A few business ups and downs don’t throw BSS off kilter.
Our 2019 MSP 501 Comeback Kid special award winner, Business System Solutions (BSS), knows adversity. So when the global COVID-19 pandemic struck the partner business in March, president Bill Ooms got into gear. He managed BSS and his clients’ businesses through the uncertainty, and less than three months later is back on track.
The degenerative eye condition that forced Ooms to rethink and turn around his business in 2012 also forced him to put his business management background in the forefront. That meant not being the IT expert that worked in dark rooms and under desks. Instead, he is 100% focused on working on the business instead of in the business. That career change for Ooms once again helped save his business; this time, when the pandemic hit.
“We easily moved to working from home. Our staff basically picked up their laptops and the next day started supporting our clients remotely,” Ooms told Channel Futures. “Certainly, the first two months were almost 100% remote. So no projects and delays in onsite customer work. That cut down on revenue for a couple of months.”
Also, the normal PC replacement schedule was delayed.
With that, BSS cut expenses.
“We took a good business approach to lowering expenses because revenue was not going to come in,” said Ooms. “It was a concern during the first month or two. April was our worst month.”
Things started to pick up in June. “Now, all of sudden, we’re very busy with projects,” he said.
That’s with personal protective equipment (PPE) and other pandemic safety precautions in place.
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Business as usual for BSS came to an abrupt stop in March when Indiana issued its first stay-at-home order. None of the partner’s employees worked from home prior to the order; however, six months before COVID-19 rocked everyone’s world, BSS moved to Microsoft SharePoint. The firm’s RMM and PSA tools were already in the cloud, and users were on Azure. Security was in place, including multifactor authentication.
“There was nothing that tied our employees to the office, technically,” said Ooms.
During this time, one employee left the company for a great opportunity. Another employee was let go for performance reasons. Ooms opted not to fill the positions at that time as part of his expense precautions. This week, he filled the two positions and BSS is hiring an additional employee.
“So we’ll be up to 16 employees by the middle of August,” he said.
The good news for the partner business is that the pandemic did not scare away customers. But a few cut their staff dramatically and significantly reduced their monthly managed services plan with BSS.
During the pandemic, customer requests came in to help them work from home, set up or use an existing VPN and train employees to connect to the VPN or remotely to their desktops. BSS technicians responded to everyday IT support issues.
BSS did a couple of things to help customers. First, the partner offered …
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