Following on from my last blog here are 10 more golden nuggets on building a sustainable MSP.
- Have a talent pool - feed your most skilled techies to account management. This will help get the right employee at the right time to move into account management without having to go to market. Train and monitor them - frontline technical employees are best placed to develop into good technical account managers. These resources are not sales machines and should not be expected to go hunting and set sales targets for them - they will fail.
- Replace the mature blood with new blood and keep the cycle going - don't let them go stale or burn out. Train well and mentor them and they will progress to replace the employees who go into account management or the projects department.
- Break your department into teams that take ownership and responsibility for a batch of customers - the teams have a leader and they work together to maintain the admin side for their accounts.
- Electronic document management is a must - do not use spreadsheets, Word docs and third-liners' heads to store critical customer information.
- Use standard reporting that is developed to manage the BI coming in - a daily service report should be introduced and religiously checked daily to make sure the data going in is as accurate as possible. You will need this BI to drive the service department forward so it is critical to invest your time in developing reporting and making sure it is accurate.
- Invest in personal development for your people - this must never stop; they have to see a career path with your business or they will get itchy feet and become susceptible to offers from your competitors.
- Commitment to the team with annual pay reviews with a minimum of an inflation-rate pay rise.
- Subscribe to SDI - join the Service Desk Institute and build your department around its best practice of nine key concepts: leadership, policy and strategy, people management, resources, employee satisfaction, the customer experience, process and procedure, management information and performance results, and corporate social responsibility.
- Benchmarking - work to a benchmarking standard and to the best practices that your PSA or ITSM vendor publishes - bespoke to suit your own business requirements.
- It's all about process - get your process documented from the off and continually update them as you mature.
I'll be back with my next 10 golden nuggets soon.
Todd McQuilkin is CEO of Nottingham-based MSP Air-IT
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