How do I price things as an MSP?

Please tell us how you price things, from desktops to servers…from smartphones to break fix…

We’re based in the UK and would definitely be interested to hear from other MSPs about this, especially as we feel our prices are too low for IT support contracts.

what do you charge?

Id be interested to hear how you price as well, most of the others on here that have talked about pricing seem to have a fixed rate pcm then offer AYCE services based on that. They do however appear to be on the smaller size (~1-5 techs) and several hundred endpoints. Many of the MSP’s that ive worked with in the past are on a larger scale (5000+ machines in their portfolio) had more of a bespoke arrangement for contracts.

I suppose it really depends if you are hitting the smb market space or the enterprise.

Some suggestions:

-Use a per user price as a guideline $100-$150/user is what we charge. The low end represents a customer where we’ve brought them to our operational standard in terms of patching, backups, security, best practices (ie. no local admin for users) whereas the high end represents a bit of a mess and we work to get them there. We’d prefer to do T&M until they are at the standard, but will do the higher end on a 1 year contract to ‘get them there’ and let them know when they renew it’ll be about 25-30% less since things will be running better / more automated / etc.

What works for us:

-Break out all the things we roll into our offering: VOIP/O365/AV/backups/network security/DR testing/quarterly vulnerability assessment/end user cybersecurity training, and then create a mock estimate (full retail pricing) for that, then subtract that from our monthly AYCE service price and ask them if they could hire even a part time fully qualified IT guy for $1000-$1500/month or whatever (they know that would be ridiculous).
-Pre-empt the break-fix argument by pointing out that by not maintaining their systems properly something like Wannacry could cost them easily a whole year of managed services in billable time for cleanup and lost productivity. That’s typically not a hard argument to make if they think about it. The easiest customers to pitch this to are ones that have had major incidents which is more likely as you get to customers with a bit more complex environments.
-“But we didn’t used to pay so much for IT” argument- true, and when I was a kid growing up in a small town we didn’t lock our doors, but times have changed. Your business DEPENDS on IT now, your employees and customers DEPEND on you NOT leaking their personal information or trade secrets. You can restore a backup from ransomware, but when they start exfiltrating your data that’s not an easy fix. That will devastate your companies reputation and trust with customers, you could be fined depending on your industry, etc.

Be armed with questions to all the standard objections. If they still don’t want to sign you probably don’t want them as a customer (or would want to ever do business with them tbh)… at the same time, if they reject your proposal it is either you aren’t communicating value to them properly, they don’t trust you, or they are in financial distress and just have no budget for anything but keeping the lights on.

My 2 cents.

BTW, we still do “break fix” or MSP-lite as we like to call it. We charge them a la carte for everything on a monthly basis, and just bill them hourly for labour. Generally speaking over a the course of a year, it should cost them the same or more if you are diligent in your billing, making the second year an easy sell to move them to flat rate for cost predictability.

The key is that it’s in our MSA/T&C/TOS for this particular service package that if they want an SLA (eg. you’re going to answer the phone when they call) they must adhere to your minimum standards, which means we remediate any issues (patches not applying, etc.) and bill for it, no argument. We also charge them a small monitoring/patch management fee for each device also.

We don’t do pure break-fix other than once for each potential customer as a “foot in the door,” we fix the issue but explain that it’s a one time thing (totally transparent that we use it as an introduction opportunity but that we do Managed Services, and explain why), and try to get an opportunity to pitch our managed services (even managed services lite) after doing a review of their IT situation to get them a “second opinion” (if they are already using someone else). This has been 100% successful tactic however we’re young, and it’s been maybe 4-5 customers we’ve gotten this way.

Also, don’t be afraid to fire customers who won’t drink your koolaid. Some companies are just cheap and just want someone to scream at once/year when they come in Monday morning and everything is down. You don’t need customers this, it’s disruptive to running a properly managed IT business. We fired a customer who was exactly like this. Highlighted all the risks and a range of solutions based on budget, they didn’t want to do anything just have us available if something breaks. Nope.

I like the way you do it. Are you using “Unknown File Hunter” tool we have to show them all the Unknown files they have to show how dangerous this can be for them? Or use our free Forensic Analysis capability to analyse every unknown file they have and give them a full Valkyrie report?

So…for a hundred bucks a month you are offering VOIP/O365/AV/backups/network security/DR testing/quarterly vulnerability assessment/end user cybersecurity training?

Seems very cheap.

100$ per user seems cheap ?? Average 10 user site that’s 1000$ 800£ per month ??

I have a 12 user site and I get about 400£ a month that includes AYCE support (remote) and a full DR/BC with offsite backup. Office 365 . No voip.

Maybe I miss read it on my small phone screen.
ill have to look at it properly on my computer.

@dittoit Which provider do you use for DR/BC?

Hi @dittoit

Our agreements are a little more complex as they are custom to each client.
So for instance we have X per computer which includes support, monitoring, patching etc
We then have X for servers which does the same but also includes backup monitoring etc…
Then we have extras like: -

  • Email filtering
  • Disaster and Recovery
  • Office 365
  • VoIP
  • ADSL
  • FTTC
  • etc.....
Our average contract is about £300-£400 per month depending on what services they want / need.

We are a partner with Datto and StorageCraft.

We personally do not use StorageCraft as a solution anymore as trying to get all priced up, configured as a solution used to be a pain as well as costing more. I believe that speaking to @dittoit they have changed there ways a little so maybe he can elaborate? (I just bother to read the updates from them)

We have a great partnership with Datto who use sections of StorageCraft (and now their own agent) to achieve the same goal; but they have it all configured into a nice and easy system with amazing reporting and support. And whats more we have had Datto save our skins at least three times with HDD & PSU failings, it just works!

We are indeed storagecraft partners. We sell on the MSP basis so we bundle it in a monthly solution. The thing I like against Datto is I can customise it against the customer. With Datto you have to offsite it to them at I believe quite a cost. We can just do on site if needed. USB for offsite. Our own storage on our kit or Colo or storagecraft for complete cloud recovery.

Datto is very good I agree. But I feel it costs and there isn’t much flexibility.

Storagecraft. We are MSP.

Thanks, we use Backup Assist for on-site and USB backups, then either Acronis or Redstor for off-site. Would like to find a low-cost, reliable cloud backup provider for image backups, but so far haven’t .

What kind of pricing are you thinking is low-cost. Let’s take a essentials server with up to 1tb of data.


Look at Cloudberry Labs for the cloud backup offering. You just by your storage from either Azure or AWS. The license for cloudberry is roughly 60.00 a year and if something happens you can fire up the server in the cloud while waiting for the hardware to come in. So far it’s cost me about $200.00 a month for the licenses and storage costs for all my clients. Currently we are using about 1 tb of data. I am using Azure as my cloud storage. Also, I charge between $100 - 125 a user depending on what type of Office 365 they need and if they want email encryption. I include backup of the servers, Office 365 Essentials or Premium, Spam Filtering, Email Encryption and Anti-Virus protection.

Cloudberry is an option. Lots of ways to backup. And you can whitelable it. Not sure how you would use it with an onsite BDR.