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By Brian Gillette · March 29, 2024

Use Your Data to Get More Time: Create Activity Pars

Running a successful Managed Service Provider (MSP) means you have at least four full-time jobs. You're the CTO, driving the direction of your technology, and you're also the CEO, and maybe even the CFO as well.

Let's not forget about marketing – you’re out there promoting your services, building a brand, and bringing in new clients.

The Tyranny of Urgency

“If I work any more hours, I'm going to die.” Have you ever felt it? That feeling that the wheels are spinning but you aren’t moving forward. If so, you may be trapped in a cycle where your schedule has been hijacked by the latest client emergency. It's not that there’s a lack of effort - in fact if things were firing on all cylinders, you’d feel the forward momentum of your invested time.

By identifying shortcomings in the sales process, MSP owners can take back control of their schedules. When you are enjoying the feeling of positive business growth, you know you’re on the right track.

If the first email of the day you open, and it’s a dumpster fire that you work on until it’s done - you will never, ever scale.

You can't do that anymore.

How To Get Your Time Back

Remember those Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you've diligently started measuring? You’re going to set pars (like in golf; the expected strokes per whole) for each metric. Let’s establish benchmarks for each metric and get them added to your calendar. That’s right, a calendar can become a dynamic tool for managing more than just appointments, but also your business performance.

Pexels golfdrive 1200

Add KPI pars to my calendar? Yep.

Let’s start with the KPIs that are critical to success. Certainly some metrics you are already keeping a close eye on at this point. Which are falling short of expectations?
Try scheduling segments of your day, devote time specifically to improving whichever KPIs need help — whichever KPIs aren’t “up to par”.

A ticket threshold is actually a perfect example.

Let’s say, after some evaluation, we set our par for open tickets at the end of the day to maximum “X open tickets”. If, at the end of the day, we have more than X open tickets, then attention is required. Perhaps we make the decision that our operations guy will spend the first part of his next day, flexed-in, to catch up on tickets. The first hour of his day went to that KPI.

When you prioritize your day around your KPIs, you get time back

Thinking in terms of open tickets and goals supports a proactive approach, rather than simple reaction. With some rare exceptions, you’ll be able to wrest back control over your own schedule when you start blocking out time each day on your calendar to focus on lagging KPIs.

In our example, allocating a little bit of time each day to maintaining a sustainable ticket threshold keeps the overwhelm away. We feel a little less like we’re going to die, and we have a little more time to work on our strategic business development or maybe even a little additional MSP sales training to kickstart new growth initiatives. In short, you can reclaim your time and open up the opportunity to shape the direction of your business - proactively.