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Plan B for MSPs and VARs

By Julian Lee

Starting with some good news… MSPs should be able to gain a lot of sales traction on a variety of managed services and everything to do with remote working. This will accelerate in demand for most end customers. A good time to make the case for remote management of everything.

That said, MSPs should be well prepared because running a NOC/SOC from home will not be easy and what happens if some of your top security staff gets ill. On top of this, expect that with the dramatic increase in remote working, it will be open season on partners and their clients from hackers!

One leading channel partner Debian Information Technology, who is also a 50 Best Managed IT Companies award winner posted a cool info-graphic on the topic. It’s a solid roadmap to follow. This is the sort of thing that all MSPs and VARs should be doing!

6 basic things that VARs/MSPs should be doing to ride out the Coronavirus storm…

1. Improve your digital footprint. Start with your web site. Now is a good time to build the perfect website that you always wanted but never did. Consider adding some e-commerce functionality.

2. Double down on your digital marketing and social selling skills. Ask about our virtual social selling program hosted by Shane Gibson. Ask about our marketing automation tools and programs for channel partners. If you just cannot do this in-house, ask us about partners we can recommend.

3. Find an effective way to remotely conduct sales meetings with your prospects. Some clients may put policies in place that prevents face-to-face visits. If staff is working from home then virtual meetings may be more convenient. Beyond the usual web conferencing tools, maybe try some of the new virtual meeting tools like Idiligo.

3. Streamline your internal business operations with the right tools and training. Reducing your time and cost in running your business will translate into increased profit margins to your bottom line! This will help you forever! See VAR Office Suite to find everything you need! Not sure what you should do? Take the best business practice assessment for free, and you can do it online from your home!

4. Beef up your remote working infrastructure and best practices (especially security). Prepare for more cyber attacks as you and your customers work more remotely. Practice what you preach! Remember the MSP is a hot attack vector for hackers. Hack one, get access to many!

5. Help your clients to work remotely and securely. This is the obvious sales opportunity so bake out your offering. You are going to want some sort of Cloud VoIP/UCaaS solution plus virtual access to apps and data and wrap all this up with some security. Go a little deeper and help your clients set up a remote office with printer, supplies, video conferencing and BDR for their employees. There are many components to being a self-sustained remote worker and you can be the valued advisor. If you live in Canada check out this fast-growing VoIP vendor. Checkout eChannelNEWS to find many companies with remote solutions.

6. For now, forget going to large gatherings. Replace with smaller local or virtual events. Now is a good time for small peer-group (8 people) building You can also do this virtually. Take some time to work on your business instead of in your business. Whatever you lose during this crisis, your new skills will help you to more than make up the difference when things get back to normal.

Not many can afford to just shut down their businesses and wait this out. How we keep calm and carry on smartly will determine how we all come out of this. All of these 6 suggestions will help you during and after this crisis is over!

Be safe and all the best!