The recent conversation with Chris Wiser and Art Gross covered several issues that will continue to be “hot topics” regardless of where we stand regarding COVID-19.
Procedure & Policy
Whether you are going to continue to work remotely or have your team return to an office, the first thing that you’ll want to do is make sure that you do everything that you can to protect your employees and your clients. Be sure that you are addressing a full range of business expectations, including in- office work, client visits, travel, tradeshows, and anything else that might be part of your work requirement. Talk to your insurance company and legal team to find out ahead of time what is covered and what isn’t covered.
If you do not have a pandemic scenario guidebook, create one NOW. Identify the basic mandates and guidelines that you are putting in place to protect your team, and then have your employees acknowledge that they have read it and sign a document verifying that this has been done. You should also have something that you can provide your clients with that outlines the steps you are taking to protect them.
While you cannot always get everyone to comply and follow these rules, you are one step ahead should there ever be legal action taken against you if an employee or client were to get sick after coming back into the office or interacting with your team.
Be the Work from Home Expert
You need to be the work from home center of information for your clients. This is not something that we see changing, and with companies like Twitter announcing it as a permanent work from home option, it is likely that more businesses will follow. At the very least, a hybrid setup will likely become the norm, and you need to be prepared to support this.
What does that mean?
It means that you are no longer supporting one location or environment. Additionally, there will be an increase in people using their own devices and hardware, so you will have to include that as a line item in what you do and do not support. You may need to charge more or change your pricing structure to support so many offices. Consider how far you will travel and how often to these offsite locations.
As an MSP, you have to get away from the ‘widget mindset’ and move to make your offering almost like that of an insurance provider. It won’t serve you well to sell items as if they are on a menu a la carte – you need to package everything into one offering and make cybersecurity a non-negotiable part of what you provide.
MSPs need to be the solution and problem-solving part of their client’s business. This means that you have to assure them that you know the risks that they might not be aware of, and have a product offering that covers the “what-ifs”. Sell your offering as flat service fee, not line items. Consider having them sign a waiver if they decline coverage on any particular service.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
This may seem like the wrong time to ask for more business but think again. Yes, you need to nurture your existing clients, but there with trillions of dollars flooding the economy in stimulus programs, cybercriminals are ready to attack to get their hands on anything that they can from that pool of funding. Businesses may be setting up workers to be remote, and therefore saving on rent or other facility expenses, but they need to reinvest those dollars in protecting the individual. That means increased protection and ongoing education to keep the shield strong against online hackers who are preying on them as work comfortably at home, and often with their guard down in that familiar environment.
We encourage you to watch (or re-watch) the conversation between Chris and Art. If you’d like to schedule a call with our team, you can do that too – we’re here to help you strategize and implement a program that works for both you and your clients!