Despite the sector growing exponentially, growth amongst MSPs is disproportionate. Whereas some providers are quickly scaling, others seem to be stuck at the same level years. It’s fair to point out that competition in the sector has been rising, but it’s not the primary cause for such stagnation.
The MSP ecosystem is broad and dynamic, with many elements that need to come together perfectly for you to deliver reliable solutions to your clients. The ability to effectively manage and use such elements to your advantage is what separates successful MSPs from the rest. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to unlock the full potential of your firm.
1. Understand Your Clients
Regardless of the industry or products and services offered, a successful business model always begins with the clients’ needs in mind. Why should they buy from you if your services do not provide the solutions they need? Perform market analysis to understand the challenges they face and align your solutions with those needs.
Some of the best ways to get such insight include:
Hosting and attending networking events where your ideal customers will be
Since many companies are new to IT systems, they may not be fully aware of the type of solutions they need or if they need them at all. Conduct awareness campaigns to educate them on such needs and the benefits of manages services. This will position your brand as a market leader and attract new customers.
2. Have In-depth Market Knowledge
For MSPs landing a client, especially as a startup, is challenging. However, the biggest challenge you’ll face is retaining them. Some of the main reasons companies are investing in managed services are to ensure cyber-security compliance and improve operational efficiency. If you are incapable of meeting their needs, they will switch to other providers.
The key to distinguishing your firm from competitors is having in-depth market knowledge. It should be accompanied by awareness on the lines of business applications and a great ability to articulate your key differentiators.
3. Foster Strong Relationships with Vendors
Depending on your target market, your clients will rely on multiple vendors for different solutions. Part of your services is to ensure that all systems and solutions that are IT-related run efficiently. This means you will need to interact with such vendors regularly as part of service delivery.
Determine the key vendors in your niche and understand their products from top to bottom. From there, cultivate good relationships and partnerships where possible. Your knowledge of their products will make it easier for them to offer support. A good relationship with them will make them more willing to go the extra mile when offering support. More importantly, they may become a reliable source of clients. The vendors’ support representatives will refer businesses that need managed services to you.
4. Bring in the Right People
As your company is growing, it is necessary to add more people to meet the increasing workload or fill in your expertise gaps. The goal is to bring in people who can help maintain or accelerate growth. This depends on the hiring and recruitment strategy you will use.
Begin by forming a habit of charting the growth and progress of your company. Doing so allows you to determine future needs, allowing you to prepare in advance. Know what your company needs in terms of skills. For instance, if you’re starting, you are likely doubling up as the manager and marketer. Whereas it is common for founders to remain in management, you may be better off hiring someone to handle administrative duties if you are better at bringing in new clients.
Once you’ve determined the skills your organization will need down the line, begin a recruitment process. Any time you interact will people within the industry, be on the lookout for those who fit the profile. Such a recruitment process allows you to get the best talent and people who resonate with your company’s culture and ambition.
5. Niche Down
As more industries become digitized, the market for MSP services will become broader. However, the MSP needs for each sector and business, in particular, vary. Instead of being a Jack of all trades, select a few related niches to target and specialize in them. This means you will be selective with who you approach for business and pass on opportunities that lie outside your scope of operation. By specializing in a few areas, you’ll be able to offer better services and command higher rates.
6. Launch a Referral Program
Undeniable, the best marketer you can get is a satisfied client. Considering that your ideal clients are in the same industries, it’s highly likely that they have ongoing relationships. Once you’ve delivered excellent services, try requesting referrals.
A good way of getting consistent and high-quality referrals is by offering incentives for every referral that becomes a client. Go big with your incentives. Companies that have benefited from such referral programs give items such as motorcycles and cars. This may be a bit expensive compared to gift cards and coupons, but the long-term value of securing new clients makes it worth it.
7. Be Flexible
In the world of tech and IT, the only constant you can count on is change. Each day, new solutions and innovations are introduced into the market, some with disruptive potential. The secret to consistently deliver top-notch services is ensuring that you use the best and most efficient technologies.
It All Comes Down to Marketing
At times, MSPs are guilty of focusing too much on improving. Though it’s necessary, you will not generate revenues if you do not reach your ideal customers. Therefore, it is essential to have a robust marketing strategy.
Ulistic is a company that offers marketing services to managed service providers. Reach out to us today to find out how you can become a high-performing MSP.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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