Managed Services Shouldn’t Surprise You

It's almost 2018. If you are working in the managed services profession there should be no surprises for you at this stage of our industry's history.

While it should not be surprising to me at this point in time, there are a surprising number of startup MSPs today. Many of these companies are being led by seasoned technology veterans, but the companies are new. Their questions are not.

I even have a lot of conversations with mature MSPs who end up asking similar, yet more forward looking questions. In my experience, mature MSPs differ from startups in that the mature MSP operator will typically want to know what the rest of the community is doing. The startup operator will tend to focus their questions less on what the rest of the community is doing and more on the fundamentals required to be successful.

Is there a distinction between these two?

Startup MSPs require visibility into the past. They need to look back and see what other MSPs have done in order to minimize their time to stable operations.

Mature MSPs also need to be mindful of the past, and their present. Staying in tune with what other MSPs are doing today is one of the best ways to predict future industry behavior. And yet, the vast majority of MSPs do not embrace their community as effectively as they should. We still operate in a professional environment where MSPs tend to isolate themselves from one another, particularly when it involves the more intimate aspects of running a managed services business.

Nothing Should Surprise MSPs Today

At this point in our profession's history, there is a lot we can learn from the past. We can learn about starting up a MSP practice, avoiding the common pitfalls, and accelerating the time to profitability. There is a tremendous amount we can learn from the MSPs of the past in order to have better MSPs of the future.

The mature MSPs should have a lot less fear about the future if they paid more attention to their colleagues and learned from their "mistakes." The daily operational lessons existing MSPs can tach us is incredibly valuable. The appeal of isolation should never overpower the need to collaborate and share common lessons.

As we approach 2018, many MSPs will be starting their budgets and developing their strategic planning. How effective will your strategic plan be if you are unaware of what the rest of your community has done and is doing?


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