The Eight Facet Model for Breakthrough MSP Success

For Game-Changing MSP Success there are Eight facets of running your practice you must master.  Miss just one and your growth can be slowed to a crawl.


When I sat down to distill what I had learned from building a $4 Million MSP practice I found that the knowledge fell into 8 key areas.


When I am talking about this concept I like to use the octahedron as a metaphor.  The thing about this shape is that it embodies two very important concepts.  First, all the facets must be in balance.  If one is bigger or smaller than the others, meaning more or less developed, the whole structure is thrown out of alignment.  Secondly the shape has a set of facets facing up and one facing down.


As we go over the different facets we will refer to these as being above the waterline and below the waterline.  Facets that are above the waterline are outward or client facing aspects of the practice.  Facets below the waterline are inward or operational facets of the practice


Outward Facing Facets – Above the Waterline




The Marketing facet involves developing prospects for your MSP service in the first place.  Whether through referral, Telemarketing, Cold Calling, Social Media, or even exposing a new need in an existing client.  How can you get more leads, higher quality leads, and break into new vertical and markets with ease.  How do you cut through the noise and attract clients when they AREN’T in pain.




This facet involves taking the lead you generated and turning it into a client.  Conversion encompasses all the important steps involved in turning that lead you developed in marketing into dollars to the bottom line.  How do you maximize your funnel and reduce the number of qualified prospects you lose at each stage of the pipeline.  How do you swing at harder pitches and still win, instead of staying in the minor leagues.




This facet involves designing and pricing your service offerings. What is in those offerings, how many tiers, what kinds of options, what is included or excluded? What differentiates your service from your other services, and from your competitors offering? How can you maximize the profit potential of your offerings and stop leaving money on the table?




Finally designing and consistently using great agreements is the last facet above the waterline. How can you protect yourself while not scaring off your clients. How can your agreement be a help to your sales instead of a hindrance. By focusing on this facet your agreements can become an asset to your success, instead of just armor against things we hope never happen.

Inward Facing Facets – Below the Waterline




Provisioning (Onboarding), involves the process of taking a signed contract from a commitment to a fully on boarded service in your infrastructure. Making sure all the steps happen, nothing gets dropped, and you start delivering (and collecting revenue) as quickly as possible. Mastering onboarding is the difference between a profit enhancing first impression and profit sapping broken expectations for your new client.


Service Delivery


Service Delivery involves all the day in and day out work of delivering your MSP offerings. Are you exceeding your SLAs to the client. Are you communicating what you are doing. How do you handle the inevitable outtage. Some MSPs focus almost their entire energy on this single facet because it is the one that is the most in your face every day. However, without an equal development in all the others this potential cannot be realized.




Compensation, and the role it plays in motivating and retaining a quality team is the next facet below the waterline. This is a huge unrecognized area for many MSPs where even minor changes can pay HUGE long term benefits. Even the most altruistic client-focused team will be subtly and subconsciously guided in powerful ways by how they are rewarded. Master this aspect and you will unlock hidden potential in your team.




Finally Operations covers all the mundane day-to-day aspects of running your business. Some aspects like dispatch and R&D are technical, other things like billing, recruitment, and even strategic planning are things any business has to face. Mastering these is the final key to unlocking breakthrough performance.