VARs or break/fix solution providers that want to switch their clients to managed services have their work cut out for them. They need to be able to convince these current customers that it’s in their best interest to commit to an IT managed services contract, while navigating the field of price haggling and client skepticism.
These aren’t easy obstacles to overcome, which is why it’s important to do your homework before becoming an MSP. Failure to do so might mean taking a shot on a losing proposition, writes Jay McCall in a recent piece for Business Solutions Magazine.
While it might be okay to forgo reading the instructions when trying out a new gadget, early-stage MSPs are taking a big risk by “winging it” during their first few months and years.
That’s because becoming an MSP involves taking a leap of faith. Though you’ll be paid for the time you spend “learning on the job” in the world of break/fix IT support, this isn’t the case for MSPs. When you sign a managed services contract with clients, you’re carrying the full the burden for ongoing IT management and monitoring, leaving little room for error, McCall explains.
Some MSPs fall into the trap of offering early price discounts in the hope that their satisfied clients will be comfortable with a cost increase in the future. Others simply bet that their current customers will immediately jump on board without first understanding the services’ value.
“I’ve spoken with a lot of VARs that have learned these lessons the hard way. Even the VARs that do ‘read the directions’ aren’t guaranteed success,” writes McCall.
To position your business for success in its early stages, identify the qualities that set you apart from competitors and prepare to make the case for your service offerings by defining the business problems each intends to solve.
Cloud backup isn’t just a “nice to have” technology, for example. It’s the solution to a number of business threats, including the negative effects of downtime on revenue and productivity, the risks of data loss caused by a natural disaster, and the frustrating impact of human error on data availability. These are the pains you can discuss with your clients during those crucial first steps toward becoming an MSP.
To learn more about selling managed services and cloud backup, register for the upcoming Intronis webinar, “Quick Start to Accelerating Your Cloud Business.” Kate Hunt of CompTIA will define the critical success factors for integrating cloud-based services into a solution provider’s business model. July 24, 2013 at 2 p.m. EST.