By: Juan Fernandez on January 31st, 2022
The 2022 MSP Growth Summit: 5 Steps to Assess, Improve and Grow Your MSP
Scaling the business is a massive challenge someone left out of the MSP owners handbook. It’s likely you are great at technology, supporting users, and ensuring the technical success of others, but scaling your own business never makes it past second priority.
You have learned the technology but not business building. The good news: building a business is the easier part. What you already know is much more complicated.
Capacity building is the key to growth and success. There is a straightforward formula that requires a specific vision for the future, clarity around your current state, and plotting a path to achieving your goals.
Through continuously assessing your capacity, you learn your business’s strengths and weaknesses to build on the strengths and mitigate or strengthen the weaknesses. You also develop the ability to understand the market opportunities and threats so that you can make adjustments and thrive.
The last couple of years presented an opportunity and revealed weaknesses. The opportunity is in growth; the need for MSP service is exploding. But this growth comes with many challenges, including fast-paced technical change, fierce competition, and labor constraints. Those companies that will win will develop the ability to learn quickly, the flexibility to embrace continuous change, and the skill to pivot to meet the market – but most MSP business owners will fail to meet this growth challenge.
Without a definitive focus on capacity building, MSPs lose control as they grow, staff burns out, working capital issues surface, and unanticipated challenges plague the team.
Success requires a continuous process of capacity building. You return to that vision, assess the current state, define gaps and build the capacity to deliver. The good news is that capacity building is learnable, and we have a program to show you how to do it.
1. Start With a Capacity Audit We start the program with a capacity audit that establishes a baseline for growth. The audit addresses the five functional areas of your business:
You will audit all processes and procedures, gather critical perspectives from owners and employees, and work through these essential questions:
- Are your development goals adequately aligned with your mission, values, and organizational structure? (Purpose)
- How are you enhancing customer relationships, continuously adding value to products and services, and tightly managing your pricing and sales strategies? (Product)
- Do you find ways to improve your operations continuously for efficiency and productively? (Process)
- Are you maximizing performance and increasing your employees' potential? (People)
- Are you ensuring strong financial management and profitablility to support goals? (Profit)
2. Match the Capacity to the Operations or Delivery
Business owners often neglect operations. If you are like most entrepreneurs, you are great at what you do and have a natural assumption that others will deliver as well. But as you scale, you will see that others do not work the way you work, and the business will not operate the way you expect unless you mindfully, consciously build your operations. This involves designing processes and procedures to define how you deliver support, specifically.
Once you have the processes, the next step is to measure the results. Your team and the entire business will only improve on those processes that you measure. Measurements give you the cost and performance information you need to run the business effectively.
Operations also extend to external processes. For example, you must operationalize and standardize your sales and marketing procedures, outreach, and how you engage with external organizations like networking groups, the chamber of commerce, and others. So, we will consider both operations to ensure you are creating the conditions for success.
3. Goals and Actions: Based on The Above Assessments and Defined Improvements, You Get Specific About Your Actions
You will use your goals, capacity needs, and plans for the future to create your improvement initiatives.
First, you will take these initiatives and describe each one, identify the improvement opportunity and define the metrics to assess progress. Next, you will use these identified opportunities to define the steps necessary to align your business outcomes to your objectives. Finally, you will develop a system to track and celebrate progress. This maximizes engagement and accountability while also ensuring a positive return on investment.
4. Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement
Building your business is a long-term endeavor. As you improve one area, it will reveal opportunities in other areas. New weaknesses surface in areas that you didn’t even know existed.
Growing your business is a step into the world of the “unknown unknowns”; you don’t even know what problems come next. So, we teach you to use these tools to assess, review and improve your performance – not once, but continuously. This is the only way to ensure that you can build and achieve a return on investment and an increasing return on investment.
5. Align the Team and the Plan for Long-term Results
Goals and actions are great, but results require execution. Your people must deliver, or you will end up stuck in the entrepreneurial spin cycle, oscillating between good months and bad months.
The first part of execution ensures you have well-defined roles and the right people to fill them. Especially in a tight labor market like today’s market, motivating people is vital. Often, passionate employees don’t receive enough guidance or instruction to do their jobs. They don’t even know what success looks like. You may find yourself regressing to “gotcha management,” which is ineffective and demoralizing. Without the proper structure, passion wanes, and key employees leave.
We work with you to develop clear role descriptions and back that up with 30-60-90-day plans. Through this process, you will create clarity, guidelines, and success measurements to support your team in their delivery. These plans keep the team accountable, but they also help motivate and strengthen morale. You know what to do, and you see progress. Creating a plan enables you to break the spin cycle and achieve your goals.
Capacity building is the cornerstone of a scalable business for MSP business owners.
Your organization’s ability to build capacity is what will allow you to build on your strengths, account for weaknesses, tackle opportunities, and mitigate risks. It also helps you plot a path to achieving your goals.
Building a business can seem overwhelming, but integrating a continuous cycle of capacity building allows you to tackle improvements by inches instead of being overwhelmed by them.
The MSP Growth coalition’s capacity-building program is the missing chapter in the MSP handbook. You will learn what you need to build a business around your strong technical abilities. The MSP Growth Coalition in partnership with GreatAmerica and Collabrance is the first step on the journey to achieving your goals.
Join us February 22 – 23 and embark on your journey to success: https://www2.collabrance.com/msp-growth-summit-2022
THE TWO-DAY EVENT WILL INCLUDE:
- Leadership and staff alignment exercises to understand and design your ideal culture
- Best practices to build strategic operating capacity and a model to guide your success
- Sales and marketing framework and strategies that align to your ideal customer
- Financial review and benchmarking exercises to empower your company
- Success programming for your near-term and long-term goal