“I see the value in your service but don’t have any money.” That is what I recently heard from an managed services provider after we had discussed our pricing and thought that the owner didn’t want to pay for our high quality services. However, I found out after asking him a few other questions that he really wanted to engage with us but that he really didn’t have enough revenue from his current clients. It took a few minutes to think about how I should answer him to relieve his quandary. I flashed back on my more than 10 years experience in dealing with the thinking process of computer business owners and then it dawned on me how I should rely. I asked him two fundamentally questions that exposed the exact issue, ” How many managed services clients did you have and how many techs do you have on your payroll?” Then I told him, “You should Fire a tech and spend that money on IT Leads!”
Many technicians that end up starting their own IT business or buying a computer franchise think of success in the terms of how many employees they have on their payroll. They are also very concerned with control over their clients. However, the question that we should all be asking is how should a computer consultant measure success?
The simple answers about how success should be measured should be obvious as Gary Pica always says, ” what matters is after tax dollars in your personal bank account”. I will relate a story that I know about personally with regard to a successful managed services practice and how this relates to the question of control and how many techs you need to maximize profits.
Trent Dyrsmid former Partner in Dyrand Systems is a perfect case study in the way that a computer repair firm should measure success. Trent was one of the first IT providers that I was aware of who took full advantage for Zenith’s NOC and Help desk and downsized his technical staff dramatically. Over the last few years he has been aggressively marketing his business online and through it sales leads and here is the big news… I recently followed Trent and discovered he had sold his portion of the company and had become a real estate investor in southern California.
That is the measure of success that I am talking about. Downsizing your cost of labor and increasing your profit margin and growing your client base until you’re able to sell your company for huge profits and follow your dreams. Not being chained down to managing a large staff of technical workers forever. When it comes to control the thing you want control over is more money and more free time. If you want to control more people then you will have control over less money and less free time.
One of the biggest obstacle to expanding your business, like Trent did, is scalability. Just the other evening I was sitting down with a computer consultant over dinner and he was telling me that he had to pace his growth as he brought on new techs to take care of his new customers. However, when you have outsourced your NOC and Help Desk then trying to balance the right number of techs as you grow becomes irrelevant. Your outsourcing partner already has enough techs on staff to grow with you as you grow. Once you have outsourced, then you can adjust support for new customers simply by just buying a new license or adding in the per desktop fee that the outsourcing partner charges in your proposal, It’s that easy!
Ultimately the core competency of the local computer consultant should be sales, along with an on-site presence in emergencies and regular CIO meetings with the executives. Essentially what Trent did was take the money he was paying his large number of techs that he fired and transferred that money into an aggressive marketing campaign. So if you are having trouble coming up with money for more it services marketing then take a second look at outsourcing the NOC and Help desk. This money can be applied to organic marketing for your website, pay per click campaigns and it lead generation.
About The Author:
John Black is the Marketing Director at MSP Telemarketing and has over 10 years’ experience in IT marketing on behalf of computer support providers and VARs to help them get more IT leads that turn into IT sales!