Software tools you need as a solo MSP

Author: Akshaya Devi, Content Marketing Specialist,

Several years ago, Pierre Omidyar, sitting in his San Jose home, took a long, hard look at his wife’s awe-inspiring collection of Pez candy dispensers. He wondered what to do with it – no store would accept a used Pez candy dispenser. But is a distributor lover friend? If so, how to find one? He pulled a unique, non-fancy code from his personal webpage and launched an online peer-to-peer trading service called AuctionWeb. The first item sold, however, was a broken printer. Much to Pierre’s surprise, the buyer was specifically looking for broken printers, so much so that he then paid $14.83 for what was originally advertised as $1.

It was only then that Pierre knew he was on to something big. Renamed eBay, his company has become one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world. Get this. Pierre hadn’t hired anyone to work with him until the company reached half a million, I repeat half a million, users. When it hired its first employee in June 1996, the site had already sold more than $7 million worth of products.

As a solopreneur, he ran the show. Its success story shows what finding a problem in the market and equipping yourself with the resources to solve it can do.

If you’re here reading this, you’re probably a solo MSP trying to build a business from scratch on your own or about to start one. You probably have a solid business idea or plan, capital, and roadmap for strategic execution. You are now wondering if you have the right resources and tools to make the plan a reality.

As you try to stay on top of every important detail, like any small business owner, you may encounter one or more of these obstacles: time, labor, and money. How long can you manage customer invoices on Excel sheets? You don’t need it, someone probably has a tool to manage your projects much more efficiently.

As a solo entrepreneur, it can be tempting to do everything manually to save money. But, you might be missing out on some game-changing productivity and business enhancement tools. Which are needed to take your business from paper to scale.

Luckily, as a solo MSP, you now have a wealth of tools to make your life easier and free up your time for bigger, more effective issues.

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1. RMM

As a managed service provider, there are tools you can’t live without and tools you use to better manage your business. Remote monitoring and management (RMM) belongs to the first category. RMM solutions are designed to manage endpoints, servers, devices and networks with remote or locally installed agents, the very foundation of managed services. While you’re keeping customer infrastructure running smoothly, they can point to critical issues for business growth.

What an RMM tool also makes possible is proactive device health assessment and problem resolution. You solve problems even before your customer notices that something is wrong.

Related reading: Six signs you need a new RMM tool

2. Public Service Announcement

Joining RMM, Professional Services Automation (PSA) is another essential component to running an MSP business. Many reduce automation to a measure of vanity. We can hear them say, let me get the product going first, effectiveness may be a concern later.

We have news. PSA is not just about automation and automation is not about efficiency either.

From creating tickets to managing your projects, from defining SLAs to reporting, a PSA tool plays the role of a versatile tool. The all-rounders can score goals, but more importantly, they play consistently to lead the team to the end. The professional services automation tool acts as a centralized repository that integrates with every application you use to give complete process visibility.

What sticky notes and cluttered Excel sheets fail to achieve (accountability and consistency), a PSA solution does with the utmost ease. Also where to start with automation! It doesn’t just save you time. It doesn’t just cut costs. By automating your processes, you standardize them. You leave no room for misconfigurations and inconsistencies.

3. Project management

Enabling collaboration and keeping everyone organized at work has always been a challenge. Remote work kicked it up a notch.

A lack of accountability will quickly lead to things falling apart, especially when managers don’t know what everyone is working on, what stage a particular project is in, and which projects are falling behind. A kanban view like the one offers, you’ll get quick snapshots of real-time updates, project status, and task priorities.

As a solo MSP, you may not have a team working with you, but you will certainly be working on multiple projects at the same time. So, getting a good project management solution ensures you stay on top of the process and don’t let critical activities slip through the cracks.

4. Computer documentation

The problem with information is that you can’t find it when you want it. Always. Enter computer documentation.

Computer documentation helps stakeholders share their knowledge of how things work and what final projects look like. Documentation defines the single source of truth to follow when starting a project so that individual decision making does not get in the way of how something gets done.

Plus, now you’ll find what you want when you search for it. Documentation allows you to store, search and access your documents with great ease, no matter the volume. With full control over your document lifecycle, you can navigate complex documents quickly and reduce research time.

5. Cloud backup

A cloud backup solution securely backs up and stores your client’s server data on a remote server. Companies typically back up customer data to keep it ready to be restored in the event of a data breach, crash, or system crash. It is important to back up data even if you have the best cybersecurity policies in the world. You can keep hackers out of the perimeter with virtual private networks and firewalls, but there are also other factors that could lead to potential data loss. God forbid disaster occurs.

Getting a cloud backup solution will add that extra credibility factor that you are trying to get with your customers and, more importantly, will protect your customers’ peace of mind.

Related reading: Mistakes to avoid when creating backups

Why choosing the right tools is important

The managed services industry has gotchas and pitfalls like any other. Failure in choosing the right tools is the easiest to avoid.

Whether you ever plan to go solo or become a multinational conglomerate, it’s essential that you focus on viable business plans, effective strategies, and the tools you need to realize your vision. You do not know where to start ? Our product specialists may know what you need!

This guest blog is courtesy of Read more guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of the ChannelE2E referral program.

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