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Is Your Managed Services Business Recession Proof?
Get ready to get punched in the face in 2019. For some of us old-timers, this is nothing new. But, for some…get ready, you’ve never been thru a recession before…it is a emotional roller coaster. But, you have time to prepare now.
Here’s a tip – wake up and step up your marketing now.
Tip #2 – Cybersecurity will remain strong and not go anywhere.
Tip #3 – Specialize now. Specialists are not replaceable. Generalists…are
A common question among small MSP Business owners is to ask when to foretell the next recession. Unfortunately, that’s a question without an answer. It isn’t hard to understand there will be a recession, that’s inevitable, but nobody knows whether it will be next year, or not until 2022. The more appropriate question is to ask what you can do to prepare for the recession when it does occur. The short answer is to point out how you have to remain prepared by keeping your company relevant to the economy, but the full answer is a bit longer as it includes “how” to maintain such preparedness.
The last recession happened in September of 2008 and was a massive economic downturn which robbed people of their investments, home values, and retirement accounts. Although pessimists are eager to point out how the effects of the recession are still being felt by the middle class, the fact is that there has been a steady upturn as the economy has seen.
An optimist, on the other hand, would describe the 2008 recession as having been an artificially inflated economy correcting itself. Although it was painful to go through, it had some benefits by defining the value of businesses in real time rather than using an overly exaggerated model. It gave people a chance to redefine what is and isn’t essential and develop more responsible spending habits on a personal level and as far as their businesses were concerned.
When a recession occurs, the most common and immediate response both individuals and businesses have is to reduce costs and limit spending. To some extent, such a strategy is unavoidable, but the question arises as to what expenses to cut. Take the IT team, for example. In theory, they can be cut back as most people with the proper education to conduct white collar office work also understand the basics of computer maintenance. However, having to do so detracts from their primary job function, meaning they won’t be as efficient at what they’re good at while spending time with other tasks.
Alternatively, consider the sales and marketing team which always seems to suffer from the first round of cuts when the economy shows signs of weakness. The problem with such an approach which any established and successful business person will agree with is that it isn’t a good idea to stop reaching out to potential new clients when the business is struggling and needs customers. Marketing efforts can be improved upon and streamlined to reach people with an express interest in the services your company provides, but they can’t be eliminated if you hope to remain in business.
The better solution than cutting costs is to define what value your company offers to your customers. The fact is, people don’t like to waste money even during a good economy, your long-term success will only happen if you can provide tangible benefits to the people who hire your services or buy your product. You have to ask yourself what questions a potential client is going to have of you, and be able to provide reasonable answers about how your services benefit an individual or make another business more profitable. That might seem a simple enough prospect when your company offers a tangible product, but not all services result in immediate benefits. You have to be able to define and explain what long-term benefits such services provide, and why they are ultimately essential to someone’s ongoing success.
The bottom line is that the very nature of modern economies determines there will be a natural rise a fall of monetary value over time. It isn’t a question of “if” there will b a recession, only “when” that recession might occur. The economy will recover, and then some years later another recession will happen. The way to deal with it is to make sure your company remains relevant under any circumstance. A great way to achieve such a goal is with the They Ask; You Answer method of determining what questions a potential client will have, and how your answers will best put a positive light on your services. Describe your services in terms the clients understand, and they won’t question their need to hire you.
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL and Fort Erie, ON-based 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.