Some technology consultants market themselves as break-fix firms, but if you want long-term clients for your MSP business, there are more rewards for offering managed services. Even though fixing problems as needed provides convenience, developing relationships is often the better deal for both parties. As a technology expert, you have the opportunity to empower businesses beyond occasional problems. One of the ways you can expand your client base is to pursue vertical markets as a specialist.
Targeting Specific Industries
Before you accept the challenge of shifting from break-fix to managed services, it’s helpful to map out specific industries in which you can offer a competitive edge. If you only think of yourself as a technician, you are limiting your income potential. A major reason businesses turn to MSPs is not just to fix broken down equipment, but to achieve economic efficiency. They will be more thankful for your services if you guide them toward higher productivity and lower costs, since the result will be increased profits.
You can develop stronger relationships with clients if you show them that you understand both their industry and specific business model. So if you happen to have a curious interest in travel, for example, your services will be favored by hotel managers over an MSP that isn’t concerned about the hospitality industry. Just by “talking shop” about their industry, you will develop a stronger bond than the quiet types who only play the role of technicians. By aiming vertically, you have a chance at reaching for deeper meaning as a business partner.
It’s important to be selective about the businesses you target so that you can gain respect as an authority in your niche. If you serve clients in which you have no genuine interest, it will likely show and not have the same personalized touch as working with clients you truly want to help. You should also only target clients that will appreciate your expertise, since working with constant complainers can increase your stress level and hurt your reputation.
Selective Choice of Vendors
One of the keys to being a successful MSP business is to partner with other vendors that fit your company vision. As much as you need to know as a technology consultant, you may not be able to provide every facet of IT to meet the needs of clients. By outsourcing to other vendors, such as cloud providers, 24/7 help desks or software developers, you can provide turnkey solutions to your clients. Since you will be the one judged for these services, it’s therefore vital to only choose vendors that are agile, reliable, and quality-conscious.
Concern for Your Clients’ Reputations
Your success as an MSP depends on how well you can provide a seamless experience, not just for your clients, but for their clients as well. Data protection should be one of your top concerns, since any security breach will have a rippling effect in the blame game. That means part of your job is to make sure your clients don’t have to go through the trauma of responding to complaints from their customers.
You will need to stay up to date on the most sophisticated and sensible security solutions, as well as data backup and recovery plans. It’s also essential to educate your clients on how to educate their clients about pro-active techniques to guard against data breaches, such as using complex passwords.
High-Quality MSP Characteristics
In order to establish your credibility as a top-tier MSP, you need to provide services that are most relevant to protecting digital assets and taking business efficiency to the next level. While it’s best to customize services for each client, some of the most common demands include:
- Clear communicate free of tech jargon
- Hybrid cloud solutions
- Multi-layered security
- Ability to create or recommend applications
- Quick reliable solutions to minimize downtime
- Access to analytics that helps the company refine its external and internal processes
An MSP business has much more potential for market longevity than break-fix firms. If you are able to provide expertise on both local infrastructure and cloud solutions, your firm will be much more competitive. Be sure to stay on the cutting edge of business technology since that’s why many companies rely on MSPs.