You pride yourself on knowing your stuff.
Technically, as an MSP owner, you know exactly what to do 99% of the time and if you don’t, you can find out in seconds via Google and multiple data and vendor sources.
We forget how lucky we are with technology and the amazing tools and opportunities it opens for us.
When I see my daughter researching resources in seconds for GCSE revision I compare it to the latest tech I had access to when studying for my O levels - micro-fiche searches at the local library. It’s why working in and with technology is such a great business to be in – it’s an enabler of the highest order, transforming our lives at an ever-increasing rate.
But when it comes to scaling your MSP it’s a different thing.
You have access to the world’s biggest library of tools, resources, podcasts and how-to guides ever created, however, most owners are stuck on a treadmill of working too hard for too little. They know they need to do things differently and, apart from fleeting thoughts about ‘getting focused’ feel powerless to change and so do the same thing year in and year out.
A great example is Neil, who spent 19 years building his MSP up to £600k with healthy profits and a tight team of 4. But he still worked most evenings and weekends – stuck on the treadmill. The straw that broke his camel’s back was his increasing frustration with not being around for his family and literally missing out on seeing his young kids grow up. He was on the laptop every evening and in the office on Saturdays.
In six months and having had a revelation to do things differently and, more importantly, sticking to it, he’s now not working weekends, hired more staff, got better data out of his PSA with which run his business and has revenues forecasting £800k with a cool £1million in sight. All in six months because he’s working smarter and not harder. I’ve deliberately used a cliché to describe his situation because it’s so true. But instead of not listening to the wisdom within the cliché and ignoring it, Neil is quite literally embodying it.
When you hear or read things you know you should be doing I bet you nod sagely or say to yourself ‘I know that’ or worse ‘ah, but my business is different, that wouldn’t work here’. The impact is you’re literally passing over the most obvious of opportunities to have a better business.
You’re nodding now aren’t you? Or at least smiling wryly…
Like Neil you have good people working for you, the business is ‘okay’ but you cope from one month to the next knowing it could be better but not quite sure how to do it, so you carry on doing what you’ve always done.
The travesty is that regardless of infinite access to information, most MSPs and, in fact, most businesses put up with their current circumstances because they’re comfortable. Hard working but too comfortable to change until something significant or serious happens. It’s usually a life event like having children or the realisation that retirement isn’t too many years away that galvanises many into action. For some it’s, worryingly, stress and health issues.
As a result, many MSPs spend years stuck on a plateau of mediocrity where their business owns them instead of the other way around.
If this is you… what will it take for you to do something differently?
About the Author: Stuart Warwick is an authority on helping established IT/MSP business owners scale with confidence. There is an epidemic of business owners stuck on the treadmill of hard work, struggling to scale and unable to do, have and give more – to their clients, staff, community and families. For some it’s a frustration of feeling stuck, for others business is like a rollercoaster of stressful highs and lows while some are resigned to seeing no way out. Stuart shows business owners there is a way out and has been doing so since 2011. Prior to that he was a director of a business improvement company helping global organisations influence the behaviour of staff and channel partners to drive engagement and results. With roles in sales, marketing, operations and leadership in the UK, Middle East, China and Australia he draws on significant experience of building businesses and teams for the benefit of ambitious IT/MSP’s. Stuart demystifies how established IT/MSP owners can scale with confidence and transform the way they work and lead their businesses. If transforming the way your MSP works for you is critical for you, so it can give you more money, time and freedom to live your life how you want, you can find out more about Stuart and his Scale with Confidence programme at www.stuart-warwick.com Follow Stuart Warwick on Twitter