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How To Choose Managed Services (MSPs) For Small Businesses

Regardless of what vertical your small business services, chances are you are constantly facing the hurdle of limited resources. Whether it be a limited budget or a limited workforce, this unique situation is what makes outsourcing a viable option for various activities. But how can you ensure that you are selecting the right MSP for your business? We’re glad you asked!

In fact, we asked the same question to six small business leaders to help you select the right company every time. Keep reading to save yourself from signing a contract you will second guess down the road.

Speak With Different MSP Providers

Have several conversations with different MSP providers. Each conversation will have a different feeling of comfort. The area where a small business should pay particularly close attention is whether the MSP asks the right questions. Can the MSP design a custom solution that is the right fit for your business? Select a MSP that feels right, asks good questions, and is flexible enough to suit your unique needs. 

Ryan Nouis, TruPath

Rely on Reviews

Reviews from third-party sites like Clutch and The Manifest are a good replacement for referrals and a wonderful addition to an MSP vetting process. These reviews are generally credible, as Clutch is notorious for requiring reviewers to participate in a 15-minute phone interview. In other words, it is difficult to game the system, and more credible MSPs rise to the top as a result. Take the time to incorporate third-party reviews into the MSP selection process to leverage hours of phone interviews and experiences from other small businesses. 

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Determine What You’d Like to Manage

It comes down to the build-versus-buy situation of what you can afford to invest in or do yourself. It is much easier and usually less risky to employ a managed service such as data storage, cloud computing and even print rather than doing it yourself. It may be a bit more costly but you'll need to figure out the overall opportunity cost and how much down time you'll have just trying to figure out how to manage these types of services yourself. Things that are the nucleus of your business you should try to never let a managed service facilitate but the non-essential areas of what you offer by all means take it off your hands so you can focus on your products and services which are the most important part of your business.

Mark Smith, UAT

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Like many business decisions, investing in managed services is a cost-benefit analysis. Here, one of the factors is what it would cost to build and maintain the system yourself. Typically, the more specialized the technology, the more expensive it would be to hire, train and retain employees. These cases would justify working with a managed service provider. One common example is websites, which require not only building and maintaining the site, but also continuously adjusting for performance and security. A managed service provider can perform this work at scale, which may only cost you a few hundred dollars per month, instead of the thousands of retaining a full-time employee.

Michael Alexis, Teambuilding

Discover Your Customer Needs

A small business with global clients can benefit from using managed services because they would help cater to customers and manage other business activities around the clock. This is essential when your customer support needs to be quick and solve challenging problems. You can't really afford to have a customer wait for a day, which can be the case when your client is on the other side of the planet. Customer support and social media management are top areas to consider for integrating managed services into your business.

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

Hire Consultants

We have consultants both on retainer, and on a pay-per-call basis that help us make these decisions. When it comes to managed services, they can be very technical, and so having a specialist walk us through the pros and cons, and help us make a decision significantly relieves the burden. Also, consultations tend to be very cost effective in the long run. You might invest $300 or $500, and save $100,000 by making better business decisions.

Tasia Duske, Museum Hack

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