This article is written under the assumption that you have a marketing campaign in place or you have referrals coming out of your ears.
Does the title apply to your firm? Do you come across opportunities that are too small or too big? Is your team stretched to the gills?
Your firm has options if this is the case.
The first step is to hire a VP of Operations who is experienced delivering a managed service solution. It takes tools to deliver a pro-active model, but the VP should know which tools are ideal for your firm. Documentation and workflows need to be implemented for each client.
The second step is to get HR to develop an ad to attract talent in a specific area. I will assume you have an office with all the tools to provide tech support. If your firm is coming across opportunities for level I support, start collecting resumes. Set up interviews and a testing process to weed out the techs who are too green. How does one quantify a personality? Your techs need to have excellent customer service skills along with technical expertise. This is about customer service, not just technical support. Your people need to be patient, likable, and personable. This is a tough nut to crack, but it can be done.
The third step is to start off slow if you are a one or two-man shop. It can be done. Build up the experience to deliver the MSP model. DO NOT bite off more than you can chew. You want to gradually build up a team and the experience to take on a large network. Plus, as you build your references, this will be a huge advantage when landing new opportunities.
The fourth step. Start writing up contracts, SOWs, proposals, policies, procedures and documentation. This may be the biggest challenge, but it needs to be done. Your MSP contracts need to clearly spell out what is included and what is not. You have to address grey areas, out of warranty hardware/software, third party software, Service Levels, your obligation to maintain, and clearly spelling out deliverables for the services you plan to offer.
Fifth step. This will be the biggest challenge, creating collateral, selling process, and marketing. Marketing all in itself is a challenge, but let’s say you have that nailed down. Selling can be a daunting challenge for introverts. However, get used to getting out of your comfort zone. There are many books on selling and lots of online classes for selling the invisible.
The dilemma; Small IT firms and VARs may not want to invest in a new team and all the necessary components to deliver managed services. What options do you have in the event you only want to focus on sales and marketing? You have three options. Continuum, Dataprise, and Single Point of Contact provide IT firms with a White Label solution that is scalable and flexible. Most White Label Service Providers will offer a 24-7 Help Desk, Managed IT and SOC Services. Single Point of Contact provides a complete solution for small IT service firms, plus we provide mentoring and marketing advice at no added cost. Contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions.