Team Ninja

MSP Breakthrough Episode 2: Ray Orsini on Culture, Pivoting, and Every Owner's #1 Responsibility

MSP Breakthrough Episode 2 - Ray Orsini

Tom talks with OITVOIP CEO and MSP owner Ray Orsini about breaking points, developing culture and accountability, using fun as your North Star, and putting your team in a position to succeed without you.

One of the most defining things that sets the MSP space apart is its extremely tight-knit community, and few are more active and invested in giving back to that community than Ray Orsini. Read more

Team Ninja

MSP Breakthrough Episode 1: Colin Knox on the #1 Growth Accelerator

MSP Breakthrough with Colin Knox

Tom talks with former MSP owner, Passportal founder, and now Gradient MSP CEO Colin Knox, and learns what it took for Colin to delegate the technical work, embrace automation, and achieve exponential growth with the help of loyal advocates.

Colin Knox has worn many hats in the channel. As founder and CEO of Passportal, he built a solution tailor-made for MSPs that saw massive adoption. When Passportal was acquired by SolarWinds in early 2019, he stayed on and became head of community at the company, further broadening his first-hand grasp of the unique challenges and pain points that MSPs face. Read more

Tom Watson

Increasing Your MSP Profitability by Monetizing Your RMM

monetizing rmm profitability

Once upon a time, businesses relied solely on their sales and marketing teams to drive revenue. New, smarter approaches to business management have revealed that many other departments throughout an organization can increase revenue and improve profitability.

This holds true in the world of managed services providers. It’s no longer just about contracts, tech hours or projects — success involves monetizing as many aspects of your business as possible. Every solution and tool investment should turn a measurable profit.

Every managed services provider knows what a remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool does and how it increases productivity. In turn, RMM tools have a direct impact on the bottom line, usually by reducing labor costs (we’ll get more into this later).

But what many IT providers are missing out on is the opportunity to directly monetize their RMM tool. They simply see it as a fixed cost of doing business, an administrative tool and not a profit generating tool that directly increases profitability. In short, they’re not actually charging for it.

But you most certainly can — many successful MSPs do — and we’re going to talk about how to do it. Read more

Jonathan Crowe

Our 10 Most Popular MSP Blog Posts of 2020

most popular MSP blog posts 2020

Wrapping up 2020 with a look back at the topics readers flocked to most during a year like no other.

Saying that the past 12 months have been a wild ride is an understatement. However, when it comes to the types of topics and information we saw MSPs seeking out, at a high level, there was a lot of consistency from previous years.

Against the backdrop of Covid, the tectonic shift to WFH, the U.S. election, and more, for MSPs at least, the same primary challenges, themes, and focus areas remained largely unchanged. Readers of our blog came looking for posts that could help them:

  • Stay up-to-date on security
  • Improve their sales and marketing
  • Make their day-to-day jobs easier and more efficient

Read more

Jonathan Crowe

What MSPs Should (and Shouldn’t) Give Away for Free: MSP Live Chat Recap

MSP Live Chat What Not to Give Away Recap header

Are you leaving money on the table?

This year more than any other, MSPs are facing pressures to be flexible with clients and adjust to economic uncertainty. But the line between being customer friendly and doing yourself a disservice can get blurry in a hurry, and all too often MSPs find themselves giving away too much.

In this installment of our MSP Live Chat series at NinjaRMM, we teamed up with MSP growth expert Chris Wiser to dive into the trends he's been seeing and the key things that have separated those MSPs that are booming from those that aren't.

In this recap, we’ll share the full recording and transcript along with easy-to-skim highlights, including:

  • The best way to avoid a pricing race to the bottom
  • One of the worst habits that good-intentioned MSPs need to break
  • Whether or not to give free assessments
  • How to shift client focus away from cost and onto risk
  • And more...

Read more

Tom Watson

5 Keys to Building a Profitable, Scalable MSP Stack

Building Profitable MSP Stack

Every managed services provider knows that your solution stack is the beating heart that delivers your MRR. Your stack is what you bring to the table when you’re negotiating a contract. It’s the technical expression of the results that you intend to provide and the pain points that you’re trying to alleviate.

In short, your stack can make or break your MSP. Read more

Jonathan Crowe

10 Amazing, Free MSP Community Resources We're Thankful For This Year: 2020 Edition

We're saying "thank you" to the individuals and teams behind 10 free MSP resources that we couldn't stand being without.

There's really no getting around the fact that 2020 has been absolutely brutal, but we're grateful to be part of a resilient and vibrant MSP community that's rallied together and found even more ways to support one another.

With this post we're shining a spotlight on 10 amazing resources that are free, open to the community, and clear indications that their creators and contributors genuinely care about giving back. We're insanely grateful for them, and hope you'll agree they deserve a good shout-out! Read more

Tom Watson

MSP Pricing and Profitability: Killer Mistakes to Avoid

MSP pricing is a topic we frequently get questions about. What pricing models should be considered? How much should MSPs be charging per user? In this post, we'll answer those questions by digging into how MSPs can make their own calculations and ensure their managed services agreements stay profitable over time.

Read more

Jonathan Crowe

Is the Best New MSP Marketing Tactic Publishing a Book?

With all the digital marketing tactics that MSPs can take advantage of today, it’s worth keeping in mind there can still be major benefits to going “old school” when the situation calls for it. For example, we've written before about the enduring power of direct mail and it's ability to stand out in a way easily-deleted or filtered-out emails can't. But there's one marketing tactic that's an even older blast from the past that might just be worth revisiting — writing and publishing your own book. Read more

Rachel Spatz

The Ultimate Guide to Using Chatbots for MSP Lead Generation

People are impatient — and getting more so everyday.

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, we still live in a world of two-day shipping, on-demand streaming, and constant feed refreshing. We've been conditioned to expect immediate gratification nearly across the board, and that goes for how your prospects and customers expect to interact with you, too!

As an MSP, you're already accustomed to setting and meeting response time expectations with your SLA, but do you treat prospects who visit your website and fill out a "contact us" form with the same sense of urgency?

If the answer is no, you're not alone. The majority of MSP business owners are just too busy putting out fires to jump on inbound leads as quickly as they need to in order to be truly effective, which, according to research, is in 5 minutes or less.

How can you expect to realistically hit that target? You know from the title of the post what the answer's going to be — with chatbots, of course! Read more

Tom Watson

The 2020 Guide to Managed Services Agreements for Managed IT Services Providers

Wouldn’t it be great if all business transactions could be conducted over lunch and executed with handshake? It would sure cut down on the paperwork.

Unfortunately, business is far too complicated for the kind of vagueness and misunderstanding that would arise from such a deal. Everything needs to be in writing. Love them or hate them, those piles of paperwork are your allies.

This is especially true when evolving your business from a break/fix model to managed services. With long-term business relationships in your sights, there are a lot of expectations to be managed on either side of the bargaining table. Contracts and agreements keep both sides of the relationship honest and set the expectations for the future of the relationship.

Which begs the question – are you one of the 75% of service providers who are still doing a la carte services and break/fix?

If so, you probably have designs on adding or expanding your managed services offerings and capturing more recurring revenue either soon or down the road. If this is the case, your managed services agreement (MSA) is going be your most important tool for making the transformation.

With that said, let’s take a closer look at the specifics of MSAs, how they’re written, and how they differ from other documentation that you might use in your MSP. Read more

Team Ninja

MSP Sales Cadences Stats: When and How Often to Reach Out to Leads

MSP lead nurturing stats

Looking to improve response rates for your MSP sales outreach? Find out what the numbers say about the best times to reach out and how many sales touches to plan for.

Saying it's been a weird year is obviously an understatement. Whether you've experienced boom or bust times, both, or something in between, the one thing that's undeniable is that things have been different. And that's meant MSPs everywhere have had to adjust their approaches to lead generation and sales.

Previously on the blog, we covered 19 lead generation ideas that don't require in-person activities or events. Ultimately, however, generating leads won't get you anywhere if you can't find an effective way to get those leads to take a next step. Read more

Tom Watson

MSP Sales Skills and the Wisdom of Bill Gates

MSP sales advice from Bill Gates

Whether or not you hail Bill Gates as a “geek god” it’s hard to deny that he knows a few things about running a tech business, and it is hard to down play the importance of Microsoft to MSPs. Microsoft’s famous co-founder has long served as the embodiment of the garage startup — to say nothing of his accomplishments as a philanthropist, public speaker, and mentor.

I recently came across an older video of Bill Gates speaking at the Salon des Entrepreneurs conference Paris in 2007. Even though the video itself is dated, the information he shared is as true as it ever was. Read more

Jonathan Crowe

Google My Business for MSPs: 8 Ways to Optimize Your Listing to Generate More Leads

google my business optimization msps

Looking for a low-hanging fruit opportunity to generate more leads for your MSP? Optimizing your Google My Business listing is a low effort project that has big potential.

Today we’re living in “review economy.” With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the rise of Amazon, many consumers have become online shopping aficionados who are accustomed to seeking out reviews before they purchase any kind of product or service.

So what’s an MSP to do with a lack of networking events to attend (not physical events, anyway) and potential customers who are growing more digitally savvy with every passing month in quarantine?

Meet them where they already are — Google. Read more

Jonathan Crowe

19 MSP Lead Generation Ideas That Don’t Require Being In-Person

MSP remote lead generation ideas

For all of us who were relying on conferences, event hosting, office park drop-ins, and other in-person tactics to generate sales leads, COVID-19 has obviously thrown a massive wrench in those plans. While some regions have partially opened up, and while some vendors are going to extremely creative and/or resource intensive ends to make events happen, the truth is the majority of large, in-person sales and marketing activities have been canceled or gone virtual.

Add to that the fact that summer conferences are the main source of lead generation for many MSPs for the entire year and you’ve got quite a lot of businesses struggling to keep sales steady with a lot of uncertainty still ahead.

But what do we in the channel do when sudden changes and adversity strikes? We come up with new ideas. We adapt. To help our MSP community jump-start that process, we recently hosted a live brainstorming session with OITVOIP CEO Ray Orsini, and invited all the attendees to help us come up with a list of new lead generation ideas for MSPs that don't require them being in person. Read more

Jonathan Crowe

Impact of COVID on MSPs: July 2020 Update

covid impact on msps july 2020

Here at NinjaRMM, we've been regularly checking in with our MSP partners to track how the pandemic has been affecting both them and their clients. The stats below were collected during our latest MSP Live Chat session on July 23, and provide a small snapshot of where things currently stand in terms of financial recovery, WFH status, team morale, and more. Read more

Jonathan Crowe

5 Ways to Adapt Your MSP Sales and Marketing Tactics During COVID-19

adapting msp sales and marketing tactics to COVID-19

How are you supposed to be generating leads and new clients for your MSP during a time like this?

That's a question we've been hearing a lot lately, and last week we decided to tackle it head-on during our latest MSP Live Chat session. Read more

Tom Watson

Adapting to COVID-19: Force Majeure Updates for Your Managed Services Agreement

The COVID crisis is obviously impacting MSPs and their clients in a variety of extremely significant ways. In many cases, at least some amount of the work being done has veered away from “business as usual.” As a result, expectations around what constitutes certain levels of service or reasonable response times may have shifted in one party’s mind or the other’s. In addition, with the sudden influx of end users now working from home networks, there can also be confusion around what exactly is covered and what isn’t.

In the initial rush to adapt, many MSPs and their clients have been erring on the side of speed and flexibility, acknowledging that these are indeed extraordinary times. But the longer the crisis rolls on, the more important it will be to ensure that every exception or “handshake-deal” (obviously not literal) is being captured in writing and, moving forward, reflected in your managed services agreement (MSA). Read more

Team Ninja

The MSP Oscars: Nominees for the Best MSP Marketing Videos

See our nominees for MSPs who are winning hearts, minds, and deals with truly award-winning video marketing, then cast your vote to help decide who takes home the MSP Oscar gold.

Today, what once required thousands of dollars, weeks of time, and hiring a whole production crew is as easy as pointing your smartphone at a subject and tapping “record.” Technological advancements, especially over the past few decades, have made it possible for a small or even one-person businesses to create and upload engaging marketing videos in an afternoon. Read more

Alex Farling

Top 5 MSP Strategies for Using Your QBR as a Sales Tool

MSP quarterly business review strategy

In this guest post, Lifecycle Insights Chief Customer Experience Officer Alex Farling explains the untapped potential of using quarterly business reviews (QBRs) to close deals and drive new business.

Running an MSP in 2020 is not going to be easy. Malware and ransomware threats are on the rise. Competition for customers is higher than ever before. The world-wide transition to software-as-a-service has created a world in which most of the barriers to entry for a new MSP have been removed.

When my break/fix company transitioned to managed services in 2008, we spent over $40,000 on software purchases, and another $15,000 on the servers we would use to run that software. Today, an MSP can go into business with nothing but a credit card. This is great news for those who want to exit corporate IT for a little more freedom and flexibility in their career, but it could be viewed as bad news for established MSPs who have significantly more overhead when compared to a one-man startup. Read more