Motivating the Members of your MSP Team (Part 2): Overcoming the “Fear Factor”

We’ve all seen it (and perhaps even been it): smart people who don’t live up to their potential. It’s a problem that parents and teacher grapple with in regard to bright, talented children and unfortunately, age doesn’t always cure it; it’s also a common problem confronted by employers and managers who have taken pains to hire the best minds only to see them underperform after coming on board because they just don’t seem to be motivated to do the best they’re capable of doing. Continue reading

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Motivating the Members of your MSP Team (Part 1): The Value of a Mission Statement

In my previous series on leadership, I briefly mentioned that good leaders reward team members to show that good work is appreciated. Rewards for a job well done can be an important element in motivating employees to put forth their best efforts for the company, but that’s only part of an effective motivation program. Let’s look at some of the factors that go into inspiring members of your MSP team to go above and beyond the bare minimums and aspire to excellence. Continue reading

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Does your MSP need an HR Department?

If your Managed Services Provider company started as a small, entrepreneurial business with just a few employees, the owner and/or top manager probably did most of the hiring (and firing, if necessary), negotiated compensation packages, granted or denied raises, chose what benefits to provide and made all of the other decisions and policies governing company personnel. Continue reading

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Finding the “Voice” of your MSP

An elephant doesn’t have to do much in order to stand out in a crowd – his size ensures that he’ll be noticed. Likewise, giant corporations don’t have to worry so much about distinguishing themselves from other, similar companies because they’re so big that people will have at least a vague idea of what they do and the philosophies under which they operate. For small and medium businesses, though – especially in a highly competitive arena such as that of managed service providers – it’s a real challenge to get into the limelight and get (the right kind of) attention for your company. Continue reading

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How to Ensure that your MSP’s Web site gets Lost in the Crowd

In the past, we’ve discussed ways to attract new customers, and we all know word-of-mouth is still the best advertising tool. However, it’s not enough. Today, when we’re in the market for a new product or service, most of us ask friends for recommendations – and then we check out those recommendations ourselves. And we most often start that process by visiting the company’s web site. An MSP, especially, is in a part of the industry where your web site counts. Continue reading

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The Downsizing Dilemma (Part 3)

In part 1 and part 2 of this 3-part series on downsizing your MSP in response to external and internal economics in a volatile business climate, we first addressed the difficult subject of workforce deductions, as well as how to reduce personnel-related costs without taking the drastic step of laying off employees and the option of downsizing the physical facilities. In part 3, we’ll talk about downsizing strategies that avoid cutting of personnel or physical space. Continue reading

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The Downsizing Dilemma (Part 2)

MSPs, like most other businesses, are subject to economic downturns, changing customer needs and trends, and just plain bad luck that leave no option but to drastically cut costs. In Part 1 of this article series, I discussed how to handle that most dreaded – by employees and employers alike – situation in the work world, when it becomes necessary to engage in “workforce reductions” – a nice way of saying “layoffs.” In Part 2, we’re going to look at ways companies can downsize without giving anyone the pink slip. Continue reading

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The Downsizing Dilemma (Part 1)

In previous articles, I’ve discussed how MSPs can prepare for the growing pains that come along with success in any business sector – but it’s even more painful to contemplate the difficult steps that sometimes have to be taken when the economy, changing customer needs and trends, and other factors make it necessary to downsize, at least temporarily. In this article series, we’ll look at how to best handle this grim reality if it rears its ugly head. Continue reading

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Social Media Marketing: Necessary or Not? (Part 4)

In Parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series on effectively using social media to market your MSP’s services, we’ve looked at the importance of planning, creating the right content for the right audience, and choosing your social venue(s). In Part 4, we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty: establishing guidelines and policies designed to prevent your social media experiments from turning into financial or reputational nightmares. Continue reading

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Privacy Issues and your MSP

Privacy is something we seem to hear more and more about as we get less and less of it. Running a business has always involved privacy issues, because companies have always had some degree of personal information about their customers and their employees. Even in the “old days,” when people were more self-sufficient and paid cash for the goods that they did buy, those merchants still know what they bought, when they bought it, and whether they had to count out their last pennies to pay or flashed a big bankroll. Continue reading

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