How are you all doing?
Whether work is busier than ever for you during this time, or if you are struggling with clients cutting hours or contracts – you cannot deny a lot has changed. The ability for your MSP to roll with the punches will probably dictate your stress levels during this period and might even be the difference that allows you to make it through intact.
Aterans – leading the pack and showing us how it’s done
Here at Atera, we want to showcase some of the ways that MSPs can empower themselves and their clients, using this crazy new normal as a way to grow and meet the demand for services with flexibility. Here’s just one great example from one of our own Aterans, Warwick Burns from warwickdatasolutions.com.
“One particular success story is a local Urology office I provide services for. They have been somewhat behind the curve technology-wise but when they had no shows and cancellations for many of their scheduled appointments, there seemed to be a little panic. I found an online service that had a free tier they were able to use for telemedicine called “doxy.me.” After demoing a call with the Doctors and encouraging them to embrace a change and at least provide their patients a way to connect with the Doctors over a highly secure doc-based video call, they moved forward and implemented the change and loved it!
In addition, they had to close their office for most of their workers… Atera was there to provide the remote for clients’ features just in the nick of time! I provided remote connections to the office staff, made a short video customized for them and they were off to the races the next day!”
Making it happen for You
We understand it isn’t easy to remain positive, especially if times have been hard. Here are some of the most common challenges that MSPs are facing right now, and how to at least attempt to meet them head-on:
A rise in client demand: Working from home has added a serious headache to many businesses, so if you’re inundated with WFH requests like slow internet connections, security queries, or VPN problems, you’re not alone. It can feel like you’re doing a lot of this work ‘for free’ right now, but remember that when organizations can return to the office, they will remember who helped them out during this tough time.
Client sensitivity around bills: We’re all watching the bank balance a little more carefully at the moment, that’s no surprise, with so much talk about a recession. Now’s the time to make sure that any break/fix clients move over to managed services for good. More stability and consistency for you and your client know exactly how much you’re costing them at the end of each month. If a managed service client wants to move to break/fix, have some reports and data at the ready, to show them why that’s a terrible idea.
Clients resisting the situation: Just as we saw with Warwick’s situation above, many clients are used to their ways of doing things and don’t want to hear about a faster or a better way. Starting with a free tier or a trial of a solution is a great tactic, and as you can see with the example here, it can result in a serious win for you and your client! Think outside the box, and make sure to position yourself as the authoritative expert in the situation to put their mind at rest that you have their best interests at heart.
Loss of clients: If far from being busy, you’re twiddling your thumbs – we’re sorry to hear that. Make sure to keep reaching out to clients that are ‘on pause’ so that they remember you cared about their situation even when the work was unavailable. Many businesses will pick back up once Covid-19 has passed, and you want to be best placed to support them when they do.
The need to let go of employees: With quiet time comes one of the worst parts of running a business, the need to let go of employees. If you can take advantage of a furlough scheme from your local government, make sure to outline it clearly for your staff. Be honest about your situation, your staff work hard for you and deserve that clarity about their own next paycheck.
Weighing up social distancing decisions: Does this situation warrant an on-site visit? Can you afford to be taking in repairs and physical fixes right now? Should you be providing employees with PPE? These are tough questions and might vary from location to location. Always err on the side of safety, and check with your staff that they feel comfortable about your working policy – but remember, you’re supporting other businesses in their ability to stay afloat during this time, and that’s incredibly valuable and important.
We want to hear more of your stories! If you’ve managed to turn this difficult situation into a company win, or have more empowering advice to share with your fellow Aterans, drop them in the comments – or send us an email!