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What is a Managed Service Provider And What Do They Do?

The way to do this is by hiring a Managed Service Provider (or MSP) – in this article, we’ll explain what they do, what they can provide

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4 Benefits of Hiring an IT Consultant Update Your Team, Help You Implement New Processes, Cost-Effective, More Safety

Although you might tend to consider business growth in terms of opening new locations or creating new products, you may not have considered how your IT can grow along with these things – it’s fair to say that most businesses in 2021 would struggle without a solid IT infrastructure.

But IT improvements don’t come cheap, so you’ll want to find an IT solution that doesn’t leave you bankrupt. The way to do this is by hiring a Managed Service Provider (or MSP) – in this article, we’ll explain what they do, what they can provide for your company, and how you should choose the best one.

When you’ve finished reading, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you’d like to explore working with an MSP – or look instead at building your in-house IT knowledge.

1. What is an MSP?

An MSP is an existing IT team that you can hire who works outside your regular office and isn’t on your payroll. Although they aren’t quite as present in your daily work environment as a dedicated in-house team would be, they can still provide comprehensive support and cover all of your IT needs.

While they might seem like a more complicated option than keeping everything in-house, an MSP can be a more simple option than bringing on your own IT team – you could even have one working for you in a week or so if you were to start; talks now! Because they have a diverse staff of professionals who work with a broad range of businesses, an MSP can easily add you on.

For your monthly payment, you are provided with the MSP’s IT team’s expertise at a lower cost than you might anticipate for their level of experience. This is because they aren’t just working for you – as they charge lots of companies a low price, they can spread staffing costs across all of the businesses who hire them, and this saving comes straight back to you.

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2. Can An MSP Save You Money?

You probably have some awareness of how your business budgets every month, and if so, you’ll know just how fast costs can become astronomically high – especially when you include the recruitment drives required when you’re hiring new members of staff!

Putting aside the huge cost of wages each month, you can lose thousands to expenses that come from staffing, lost resources and more, and these costs grow exponentially if you’re looking to bring on more people. And this is all without the training costs that come when new employees are on the payroll!

One of the more immediate benefits of working with an MSP is that you can completely avoid extra costs like these. The extensive hiring process has already been handled entirely by the provider.

But the benefits don’t just come in the short term – without these initial costs, think about what you could invest the extra thousands you now have into! You could invest in new product development, create a new and exciting marketing campaign, recruit more people in sales – the options are endless with the money you’ve saved on the monotony of the hiring process!

3. Can An MSP Help With Business Expansion?

Now that we’ve established how you can put back the money saved from working with an MSP into wider business growth tactics, you can start to consider how you might grow your business by investing in IT innovations. Although it’s easy to see an MSP as just a group of people who keep your IT systems running, they can provide so much more for your business – that is, if you choose the right provider.

Technological Transition of Your Business

MSPs become an important part of a business’s daily operations, and this means that they’ll witness much of your growth over the time you work with them. In addition to this, they’ll have a cutting edge awareness of all of the latest IT developments, having implemented these technologies into the infrastructures of other companies they work with. Whether you want to utilise an SD-WAN system for your network or install MPLS to improve the performance of cloud-based applications performance, the right MSP can drastically improve your IT systems for the better.

While you may not be easy with these technologies, your chosen MSP will, and their knowledge of these innovations, could be instrumental to making sure your business can maintain the pace of growth you desire. This consultancy service might not be part of the most basic package that an MSP offers, but for just a fee, you can have access to their combined decades of IT experience and knowledge – an investment that will certainly pay off in the long term.

4. How Do You Find The Best MSP?

While there’s a myriad of ways to grow your business, it all essentially comes down to expanding two areas: knowledge and money. If you decide to start working with an MSP, you’ll both gain access to their huge bank of knowledge and be able to start putting your money elsewhere.

However, this growth is only possible with a good provider. It would help if you looked further than the first few Google results that appear for ‘MSP in my area’; good knowledge of SEO doesn’t necessarily translate to IT’s good knowledge.

While you’re scouting out potential providers, it’s useful to ask if they’ve ever worked with companies that resemble your own, whether that’s in terms of their size or the industry that they operate in. You should also ask about their plans for future growth – after all, they need to be able to keep up with your ambitions!

To make the most of your relationship with an MSP, you need to make sure that they have a thorough understanding of your business. If you can form a solid and mutually beneficial working relationship, you can grow together to dizzying heights.

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Business

Upgrades That Will Help Your Business Thrive

Once you’ve identified your goals and how to attain them, you can then grow your business in specific areas according to what you want to achieve.  The following 13 upgrades cover common areas of business that typically need developing:

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Upgrades That Will Help Your Business Thrive

Continuous improvement should be the primary goal of any business.  While it takes time and effort and some financial outlay, it’s crucial to continue growing and striving toward becoming the leader in your field.

This guide offers 13 ideas to help your business grow, increase your customer base, improve your productivity and boost your bottom line.

Start With A Solid Foundation

Before you commit to growth you should ensure your business is built on solid ground.  Here are some tips to help you begin:

Know your business – the use of tools such as benchmarking, market research and trend analysis will help you get a better picture of the factors affecting your business.

Take charge of your finances Make a commitment to understanding your daily, weekly, and monthly figures. Unless you have a dedicated accountant, you need to have a thorough understanding of your financial situation.

Prioritize your goals – identify those business goals which can be achieved relatively quickly and those which will require more time and financial investment. Make sure the goals you set are relevant and can be achieved in a realistic timeframe.

Develop a plan – once you’ve identified your goals, you will need to develop strategies to realize them and the best means of implementing those strategies.

Make your results measurable – work out how you are going to measure your results.  You may want to introduce devices such as a point system or desired percentage increase.

13 Ways To Upgrade Your Business

Once you’ve identified your goals and how to attain them, you can then grow your business in specific areas according to what you want to achieve.  The following 13 upgrades cover common areas of business that typically need developing:

Include reviews – today’s consumers place great value on the opinions of their peers when it comes to buying products. Upgrading your website to include customer reviews will help to increase sales and boost customer confidence. Be sure to include both good and bad reviews if you want to be taken seriously.

Upgrade your internet an upgrade to FTTP (fiber to the premises) now will pay big dividends for your business down the line and it doesn’t have to cost you anything.  Qualifying businesses connecting to high-speed NBN plans can enjoy a $0 upfront cost.

Computer Monitor and Other Remote Work Must-Haves

Introduce automation – there is a multitude of software and applications designed to reduce labor costs and increase productivity. Many are inexpensive and can free up small business owners, allowing them to focus more on growing their core business.

Increase your social media presence – rather than just a Facebook page and a presence on Instagram and Twitter, you should look at other forms of customer interaction such as articles, sponsorship, blogs, and webinars.

Start networking – as well as an online presence, you need to get out there more and attend industry-related events such as expos and seminars.  This is, not only to network with others in your field but also to forge new contacts with like-minded businesses, with cross-promotion in mind.

Create a rewards program – think of ways to reward your existing customers to maintain their loyalty and incentivize them to buy from you again.  These could include early access to specials and exclusive offers not available to the general public.

Create an email list – email addresses of existing customers are a valuable resource you should be taking full advantage of.  Send those on your mailing list regular reminders of what you have to offer, but make sure it’s valuable content rather than what could be perceived as spam.

Ask for feedback – another valuable resource is your customers’ opinions.  Ask them what they think of your products and then use this feedback to improve your product line and customer service.

Streamline your business – identify which products aren’t selling, which employees aren’t performing and any other areas that may be holding you back.  Make changes and be ruthless on behalf of your business.

Reduce overheads – look at ways to cut costs within your business such as transitioning to a remote workforce or outsourcing business processes such as payroll, HR, and bookkeeping.

Invest in your people – good staff morale translates into good customer service. Provide your employees additional training, advancement opportunities, and a fair wage to ensure a healthy company culture.

Improve your credentials – reduce your carbon footprint, introduce sustainable processes and practice corporate responsibility in order to retain and grow your customer base.

Increase cybersecurity upgrade your cybersecurity systems to make sure you are protected from the latest threats from hackers, malware, etc.  This is particularly important if you have a remote workforce.

Roughly half of all small businesses don’t make it past their fifth year of operation, so continuous improvement needs to be a priority from day one. Adopting just a few of the measures suggested here should help keep your business on trend, competitive, and above all, profitable.

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