Important Considerations If You’re Just Getting Started As An MSP
You’ve got the skills necessary to maintain a small business network. And you’ve even got a little bit of start-up cash. But you’re wondering if it’s enough. What exactly do you need to start your own IT Support Business?
Are certifications absolutely necessary? Will you have to invest in expensive equipment or software? Will you need to borrow some capital to get started.
My answer to these question is you really don’t need very much at all. In fact, the new technology available today makes it incredibly easy to offer extremely reliable, very profitable maintenance services using inexpensive, or even completely free software.
The days of jumping from one crisis to the next, relying on enough problems to occur during the month so you can pay the bills are long gone… The profitable model of providing IT Support is to offer on-going managed solutions to small businesses at a flat-rate. This basically means you prevent problems from affecting your small business clients… before disaster strikes.
So, the short answer is if you can maintain a small business computer network, then you’ve got what it takes to start your own MSP business, which I believe is easily one of the best computer career choices you can make.
With this said, of course, more certifications and training means you can offer more solutions to your clients. So, while certifications aren’t absolutely necessary to get your business running, continued training can only serve to improve the level of service you can provide.
One of the best parts of running your own business is you get to choose exactly what you want to become an expert in. Rather than being forced into a role as an employee or as part of larger team, when you’re the boss, you call the shots.
On top this, another bit of advice for when you’re just starting out is to partner with an established IT firm or another experienced computer consultant. This way, if you find yourself faced with a problem that seems to be beyond your abilities to resolve, or if you just find yourself with a temporary work-overload, you have another professional you can bring in to assist. You can then arrange a referral fee or even just pass along your fee to your partner. This way, the client remains happy and you’re still perceived as the professional support provider that your client knows they can count on, no matter what the issue.
The point is that you do need to be competent… but you DON’T need to be the world’s most qualified expert. There are always ways to make up for where your expertise might be lacking.
Now, what about funding? What do you need to buy when you’re just getting started?
Sure, you do need some money. You’re running a business after all. There are basic expenses you will need to cover.
First, you’ll need to consider your basic living expenses. Depending on your prospecting strategy and your plan for getting your clients, it might take some time before you have the client base you need to generate the basic income you need to pay your bills.
On top of your regular living expenses, the largest investment you’ll need to make (other than a car if that’s one of your requirements for getting to your customers) would be a laptop computer with broadband Internet access. You need this so that you can support any of your clients remotely, regardless of whether you’re home, on the road or at another client site.
Aside from these basic expenses, the remainder of your startup investment requirements can be kept extremely low when you start your own business as an independent MSP.
In fact, sometimes it can be counter-productive to have too much capital because you end up buying a lot purchases you don’t really need before you have the clientele to justify the investments.
You see, what’s great about this business is you’re not providing the equipment, your merely maintaining or repairing what others have already bought.
This means that by choosing your initial services wisely and using new technology, you don’t need a fortune or a massive loan to get started. Your office might even be your kitchen table.
Put simply, this is as good as gets when it comes to a low-cost, low-risk business. When you make the decision to become your own boss and start your own computer business, you can finally get paid what you know you’re worth for your expertise.