Scaling for MSP Growth - Moving from Working In Your Business to On Your Business
Despite the ongoing E-myth that small businesses are started by entrepreneurs risking capital to make a profit, most businesses are still started by technicians out of a sudden and powerful urge for the freedom to do their own thing, to do the work that’s calling them, to set their own hours and control their own destiny.
However, once the business is up and running, the reality for MSP owners is that it’s often a far cry from their visions of autonomy, financial freedom and a satisfying work life balance.
Many MSP owners find themselves holding too much of the business knowledge to be able effectively delegate and find they are stuck in the weeds of their business. Being ‘stuck on the tools’ means MSP business owners become time poor, unable to scale effectively, and often burnt out.
Let’s take a look at how this occurs, what MSP owners can do to reclaim their time and begin to successfully scale, and how Benchmark 365 can be an integral part of the puzzle.
The Technician's Dilemma
By and large, MSPs are started by technicians who have a wealth of technical knowledge and are adept at helping people solve problems. However, they often struggle to make the shift from technician to business leader and find themselves working in the business rather than on the business.
At B365 we understand this struggle all too well. For over 10 years our CEO and founder James Vickery found himself stuck in this exact cycle. Despite following all of the industry mantras, implementing all the ‘tools’ and working day and night, he found himself spending too much of his time hiring, training and then losing techs, all while trying to plug the gaps these staff shortages were leaving in the workflow. In 2012, at the peak of his frustration, he realised that he needed to radically change his approach, and fast.
By focusing on creating a new, more cost efficient and high quality model, James was able to free up time and resources, and dramatically reduce costs, enabling him to scale and maximise profits in the process.
Benchmark 365's Vision: Liberating MSP Owners
The concept of "Work ON it, not just IN it," was a huge driver for James as he transformed his business. This idea, coined by Michael Gerber in "The E-Myth Revisited," advocates for entrepreneurs to transition from being deeply involved in the day-to-day operations (working "in" the business) to adopting a more strategic, leadership role (working "on" the business).
The core principle is that a business should serve the owner's life, not the other way around (Sounds great, am I right?).
However it requires MSP owners being able to move away from being "Technicians" - experts in their field but potentially lacking in broader business skills - to becoming true Entrepreneurs, who envision and build a business that can operate independently of their constant involvement.
To do this, MSP owners need to understand and embrace the following:
Start thinking like a leader: It's a misconception that most businesses are started by entrepreneurs. Most are started by "Technicians" who are experts in their field but not necessarily in running a business. This often leads to businesses failing or struggling to survive. MSP owners should be honest with themselves about areas where they may be lacking expertise and use their time to upskill.
Shift your perspective: MSP owners need to shift their perspective, they must view their business as a separate entity that should work for them, not the other way around. This involves strategic thinking, systemising operations, and envisioning a business that can thrive without the owner's constant involvement. While this is something we may all say we want, relinquishing the reins can be another thing entirely. You need to accept that the business can operate without you on the tools 24/7.
Get comfortable with delegation and outsourcing: Essential to gaining time freedom is the ability to delegate and outsource tasks effectively. This means building a team and systems that can operate efficiently, allowing you to focus on growth and strategy. While this may seem daunting at first, start with things that you know can operate without your input and are relatively low risk. The Benchmark 365 solution is the perfect example of this. Our 24/7/365 Helpdesk solution is affordable, integrates seamlessly with your existing tools and is run by an Australian-based team of professionals who are guided by your expertise.
Start building systems: A key part of working "on" the business is developing systems for every aspect from marketing and finance to management and customer service. These systems ensure consistency and reliability in the business's operations.
Leadership and Culture: Fostering the right culture and developing leadership skills are crucial. This involves creating a shared vision and values that inspire and guide the team. Continually return to your “WHY” and benchmarks for success to drive your team forward. Be brave enough to stop micromanaging, get out of the trenches and start building the business you want. Get involved in outside networking activities that build your entrepreneurial skills.. At Benchmark 365, we are not just a Helpdesk solution, we are a community of thought leaders looking to change the MSP landscape for the better. Join our Benchmark 365 peer community and tap into growth, scale and sales knowledge and experience.
Scaling Your MSP Business: The Power of Time Freedom
Scaling your MSP business from being a technician-dominated operation to one that thrives independently is a transformative journey. It requires a shift from the traditional mindset of working 'in' your business to strategically working 'on' it. For MSP owners, embracing this change means adopting a leadership role, systemising operations, and learning to delegate and outsource effectively.
Excited to explore how Benchmark 365 can play a pivotal role in this transformation?
Listen to our latest Podcast, where James explains exactly how MSP owners can redefine their business paradigms to gain time freedom and infinite scale.
Alternatively, dive into our latest video led exercise, ‘Crafting your MSP Benchmark’, to run through an actual exercise (with CEO of B365, James Vickery) to gain clarity on your next realistic benchmark for success (it won’t take you any longer than 20 minutes and you’ll get an action plan for the next year!).