July 6, 2018 By Jamie Warner

The Pyramid for MSP Success

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To help MSPs scale their business our CEO, Jamie Warner, has provided a summary of the ingredients he believes leads to sustained success. This is called the ‘Pyramid for MSP Success’ and is based on Jamie’s experience growing his MSP, eNerds, organically to over $7M since starting the company in 2000 aged 22.

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The Pyramid For MSP Success

These ingredients represent the areas you need to focus on and include;

  1. Business Model
  2. People
  3. Systems
  4. Product
  5. Marketing Strategy
  6. Vision
  7. Purple Cow

Gold Nugget #1:Many people ask larger MSPs the same question. ‘What was the one thing that lead to your growth?’ It’s a fair enough question BUT the answer is that it’s never just one thing, it’s an alchemy of many different things, hence why we define it as a ‘Pyramid’. Read ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins and learn more about growth ingredients.

#1 – Business Model
Are you a ‘break fix’ or ‘managed’ MSP? We recommend being managed for the recurring income. It’s less stress and it matches your monthly costs of salaries, rent, utilities etc. Just sign up more than you lose each year and watch your business grow.

Gold Nugget #2:Switch your clients to Direct Debit. It’s absolutely the best way to run a business. Also, distributors are now starting to direct debit licensing such as O365 to you. Remember; “Revenue for Show, Profit for Sanity, Cash is King!”

#2 – People
People are obviously the platform of any business, so you need to focus on getting the right talent, culture and understand your org chart as you grow.

Gold Nugget #3:As you grow your MSP needs different departments. 1-10 staff it’s the owner, engineers and admin. 11-20 staff add a service desk, inside sales, project engineers etc. 21-40 staff add a dedicated sales manager, a management team and maybe off-shore. Read 5 Dysfunctions of a Teamit’s awesome.

#3 – Systems
Do you have all the right systems such as; PSA, RMM, NOC, BDR, Sales, Finance, Documentation etc. Have you considered replacing email with an App?

Gold Nugget #4:= You need to get your stack right to drive operational efficiency. We believe email support needs to be replaced in the stack with an ‘app’ to provide a better customer experience and drive more productivity. Read why email is not a great solution here.


(IN PICTURE: Jamie Warner presents ‘The Pyramid of MSP Success’ at the ASCII Success Summit Ann Arbor Michigan 2018 and wins Best Educational Presentation)

#4 – Product
You need to ensure you have the right product mix for your MSP such as Managed Support, Consulting, Procurement, Internet, O365 etc. However, do you lead with Managed Support and only take clients who sign up on a monthly fee?

Gold Nugget #5: With a limited sales team you need to decide what your core service is and sell that. We only sign up clients on managed support because it’s the most profitable. Then we sell them everything else once they’re on board. Focus is important.

#5 – Marketing Strategy
What is your marketing strategy? Do you focus on a vertical? What is your sales strategy to sign up new monthly support? How do you get your leads?

Gold Nugget #6: Focusing on a vertical makes marketing so much easier. You can be much clearer in your messaging and use case studies etc. We recommend you always sell ‘good, better, best’ with your managed support. Read Monetizing Innovationto learn how to do this.

#6 – Vision
Why does your MSP exist? Why do you get up every day? Where are you going? Asking yourself this question and being clear on this helps move the ship in the right direction.

Gold Nugget #7 Create a one page ‘painted picture’ which outlines your mission, vision and values for your staff and ensure everyone is on the same page. Alignment is crucial to achieving your goals.

#7 – Purple Cow
Finally, how do you stand out? Remember every MSP sells the same thing, uses the same technology stack so what are you doing to be memorable when you’re selling?

Gold Nugget #8 Our MSP used ITSupportPanel to differentiate our services since 2009. It was a point of difference that actually added value to clients. They loved it. Our conversion went up! Watch The 5 Mistakes MSPs make around Customer Experience (CX) below to find out more.

Further Reading
Hope this helps. To read more on how Jamie grew his MSP from $3M to $7M in 4 yearsclick here.

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