Finding Your MSP Benchmark - Reclaiming Your Time, Life, and Business with Benchmark 365
Do you dream of a work-free Christmas period, holidays without interruption from customer inquiries, or having the time to invest in skills development and business growth? If the answer to these questions is yes, you’re in good company. Many MSP owners launch their businesses hoping for time freedom and improved work-life balance, only to find the reality often falls short.
At Benchmark 365, we understand the struggles you are facing, because we have been there ourselves. It is our vision to assist MSP owners to find their benchmark for success, and to reclaim their time and life and business.
The MSP Time Struggle
SME owners are in a constant struggle to manage their time. This is even more pronounced for MSP owners who are in an uphill battle to carve out time for the things that really matter.
The reasons for this are manifold
Firstly, the pandemic saw unprecedented growth for the MSP sector, one of the only industries to actually profit from the crippling lockdowns and shift to remote work. As a shift to hybrid work became the norm, MSPs became overwhelmed with demand for high quality IT staff. Couple this with the ‘great resignation’ and the IT skills shortage became more widespread than ever before.
This scarcity of essential technical staff often shifts the burden back onto the owners. Instead of concentrating on growth strategies, they find themselves expending energy on attracting and recruiting quality staff. In crunch times, owners are compelled to step in and fill the gaps in technical expertise, anchoring them back to the very operational tasks they aimed to move away from when starting their business.
When there are unexpected gaps in service coverage, teams often find themselves drowning in tickets, with owners having to shift their focus to customer service, particularly over Holiday periods when employees are scarce on the ground.
Further to this, small MSPs are seeing increased competition from larger MSPs and cloud service providers, meaning they are feeling the push to maintain current client relationships rather than focusing on growing their offerings.
These concerns leave many MSP owners feeling like they're drowning in an ocean of their own making. They know things need to change, but they have no idea where to start.
This is where Benchmark 365 steps in as your MSP partner and valuable advisor.
We can help you to find your MSP benchmark for success and then take you through the steps to achieve it.
Defining Your MSP Benchmark: Returning To Your “Why”
'He who has a why can endure any how.’ Nietzsche
All business owners comprehend the concept of benchmarking - setting standards for success through a data-driven approach. In the MSP realm, benchmarks often transcend traditional metrics, revolving around achieving time freedom and work-life balance.
Some examples of MSP success benchmarks set by our clients include:
- "Not working over the Christmas period, that’s my MSP benchmark."
- "Claiming ownership of my time and calendar, my MSP benchmark."
- "More time to skill up on things that matter for my business to grow - that’s my benchmark."
In the process of crafting your MSP benchmark for success, revisit the original "Why" that inspired your business. This introspective journey often reveals what is missing from your initial vision. If your original “Why”was the pursuit of freedom and a balanced work-life, your benchmark for full success could involve taking holidays without being tethered to a laptop.
Conversely, if your vision was to establish an MSP with a distinct identity, your benchmark might focus on creating time to become a thought leader and expanding service offerings.
To get started discovering your own benchmark for success, consider the following:
- What inspired you to start your MSP business?
- Describe the impact you envisioned your business having on your life and clients.
- Beyond financial gain, how do you define success for your MSP?
- List the top three non-financial goals you wish to achieve through your business.
Understanding the "Why" behind your MSP benchmarks provides the motivation and clarity needed to navigate the journey toward time freedom and a balanced life.
Your "HOW" - Process Mapping for Efficiency
Now that you have defined your benchmark, it's time to go about achieving it. You need to assess “How” you can best facilitate achieving your benchmarks. For MSP owners this usually means finding ways to streamline operations via automation, delegating, outsourcing and leveraging technology tools.
Additionally, focusing on skill development for your team can enhance efficiency and effectiveness in meeting the benchmark goals.
Practical Steps: Process Mapping for Streamlined Operations
There’s no two ways around it. Efficiency is the key to unlocking more time in your MSP business. Process mapping is a practical strategy to streamline operations and uncover time-saving opportunities. Break down each task into its components, identify redundancies, and optimise workflows. This undertaking ensures a clear understanding of how tasks are executed and where improvements can be made.
Role of Delegation, Outsourcing, and Technology
Delegation and outsourcing play pivotal roles in achieving efficiency. Identify tasks that don't require your direct involvement and delegate them to capable team members. Outsourcing certain functions can provide specialised expertise and free up your time. Additionally, leverage technology to automate routine tasks, reducing manual workload and increasing overall efficiency.
Navigating MSP Success: Crafting Your Action Plan with Benchmark 365
It’s now time to get really specific about how you will go about achieving your benchmarks. Articulate what success looks like in a measurable way. Outline the steps you need to take and craft an action plan that focuses on the previously discussed “Hows”. To gain clarity on your next benchmark, you should set realistic milestones that are measures of success.
For example, your action plan may include:
- Researching automation options to ensure efficiency in routine tasks;
- Prioritising staff training to enhance skills and delegation capabilities; and
- Explore strategic partnerships and ways to effectively outsource, like what we offer at Benchmark 365.
Through prioritisation, resource allocation, and continuous monitoring, the journey to your benchmarks becomes not just conceivable but tangible.
Reclaiming Your Time, Life, and Business
In the pursuit of MSP success, unlocking your benchmark is the key to reclaiming more than just time, it's about setting you on the path to a fulfilling life and a thriving business. As MSP owners, your benchmarks are the compass guiding you towards holidays free from work, ownership of your calendar, and growth-driven moments.
Remember, your “What” - the defined measures of success - will shape your journey. It's not just about dreaming; it's about the actionable steps you take to transform those dreams into reality.
Curious how Benchmark 365 can help you to create more time freedom in your business?
At Benchmark 365, we're committed to helping MSPs like yours scale and thrive - without compromising service quality. We do this through our proven 24/7 Helpdesk solution powered by an Australian based, global 24/7/365 team. If you’re interested in seeing if this is the right solution for your MSP, arrange a call with us here.
Ready to embark on this transformative journey? Take the first step by joining our CEO, James Vickery, in a video exercise, guiding you through the process of crafting your MSP benchmark for success, completely complementary.