You Can’t Have Two Masters Managing Your MSP Business!
Your MSP business stands to benefit from consultation, both internal and external. How much of either consultation you acquire will depend on the current size of your organization? Ideally, you want to reach a point where you can sustain both and balance the consultative information, which comes from either. External consultants and internal consultants will have some differences that are worth considering, however.
External consultants usually work with multiple clients. If they are worth what they should be, then they have likely dealt with clients like you in the past. This gives them expanded perspective. They will see things about your business that would be impossible to understand from the inside. Look at an external consultant like a friend, family member, mentor, or other guiding figures in your life. They can see aspects of your personality that you are unable to see yourself and can help advise you on certain activities that will serve you poorly in the end.
Internal consultants, by contrast, may be thought of to some degree as the conscience of your business. Sometimes these consultants are going to be sourced externally and brought on board; sometimes they will rise through the ranks of your organization and become integral in an advisory aspect. Where the analogy breaks down between mentors and internal conscience is in terms of performance. You do not often measure either friends/authority figures beyond you or your own conscience in a way, which can be measured for greatest effect. With internal consultants, they have to deliver consistently. External consultants do as well, but it is not to the same level of infrastructural integrity.
Justifying Both Families of Consultancy
What an MSP business needs to do for greatest success is finding a way of balancing necessary performance and idiosyncratic advantages, which come from either family of consultancy. What needs to be focused on are the qualities, which can come from the external consultant that cannot come from the internal one, and vice versa.
The difficulty comes in terms of conflict. Sometimes an external consultant will see a need that an internal consultant is against employing. You must weigh the information available between the two of them to come up with the best result.
How Internal and External Consultants Handle Conflict
You will likely notice this trend: when some conflict arises, which needs to be addressed, your internal consultants are likely going to deign to your authority in the matter. They are less likely to engage in conflict. One reason for this is that their jobs are on the line. They are employed by you, so they have to tread lightly. Sometimes they will know something should not be done but will shy away from the conflict involved in bringing this information to your attention.
Meanwhile, external consultants are less likely to shy away from conflict because they work with multiple clients. As a result, they have seen some forward operational strategies work, and some fail terribly. Therefore, they are more likely to fight with you. You want this kind of conflict, because otherwise, some information may never come to light. Where the internal consultants recoup necessary value is in their intimate knowledge of your organization, and how certain changes are likely to affect it.
Ultimately, when you have both aspects of consultancy readily available, you are likely to see the most cohesive advice and that which is also most actionable. You are able to see the picture from both sides, as it were. When you see what you are doing, you are more likely to do it successfully.
An Informed Forward Step
Advantages of hiring internal and external consultants include:
• Loyal, devoted advice
• Diverse, concerted advice
• More cohesive operational visibility
• Operations that proceed with better chances for success
In a market as eventful as today’s, you need every advantage. Your MSP business would do well to work with consultants both internal and external as such options become available to you. Technology is always in flux, but over time, patterns emerge. Consultants on the outside can help you avoid common pitfalls of your peers, while internal consultants keep operations running smoothly.