The right tools allow MSPs to break into a ripe SMB market

Overhead view of a communal flex workspace where SMB co-workers are collaborating on laptops and mobile devices, highlighting the need for remote IT management and support by MSPs


#GoToGetsIT: This article is part of an ongoing series from GoTo’s thought leaders on the frontlines: Our Solutions Consultants deeply understand our customers’ unique challenges and connect the right solutions to meet their goals using GoTo technology. Here, they share their industry knowledge on what it takes to help businesses everywhere thrive in a remote or hybrid world.

Thanks to the increased complexity of flexible and hybrid work, many companies are moving more and more towards a managed service provider (MSP) outsourced model. But there’s a large, often overlooked section of the small and midsize business (SMB) market currently underserved by the MSP community.

The SMB market is ripe for MSP support

The small business market segment is often overlooked by IT service providers due to their smaller employee size, yet many of the owners of these businesses own more than one SMB and are in many cases very profitable.

According to the US Census Bureau, of around 7.9 million businesses employing 131 million people, over half — 3.76 million — have 5 or fewer employees, for a total of almost 6 million workers and owners. Additionally, there are 26.5 million individual proprietorships or non-employer establishments nationwide.

According to Forbes, the millennial generation, while technology oriented, owns just seven percent of small businesses. Gen Z is behind millennials, accounting for just one percent of small business ownership. Meanwhile, the vast majority of small businesses are owned by Boomers and Gen X groups, who generally need more technical assistance, illustrating “the generation gap” in business ownership and an opportunity for aspiring Managed Service Providers.

How MSPs can serve SMBs

Often the business owner in this market segment has little or no idea of how MSP services can dramatically help the function of their business with little investment up front. Most of these small businesses have only a few devices that they need to maintain/support but often these devices serve a mission-critical function. Even in cases where computers are less critical in day-to-day business needs, the business may have a security system or certain hardware required by vendors that need maintenance.

This growing network of companies represents a substantial opportunity for an aspiring MSP that has the right technology tools to solve their needs. The key hallmarks of “the right tools” to support this market involve having a robust easy-to-use all-in-one remote IT management and support platform that is cost effective and can scale with a growing business, regardless of how large it becomes.

A real-world example

One of the reasons I was inspired to write this is because of my years of experience working with these types of businesses. One recent example is a small motel owner who had an analog camera system throughout his motel, which was no longer supported the camera system installer. While speaking with this business owner, I discovered that he only occasionally needed access to stored video footage, but when he did it was often for critical reasons. This is when he would have to pay a third party to come in and retrieve the recordings for him.

I suggested moving the camera system to a digital IP camera system and offered to help this business owner with this transition. This new system would come with a computer that can be managed remotely without someone needing to visit the specific location for technical issues.

Once the owner found the right vendor, we had his camera system changed to an IP-based system. I then asked the vendor how he supports his clients who have IP-based systems in their businesses. He said he was using a less effective tool and was looking for another solution due to the high cost.

The right tools can expand your service offerings

I talked to him about GoTo Resolve and showed him how it could be used through a quick demo. Once he saw how easy and user friendly the all-in-one remote monitoring and management (RMM) and remote support solution is, he was looking to purchase it right away. This also gave the motel owner peace of mind because he no longer needed to call anyone to come and work on any computer-related issues. His new vendor could simply connect to his camera system from anywhere, anytime, and for any support.

As you can see, we can very easily apply the principles above to any aspiring MSP. Business owners in this space do not understand that having this type of proactive support helps them tremendously when they have an issue, which helps make growing their business that much easier.

Using products like GoTo Resolve for MSPs, aspiring service providers can solve problems using the right tools that are cost effective, easy to use, and able to scale as these businesses grow. Providing much needed remote technology support to these small but growing businesses is a great way to break into the MSP business in a way that is manageable and scalable with the right tools.

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