The 7-part MSP Business Plan Template reimagined for Growth
- Most MSP business plan templates focus you on doing rather than building a business
- What you need as an MSP owner
- Also, where are you, the MSP owner, in the standard MSP business plan template
- So, what should be in an MSP business plan template?
- Why you need an MSP business plan
- What makes an excellent MSP Business Plan
- Where can I find traditional MSP business plan templates
- Quarterly Business Review Template
- What does MSP mean
- Related posts
When I started a business right out of college, one of the critical pieces of advice someone gave me was to draft a business plan. The idea was to use the plan to identify the different components of my business, how I would compete in the market and what I would do.
It was a complete waste of time.
Maybe you can relate.
I have created many business plans since then, and most were a waste of time – until I figured out I was doing it wrong. I was focusing on the wrong things.
Most MSP business plan templates focus you on doing rather than building a business
If you do a Google search for an MSP business plan template, you will find dozens of variations on the same theme. Wrapped in different language and slightly different words, you will find a list that looks something like this:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- The products and Services you offer.
- Marketing plan (how you will sell)
- Competitive summary
- Operations plan
- Management and organization (how you structure the company)
- Startup expenses and how you will get the money.
- Financial plan
- And lots of appendices supporting all the assumptions you made above.
There is nothing wrong with these categories; they are correct, and understanding them is useful; the only problem is that they don’t help you build an MSP business – they focus you on MSP delivery.
There are a number of sample business plan templates that will guide you through crafting your traditional business plan, the SBA has good advice here, and Live Plan offers a great tool you can use to build your plan.
What I’d like to do is introduce you to a more effective way to plan your business, one that plans your business around you and your needs, rather than a random set of factors that the SBA thought might be a good idea.
What you need as an MSP owner
When you are starting an MSP, you have no competition. Seriously.
This may sound blasphemous, but as long as you are less than $10-15 million in sales, there is plenty of business out there, and nobody cares enough to steal it.
You are probably not looking for investments, so who cares about your executive summary or company description?
When starting or growing an MSP, your MSP Business Plan template should instead focus on standardization and building the business machine.
Also, where are you, the MSP owner, in the standard MSP business plan template
If you are building a business, it must align with your needs and desires. You should be clear about what you want and the business’s role in helping you achieve what you want.
In our program, we ask people to write a prosperity plan that defines the impact, freedom, and wealth goals they want to attain. If you and your business are not aligned, building it is likely to turn into an energy-sucking exercise rather than a life-affirming one. It is critical that your needs are in your MSP business plan template.
In addition, you, the business owner, are the biggest wildcard in growing your business. Your mindset will enable or limit it, your idea that will form its basis and your passion that will ignite the rest of your team.
The standard template leaves you out of the business. We think that is a mistake and suggest that there are other types of business plans for growing businesses.
So, what should be in an MSP business plan template?
Our business plan template includes these seven elements:
- The business definition: this includes all the stuff in the traditional business plan but goes a bit further. We suggest you look at the nine elements of a business model (Value proposition, how you attract customers, how you relate to customers, your sources of revenue, your key activities, your key resources, your partners, and sources of cost).
But we also want you to think about your vision, mission, and values because these are essential to growing your team and the business.
- The processes you need to deliver. How will you attract, convert, deliver and complete your business activities? Make this repeatable.
- The factory, what is all the stuff you need to run your business and make it work?
- You, what you want out of the business; your impact, freedom, and wealth goals. It is also important to think through how you keep yourself accountable and how you will overcome the mindset challenges that we ALL face.
- People, or your team, and how you will build a team, engage them, and ensure they are all working toward the same goal.
- Metrics and money so that you can measure your performance and plan your finances.
- Invention, because you will always face hurdles, and it is in overcoming these hurdles that you develop the intellectual property that sets you apart.
In our experience, the process of thinking through these seven areas is essential to building a successful MSP business and a useful MSP Business Plan.
Why you need an MSP business plan
Now, in opposition to the “follow a traditional plan” camp, there is the “you don’t need a business plan” camp.
But you do need a plan.
First, writing an MSP business plan is a valuable exercise: it allows you to think through how you will build your business, what it will look like and what your priorities are. The practice of thinking, imagining, and visualizing your business is important.
More importantly, a business plan keeps you on track and supports you in delivering meaningful results.
Research conducted by Bplans.com suggests that businesses with a business plan:
- Grow 30% faster than those without.
- Are twice as likely to grow, secure finance, and woo investors.
- Are 129% more likely to grow beyond the startup phase and 260% more likely to develop from idea to new business.
These statistics sound reasonable to us, though our experience suggests that a business plan is even more critical than they suggest (though we don’t have supporting statistics).
Almost always, when we start working with an MSP, they are struggling to grow, the owners are underpaid and overworked, and the team is not aligned. These MSPs also never have a workable business plan.
So if you are ready to grow your business, download our free managed service provider business plan pdf and start today.
What makes an excellent MSP Business Plan
This is what Investopedia says makes an excellent business plan:
Good business plans should include an executive summary and sections on products and services, marketing strategy and analysis, financial planning, and a budget.Investopedia
Here’s what we say:
Your MSP business plan template doesn’t need an executive summary; we don’t care. What it needs is a clear plan that you can follow to help you grow your business.
An excellent MSP business plan template defines where your business is and where you want it to go. It gives you a pathway to get there, it focuses you on building your MSP business model. An excellent business plan serves you and helps you build your business.
Where can I find traditional MSP business plan templates
Well, there are not a lot of great MSP business plan templates out there, but there are some standard business plan templates that are worth checking out, if you are so inclined.
The SBA has a nice overview of a traditional business plan and how to use it, and they also have examples. You can find the SBA’s Business Plan template here.
Score also has a good template which you can find here. Score is a great organization, but most of its advisors are retired corporate executives who never built a business. Their advice is well-meaning but generally not tailored to the needs of small, growing MSP businesses.
Quarterly Business Review Template
Looking for a Quarterly Business Review template to combine with your MSP business plan template? Well, we don’t have one. What we do have is a Strategic Business Review template – so much better than a quarterly business review! And you can find it here.
What does MSP mean
A managed service provider (MSP) is a company that provides IT services to organizations. These services include managing and maintaining their IT infrastructure, applications, and systems. MSPs typically offer various services, such as monitoring, troubleshooting, and repairing IT systems, managing backups and data recovery, and providing technical support and advice.
MSPs can offer their services on a contract basis, typically for a fixed fee or a monthly subscription. This can provide organizations with the benefits of having access to expert IT support and resources without having to hire and manage their own in-house IT staff. MSPs can also offer a range of flexible service levels to meet the specific needs of different organizations.
MSPs can be a useful option for organizations that want to outsource their IT management and support to a third party, as they can provide a range of expertise and resources that may not be available in-house. This can help organizations to focus on their core business operations while still having access to the IT support they need to maintain their IT systems and ensure they are running smoothly.