How to Future-Proof Your MSP: Inspiring Highlights from SuperSummit Live 2023
Future-Proof Your MSP: The SuperOps SuperSummit Live 2023
The theme for this year’s event was about how to ‘Future Proof your MSP’!
The event kicked off with a networking welcome lunch held at the Royal College of General Practitioners at 30 Euston Square, London, which gave attendees plenty of time to arrive before the speakers took to the stage.
SuperSummit Live 2023 – Future-Proof Your MSP: The Highlights
Why We Need to Prepare for the Future, Now
Arvind Parthiban, founder and CEO of SuperOps, led the welcome note. He set the tone of the event highlighting the present challenges facing MSPs.
Among the challenges he mentioned were:
- High Inflation
- and War
The state of the global economy looks set to slow down even further than it has over the past three years, with projected growth only at 1.7% compared with 5.5% in 2021.
Cyberattacks are on the rise, with 1 attack occurring on average every 39 seconds.
While these are challenges that all businesses must face, they can also be opportunities. As MSPs, we need to start thinking about how we adapt and provide solutions to these problems, both for ourselves and our clients.
Adapting to the New Normal: Challenges and Opportunities MSPs Need to Prepare For
In this Q&A chat, Richard explained what the New Normal was, how this was a challenge for businesses, but also an opportunity for MSPs. Taking advantage of these opportunities is the perfect way to future proof your MSP business.
Some of the key points included:
- Digital transformation is seen as a necessity now. Move systems to the cloud to allow staff to work from anywhere faster, better, cheaper and more securely
- IT service providers are seen as key partners for businesses looking to secure a competitive edge
- Also, IT service providers should be thinking of themselves as not just technical people. They should be thinking of themselves as business people with specialist technology expertise
- MSPs are essentially recession-proof businesses, and that the future is going to be good for MSPs who invest in skills for the future
- With big businesses tightening their belts and the potential of them having to let staff go, there may be opportunities for MSPs to hire some good talent. Especially if they compete on a better work-life balance as a perk
- When it comes to mental health, there are many communities and peer groups to become a member of. Communities such as The Tech Tribe openly discuss mental health. You should not suffer alone, and always ask for help if you need it
In conclusion, the session helped prove that there were a lot of great opportunities for MSPs. Therefore, we should be confident in the fact that businesses need MSPs more than ever.
As a sidenote, this was my first time interviewing on stage. I was nervous, but it went well!
The Road to a Happy MSP
One of the ways you can future-proof your MSP is to maintain a happy MSP.
The second session was a panel on what makes a happy MSP. With such a broad topic to cover, the answers that were given to some of the questions posed felt very personal.
Joe kicked off by saying that running an MSP can be a stressful experience. One of the ways you can feel less all by yourself is to join a community. While taking regular holidays are great for your mental health.
Vera said that having the right people in your MSP is the key to a happy experience running an MSP.
She wanted people who displayed the potential to mature into responsible people, and for them to feel part of the journey.
For Andrew, life is about doing things you enjoy doing. Your business is there to facilitate the lifestyle you want for yourself.
Working With Clients
When it came to working with clients, the panel had a few ideas about that too. Where clients can sometimes not be a good fit for your business, Vera said that in one case that she experienced, the client was affecting the culture of the business. It was a tough decision, but in the end she decided the best course of action was to let that client go.
Joe agreed that you should pick the clients that you want to work with, if possible, but always have your team’s back.
Ensuring that your team has the necessary soft skills as well as the technical expertise, was also seen as a winning combination. And, Andrew added you need to employ people with the right attitude, and let them relate to the customers on their level.
Moving onto process automation (AI) for your MSP, the panel had something to say about refining their business processes.
Vera mentioned establishing monthly process meetings. Changing processes so that they’re a better fit for the customer, and re-evaluating changes in six months’ time.
Joe said to avoid shiny thing syndrome, and instead build the systems you want to grow into. Clients don’t care what is in your stack, just the results it will bring them.
Andrew agreed that bringing your clients in line with the technology that you wish to adopt was key.
Advice on How to Get Prospects to Close a Deal
In getting a prospect to commit to closing a deal, the panel had one last piece of advice to give.
Vera suggested that if they’re not quite ready to begin a full business relationship, see what they’re willing to do in the interim.
Andrew confidently said you should offer a security audit, but don’t do it for free, or they’ll think it’s worthless.
Joe said that he never really had that much trouble in getting prospects over the line.
How to Turn Your Website into Another Member of Your Sales Team
At SuperSummit 2023, he educated us about four small changes that we can make to our websites that will make a massive difference to our businesses.
Two of the things he mentioned included how to get your ‘above the fold’ right, and why you should banish the ‘white-toothed people’ from your website.
Above the Fold
The above the fold is the very top of your website, the page you see before you start scrolling. It’s very much the storefront on your business, so it’s important to get that right to intrigue your visitors and prevent them from bouncing early.
Mark said it takes 6-7 seconds to make a good first impression.
Some of the things a good ‘above the fold’ include are:
- Headline – what do you do
- Evidence of what you do
- Quote – a short and sweet testimonial
- A Quirky Image – something that draws the eye
- A Call to Action – but DO NOT include a button here
Mark explained that including a button that links away from your homepage in your above the fold section takes them away from the rest of your storefront too soon.
If you’re unsure of your above the fold, ask a client to review it – or even better, ask a 10 year old, they’ll always give you an honest opinion!
Banish the ‘White-Toothed’ People
The next piece of advice from Mark was to banish the white-toothed people from your website.
‘The white-toothed people’ is Mark’s’ term for those stock images of those perfect-looking people that you see on a lot of websites.
It’s an insincere reflection of your business, but worse than that, they are boring, and don’t grab the attention of your visitor.
It’s much better, if you can afford it, to get a professional photographer to take pictures of your people in your offices.
If not though, there are sites where you can grab free assets such as Unsplash, or for a small subscription, such as Envato Elements.
Mark said there were many more ways to improve a website, but that these changes made the biggest difference.
Technology and You: How to Ringfence Your MSP with Tech
There were more valuable discussions about our relationship with technology in our MSP.
As MSPs Do We Need More Tools?
Scott suggested that we need to move away from ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’ and focus on the tools we already have. Only implementing new tools if they legitimately fill a gap in our services. Don’t believe the sales pitches all the time.
Steven agreed, and furthered the point that we need to get the most out of what we already have. If you find you’re constantly changing the tools you use, it’s not the tools that are the problem. You can do without anything that isn’t making you money.
Arvind added that technology is evolving all the time, and we should only change our systems when it gives us a massive advantage to do so. Ask yourself, will it save you time and money? And will it help you to achieve more?
How Can Tech Help You to Find New Clients
Scott confessed that he made the mistake of paying around £40k on outsourced marketing ‘specialists’ – only to find that none of it worked. He realised that his error was that he didn’t use that money to buy a really good camera and make his own content.
Arvind said that you find better results in business once you start speaking the language of your customers.
Scaling Up with More Staff: Recruit In-House or Outsource
Scott uses Uptime Solutions to outsource the day-to-day tickets his MSP generates to external engineers. The project work is done in-house.
Steven warned of the dangers of absenteeism when using outsourced staff. It could cost you business in the long run if regular reviews of service are not completed. He only uses an out-of-hours outsourced service desk.
Digital Transformation – Should it be MSP Led?
Steven suggested that a client’s Digital Transformation should be led by the vision held by the individual customer. It’s an MSP’s job to advise and make that vision come to life. In other words, to supply the tools and expertise to make their digital transformation happen smoothly.
Marketing Strategies to Future-Proof Your MSP
This closing keynote reminded us that you need to do three things to grow your MSP business.
- Get new clients
- Get your clients to buy more
- Get your clients to spend more
In order to achieve these things, we have to build our marketing machine in three ways:
Building multiple audiences of people who will listen to you. This includes spending 60 minutes a day active on Linkedin (though this can be delegated). Also, you should be focusing on strong email campaigns for your subscribers.
Start building relationships with your audiences. Produce new or repurpose existing content. Develop interesting ways to interact with your followers and subscribers. Post, like and share content to start conversations from these interactions.
Commercialise the relationship. Employ someone to gather the contacts you’ve made and give them a ‘warm call’ to gauge their interest in a 15-minute follow-up Zoom meeting with you.
Closing SuperSummit Live 2023
We finished off the day with a last chance to network over a drink, catch up and discuss what we had heard throughout the day.
On a personal level, I enjoyed my first event as a speaker on stage, and I received some great comments from my peers.
The was a lot of value to be gained for MSPs who attended, and the rule of ‘strictly no pitches’ was observed as advertised.
Finally, everyone I spoke to said they were glad that they attended. I hope that more MSPs will be able to make the next one.
Did you attend? What did you most enjoy about the event? If you didn’t go, has this, or the LinkedIn posts of others, made you wish you had attended?