Guessing rarely leads to success
ConnectWise is awesome for handling the daily transactions of MSP business operations. (I used to use some of their competitors’ product, both for an MSP and for enterprise needs. ConnectWise is light-years ahead in many areas). Having said that, I can also tell you that as the COO of a growing MSP, it provides me with aggregate information about my entire company (revenue, profits, hours reported, etc.). It also provides me with granular detail of a specific client (tickets, contract details, hours reported, etc.).
What ConnectWise does NOT do for me is:
1. Alert me to common Business Operations problems AS THEY ARISE
2. Allow me to QUICKLY DRILL-DOWN on identified problems and
connect the “big picture” problem to the “details of the root cause.”
That’s the reason that we created the Executive Briefing Service for ConnectWise from New Haven Technologies, LLC.
As a senior executive of an MSP, I need information to help me take action in several areas:
- Organizational Direction
Setting general direction and providing leadership to the team is job #1.
- What are the areas of the current business where we are most successful? (so we can do MORE of that).
- Of all the different types of services that we offer (consulting, SaaS, onsite, SPAM filtering, etc.), which are MOST profitable?
- Which ones should we raise prices on or discontinue? Which of our clients are most profitable?
- Which clients should be considered for dismissal?
- Intervention– What are the areas of the business where I, as a senior MSP executive, should “get involved” (i.e. intervene) to help make a course correction? If you “solve a problem that you didn’t have”, not only did you MISS the opportunity to address a problem that you DID have, but you also probably CREATED a problem (or at least frustration among your staff) in the area where you jumped in.
- Improve – What are the ways that you can truly IMPROVE your business? If you only had ONE client, and you provided them with ONE service, it would be relatively simple to optimize the situation. But you have MANY clients. And MANY services. And SEVERAL lines of business (more on this later). There are also SEVERAL initiatives you can undertake to improve your business (see the 5 Linesdiscussion). But you have MANY clients, MANY services, SEVERAL lines of business, and SEVERAL strategies to pursue. And you have ONE pool of resources that must be managed, directed, and allocated across all of the above areas.
- Vigilance – So if you’ve set the direction for your team, gotten involved in the areas where they need your help, identified strategic ways to improve your business along with plans for execution, what good is all that if you don’t follow up? Zip.You would have been better off spending your time on the golf course if you don’t follow-up. Why don’t you? The scarcest resource that EVERY executive has is “time”. You’re off to “the next thing”, and it’s taking all your attention and energy. And if you DO remember to follow-up, the second discussion may use a different set of metrics to measure the problem and the progress. So you don’t have a standard yardstick to see if things really ARE better. Or if you are just looking at them a different way?
- Influence – So you’ve set the direction, gotten involved in problem areas, put a plan in place to improve the business, and you’re getting daily updates showing your progress. What else do you need? Oh yeah, you need the REST of your management team to “buy in” to your direction (because you CAN’T do this by yourself, and if you CAN, why did you hire them?) So your management team ALSO gets a set of daily key metrics reports in THEIR inbox. It’s the same info that you get, but just the data that applies to their role in the business (and that you approve that they see).
- So THEY see the metrics…
- …And YOU see the metrics…
- …And THEY know that YOU know.
Hey, they might even come to the meeting with a PLAN to address the problem areas that they see in their metrics! (Wow! Engaging THEIR intellect to improve the business! What a concept!)