Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The 27 Best Managed Service Provider Books

When we were first starting out as a managed service provider, it was difficult to make the time or find the resources to go to the big conferences, attend boot camps, or even hire a consultant. Sure, you can do those things a little here and there (and we did choose to invest in The E-Myth Mastery Program), but how do you gain the knowledge and tools to compete among the larger, already established I.T. companies?


Founder of MSP Builder and an entrepreneur with 30+ years of experience, Dimitri was always a voracious reader when it came to business. When he and his partner began their MSP in 1997, Dimitri expanded his ever-growing reading list to include books specific to the tech industry while staying current with the latest business books.

The MSP Builder Store was created to share these books that Dimitri and his partner have read and found helpful in growing their own managed service provider. No matter how many blog posts we write or article links we tweet, nothing can be as helpful and game-changing as sharing these books with you. It only takes that one idea from that one author to rocket your managed service provider to the next level.

We made the store through Amazon so when you go to purchase a book, you are purchasing it from Amazon just as if you were shopping directly on the site. Rather than making a post containing many links to each book's Amazon page, we wanted to make it easy for busy MSPs to go through the store and select the books they want.

Our store is divided into 5 categories and contains what we believe to be the 27 best books for MSPs, with publishing dates ranging from the 1930's all the way up to the present decade. Great knowledge is always relevant. Dive in:

Sales and Marketing

Sales and marketing are what MSP Builder is all about. These are the books that we've found to be the most helpful in growing our MSP's customer base and profits. Chet Holmes' The Ultimate Sales Machines is one of the most recent that we've added to our roster (Our president likes to listen to the audiobook when he's driving to appointments). Bob Burg, author of The Go-Giver and Endless Referrals, is a favorite of ours and we were happy to discover his blog that he posts to frequently, as well as Twitter and other social media.

Tip: If you like an author, see what free content they offer. Maybe it's a blog, a weekly e-newsletter, an eBook, etc. You might even be able to interact with them directly through social media!

MSP Specific

There aren't too many MSP specific books out there, so if we're missing any please let us know with this tweet! You may recognize the author of The Best I.T. Sales & Marketing Book Ever! as Erick Simpson of MSPU. His extensive book has everything an MSP needs to create a marketing plan, launch a campaign, and reap the maximum sales. (Dimitri has also attended several MSP University boot camps, which he always recommends to fellow MSPs.)

The Company Challenge is a unique book and a lucky find for Dimitri as it isn't MSP specific in the same way as the other books in this category. David Russell (founder of MANAGEtoWIN) and MSP owner Robert Betzel's book uses companies such as Amazon to demonstrate how to transform your culture into one of success, while using a managed service provider as the "example company" throughout the book!

We've also included a couple eBooks in this category. If you're active on social media, visited MSP Business Management, or attended an Autotask webinar, you probably know I.T. business consultant Richard Tubb. Ever generating quality content for the MSP space, Mr. Tubb's Mistakes MSP's Make eBook is just one example.


Working on your business is just as important as working in it. Whether you're a new entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner, these books have something for you. Michael Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited, which Richard Tubb rightfully refers to as the "Managed Service Provider Bible," is the #1 book that Dimitri recommends to all business owners. Dimitri credits Michael Gerber's books and E-Myth Mastery Program with the structured way in which we've been able to grow our MSP. Mr. Gerber is another author who is active across all social media platforms, and he also has hundreds of free podcasts available for download.

Jim Collins

Jim Collins' books were must reads for MSPs even before his inspirational keynote at IT Nation 2012. We dedicate a subcategory all to Mr. Collins because all four of his well researched books deserve your attention.

Bonus: If you're a fan of the "20 mile march" concept that Collins discusses in Great by Choice, then you'll be a fan of Margot Morrell's Shackleton's Way. Learn about an explorer whose leadership skills are admired to this day for guiding his team through Antarctica for 2 years in the early 1900's.

Social Media

Social media is growing and changing so rapidly that it seems unwise to put much stock in books on the subject. However, the approach to social media that you can learn from these books is something you can apply to social media at any time, in any form. Curious about how to tackle Google+? SMM master Chris Brogan breaks it down for you in Google+ for Business.

We immediately picked up David Meerman Scott's The New Rules of Marketing & PR after seeing his talk at Ingram Micro's VTN 2012 Fall Invitational and we were not disappointed. It's broken down into chapters that each pretty much standalone, so you can cherry pick the most relevant ones.

Personal Growth

Personal growth is relevant no matter what business you're in. These books are invaluable to your success as an MSP and in whatever you decide to undertake in the future. Carnegie's and Hill's books are classics, mandatory reading, and Harnish continues in Hill's tradition of studying how the titans of industry became successful.

The End.

We hope you enjoyed the tour of The MSP Builder Store and at least one book caught your attention as something that could help you grow your MSP.

Bonus: Here is a Twitter list of all the authors included in our store. Plus, a Google+ circle.

Did we miss your favorite book? Let us know with this tweet! Were you excited we DIDN'T miss your favorite book? Leave a comment!