If I held you hostage for a month, what would happen to your MSP?

If I held you hostage for a month, what would happen to your MSP?

Paul GreenUncategorized

What would happen to your MSP if you disappeared for a month? The goal is to create a business that will thrive whether you are there or not.

Picture the scene... you're walking along the street and I pull up alongside you in my car. I jump out and shake your hand.

"Hey" I say... then pause, look down and mutter "umm... this is really awkward, but I need to kidnap you now.

"Don't worry, I'm going to look after you... you'll be living in my garden room for a month with unlimited beer, snacks and Netflix. Might even throw in Paramount+ if you want to rewatch all 7 seasons of Deep Space Nine.

"I'll cook you three great meals a day and we can shoot the breeze any time you want. But no computers... no mobile phone... and zero contact with your business."

What would you think at this point? Would you be running away shouting for help, or gladly getting into my car ready for the World's Best Home Vacation?

Here's the more important question...

What would happen to your business if you unexpectedly disappeared for a month?

Because that's a more real life scenario. You could get knocked out by illness for a bit, or have an accident. A horrendous thought, but one as business owners we need to seriously consider.

Just yesterday my accountant was telling me about a client of his who unexpectedly died 🙁 and what a nightmare his staff had trying to do basic stuff in the business like access the bank account to pay key suppliers.

(side note, there's a website called Dead Man's Switch which emails you every few days. If you don't click the link to show you're still alive, it can send an email you've previously set up. For example you could email your password manager's master password to your closest colleague (just the password and no context to what it's for, in case that site gets breached). I know there are massive security considerations with this... if you can think of a more secure way to do it, comment below).

Have a think right now... if you vanished for a month with zero preparation, what are the problems that would pile up?

  • Would your staff and suppliers get paid?

  • Would there be enough level 3 experience?

  • Would client projects get properly planned and implemented?

  • Would your most important clients feel reassured?

Answering these questions and the hundred related ones are an important step in turning your MSP into one that will thrive regardless of whether you personally are there or not.

Which, by the way, will be a better run, more organised business, with fewer fires to fight, and more profit for you to spend (that's handy as you'll have more free time in which to spend it).

You should lead, steer and influence - and jump into doing selective technical work if you want to - but the business should never NEED you there.

And yes, I know you are probably years away from that today. But it should be your long-term destination. An MSP that benefits from your presence but doesn't need you will be a better business that you will want to own and grow for longer.

Here are a few audio books to get you thinking about this the right way: