By Allan D. Robison, EXEControl Global Solutions and ASCII Group Member since 2016
When people learn that I am the CEO of an IT service firm, I often get a response back like, “Wow, you must be making a killing during this pandemic.” People automatically assume MSPs are raking in the dough because people are now working from home. At least for our company, that is not even close to the truth. Managing a spread-out workforce, clients going out of business or temporarily closing, dealing with federal and state pandemic regulations, and trying to speak with prospects as they hunker down closing their doors to salespeople, have all but consumed my time and made growing our business much more difficult than one would expect. Then, in addition to this ever-changing landscape of 2020 and 2021 is a handful of very aggressive MSP giants that are working on buying everyone else out. These giants have money to market, automation to scale, and a charisma that sweeps companies off their feet (at least for the initial contract signing).
In my opinion, running a successful IT service firm has gotten harder. It used to be that anyone could make money in this industry. Now, profits are short-lived when using the techniques of the last decade. To survive and to be successful we must change. However, I take comfort in knowing that the keys to success have not radically changed, just the execution has changed.