When it comes to MSP services, you are going to encounter wholesale vendors that eventually steal your clients if you are not careful. They look for inexperienced MSPs who will allow them to snake clients out from under them by dint of inexperience. They use your MSP as an exterior marketing echelon of their wholesale operation. You have to watch out for these people. They have no incentive to stop, and they will see success in the short run for their efforts. In the end, such wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing tactics are likely to result in dissolution. In five or six years’ time, such lupine vendors acting the part of an underhanded ally can really undermine your business. This is especially true if you are a newer MSP.
To get over the danger requires a few things, chief among them being the awareness that it exists. Just like you have to admit you have a problem with addiction before you can do anything to fix it, you have to admit some of the wholesale vendors whom you work with may be trying to undermine you before you can do anything to stop them. Following are several strategies that can help you keep the wolves on the run:
• Ensure supplier and contractor agreements are tightened
• Make sure your clients refrain from contact with suppliers
• Check up on client relations in terms of upcoming contract renewal
• Restructure fees as the market demands
When working with a wholesale supplier, or contractors who may reach out to your clients, draw up a contract with them, which prevents them from selling to your clients. If you do this and they overstep the boundaries you have agreed on beforehand, then your MSP services company has grounds for a lawsuit. Now you do not have to worry about wolves in sheep’s clothing. You are a sheep dressed as a wolf dressed as a sheep, to make a tongue in cheek description.
You stand to make money through a lawsuit if vendors snake any clients from you. So, put that kind of language in your contracts with any vendors and contractors, and ensure you have access to an attorney who can give them the willies when the time is right. The likelihood is you can pull an out-of-court settlement from your contract bag of tricks like a rabbit from a hat. Wolves do not like to quit preying on sheep, and a messy court case can diminish their ability to do so.
Ensure Clients Are Contractually Bound as Well
You want to design contracts with clients such that they are not allowed to deal with suppliers, vendors, contractors, or other tech organizations beyond your authorization as well. A suit may not be as easy in this case, but it still may be a possibility.
Maintain Healthy Client relations
Provided relations with clients are healthy, you will not have to deal with this kind of thing regularly. However, maintaining such health requires you to keep your “eye on the ball” and foster the relationship. Clients may seem amenable to your services, but simply be waiting to jump off the ship the moment your contract with them expires. Ensure they do not by providing new bonuses in terms of products or services for contract renewal.
Restructure Fees as the Market Demands
With cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile devices, and the proliferation of technology in the industry, you are going to see shifts of an almost seismic quality across the market. If you do not respect that, you will lose clients.
Retain Clients and Frighten Off the Wolves
MSP services companies who structure their contracts and client/vendor/contractor relationships with the hidden nature of the market in mind are naturally more likely to remain successful. It is very difficult to avoid underhanded dealings in business. It is a cutthroat atmosphere. Propriety and honest dealing are the surfaces, but only the tip of the iceberg breaks the surface of the waters. Below it stretches deep, sometimes even hitting the ocean floor. If you do not recognize this, you will be capsized by what only seems like a tiny chunk of ice.