Many of my faithful followers know that I am a huge – I mean HUGE – fan of the book “The Pumpkin Plan” by Mike Michalowicz. (Mike, I had to Google your name to make sure I spelled it correctly!)
If you haven’t read this book…What the heck are you waiting for?
Do it right now. Click here and get it.
I have to admit; I never heard of the book until I started working with Mike McWilliams from Reliable IT Healthcare. Mike has the Pumpkin Plan fully baked into what he does. His website at https://www.rithealthcare.com contains many of the components taught in the Pumpkin Plan, including the unconditional guarantee. This isn’t a “wimp-ass” guarantee that many MSPs offer. It’s a rock-solid, “you hate us – you get-your-money-back” guarantee.
Mike serves a single vertical – LARGE physician groups – not “rinky-dink” single doctor clinics…I’m talking large, scores of doctors, medical groups. If you don’t fit that mold, Mike will gladly refer you to someone else.
The result? – Higher-paying service agreements, better customers, and top-notch employees.
Daniel De Steno with NOVA Computer Solutions (https://www.novacomputersolutions.com) in the DC Area, is another example of success. Guess what? He also serves a single vertical – Dental Professional. Not a dental professional? Dan will gladly refer you to another MSP. The result? – Better customers, higher-paying gigs, and great team members.
Are you catching on here?
I sure hope so.
I’d like to say that I read the Pumpkin Plan 10 years before it was released. I also ran a Single Vertical MSP – Oil and Gas in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The result from my Single Vertical MSP? We grew to $5.5M in 7 years and then sold it off to a company that wanted a presence in Calgary. (Even though I live in Florida, I’m still a Canadian at heart.)
Just like this, Ulistic is a Single Vertical Marketing Agency. We ONLY work with MSPs, not software companies, not Microsoft Dynamics companies – only MSPs.
The result? – We have a pretty darn good business going.
Not bad, eh?
Here’s how you become a thriving Single Vertical MSP:
- Start today. Pick a vertical that you have experience with or a passion for serving.
- Don’t dump your clients yet. You still need to eat. But from here on out, only take on new clients that fit the vertical you want to serve.
- Network your face off with others who also work in that same vertical space. You know – software companies, trash companies, cell phone companies…Basically, anyone who offers services to that industry.
- Meet all the people who also support IT solutions for that industry. This would be the tech who comes in to fix a copier, a software engineer who updates their document management system, or even the driver of the truck who delivers products to these clients.
- Develop a “Bird Dog Program.” (More on this in a future blog.)
- Educate your staff in that vertical. I used to send my team members to the local community college to learn about the oil industry.
- Come up with an unbelievable guarantee. Not a wimp ass one. A solid one that makes you scared to offer it. If this is how you feel, you’ve offered the right guarantee.
- Attend events in your verticals. All of them – local, regional and national. Find out who the movers and shakers are and become their best friend.
- I can go on if you wish. (Call me to learn more.)
Now, I know some of you are scared to death to do this. Get over it! Would you rather be scared and rich, or safe and poor?
Becoming a Single Vertical MSP is the best decision you can make. However, I know only a very small percentage of you will ever do this. That’s OK. When others master their vertical, they’ll need someone to send their garbage referrals to. (This would be you.)
I am cocky…Yes, I am. You know why? Because I know this works. And to echo the words of Bob Ritchie from Romeo, MI, “It ain’t braggin if you can back it up.”
There are very few examples of Single Vertical MSP success. Why? Because only a few are courageous enough to venture into this abyss. But for the few who do, 100% of them are successful.
PS – Another reason why many of you don’t go down this path is this that you don’t want to say NO to anyone. Guess what? Saying NO is the best thing you can learn to do. Not every lead is a good lead, and not every business or industry is a good business or industry. Don’t worry if you hurt their feelings. It will only last for a few seconds anyway. After that, you’ll be dead to them and it won’t matter.
What does matter is for your MSP business to be successful!
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.