MSP Answers

MSP Answers

31.3.2012 Article 30


Under-promise and over-deliver For regular readers of my column, you may have heard me use the term “under-promise and over-deliver” in an offhand way from time to time. For me, the logic seems incredibly obvious and I just assume that everyone understands and subscribes to the concept. I always assumed that the challenge in the IT industry is not so much about believing in the concept but more about how to deliver the correct promise. I should have remembered a lesson I lear ..

27.3.2012 Article 8


Lead Article (Self-help topic – CREATE AN ADVISORY BOARD) My focus for this month centres on communication. Companies often have a great story to tell but potential clients don’t know about it because they don’t hear about it. If they don’t hear about it, they often assume a negative view rather than a positive view. It is absolutely essential that an organisation communicates a very strong view of the vision and abilities of that organisation. This particularly a ..

25.3.2012 Article 27


Make your staff feel like they are worth a million dollars – without spending a million There was a small business I once owned that I sold to a public company. I had a group of almost thirty employees that were committed and focused and really worked above and beyond what was expected of them. We had minimal staff turnover (in fact zero turnover over the 18 months before the sale) and internal staff satisfaction ratings were constantly high. Within six months of the sale, onl ..

26.2.2012 Article 7


Lead Article (Self-help topic – Answer the questions that aren’t asked) I am sure you are all familiar with Donald Rumsfeld’s most famous quote. “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.” One of the greatest ways to increase customer satisfaction in the IT space is ..

30.1.2012 Article 26


Great staff are vital to a great MSP (Part 2) Last week I spoke about the number one reason employees leave their employer – in ninety per cent of cases it is because they think their boss is a jerk. This week I want to discuss strategies to keep your employees with your organisation (assuming you want to keep them). I ethically have a problem with poaching employees – but unfortunately not everyone else subscribes to the same ethics that I subscribe to. My employees are  ..

23.1.2012 Article 25


Great staff are vital to a great MSP In a recent worldwide survey, employers were interviewed in relation to their most recent staff resignation. They wanted to know what was the primary reason for their staff member leaving their job. The statistics showed that ninety per cent of the time, the employer said that their staff member left their job because they were offered more money elsewhere. Those same employees that left their job were also interviewed. Amongst a range of question ..

20.1.2012 Article 6


Lead Article (Self-help topic – PRICING STRATEGY) Managed Services, as with any business model, requires a pricing strategy that ensures the business owner is profitable while providing the feeling to the client that they are receiving services that are commensurate with the price that is being paid. The most common mistake I see in the world of Managed Services is setting prices at a level way below what is reasonable with the mistaken belief by the IT Provider that the objective  ..

16.1.2012 Article 24


Self-fulfilling Internet prophecy Over the school holidays, my kids dragged out an old Scalextric slot car kit and set it up to revive some old memories of when they were much younger. In the modern age of electronics and new product releases every five seconds, the kids were a little disappointed when I told them that the first commercial slot cars were made by Lionel (USA) and appeared in their catalogues in 1912 and even the modern Scalextric was first available as far back as 1957 (w ..

09.1.2012 Article 23


CPI I received an old-fashioned letter in my post box just after the start of the New Year. It was a letter from a tradesman I deal with semi-regularly. It was extremely apologetic and almost had a tone of embarrassment. The owner of the business sent out a letter to all of his regular clients and explained that he hasn’t put his prices up for four years but he is now putting them up by only ten per cent. He went on to explain about tough economic conditions and how prices of other ..

02.1.2012 Article 22


Buy a New Car I wrote last week that I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions and I haven’t changed my mind in a week. If you do want an objective for the beginning of this year, then resolve to buy a new car. It might seem a little drastic, but your clients want to be associated with someone successful. For many years, I used to implore my father-in-law to buy a nice shiny new BMW that he had his eye on. He was in business in a small town and was always concerned that ..