To Staff or Not to Staff?

I’m curious as to what you all have seen when it comes to how many techs you need to have to support your clients.
With 2 active techs doing the majority of the work, how many end users or seats are they able to support?
For those with higher client or seat counts what have you found to be sustainable for the customer and employee happiness?

You are looking at it the wrong way, there is not a formula for calculating the number of staff needed per endpoint. You staff based on the demand created by the client. We have some clients that we almost never hear from as they are very tech savvy and never click on stupid links to win stupid prizes. Then there is this one small 5 person office that calls every time the printer says low toner. Bottom line, as long as the clients are being served and projects are being finished in a timely manner and you can take a day off, you have enough techs.


@LTS_Tom, love that answer! Looks like i need about 2 more of me then! Its always nice when people don’t click on stupid thing!

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Can’t agree more I have a client that is literally every aspect of this. Coming from a datacenter non end-user for the last decade it is eye opening. But it does give a great balance of perspective sort of like your wife calling with all her IT related issues. As always good stuff Tom.

That is great advise. I would second “if you can take a day off” then you are staffed correctly. Or if one of your techs can take a day off and the work load balances itself then you have enough staff. I would have enough coverage so if someone falls off a ladder and needs 6 weeks off you have enough coverage to get the work done.

Absolutely! It’s amazing what time off can do for a person. If I could give advice to myself back a year ago it would be this. “Know your value as a team member and know when you have taken a team as far as you can with the resources you have. Know when to step away when the problems you see, you can’t fix, because, in the end, you will burn yourself out talking to a wall”

As an update:
It turned out my efforts to hire staff were for not and I ended up leaving my role at the MSP. I Attempted to build up staffing so I could leave for more than 1 day and come back to even more work then when I had left.

In the end, I loved working MSP and some of the clients were the best. However other members of my management team ended up being the obstacle

Nice topic! I am investigating my 1st possible hire. I’ve realized that there are area’s of my business where I’m standing in my way… I’m slowly falling out of love with certain aspects of the business & more inlove with others IE certain customer service, websec, building systems to improve the efficiency / client experience.

Where I live, labour law is not on the side of the small, or even medium business & a lazy employee can cost you 1 year of their salary upfront, if you try fire them without following the book to the tee… VERY frustrating & reason why I’ll most likely outsource XYZ. Already been intouch with someone at LS about this.

Just hoping the current exchange rate doesn’t make it too expensive.

The one thing that I would say about doing your first hire is to know what your limits are when it comes to your expertise and hire for the gaps that you have going on. Learn to share the workload and find someone that you don’t mind spending a lot of time on challenging tasks. In small businesses, you end up becoming a family of sorts, and you don’t want to have resentment in your working environment.

As much as I dislike the idea of contract positions, depending on your local laws, you might be able to “contract” someone and not make them an FTE over a trial period to make sure that you and the employee will work well together. Like a 6-Month to hire if the employee meets the outlined goals and objectives.

As a recommendation o anyone starting with an MSP:

Create simple workflows and business processes. Make sure you can follow your own rules because if leadership can’t or won’t follow what they want from employees, things will never go right. Treat employees like humans while guiding the business

In most cases of getting tired of one part of the business, that can be a hint that you are starting to burn yourself out. Burn out in it, especially in a small shop, can happen quickly. Be sure you are kind to yourself as well when it comes to workload while you look for other staff.

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Damn well said, thank you @ctech !

I’m def hiring to cover my gaps (networking, automation via PowerShell , routing & overall network troubleshooting.) & possibly take on some of my quoting / invoicing admin , IF I’m busy, as I do want to move into more of a ‘new business manager’ role, while my hire takes care of all or most of the daily tech issues / maint / monitoring etc

Business is a 2nd fam & I intend to find someone were we can get on over a beer / lunch / team building etc. Unhouse or outsourced , I plan to offer some basic extra’s IE more leave p/y , off on birthday with pay (ideally) , don’t work on Xmas (unless something REALLY bad comes up & I need extra hands to see to the issue), Dec bonus (Even if I don’t get one) etc.

Re workflows, I do them in & keep copies in my cloud under \Staff\Training , where I’ll also be putting some vids, to cover some processes. I’v found that most IT people are visual learners, hence I’m leaning towards diagrams, images, vid etc.

THanx , I do try to escape work after 8pm, or over weekends. HAving A.D.D , I can become bored of things at random, at which time I fine another thing to bring me some “new” enjoyment, which at the moment is an EdgeRouter X, which I have some plans for both internally, aswell as selling as a pre configured solution for a few different issues facing many people who are now working from home - IE VPN, basic firewall thats better than what most ISP provided units can offer, SQM, WAN failover, secured & segmented IoT network etc. Main limit is that with hardware-offloading ON, your incoming WAN throughput will not be > ~100Mbps.

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