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Is it Time to Hire a Business Coach?

MSP business coaches can be a controversial topic. Some MSPs swear by them, and others wouldn’t consider them at all. Like most topics in the MSP world, nuance matters when it comes to business coaches. In some cases, they can be an excellent investment that can turn a business around; in others, they might not be worth the cost. 

In this article, we’ll take a practical look at MSP business coaches, when they make sense, when they don’t, and alternatives you can consider if you’re not quite ready for a coach. 

When to hire a business coach (and when not to)

Business coaches can add a lot of value in the right context. But, not every MSP needs a business coach. If you’re already growing reasonably, profits are good, and your clients and employees are happy, there’s a good chance the money is better spent elsewhere. For example, you might want to upskill techs to enable you to enter other markets or invest more in lead generation. Similarly, if your MSP is a lifestyle business giving you everything you want, chasing growth for growth’s sake probably isn’t the best idea. 

That said, there are plenty of reasons hiring a business coach does make sense. The key is understanding the context of your business and your traits as an MSP leader. A good coach can go a long way if you are technically strong but need help to get the business side of things down. Similarly, a business coach with MSP experience can help guide you if you want to streamline your operations to increase profits. 

Five benefits of a business coach for MSPs

Ideally, a good business coach will help make your business more profitable, improve operations, and reduce stress. To understand how an MSP business coach can help you run a better business, let’s look at five specific benefits they can provide.

Strategic and tactical guidance 

A good business coach can help you build long-term strategic roadmaps to achieve your business goals. For MSP leaders that have a background in tech and love the details, these strategic insights can be a game changer. For example, we all know customer acquisition is important, but not every client is the right client for your business. An MSP coach can help you align your strategic roadmap toward profitable and sustainable customer acquisition. 

Of course, strategy without tactics isn’t worth much. A hallmark of a good MSP business coach is the ability to help you devise tactics — ideally as part of a repeatable framework — to implement your long-term strategy. It’s one thing to say you need to focus on a specific target customer persona, it’s another to guide the day-to-day steps it takes to acquire them. A business coach with MSP experience can help guide you through what tactics make sense. For example, ramping up advertising spend might make sense for one MSP, while another should prioritize firing MSP clients that aren’t aligned with their strategic goals. 


A new perspective

Even if you’re already business savvy and have a strong balance sheet, there’s something to be said for the power of a new perspective. We all have biases and assumptions, and an outside perspective can help us challenge them. 

In some organizations, communities of practice and peer learning groups help employees gain perspective from other experts in the domain. But, when you’re at the top of an MSP’s org chart, getting the benefits of peer learning can be difficult. A business coach can provide objective and informed pushback where you need it and help you unlock new insights for your business. 

For example, if your business is doing great but you’re constantly stressed out, a coach might help you find a healthier balance. In some cases, coaches might even help you find your flow and improve your leadership performance. 

Helps keep your eye on the ball 

One of the hardest parts of being an MSP is knowing when to say “no”. Helpdesk tickets consistently create fires to put out, new opportunities can distract you from long-term goals, and the challenges of scaling a team can consume a lot of your time and attention. As a result, many of the “important but not urgent” issues that can deliver significant business value continuously get deprioritized. 

A quality MSP business coach can help you focus on what matters. Additionally, business coaching can be an excellent way to build a skill some MSP leaders don’t have naturally: effective delegation. It’s hard to stop being the person doing the work and start delegating to others, and in some cases, you shouldn’t. That makes knowing when to delegate a tricky balancing act. With the right coach, you can get it right.

Build new competencies 

Specialization is great because it drives differentiation. Owning a niche in your market helps you build a moat and hone in on your target market. But, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. MSP business coaches can help you build competencies to grow or optimize your business. 

From process optimization to online marketing to sales strategies, business coaches can help MSPs expand their skill set and improve profits. 

Increased confidence 

Even among successful business leaders, imposter syndrome, analysis paralysis, and self doubt can hamstring innovation and decision making. For example, have you ever agonized over whether or not your pricing strategy is right? Imagine how valuable an informed conversation with an industry expert could have been. 

Using a business coach to test your ideas and initiatives against scrutiny from an industry expert can give you the confidence to execute. 

What to look for when evaluating an MSP business coach

There is no shortage of business coaches you could engage. The hard part is figuring out which ones you should engage. Once you’ve decided you’d like to hire a business coach, here are some items to look for to help confirm they’re a good fit for you:

  • MSP experience! MSP businesses come with a lot of nuance. If you’re going to spend your time and money on a coach, make sure they have experience in the MSP world to draw from. 
  • Good reviews from MSPs like you. Communities like r/msp and word of mouth from other MSPs with similar business needs are a great way to help determine if a business coach is a good fit. There is a lot of variety in the MSP industry, so context matters. Consider the industries, organization sizes, and areas of focus a business coach has demonstrated success in before you make a decision. 
  • Strengths aligned with your business goals. Different coaches have different areas of expertise. Some are ideal for process optimization while others focus heavily on sales. Go into any engagement with an understanding of the outcomes you want, and look for a coach with strengths that are aligned with those goals. 
  • Reasonable pricing. Hiring an MSP business coach is ultimately a business decision. While there are some exceptions, business coaches typically aren’t cheap. Do a cost-benefit analysis before you take the plunge. But, don’t just look for the cheapest coach either. A coach that can deliver on their promises is often well worth the price. 

Alternatives to business coaches

Business coaches can be a great way to solve problems and supercharge your MSP business, but they’re not for everyone. If you’re looking for a way to improve your business but aren’t quite ready to engage with a coach or consultant, here are some alternatives that can help. 


This one is simple. A good mentor can provide all the benefits of a good business coach, often free of charge. If you’re fortunate enough to have an experienced MSP professional to help guide you on your journey, take advantage of it. 

Communities of practice, online forums, and peer groups

There are likely other MSPs who have solved problems like the ones you are facing. Similarly, your experience can probably help another MSP leader. Communities of practice and peer groups like The Tech Tribe, our own Syncro Facebook User Group , and even forums like Spiceworks and r/msp are great ways to engage with other MSP pros in a mutually beneficial way. 


One of the biggest benefits of a business coach is the fresh perspective and new ideas they can provide. You can get a similar, albeit much less personalized, perspective by reading the right books. Books like The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz and The Trusted Advisor by Maister, Green, and Galford are good picks if you’re looking for somewhere to start. Additionally, Our own  Andy Cormier, who grew his MSP business to $4.5 million, wrote “So, you want to grow your MSP?” a 200+ page free e-book on how to succeed as an MSP. 


Final thoughts: Business coach or not, keep learning!

Whether you use an MSP business coach, read a book, or do something else entirely, the key takeaway is to keep learning and improving. Continuously sharpening your skills and optimizing your processes can help you build the business and lifestyle you want, exactly how you do that is less important. 

If you’re interested in learning more about MSP tech, process optimizations, and business as part of your learning journey, check out the free resources in our MSP blog today!

Ian Alexander

Ian Alexander

Co-founder and Channel Chief at Syncro. Always trying to find ways to help MSPs. Former MSP tech and break-fix owner. Basketball player, human and dog dad. Grew up in Berkeley, living in Sacramento.

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