How to start an MSP

#1

Do you have any advice for people who want to start an MSP business?

Typically the people wanting to start an MSP are IT engineers who have spent some time working for MSPs. That was me anyways when I started Locklin Networks in 2014.

I was never successful enough with my MSP to go full-time or hire a single employee, so don’t take any advice that I give too seriously, but here are a few mistakes that I made along the way that I would do differently:

  1. Spent $1,500 for a professional design group to create a logo.
  2. Bought the most expensive, thickest business cards that were available.
  3. Paid a local lawyer $1,000 to set up an S Corp instead of an LLC because I thought it sounded more “legit”.
  4. Spent weeks perfecting theme and font choices for my WordPress website.
  5. Waited for customers to find my website and call me.
  6. Continuously improved my website, always updating my offering with the latest technology I’m into.

What I would do differently today:

  1. Get a logo for $65 from logojoy.com.
  2. Cheap or no business cards.
  3. Use an online service to set up an LLC as cheap as possible, and probably wait to do that until after I have a steady stream of clients and work going.
  4. Create a simple website with a cheap online site builder, not “under construction” but just list some general services offered and contact information.
  5. Reach out to friends and family and do great work for very cheap. Leverage referrals from them to expand to new customers, upping the rate as I build experience and collect testimonials for the website.
  6. Update the website with a focus on testimonials, jobs done, and results rather than technology used or why one vendor is better than another.

Basically, I think the reason I never found success as an MSP was because I was stuck in an engineer mindset instead of a business mindset.

I loved learning new technologies and debating the merits of them, and I didn’t spend time to instead build relationships, focus on the outcomes technology creates, and present those outcomes instead of the technologies used.