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Taking Vacations as a One-Person MSP

Taking Vacations as a One-Person MSP

There are many great things about running a one-person managed services provider (MSP) company. As an owner, you get complete control of the future of the business, what clients it takes on, what specialty areas it might have, and other significant decisions. Additionally, you get to set the pace of the business and its overall growth. However, what happens when you want to take a vacation?

While lying on a beach in Hawaii, skiing in Lake Tahoe might sound great, but it poses a significant challenge for a business like an MSP that runs 24/7 and has continuous client needs for essential services. When you're a single person responsible for handling all these elements, taking a break can be tricky and sometimes impossible. As a result, many one-person MSPs struggle to allow time off to relax and recharge as they focus on supporting their clients and their business.

The good news is that taking a vacation as a one-person MSP isn’t impossible, but does require some advanced planning to ensure that customers are fully taken care of and that all essential services are maintained.

The first and perhaps most important thing is communicating clearly with customers and in advance — even weeks or months. Be extremely specific about what days you will be unreachable and how it might affect their business performance. Take this as an opportunity to ensure your clients that you already have systems in place, like backup and RMM solutions, allowing you to monitor their company's IT infrastructure remotely. Be clear about how to contact you if there is a significant problem and what issues can wait until you return.

MSP business owners can also structure their vacations around national holidays and industry-related downtimes and choose to take shorter but more frequent breaks. Or they select vacation destinations that would allow them to occasionally plug into the business operations and do some work should an emergency arise.

As vacations become a regular annual or even more frequent event, an MSP owner may also want to consider inducing other infrastructure in place to support clients during these times further.

An MSP can consider one thing to help make disconnecting on vacation easier is to build partnerships with non-competitive MSPs. For instance, an MSP could form an arrangement with a similar one-person shop to cover each other during short absences. An MSP can also consider bringing on a contract or temporary employee to handle incoming tickets for the brief period they are away and flag any emergency issues for further attention. Of course, these partners or temporary contract employees might not deliver the same level of support that the MSP might provide. Still, they can get an organization through a short period and address any catastrophic issues if they arise.

Vacations are essential to any person’s working life, even for a one-person MSP. Time away allows individuals to recharge and ultimately return to work as more robust, better professionals. For that reason, an MSP business owner needs to figure out the best way they can incorporate breaks and vacation time into their regular yearly schedule. With careful planning, this is possible for even the smallest MSP to realize and come back stronger and refreshed to help their clients.

MSP’s Standard Operating Procedures Bundle
  • Adding a new machine to the client’s infrastructure
  • Handling incoming support calls
  • Managing MSP projects
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