Jan Chapman, co-founder and managing director of Melbourne, Australia-based MSP Blueshift, ​shares three suggestions he’d apply if he were launching an MSP from scratch today.

1. Be a niche specialist – There are so many MSPs that the competition is crazy.

You've got to be a specialist in a particular area, as in a vertical market.

Be a specialist. 

Understand that niche: what their requirements are, speak their language, not just the IT side of it, but everything they do, their whole business, what's important to them, what problems they have from the business point of view, rather than technical.

Because everyone does all the technical stuff.

The actual specialist area is the only way to differentiate yourself from the competition.

2. Automate – Get a suite of tools that will do work that you don't have to employ people to do.

Everyone wants to cut costs and get things cheaper, and a lot of people do it through outsourcing or offshoring to low-cost resources.

But automation is the cheapest deal, and it's way more reliable.

All the RMMs and all the bits and pieces that go with it are good to have in place.

Otherwise, you're just not going to compete on cost.

3. Systemize everything – You obviously need people in place, as well as the tools.

You're going to want to know what they're doing all the time.

Create systems for everything.

It might involve using the automation.

It might involve people.

It might involve third parties.

If you don't have a system, put one in.

If something fails, it's the system, rather than the person. 

 

Editor’s note: Comments are edited to improve readability.

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