Time Isn't On Your Side (apologies to Mick Jagger)
We all do it – waste time that is. There are a variety of tools, software, and ‘systems’ available geared towards helping people (and companies) become far more efficient with time management. Unfortunately, not every employee or client has great time management skills and it doesn’t appear to be something heavily focused on at any level of education. So, what that means is there is greater pressure on you as the Managed Service Provider (MSP) to keep your act together.
Time wasted by MSPs means you’re missing out on potential revenue from new and existing sources. What can you do? Well, a number of things actually. Let’s take a look at the ways in which you; as the MSP, can become better at time management and make more money.
Better Project Management
Short of telling you to simply stop wasting your time, one such way of wasting less time is becoming a better project manager. It is absolutely critical projects go off without a hitch and clients understand the timeline put in place is what will be followed. It wouldn’t hurt to look into project management resources, such as what I offer, but you still have to actually follow the steps. Better project management allows you to stick to firm deadlines, impress clients with how on top of things you are, and be able to move seamlessly from one project to the next because everything has been properly planned out.
Create and Follow an Effective Managed Services Marketing Plan
I'm sure you’ve heard this from others, as I have many times myself, but for many MSPs it seems that marketing and lead generation is their biggest challenge. And from where I'm sitting, I'd agree. Mastering (or improving) your marketing acumen is required in order for you to succeed. In fact I've heard it said that the company that markets best wins against its competition. But marketing is tough for MSPs - for starters, you are going to waste a lot of time cold calling and sending out emails without much success because you likely haven’t properly identified your target audience – the people who are most likely to be interested in your services. Then of course there’s figuring out what type of marketing you should be doing (direct response should probably be at the top of your marketing to-do list). Needless to say, it takes hard work and dedication to delivering a series of repetitive actions that lead to sales appointments, and doing these over and over again.
My clients today are focusing on leading with Cybersecurity in their marketing efforts, and finding this approach to be much easier than marketing for traditional Managed Services, as they are able to secure appointments even when there is an incumbent IT Provider or MSP in the mix. Executing a successful Cybersecurity marketing plan is an easy first step in producing consistent, dependable leads that can accelerate consistent business growth. No more cold-calling in the blind, no more wasted efforts on activities that cost you more in time and money than what it gives back.
Take a Break…Seriously
It may seem counter-productive, but taking a break every once in a while is actually a good thing. As an MSP, it can be easy to get caught up in the mountains of things you believe you have to do or accomplish in any given 24-hour period. Instead of getting caught up in a vicious cycle of exhausting all mental and physical energies each and every day, force yourself to only work on one thing at a time, and to actually stand up and walk away for 5-10 minutes every once in a while so you don’t burn out.
Pick a few days a week to work a few hours in the morning "on the business" instead of "in the business" and try do so outside of the office, where distractions will hijack the time you've set aside for business growth strategizing. Instead consider working from home or another neutral location that allows you the time to focus on growth.
Countless studies on productivity have concluded that we are far less efficient workers when we’re taking on too many things at once. Instead of focusing on doing one thing really well at a time, we end up doing a mediocre job on three or four different projects because we’re jumping from one to the other before really completing anything.
So there you have it. If you want to become a more productive MSP and make more money as a result of wasting less valuable time in 2020, this is a good place to start.
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