As the leader of an MSP organization, one of the things that you always want to preach is that of synchronization amongst all of your various groups and departments. An MSP business is more intricate than you think in terms of the individuals that do the work. There is going to be a department that is responsible for handling the clients in terms of their technical needs, another group that does billing for the services that are provided, one that works on marketing, as well as many others. A common theme that can sink a lot of the managed service providers out there is that of tribalism.
The last thing that you want when it comes to your business is departments working in silos. You want to break down the invisible walls or barriers that people think exist from one team to another — one department to another. Instead, you want everyone to be able to communicate with each other in a positive light so that they can make their voice heard, and they can do the work that needs to be done together and in a better way going forward.
A Continuous Improvement Mindset, Bottom Up
You want to take a bottom-up approach when it comes to your MSP business, one that is always going to have continuous improvement in mind. When you set out the manifesto of how you want your business to operate, what you need to do first and foremost, is to begin with your mission statement and your overall strategy. How do you want your business to run? What are the primary goals of the company starting from day one and moving forward?
Once you get these goals out there, it then comes down to helping each team, each department, figure out the linkage to how they fit into those aims. If the objective is to provide clients with the very best service possible from a managed service provider perspective, how does marketing fit into that puzzle? Where do the billing and distribution groups come into play? Everyone needs to know how they directly impact the business so that they can take ownership of what they need to get done, so they can see the linkage.
More Meetings, More Communication
Sometimes it may seem like companies spend way too much time in meetings, but they can be very helpful from a communication perspective as people try and figure out how to help one another. When you get the marketing department and the technical professionals in one room, they can talk to each other to determine the best way to improve the company. Maybe the technical professionals are doing something unique that marketing can take advantage of in their next campaign? Knowing this information can help everyone do their job that much better to help the company achieve the success that you want to achieve.
The bottom-up approach is grounded in the idea that all of the ways companies progress is through the people that do the work day today — bringing forth thoughts and problems that need resolution. It is empowering the individuals in their daily work, having them take ownership of what they do, as well as what other departments do, so they all work toward a common goal.
Tribalism is never a good thing for any business, especially an MSP business. It is all about finding the linkage between what each department does and how it adds to reaching the business’ overall goal. That should be the target of every company, no matter what industry they reside in.
About the Author
Jennifer Holmes is President of MIS Solutions and a Georgia native who, after graduating from Georgia Tech, became an accomplished research virologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. In 2000, Jennifer hung up her lab coat to join husband Lliam at MIS Solutions as President.
In the past 16 years, she has led the MIS Solutions team to become the Leaders in Managed IT Services in Atlanta. MIS Solutions, Inc. is on a mission to empower small businesses with IT solutions, services and teams to grow and support their Atlanta and Alpharetta businesses. Jennifer’s passion is sharing effective business strategies with her clients to deliver the best business solutions for each client’s unique environment and needs.
In 2013, Jennifer’s leadership and marketing skills won her the title of Spokesperson for the nationally acclaimed Technology Marketing Toolkit, an industry group of over 550 top U.S. She is a graduate of the Leadership Gwinnett program and has acted on the boards of the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Atlanta chapter, Gwinnett Great Days of Service, the Buford/North Gwinnett Rotary Club and the Gwinnett Chamber’s Technology Board.