MSPs: Growth “Hacks” Don’t Work. These 4 Growth Tactics Do

Many business owners dream of business growth with minimal effort. This leads them to look for quick hacks, but growth doesn’t come from finding a hack. It comes from putting real work into strategies and tactics that make sense. The following tips only help you succeed if you put effort into them—there’s no magic way to grow. With that in mind, let’s look at some often-overlooked ways MSPs can gain more profit and more clients. Remember, these aren’t quick fixes, but they are lower hanging fruit compared to more in-depth strategies. Let’s take a gander.

Ask for Referrals

Realtors, dentists, and other businesses understand the power of referrals. Do you? Sometimes finding new business is as easy as asking. So, consider setting up a referral program for existing clients. First, decide on a reward for someone who refers business to you. It could be something simple like a gift card or some AirPods. Depending on the lifetime value of a solid client, it could even be worth sending the referrer on vacation. Next, you need to let clients know what you’re offering. Send an email or call them. You could even mail a flier. The point is to make them aware that you have some great incentives for them if they bring you new business. You might be surprised how effective it can be to leverage your network.

Focus Your Offering

Many MSPs think growth comes from adding new services to what they offer. We’ve even discussed how profitable it can be to add disaster recovery services. Remember that if you add a new service, you need to do it well. You must be efficient and effective to keep clients happy, cut down on return visits, and maximize profitability. That’s why adding something outside of your core competencies (such as data analytics as a service) is a long, tough path to growth. What’s often more effective is to specialize in something you’re already great at. If you understand HIPAA better than anyone, maybe that’s where you put all your chips. If you love cybersecurity and can keep enterprises safe from anything, dig even deeper and become the absolute best. People will find you, and profit will follow. Just look at some of the fastest growing IT providers—what’s the common denominator? They focused on a niche.

Invest in Marketing Expertise

You might be an IT whiz. You might be able to balance the books. But do you know how to drum up new customers? Many IT providers get anxious about marketing because they’re not sure what to do. For many, marketing is a roulette wheel of tactics with no real strategy. Without structure, it’s impossible to track a marketing dollar spent to a dollar earned. Because of this, many MSPs think marketing is a waste and don’t do it. Others burn cash on stuff that doesn’t work. Marketing requires an investment in the right things. You need experts who can help you understand your market, your messaging, and the channels you can use to reach them. But how do you do all that when you already have so many other tasks to do? For many MSPs, it’s wise to hire a marketing person or an agency that knows its stuff. Look for someone with a great track record and who understands the IT space. It won’t be cheap, but without investing in expertise, it’s tough to get a return on marketing spend and easy to waste money.

Refine Your Processes

You might think your people are maxed out. That they spend every hour at work productively. This would lead you to believe the only way to grow is to hire new people. But you might be wrong. Your processes can always be better, whether you’re reacting to help desk requests, on-boarding new clients, or completing menial office tasks. New software can save your team members minutes or even hours. Better hardware can maximize mobility and productivity. Rigorously defined processes can help your team members take a more disciplined approach to their jobs. Take time to map out various processes and look for inefficiencies, then find tools that can correct them. At the same time, ask your employees to find tools or procedures they think can make them more efficient—they might have ideas that never occurred to you. Once you know where you can be more streamlined, put processes in place and make refining them a part of your company culture. The more efficient you become, the more tasks you can complete and the better equipped you are to bring on new clients without bringing on new people.

Last Thoughts

There are hundreds of paths to growth. Deciding which path to go down is challenging. Don’t spread yourself thin trying to do everything in this list. Think about your business, your budget, and your goals. Choose one tactic that makes the most sense for you, then focus on that alone. If you try to do it all, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or to mess up. Whatever you do, pick the one you can get right and make it happen before you take on more growth tactics.