Here at NinjaOne, we've been regularly checking in with our MSP partners to track how the pandemic has been affecting both them and their clients. The stats below were collected during our latest MSP Live Chat session on July 23, and provide a small snapshot of where things currently stand in terms of financial recovery, WFH status, team morale, and more.
Financial impact of COVID-19 on MSPs — Update
When analysts have estimated the total toll the pandemic will take on MSP finances the forecasts have been grim. Forrester predicted that the average MSP's revenue will drop 17% over next 12 months. Service Leadership predicted a 30% drop over Q2, Q3, and Q4 2020 for the average MSP.
The good news is that — at least according to our small sample — those estimates appear to be off. In fact, 70% of our poll respondents said their MRR is either at the same level as it was pre-COVID, or it has actually increased since the pandemic began.
While the overall MRR picture may be looking good for now, it does look like the majority of MSPs are still actively losing clients. It's one indication that, despite financial aid efforts, some small businesses are still being hit hard and having to scale back or shut down.
For many MSPs, March and April saw a big influx of project work getting clients transitioned to flexible work-from-home setups. Things have slowed down for nearly four out of 10 of our respondents. Another 29% are seeing that work volume hold steady.
For a third of our respondents, work volume has continue to increase.
MSPs, themselves, appear to be fairly split in terms of whether they're back in the office or working from home. Worth noting — when we surveyed MSPs back in late March, three out of four had their teams entirely working from home. So despite all the speculation that many WFH transitions could be permanent, our limited data shows the majority of MSPs are already shifting back.
While we didn't ask where respondents were based, it's fair to assume location is a big factor here. MSPs in New York, for example, are more likely to be keeping their technicians working remotely and under tighter restrictions when it comes to things like on-site visits (more on that below).
While on-site work is picking back up, the majority of it is being conducted under stricter guidelines such as requiring the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and only sending in technicians outside of the client's business hours when they can minimize contact with others.
One MSP owner who attended the chat did mention he was doing all client on-site work, himself, in part because he was concerned he might be held liable if his employees were to contract the virus. It's a question we're going to dig into and possibly address during a future chat, but in the meantime, if you're interested you can read this article on employment-related liability from the National Law Review.
One of the most encouraging insights we got from our Live Chat polls is that team morale at the majority of MSPs is high. Whether that's thanks to great management, client's showing their gratitude, or a combination of things, it's terrific to see.
Not only is morale high, over two thirds of respondents said they believe the pandemic has actually presented opportunities for them to make improvements to their infrastructure and workflows, and that they'll be coming out of this stronger on the other side.
When asked about their biggest challenge, respondents overwhelmingly put losing clients and navigating tricky WFH client setups in the backseat behind finding and closing new clients.
That's exactly the topic we'll cover during our next MSP Live Chat on Thursday, August 6. Register now and you'll get access to that session plus the recordings for all of our previous chats.
Join the conversation!