We all want to believe that our place of work—whether we founded it or work for someone else—is safe, reliable, and invincible.
But sometimes, what we want to believe and the actual truth are, unfortunately, not really one and the same. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic taught us that the ability to adapt to change is a key factor for long-term success with your independent business. In fact, even Albert Einstein said that “the measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
So, how “bulletproof” is your managed service provider (MSP) practice, really?
The following factors will help you understand how durable your business is, and what you can do to make sure it becomes even more unflappable.
Ability to adapt to changes and the future of work
A great idea and business plan is obviously important in order to create a thriving business. But what’s important to maintain that thriving business, is the need to be flexible with that vision, no matter how important or rock-solid it may seem initially.
During the initial steps of creating your venture or business plan, you should keep reminding yourself that a lot of things will arise unplanned—for better and worse. Whether it’s a global pandemic (hello year 3!) or a natural disaster or even something positive like investor interest or a myriad of new customers, you should always prepare for, and expect the unexpected.
But how can you plan for the unexpected if, well, it is unexpected? By making sure your business is agile, flexible, and adaptable to whatever comes its way.
If demand comes up from a product or service offering that you initially didn’t expect—but one that you absolutely can provide and make a profit off of—it could become a lucrative new path.
If you ignore these feasible requests or demands, you could damage your business’ (and your own) reputation, which can result in unhappy customers who leave, and reduced profit. Even if your profit isn’t reduced, you’d be giving up a chance to make customers happy, and increase revenue.
Understanding the industry you’re serving, the MSP and IT industry in this case, is crucial in order to not only open a new business, but also succeed with it. Make sure to conduct thorough market research so you can understand what your customers will probably be wanting, what prices your direct competitors are offering in your area, as well as the differing needs and wants of the market you’re planning to serve.
Selling and marketing your product correctly
You’re very good at what you do, but that thing is probably not marketing, and that’s very understandable! Your forte is being an MSP and providing top-notch service, not understanding the difference between content marketing and copywriting.
Marketing is crucial in understanding how “bulletproof” your MSP practice is, because it can not only find you new clients and improve your business, but it can also cause negative PR or even lawsuits if you market yourself inaccurately.
When it comes to marketing your enterprise or even your service offerings, there’s a fine line between trying to bring on new clients, and overselling your capabilities and lying—or in other words, false advertising.
Now, in this case overselling doesn’t mean being overbooked at overcapacity or running out of routers or inventory to set up, which you could consider as a positive thing, and perhaps pointing to the need to raise your prices. Instead, here we refer to making promises that you can’t keep, or guaranteeing levels of service that are simply unattainable for you.
For example, If you oversell the capabilities of your services, you’ll not only cause distrust and frustration among your customers, but you could also be putting yourself at risk of false advertising lawsuits. So, when it comes to your marketing, as always, honesty is always the best policy.
Just to clarify, we are by no means suggesting you should undersell your product or capabilities either. Instead, you should really take into account what you are able to actually offer, as opposed to what you’d like to provide, and use marketing techniques and tools to your advantage by stating what it is that you can actually guarantee and offer customers. If you’re a good MSP, this should be more than enough.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “how can I up my marketing game?” then we have just the blog for you! Check out our marketing techniques for IT professionals recommendations.
Keeping your—and your clients’—cybersecurity defense state-of-the-art
We’ve all heard the saying “safety first,” but when it comes to your MSP business, we think that “cybersecurity first and foremost” is arguably more accurate.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to cyber protection. In fact, there are quite a lot of different types of cyber attacks, from phishing to man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks, and everything in between. That’s why we even created a cybersecurity guide for small businesses to help navigate this tricky realm.
Cybersecurity is an incredibly important investment, even for small businesses or new business owners, who may still be targeted with cyberattacks. Investing in different kinds of software like remote monitoring and management for example, can help alert you about any suspicious activity.
But, you probably know this, as some 97% of MSPs have said they’re concerned about cybersecurity. While this may seem scary, there are definitely steps you can take and software you can install to protect your own practice, and also your customers’ assets.
For example, for all of your important data and assets, do you have multi-factor authentication? Do you instruct all of your clients to do the same?
Also, more than 75% of cyber attacks begin with an email, so what are you doing to protect yourself and your clients from falling victim to these types of cyber risks?
Do you know what cyber trends you should look for in 2022 and beyond?
Whatever your fears are when it comes to protecting your MSP practice as well as your clients in 2022, we want you to know that here at Atera, we’re here to help!
Starting your own business is really hard, requires an endless amount of stress and hours put into it, but remember that it can also be astonishingly rewarding and worth the tears.
By making sure you know what risks to expect, what cyber threats to defend against, and what services you’re willing to expand to at what prices, will help improve your chances of long-term success!