As an MSP owner, you know that there are many factors involved in running your business, as well as managing growth. The day-to-day business is mostly made up of keeping people happy; your staff, your vendors and your clients. You’re putting out fires as they pop up, and every day you’re getting better at it. But how do you do all of this and grow your business at the same time?
When we talk to people about growing their MSPs the first thing they want to learn more about is increasing sales. And since we’re the largest MSP Training Facility in the nation and we specialize in recruiting, hiring and training salespeople we can certainly help. And we do! But when we peel back the onion and get to the heart of what is impeding their MSP growth, very often it’s not the lack of sales. What MSP owners don’t realize is that, as they grow, they need to re-envision their infrastructure and develop processes that monitor the good, the bad, and the ugly areas of their businesses. To achieve maximum profitability, you need to know where your business is losing money. Fix this and you’re on your way up!
If your business is growing, as it should always be, it’s all because of your hard work. Most MSP owners have been through the early years when they’d rarely take time off. They don’t know what weekends are or when they took their last vacation. But there comes a point when they’ll expand and start hiring people to take things off their plate so they can go back to growing the business. See our blog on MSP Growth – When and Who to Hire to get your hiring process started.
Here at CharTec, we offer our Academy four times a year. We know that both Members and Non-members learn a lot from our Sales Training, but more and more owners are telling us how much good information they are getting from our Operations Training. Operations training is getting so popular that we’ve been holding our Training Lab: Operations Edition four times a year as well. That’s eight times a year you can visit CharTec and learn from some of the top Operations trainers around. Oh, and we even have Operations Webinars regularly. Here is one of our latest webinars, in case you missed it!
If you’re interested in attending some of our Operations sessions at our quarterly Academy, some of the topics we showcase are; Scaling your Business, Metrics that Matter, Technician Compensation, Tech Motivation, and, one of our most popular sessions, Tracking Techs in Real-Time.
In fact, “Tracking Techs in Real-Time” is one of our most popular Academy Sessions because it is something many MSPs don’t start out doing, but it is actually the best way to measure your company’s profitability. Taught by Rex Frank of Sea-Level Operations, and Dan Martin, president of ConnectSMART, (and a recent addition to CharTec as our new Operations Manager), attendees learn the importance of not just tracking time, but tracking everyone’s time. That means you too, Mr. or Mrs. MSP owner!
Rex and Dan will ask a training room full of MSP owners and employees if everyone in attendance always tracks their time. Not surprisingly, almost no one raises their hand. They call this a “universal problem” because they’ve each seen it happen for as long as they’ve been involved with the industry. Some of the excuses for tech’s not tracking time are: I’m under pressure to get to the next client, I haven’t done it before so why start now? Poor time management, and, it’s too hard to split the time between multiple ongoing projects. Sound familiar?
Even Rex admits that, early in his career, he neglected to fill out timesheets daily, until it eventually caught up with him. And he says that this oversite just made his job a whole lot harder. When the CFO would call him, asking for his timesheet, Rex explains, “I’d look back at a calendar that had no time entries, because I didn’t do any the whole week. So I had to backtrack and look at that week’s tickets, I had to check my phone for days and times of clients I’d called, and I wasted a lot of time trying to retroactivity fill out those timesheets.”
To make matters worse, Rex had just been hired as a Manager by a new company. After he realized that he was setting a bad example for his crew, he changed his ways and began logging his time as it happened, in what he calls “real time-time keeping.” He admits that his desire to have everyone fill out timesheets as they complete their work doesn’t make him popular, at least at first, but he’s seen even the roughest Techs change their habits when they discovered that doing it his way makes tracking time easier.
Both Rex and Dan will tell you that tracking time is one of the most common growing-pains MSPs go through, but they also stress that it is key to managing your profitability. And, after all, isn’t that what you’re in business for? If you don’t know what you’re paying your Techs for then you can’t control your budget. And if your budget is out of your control, it’s probably not in your favor. And that problem only gets worse as you grow.
For more information, dates, and registration for Academy, click here.
For information and dates of our next Operations Lab, click here.