Your company is growing at an amazing rate. You’re gaining traction in your local market, and you have more orders than you know what to do with. You need more personnel, but you don’t have qualified HR staff to help you hire the right people. Additionally, your accounting needs have gotten more complicated thanks to all the new business, but even with the uptick in revenue, you can’t afford to hire an in-house accounting team. How can you work through this chaos to avoid wasting this wave of success?
Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t have the resources they need to hire full in-house teams for all of their departments, including IT, accounting, and HR. Ignoring these departments can cause chaos, but there are other options. A managed services provider (MSP) can take the place of some of these in-house departments at a generally less expensive rate than you’d be able to hire yourself. Here are a few things you should look at when hiring an MSP.
Table of contents
- What can a managed services provider do?
- Your budget
- The managed services provider’s track record
- Response times and support
- Bring order to chaos with an MSP
What can a managed services provider do?
Managed services providers can replace or augment a number of different departments within your business. Hiring full-time internal employees is expensive, especially when you consider benefits like health insurance and retirement plans. Managed services providers, on the other hand, are outsourced third parties that handle a variety of predefined services for their customers.
Many companies hire MSPs to handle functions of:
- Accounting and payroll
- Vendor and supply chain management
Especially for small businesses, fully staffing each of these departments could cost way more than an organization can afford. Instead, an MSP can provide businesses with the daily functions they need, typically at a fraction of the cost.
When choosing a managed services provider, you obviously need to look at your budget to determine what you can afford. If you’re going to pay roughly the same amount to hire an MSP as you would to hire an internal team, you’re probably better off with employees than contractors.
If we’re looking at IT professionals, the average IT helpdesk employee makes about $68,000 per year or $5,667 per month. By contrast, IT MSPs charge between $150 and $200 per user per month, which means even at the higher rate, your business could support 28 users before matching what you’d pay for one new employee.
Hiring a managed services provider also reduces the amount of software you need to buy. They generally have the best tools for their industry, providing extra benefits to their customers. A real estate company might not have a state-of-the-art accounting system in place, but if they outsource their finance department, they may still get the benefits of one.
The managed services provider’s track record
The same care and attention you put into hiring internal staff should also go into hiring an MSP. While you won’t get a résumé so to speak, you should be able to get a sense of the provider’s track record and the kinds of companies they’ve served in the past. You should look at online reviews of companies you’re considering and ask other organizations that you have good relationships with if they use an MSP and how they’ve liked them.
Response times and support
Having a managed services provider is of little value if you can’t get a hold of them when you need to. The company you choose should have a fast response time and be able to provide support when you need it. Examine the service-level agreement (SLA) outlined in their contracts before committing to anything. If they don’t provide what you need, you should look at other providers.
MSPs with fast response times can keep your business running smoothly and efficiently. They reduce the time your team has to spend on tasks that they aren’t qualified for and ensure fewer mistakes. Additionally, an MSP can provide advice in their area of expertise and help your business grow.
Bring order to chaos with an MSP
Without a fully staffed team, your business can quickly devolve into chaos. Choosing the right managed services provider can help you cover positions you’re not ready to hire internally for and ensure all your business functions get handled.
An MSP will review your current processes and help you optimize them to make your business more efficient overall. They can even identify areas where you’re overspending and help you cut back on your expenditures. Overall, a managed services provider is a great option for small businesses that need more staff than they can feasibly hire at this time.