Why Handling One or Two Verticals Works For Many MSPs Today
We recently spoke with one of our clients, Jorge Rojas from Tektonic. Tektonic is an MSP business located in Vaughan Ontario. They work with a variety of clients but concentrate on serving nonprofit associations and charities.Jorge tells us that they started working with a few clients in this vertical about 20 years ago. He liked working with them because they were nice people, easy to work with and he enjoyed helping them help others.
One of his nonprofit clients grew from having just one office with a few employees to an enterprise with 50 offices that now serves their members 24 x 7. As you can imagine, Jorge and the team at Tektonic stay pretty busy keeping this one client happy. But, he’s growing his MSP business even more by taking the knowledge he’s gained in the nonprofit sector and using it to market to other nonprofits in Toronto.
Ulistic And The Pumpkin Plan
Jorge tells us that before he found Ulistic, marketing and sales for him was like being a hamster on a wheel. He kept spending money with no results. But with Ulistic doing the “heavy lifting,” he now gets traction on his website because it’s always filled with fantastic content. Our services have really helped him grow his business over the years. What Jorge likes best about working with Ulistic is that we take over the marketing so he can concentrate on serving his clients.
We love working with MSPs like Tektonic and seeing them grow and thrive. Once Jorge clearly identified what his market was, our job got a lot easier. Rather than trying to market to everyone, we now focus Tektonic’s efforts on a specific target audience (nonprofits and charities).
We advise Jorge, and our other clients to follow what’s called The Pumpkin Plan. This is where you focus on growing “one perfect pumpkin” rather than spinning your wheels growing a multitude of them. Many MSPs are converting to this business model by concentrating on serving clients in one or two verticals that they’re good at. Some specialize in health or dental IT, others in legal IT; Jorge specializes in nonprofit IT.
Below, we outline the 7 step process to follow to grow your perfect pumpkin (your vertical).
- You have to plant the right seeds.
- Water, water, water.
- Remove all the diseased or damaged pumpkins from the vine.
- Weed like crazy!
- Remove all of the less promising pumpkins that are still on the vine. Put all your attention on the most healthy ones.
- Nurture your one special pumpkin. Give your attention to this pumpkin; stand guard over your “baby.”
- Watch it grow. Eventually, this will happen so fast you can actually see it unfolding.
Nonprofits Are Jorge’s Perfect Pumpkin – What’s Yours?
A lot of MSPs are now starting to look at serving single vertical markets. Will this work for you? We think it’s definitely worth considering.
As you know, differentiating your MSP business is critical to compete today. You can do this by specializing in a few select technologies, or by developing an expertise in one or two markets. Offer premium services to this group and gain a greater slice of market share.
The days of horizontal, traditional sales are over for MSPs. Trying to do business with every market segment and pleasing everyone is no longer sustainable if you want to grow. It’s difficult to understand and meet every client’s unique needs. By focusing on one or two verticals, you can more easily reach a particular client base where you can grow and promote your expertise. This also makes you an expert in your IT field and credible in the eyes of your prospects.
How Do You Decide What Vertical To Specialize In?
Position your MSP business as a specialist in an area that you understand. You must be more than an IT advisor – instead, you must understand the business model you serve and approach technology from a holistic view.
Some of the markets MSPs are profiting from include financial services, banking, healthcare, legal, hospitality, and even veterinary clinics.
But, how do you choose which vertical to serve?
Choosing the best vertical may be a function of where you are. If your MSP business is in a college town, you should look at technology solutions for universities. Or if manufacturing is the primary industry in your area, get to know what MSP services these companies are looking for.
You may have a passion for a certain industry like food preparation (restaurants), or perhaps you worked for a construction company in the past. Take your previous experience and apply it to what you do now. And, if you already have a handful of clients in one sector, why not expand your reach and tout your expertise to grow your perfect pumpkin?
Need help with your perfect pumpkin? Contact the marketing specialists at Ulistic. We’ll get you “growing!”