Residential Service MSP / ITSP

I have been working to build up my offerings as a MSP/ITSP. I am planning on working with residential clients and small home offices. I have read from a lot of experienced MSP providers that going residential is a no-win situation. However, I think there are a lot of home based clients that can benefit from 24/7 monitoring of their devices, managed AV and managed backups.

Any input on this endeavor? Anything I should be weary of?

Sure, they could benefit from it. The question is whether they can or want to pay for it… :wink:

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Hey, Kyle -

When I started my MSP-before-it-was-called-that back in the stone age, I specifically excluded residential except for the residential needs of my business owner clients. I told my friends and family that I didn’t want to be the IT guy for the town’s cat lady. The real rationale is below.

As @bb77 implied, there’s definitely a mindset difference between residential users and business owners, and that mindset has a bearing on expectations.

The residential user tends to see their technology investment as a very large, expensive line item… because it is; they are not usually receiving added benefit from increased expenditures (like an IT person). You’re there to fix a problem, usually as cheaply as possible, with them standing over your shoulder - or worse, insisting on being at the keyboard so they can learn how to fix it themselves and not have to pay you next time (I know, not the managed service model, but stay with me here). Selfishly, for yourself, you will rarely get to expand your horizons working on something new while spending time explaining why a residential user’s computer is “slow”. Managed service is an underserved offering in residential sectors for a reason; value is always determined by the purchaser, and if your service costs more than $5 a month, value will come into question. Repeatedly.

By contrast, you’ll be exposed to a much wider variety of tech as a small/medium business MSP/ITSP. This will help you to keep your tools sharp.

Business owners (usually) understand that there’s a business-sense limit to expectations, and will understand your managed service agreement limits; that just because they’re paying you monthly to manage what they have, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to add to their network for free. They generally understand the value of a managed service offering because it’s keeping their tools working as expected. Additionally, their tech is not as monolithic an expense as it is for a home user.

I believe you’ll be better served by focusing on one or the other, and if it was my game (and at one time it was) - I’d go with business clients all day long.

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