In MSPs having good documentation is important. You must document your client information somewhere, and you also need to document your internal process documentation. On today’s ramble we’re going to talk about internal process documentation. Many MSPs do the client documentation piece well enough, but just as many struggle with documenting their internal processes.
So, what processes are core for you to document? Good question. I’ll cover what I think are the top processes to document in today’s ramble.
Good process documentation is core to allowing your company to scale. When done well, good process documentation will allow business owners and service managers to get out of the weeds more easily and work on the business rather than in the business.
So, what are my top five processes? Let’s go through them.
Number one: Life of a ticket
How a ticket is born, worked through to resolution, and ultimately invoiced is critical for every MSP. It doesn’t matter if you only have fully managed clients, break fix clients, or a mix of the two. It also doesn’t matter if you have a PSA or not. There should be a process to follow. Without this process it’s likely the clients of your MSP will suffer from inconsistent service.
Number two: Your invoicing and collections process
This is especially important for early stage MSPs, but it’s important across the board. How you invoice, when you invoice, and how you follow up on late payers. You will eventually have a late payer or two, even if you haven’t had one yet. I’m suggesting that you think about this before it happens to you. If it hasn’t happened yet, congratulations, but it’s going to happen at some point. I know MSPs with revenues well over $1 million that have astounding accounts receivable issues because they’ve never developed the process or held clients accountable for paying their bills on time. This is even more important with Microsoft’s NCE program. Know what you should do before you’re trying to figure it out on the fly. Can you shut their services down? When do you send them to collections? You should know what you’re going to do before you are in this situation.
Number three: Your time entry process
This process is easier to define and track if you have a PSA, but even if you are still tracking tickets via a shared mailbox tracking time is still important. Determine what good looks like in your process, document it, and hold yourself and employees accountable to it. The closer you get to fully managed services and fixed fee contracts the more important this is.
Number four: Your sales process
Note that this is the true sales process. This is when you’ve got an actual prospect that is willing to meet with you. Get this dialed in as early as possible. This process takes a lead from start to deal close or rejection. Managing this process and treating your leads consistently will yield more consistent sales, and eventually will allow you to hand this off much more easily.
Number five: Your new employee onboarding process
You will onboard many employees in your MSP. The first hires are usually techs, and since techs make up a large part of your MSP business getting employees productive quickly is vital to your success. You do NOT want to just send a brand new employee into the fire without proper onboarding.
Here’s the deal, you could make the argument for different processes on the list, but these are all important. As a business owner, you must start writing this stuff down if you ever want to grow. If you don’t, your company growth will be stunted by a lack of process.
Oh, and one final tip – it’s critical to follow your own processes, especially when you have a team around you. If you don’t you end up as the hypocrite owner who says do what I say and not what I do.
What do you think? Are there different processes that you think should be at the top of the list?