There are many benefits of being a freelancer providing IT services and being your own boss. However, as your client base grows and the demands on your schedule increase, you must make an important business decision. Should you turn down clients and do your best with your current pool, or should you expand your business? If you’re ever going to scale your MSP business, you can’t do it alone. Ultimately, it’s your long-term goals and your personal financial vision that must dictate which path is best for you.
Maximizing Your One-person Operation
If you are providing full-time freelance IT services, you are in full control of your business services. You value each of your customers, strive to deliver quality services and work hard to develop long-term business relationships. After all, it’s your reputation and business on the line. When it’s just you, it’s simple to manage it all. You don’t need too much to get started and you have the freedom to work when you want. Without employees or partners, there’s less administration, no meetings, and no-one to manage.
If you want to make more money, you can work more hours, increase your charges, educate yourself on more areas, and provide more services. This could definitely pay off if you can avoid getting burnt out. Regardless of what you do to improve your efficiency and improve yourself, there comes a time when you reach your limit. There’s only so much work you can do in a week and your income is directly proportional to the hours you put in. If you have a vision of building something big– more clients, more services, and increased income– you have to re-evaluate your strategy.
Scaling Up Operations
To expand your MSP business, you need to find individuals to work with and for you. This is the time to leverage the experience and expertise you have developed from providing computing services to different clients. Get a team to rally behind your business vision. Train them and develop standards of operation and customer service. Be highly selective about who you bring onboard and consider the skills and experience that they can add to what you already provide. They may be able to bring in skills you don’t have, allowing your business to provide a wider range of services to your clients.
Your role essentially begins to transition from being the business to running the business. This stage needs planning and strategy. You must equip yourself with the tools and knowledge of how to lead and manage a team. Be prepared to do less of the IT work. Your role as a manager is more about finding the right people to do the job and growing your client base. It might be a challenge to entrust your well-cultivated business relationships to other people, but it’s an absolute necessity if you are to move to the next level. You still have a lot at stake, so you must put measures and checks in place so that you can monitor the quality of service your team is providing to your customers.
There is much to learn in the transition from being a one-man business to managing a team. The benefits of this route are definitely worth it. You gain management experience, increase your income potential, and enjoy greater flexibility in your schedule. You also create jobs and pass on some of your knowledge and wisdom to your team. You can take your MSP business to the next level by embracing change and leveraging your experience in the industry.