The MSP Success Thought Leaders Program invites leaders
in the small business IT/MSP industry
to share their insights and advice with MSP Success readers.
If you’re like me, you woke up one day and had an “Entrepreneurial Seizure” (as Michael Gerber put it). You started your own business and life was going to be great. All you had to do was hang out the shingle, do great work, the word would spread, and—voila!—the business would pour in. You were going to make millions, retire early, and have a great life!
Yep, I thought so too, but I quickly learned it does not work quite like that. Hell, it doesn’t work anything like that! Come to find out, actually reaching the coveted million-dollar-a-year mark in an MSP business is extremely difficult and takes a LOT of sweat, tears, and, yes, actual WORK.
Here are three things I learned after years of struggling to break the million-dollar barrier in hopes that some of you will use them to reduce the amount of sweat, tears, and WORK required to hit that goal.
Learn From A Mentor And The Mistakes Of Others
When I started my company 20 years ago, there weren’t as many options as today, but one of the things that helped me break the million-dollar barrier was joining a peer group. Peer groups are made up of people who are in all different stages of their journey in running and growing an MSP business. Join one and find a mentor who has already been through what you’re going through. Then, LISTEN and learn. You should never ever stop learning! Be a sponge and soak up all the information you can on what they did right and what mistakes they made throughout their journey. Oh, and don’t repeat their mistakes!
Think And Act Larger Than You Are
Another thing I learned early on is to think and act larger than you are. What I mean by that is, design your business, its processes, and your operations as if you were a larger company. In addition, train your employees to do and think the same. At first, it may feel odd or unnecessary to create a process for everything. Doing so may even introduce a bit more complication than needed based on your company’s actual size. Trust me, though, in the long run you will be glad you did!
Why? Because when you do break through the million-dollar barrier, you will already be set up for success rather than having to redesign your company and its processes when you get there.
Understand That It Doesn’t Happen “Automagically”
The faster you realize that money will not just pour into your lap and that running an MSP business is actually a lot of work, the better off you will be. Building this business and breaking the million-dollar barrier is no walk in the park and will not happen “automagically.” It requires:
- Dedication And Persistence: Be prepared to invest a lot of blood, sweat, tears, time, and effort. There will be late nights, early mornings, sleepless nights, and periods of intense focus. Your dedication and persistence throughout this process will be the driving force behind your success.
- Sacrifices: Success usually requires personal sacrifices. My dad always taught me that nothing in life worth having comes easy, and this is so true in building an MSP business. You may need to prioritize your business over other aspects of your life temporarily. Sacrifices can include time with family and friends, hobbies, leisure activities, and even time off and vacations. There is no such thing as work-life balance when growing your MSP.
Ultimately, breaking the million-dollar barrier in your MSP business is a journey, not a sprint, and it does not happen automagically. In reality, the cards are stacked against you. Only a small percentage of businesses in the United States actually reach $1 million or more in revenue, so it’s an ambitious goal. However, with determination and the right strategies, it’s an achievable one. And the satisfaction of reaching your financial milestones, breaking through the million-dollar barrier, and witnessing the growth of your MSP business makes all the hard work and sacrifice worth it in the end.
Use these strategies that I learned the hard way and learn from my mistakes.
As Norman Vincent Peale put it, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
To find out more about Divergys, please visit www.Divergys.com.