Overcoming Growing Pains: Scale up your MSP with Business Intelligence

Published July 6, 2023
Evan Pappas
Cognition360 Business Intelligence

Getting an MSP off the ground is an immensely rewarding achievement. But growing beyond that has proven to be a tricky task for many.

Starting small and growing your business takes a lot of time and effort to get right. However, MSPs often find that the steps that got them to a small or mid-sized business don’t work to further growth.

As a company grows and becomes more complex, the tools they use may no longer meet their needs.

When handling a growing set of clients, it can be tough to know how your existing staff can handle the workload. MSPs have to ask themselves questions about how they can approach work. They need to know:

  • When to hire more staff
  • How to know which client agreements are profitable
  • How to manage time for projects and ongoing tasks
  • How tickets are being efficiently resolved 
  • if clients are not being billed accurately

It can be difficult to even collect data on your MSPs performance analytics to understand what’s going on.

These roadblocks MSP face when trying to grow are always changing. As you scale up, so do those challenges. 

So how are successful MSPs tackling growth challenges? They use business intelligence software for data analysis and management.

With business intelligence software, an MSP can examine their business data with in-depth reports to understand their operations. Business intelligence software lets MSPs access data they may not have been able to get to previously. 

A deeper look into your company’s performance can often help decision-makers create an effective growth strategy.

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Understanding your MSP’s Business Intelligence metrics

Meeting new standards when growing can be tough. When examining performance, it can be time-consuming and difficult to collect information on metrics like ticket load by volume and time.

Developing a report on Monthly Recurring Revenue Agreements, for example, can be a big undertaking. 

Using business intelligence software will help organize your MRR agreements, making it easy to compare targets to performance each month.

For Trevor Turner of the MSP R.K. Black, there was a void in getting reports out of ConnectWise. They needed those reports to better manage their staff and deliver better results for their clients.

R.K. Black eventually began using Congition360 as business intelligence software to integrate with ConnectWise. Incorporating this new tool allowed them easy access to a ton of information.

The insight Turner gets from business intelligence software has allowed his MSP to make informed decisions.

When you are able to compare metrics like ticket load, time spent on tickets, and profitability, it makes it easier to know when to hire new technicians. 

This insight is what allows MSPs to have a clear picture of their performance as they grow. 

“The bottom line is that I’m now able to make decisions faster with more background into the decision – and I’m confident in my decisions because I have accurate data from ConnectWise,” Turner said.

Setting Benchmarks with Business Intelligence

With a business intelligence solution in your MSP, planning for growth becomes a lot easier. 

Setting and tracking the benchmarks for growth is vital to understanding how business performance changes as an MSP starts to scale up.

With easy access to reporting and documentation history, your MSP can gauge progress to goals. Whether it’s monthly, quarterly, or annually, an MSP will always be able to see the trends in performance and adjust operations.

You don’t just have to compare against your own performance either. Benchmarks help you gauge performance against industry standards to find areas you can improve on.

Jesse Farris, former Director of Technology of VGM Forbin, said using Cognition360 let him create reports to see the exact data he needed. That way he could understand where the MSP was in relation to its goals.

With the benchmarks, he can see where cost spikes are happening which allows him to address problems directly. 

He doesn’t need to spend valuable time trying to identify the metric. He can get right to the solution.

Understanding an MSPs performance lets you more efficiently plan for future growth. The leadership team will have a more accurate forecast of demand and capacity, so they can scale up smartly.

Using Business Intelligence in Your MSP

If an MSP wants to take the next step in their growth, then getting an inside look into their business performance is critical. Understanding when to hire new team members, client profitability, billing accuracy, and your team’s project metrics are vital aspects of building a successful MSP.

By embracing data-driven decisions and tracking key metrics, businesses can proactively identify hiring needs for the future. 

Uncover patterns, optimize resources, and prepare for the unexpected. Developing a strategy for growth will help focus your operation and prepare you to address whatever challenges you face.

By leveraging the insights gained from business intelligence, businesses can provide better service and be sustainable in a competitive market.

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