Many MSPs, like companies of all sorts, use external vendors for wireless hardware, VoIP phones, project management systems, and other services and products to help their businesses run smoothly.
Deciding which new service to onboard at your MSP is never an easy decision. After all, onboarding comes with financial and time costs you don’t want to expend for a service that’s not worth it. And for MSPs especially, any breakdowns in your own business can turn into problems for your clients.
But you can buck buyer’s remorse and increase the ROI of your new purchase by considering some factors often overlooked by companies choosing service providers. Here are a few.
1. Cost of ownership over time
Some vendors charge by the month, some by the user, and some a flat fee, while many lure you in with a free trial before asking for the big bucks. Vendors also may charge for extra features that add up over time in addition to core services. While a smaller immediate cost may be tempting, think about how long you’ll be using the service and what hidden expenses it may carry to create a weighted total. That way, you’re not comparing apples and oranges if you have options with different pricing models.
2. Scaled cost of ownership
As you grow your team and business, how will the costs of the service grow and add to your bottom line expenses? For example, customer relationship management systems like Salesforce often charge by the number of accounts. What looks like a cheap option when you have 15 employees may weigh on your wallet when you have 50.
3. Future proofing
Does this service only work for what you need right now, or will it grow with the needs of your business? Picking something that will stand the test of time saves you the hassle of going through the process all over again (because we all know how fun it is to evaluate vendors).
4. Ability to generate revenue
Calculate how the service will lift your bottom line. Even if it’s not directly bringing in revenue, it may free up your time to do more direct client work, make your clients happier, or increase efficiency. Don’t discount something because of the price tag if the value it generates is greater. On the flip side, make sure a service will positively impact your business before you invest in it.
Especially with software providers, there are so many similar ones out there that sometimes the difference comes down to usability. This can mean a user-friendly interface, a good support page, or responsive customer service representatives. After all, you can’t get much value out of a product that’s impenetrable to everyone in your company.
For more information on what services are out there for MSPs to leverage, check out this blog post on cloud tools for helping your company save time and stay organized. And if there’s anything else you wish you’d thought of when your company was evaluating vendors, leave it in the comments.