Many MSP owners are conflicted about growth. While they’re not opposed to generating more revenue, more responsibilities create additional stress for entrepreneurs — and that’s not something many people are up for enduring, especially if they’re already feeling burnt out.
Not everybody agrees growth is good for a business. Some MSPs are better off staying where they are. Every situation is different, so determining what’s best for you and your business takes some effort on your end, even though nobody’s going to have a definitive answer for you.
If you’re not sure whether you should grow your business, here are some question to consider.
Are You Not Spending Enough Time with Friends and Family?
Unless you’re constantly seeking networking opportunities, taking a vacation with your family or planning a long weekend is going to be rather difficult; your schedule more than likely won’t allow it.
Who’s going to manage tickets in your absence? Is there someone for your customers to call during an emergency? What if a storm is heading their way unexpectedly? Did you complete their businesses disaster recovery plans in time? If not, what are they going to do when a storm occurs?
When you’re a one-man shop, these are the things you need to worry about; however, if you’re open to growing your business, offloading work to employees or third-party vendors is a way for you to devote more of your time to friends and family — or your business, if that’s how you spend free time.
When you stay small, you can pick and choose who you do business with, which isn’t always the case when you're growing — especially when people begin relying on you for paychecks.
If you’re a one-man MSP, you don’t have to worry about many of the top expenses larger businesses have, including payroll, employee benefits and overhead, so you’re typically not inclined to pick up work you normally wouldn’t just to ensure you’re able to cover expenses for the month.
Being small allows you to modify your portfolio at will. When you’re small, you can be more nimble with your decision-making about your customer base instead of being tied down by your debts.
Are You Wearing Too Many Hats?
Wearing too many hats is a cause for concern for any entrepreneur, even though it’s typically how any small business owner reacts to growth, but often, there’s a limit to how much one can endure.
It’s up to you to decide whether you need to hire more employees, outsource help or stay in full control of all the functional areas in your business, including sales; marketing; finance and accounting; customer support; human resources; and resource and development.
If you’re burning out, you may need to grow by hiring help — whether it be internal or external — but not necessarily; you have another option: Stay where you are with your customer base.
How Close Are You with Your Clients?
When you’re a small shop, you work with your clients more closely. Is that something you enjoy?
If so, then keeping your business small may be what’s best for your situation. There’s another way to think about it: Often, when you’re small, customers prefer to work with you; they know who they’re doing business with — and they like that. Don’t forget: Your clients may have hired you for your accessibility, so before making any drastic decision about growing your business, consider them.
Not every MSP owner can manage growth, especially when it’s unexpected, but with enough preparation, making the decision to grow becomes a lot easier to make.