As a Managed Service Provider, MSP, it can be tempting to take on any client that comes your way. After all, you want to grow your business and expand your customer base. However, not all clients are a good fit for MSPs and vice versa, not all MSPs are good for certain businesses, so it’s important to know when to say no.
So, who are the clients that we at Pronet don’t take on board? Here are a few examples:
Clients who refuse to comply with industry regulations and standards can be a major liability for MSPs. These regulations are in place to protect sensitive information and failure to comply can result in hefty fines and legal consequences. It’s important for MSPs to thoroughly vet potential clients to ensure they are compliant with all relevant regulations, which usually happens in the initial assessment stage.
As cybercrime becomes a prevalent issue, it is incredibly important that businesses improve their systems, servers and Cyber Security processes. We now only take on clients who are willing to improve their systems and implement strategies like the Essential Eight framework to help protect themselves.
Some clients may be inclined to handle IT issues themselves, using online tutorials or advice from friends. These â€˜DIY clientsâ€™ can be difficult to work with as they may not be receptive to the advice or guidance of an MSP. For us, itâ€™s important to recognise when a client is not willing to let us do our job and take on the responsibility themselves.
While it’s understandable that clients may have a limited budget, sometimes clients donâ€™t fully comprehend the costs involved when working with an MSP, which is often cheaper than working with ad-hoc IT support. Taking on a client who cannot afford the services they require can lead to resentment and frustration on both sides, so we believe it is important to be transparent about the costs involved and set realistic expectations from the outset.
Part of this comes from us having our own tech stack that we work with and that we expect our clients to also work with, such as using Sophos MDR and UTM. Weâ€™re not an enterprise-level MSP so we donâ€™t expect our clients to use Cisco which can be incredibly expensive, but we still require all new clients to upgrade their software and systems to our tech stack so that they are adequately protected, which may not be cheap.
Clients who are unresponsive or slow to respond to requests can be frustrating for MSPs. It can lead to delays in resolving issues and make it difficult to provide effective support. Through the initial assessment and proposal stage, we can recognise whether a client is unresponsive and take steps to address the issue, whether it’s through better communication, informing them of the need for using MSP services or not going forward with the relationship altogether.
At Pronet Technology, we used to work with large-scale clients but after some time, we realised small to medium-sized businesses were being left behind and neglected as MSPs grew larger and focused primarily on their larger, more profitable clients. For that reason, we now only deal with SMEs, generally businesses with between 15 to 150 computers and have found we enjoy working with businesses of this size more than with larger businesses.
While it may be tempting to take on any client that comes your way, it’s important to recognise when a client is not a good fit for an MSP. Non-compliant clients, DIY clients, budget-constrained clients, and unresponsive clients can all be challenging to work with and may not be worth the time and effort. By being selective and choosing clients that are a good fit, MSPs can provide better service and build stronger relationships with their clients.
Businesses with limited computers
Small businesses with one to five computers, unfortunately, might struggle to find an MSP who finds it worthwhile to take you on as a client. While at Pronet Technology weâ€™re not an enterprise-level MSP who caters to medium to large-scale businesses, weâ€™re not one that deals with very small businesses either. Our clients are small to medium, ideally with between 15 to 150 computers.
A good MSP should not be turning every query into a client. Sometimes, an MSP might not have the right services and budgets for your business and other times, your business might not be one that the MSP finds value in taking on or one that meets its criterion. Like your business researches and gathers proposals from MSPs, likewise, an MSP will do an initial assessment of your business and work out your needs to both see if it can help you and if it can take you on.
Donâ€™t be offended if an MSP declines your request. The majority of the time, itâ€™s because theyâ€™re just not right for you.