TubbTalk 132: What Every MSP Should Know to Run and Grow a Successful Business - Tubblog: The Hub for MSPs

TubbTalk 132: What Every MSP Should Know to Run and Grow a Successful Business

TubbTalk 132: What Every MSP Should Know to Run and Grow a Successful Business image

Five Interviews with SuperOps MSP Award Successful BusinessWinners

Over the past few weeks, Stephen McCormick and I have been speaking to MSP owners, creative marketers and directors to share their experiences of entering and winning the SuperOps MSP awards, and their best advice for running and growing a successful business.

To mark the end of season five of TubbTalk, we present to you a round-up of those top tips. There are all kinds of things that these IT experts do that you could start doing in your MSP too. You never know – you too could be an award winner!

Jack Peploe – Veterinary IT Services

Jack Peploe runs Veterinary IT Services, and won the MSP Website of the Year Award at the SuperOps MSP awards.

Why Niching Leads to a Successful Business

Jack explains that, after many years in the IT industry, he decided to niche his business about four years ago, now serving veterinary practices of all sizes. “We decided to do something radical, because it was an untapped market.”

He adds: “I saw it as an opportunity. And we realised we had quite a number of different other vets so decided to focus on that, and we’ve exploded in the process, which is great. We understand exactly what they need, and they know we can provide it.”

The Most Common Mistakes MSP Businesses Make With Websites

One of the most common things that MSP businesses do is use stock photography on their websites instead of sharing pictures of their team. “It might seem expensive, but professional photos are so important. For example, I appear on our homepage because I’m the front of the business.”

Another mistake Jack sees MSP owners make is to not explain what they do clearly enough. “Don’t use jargon and terminology that your target customers don’t understand. They aren’t IT experts, so saying ‘disaster recovery’ sounds like you save them from earthquakes!”

Listen to Stephen’s full interview with Jack here.

How to Connect With Jack Peploe

Mitch Redekopp – Rivercity Technology Services

Mitch Redekopp is CEO of Rivercity Technology Services, an MSP in Canada. They operate on a cybersecurity first approach, while also having a highly experienced software development on hand.

Why Cyber Risk Assessments Help You Have a Successful Business

Mitch explains that for his business, a security-first mindset means that anyone who wants to work with them has to have a cyber risk assessment first. “Before we’ll do any business with anyone, we carry out an assessment.

“We find out what data they’re holding, what kind of personalised, identifiable information they have and any security holes. It’s our job to stay up to date and protect our clients. We don’t want to find a gap later on and damage their trust in us.”

The Challenges of Running an MSP

Mitch says one of the most challenging things of running an IT business is keeping up with the industry. “It’s not once a year or every couple of years you need to do training. Really, you need to be reading news articles, attending webinars, following experts on social media. And doing so every week.

“If you’re not paying attention, you’re falling behind. It’s a busy industry, and there’s continuous growth happening. It’s also really easy to get caught up in doing too much work yourself, so you have to learn to delegate.”

How to Connect With Mitch Redekopp

Listen to Stephen’s full interview with Mitch here.

Want to know how to grow and run a successful #MSP business? We've curated advice from some of the best in the industry just for you! Click to Tweet

Sarah Turner – IT Backbone

Sarah Turner is a creative marketer at IT Backbone. They support cloud migration, infrastructure overhauls and build anything that their clients need.

How a Customer-First Approach Grows a Successful Business

For Sarah and IT Backbone, everything comes down to brand values. “If your brand values are not customer first, you can’t fake it. It needs to be inherent and top-down in everything you do across the business.

“I believe that it’s something that needs to be lived every day, but that’s only possible if everybody is living it too. Because we do it, our clients say they trust us and understand their business. We look at the problem and how we help solve it, how they want to approach it and the outcome they’re after. We’re not just selling them stuff.” 

Why Overcoming IT Marketing Challenges Leads to a Successful Business

Interestingly, Sarah’s biggest challenge and greatest success in marketing in the IT industry are the same. “The length of a sales journey to getting a client to sign up. But no business owner goes looking for a new MSP for fun.

“Unfortunately, it’s usually when they have a real pain point, and something that has gone wrong with their existing partner. So companies aren’t necessarily primed to want to hear from you and engage with you.

“But on the other hand, when somebody does engage, it’s really exciting. Or when they  respond to your marketing, or let you know that they’ve seen your content and want to arrange a meeting. It’s so rewarding, because we know that the long game is working.” 

How to Connect With Sarah Turner

Listen to Richard’s full interview with Sarah here.

Jack Gray – FOMO Technology Limited

Jack Gray is the founder and Managing Director of FOMO Technology Limited, which he runs as a solo MSP. He recently won the “Solo MSP of the Year” award in the recent SuperOps MSP awards.

Overcoming Challenges to Grow a Successful Business as a Solo MSP

As with many other service-based industries, there are only so many hours an MSP can work in a day. “So to grow, you need to hire more staff, work more hours as a business as a whole, and wear all the hats”, Jack explains.

“Another big challenge is standardising a set of services when your clients have different requirements and budgets. That happens often with cybersecurity support. I feel like we’re constantly re-evaluating our stack. Finding suitable staff is an ongoing problem at the moment, too.”

The Obstacles to Business Growth as a Solo MSP 

One of the biggest obstacles to growth and expansion is the need to get into the mindset of being a business owner. Because it’s much easier to have a lifestyle business. And to do that you need to let go of things and delegate more.

“Finding the right staff and keeping them busy and incentivised is always a problem. For the most part, we’ve outsourced our NOC and SOC, which has been great. But we need people onsite too. That’s the big step that will take us to growth.”

How to Connect With Jack Gray

Listen to Richard’s full interview with Jack here.

Running a #managedservices business can have its challenges, but you can overcome them to see success. Be inspired by our season five guests in this round-up show! Click to Tweet

Simon Heath – The Final Step

Simon Heath is a director at The Final Step. They’re a long-established MSP based in London, supporting time-poor business owners with a white glove IT service.

How The Culture at The Final Step Helps With Business Success

Simon says that (founder) Raja has put a lot of thought into questions such as ‘Why are we in business?’ ‘What’s the point of us; are we needed or are we just another MSP?’

Doing so has allowed him to take an organisation-wide approach to helping people fulfil their potential. And this then extends to the wider IT community, partners and even clients.

“So for Raja, it’s about finding ways to be of service. And that sets you up for dealing with people in a significantly different way. We’re big fans of Bob Burg’s Go-Giver parable – it’s not about how much you can get, but how much you can give and help. Clients notice that about us, and that’s how you grow a successful business.”

How the Pandemic Led to Clearer Values and a Really Strong MSP Culture

Simon agrees that the pandemic meant that The Final Step did things differently. “However, I wonder how much of it was a change and how much it was a reinforcement of values. It’s relatively easy to be a go-giver in a time of abundance. But when things are tight and difficult, that’s when your values are really put to the test.

“So we looked to see how we could help and support them. We’ve ridden out recessions before, but nothing on that global scale. But this time, we decided to take extra good care of our staff. And to over-communicate, because they were such uncertain times.”

Listen to Richard’s full interview with Simon here.

How to Connect With Simon Heath

How to Connect With Me

Mentioned in This Episode

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RICHARD TUBB

Richard Tubb is one of the best-known experts within the global IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) community. He launched and sold his own MSP business before creating a leading MSP media and consultancy practice. Richard helps IT business owner’s take back control by freeing up their time and building a business that can run without them. He’s the author of the book “The IT Business Owner’s Survival Guide” and writer of the award-winning blog www.tubblog.co.uk

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