IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Distraction: The Biggest Threat to Your MSP in 2021

Smart MSPs are focusing on intentional growth, rapid business improvement, leadership, and sales skills, leaving unfocused MSPs on the other side of a widening gap. By Nigel Moore

THE BIGGEST THREAT to your MSP business this year is not the pandemic or the yo-yo economy. It's certainly not Microsoft, HP, or Dell going direct to your clients. And it's most definitely not your competition.

Nope, the biggest threat for your MSP in 2021 is …. distraction.

Distraction from new vendors or products. Distraction from your team. Distraction that you subconsciously create to avoid working on the tougher, more challenging, highest ROI tasks in your business.

Distraction is the biggest killer to building a sustainable and strong business. Unfortunately, our industry, by its very technological nature, is ravaged by this curse of distraction.

The cure, of course, is focus. Smart MSPs—and by extension, the most successful—keep themselves and their team focused on important things.

A Widening Gap

Distraction is an even bigger threat than normal this year because the rapidly shifting MSP industry went into overdrive in 2020. Help desk, project work, and service desk operations are quickly commoditizing. As part of that industry shift, a gap is emerging and (more importantly) widening.

On one side are the smart MSPs who are doubling down and focusing on intentional growth and rapid business improvement. They’re kicking complacency and distraction to the curb.

On the other side are the complacent, unfocused MSPs who have been taking things easy, riding the tailwind of the last 10 years’ bull economy and the recent artificial stimulus packages.

The problem is that the longer the smart MSPs work on improving things, the bigger the gap is becoming between them and the complacent MSPs.

Smart MSPs are finding it easier and easier to take clients and staff from complacent MSPs. This is throwing complacent MSPs into a slow, spiraling, painful business death.  

If you’re on the complacent side, it’s not too late to change sides, but you have to act now!

Stop This, Start That

Here’s what smart MSPs aren’t doing:

  • They aren’t using social media (or they’re using it very rarely).
  • They aren’t changing their PSA, RMM, and AV every six months.
  • They aren’t checking email, Teams, and Slack all day (they batch process once or twice a day).
  • They aren’t getting distracted by all the shiny red objects our industry is continually serving up.
  • They aren’t letting urgent tasks get in the way of important tasks (check out 7 Habits’ Stephen Covey’s Priority Matrix for what I’m talking about here).
  • They aren’t letting distractions take them away from focusing on their mission!

And here’s what smart MSPs are doing in 2021:

  • They’re building their marketing engine (Hint: Learning how to do good marketing is just acquiring another skill, just like learning how to set up an Azure Active Directory).
  • They’re crafting memorable, fun, personal experiences for their clients that create conversations (an amazing customer experience is a differentiator).
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