then carving out time EVERY day to dedicate to your self-education/business improvement process. Every piece of wisdom or a best practice that you can acquire on a daily basis can have a huge impact on your business long-term.
I am continually seeking out inspiring material that I can share with my MSP followers via my training seminars and boot camps, and some of my favorite sources of inspiration include:
- Podcasts—My favorite is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast. Paul offers a weekly, 30-minute podcast that focuses exclusively on marketing fundamentals for the MSP market space. He has a fascinating assortment of guest speakers and they talk all things marketing in order to help MSPs better promote their business.
- Audiobooks—I’m a recent convert to the audiobook format, but I have discovered it is such a time-efficient format for getting in my daily dose of education! I’m currently listening to Never Lose a Customer Again by Joey Coleman. He talks about the importance of account management and taking great care of your existing customers to help grow your business.
- Books—Some of my favorite books are ones that are quick to read and digest and that give great tips and tricks that can be easily implemented. To get you started, check out: MSP Secrets Revealed by Mark Copeman; Linked Inbound by Sam Rathling; The MSP Growth Funnel by Kevin Cline; Managed Services in a Month by Karl Palachuk; and Question Based Selling by Thomas A. Freese.
- E-learning sites (like LinkedIn Learning)—There are so many great courses to take to get help in whatever area of your MSP you feel could use some work. I recently took a class on closing strategies and am currently enrolled in classes focused on prospecting and overcoming objections.
- Vendor training—Be sure to leverage your different vendors for free training. As an example, last year, our Head Nerd team provided over 700 hours of valuable training via our weekly boot camps and office hours. You don’t need to be an N-able partner to participate; our boot camps and office hours are open to anyone and are free of charge.
- News sites specific to the MSP industry—I subscribe to the ChannelE2E daily newsletter and the CRN Daily newsletter from the Channel Company to help keep me up to date on what’s taking place around the industry. It’s great getting those newsletters that include links to interesting articles that are quick reads and easily digestible when you are in a time crunch.
- Leveraging LinkedIn and other social platforms to follow MSP industry experts—Many MSP industry experts offer FREE advice, tips, and tricks via their social posts, you just need to follow them. Again, my favorite LinkedIn MSP celebs to follow include Paul Green; Mark Copeman; Jennifer Bleam; and Sam Rathling.
These are just a few of my regulars that I tune into on a daily and weekly basis. I would love to hear who and what is on your list, as I am always interested in discovering new authors, podcasts, and personalities, so if you are interested in sharing, please do.
Regardless, for the month of January, I encourage you to make self-education a priority for your MSP business. Self-education doesn’t have to mean hours and hours devoted to reading and taking notes, but just ensuring you take the time to carve out 20-30 minutes each day to focus on a topic that inspires you and will help you advance your MSP growth rate in 2023.
If there are other habits that you would have added to this list, I would love to hear them. It is never too early to start planning a 2024 New Year’s Resolutions list.
Stefanie Hammond is Head Sales and Marketing Nerd at N-able. You can follow her on LinkedIn and on Twitter at @sales_mktg_nerd. Read more N-able guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of ChannelE2E’s sponsorship program.