This week, I have been very fortunate to be locked in a room with 10 of the sharpest minds in the Information Technology industry. Seriously, these MSP business leaders are the definition of great. Why is that? It is not about the flash, it is not about the sparkle, it is truly about making their organizations great.
For me, it has been a very humbling experience. I am seeing my company grow and mature. I ask questions to myself at 4 AM. What do I need to do to make my company great? Do I have the right leadership structure in place to accomplish this? What makes us unique compared to the abundance of MSP marketing companies out in the wild today?
Here is what I have figured out.
I want to work with the best and I want to work with those who are seriously able to make an investment in their marketing. In my opinion, many MSP marketing companies pay lip service to the importance of managed services marketing. They provide false information to managed service providers – telling them that they can get business from a $99 website or even at $247 website.
Ulistic knows that this is so far from the truth. We also understand for $347 per month, we simply cannot provide the marketing services a serious growth-focused managed services company needs to grow and win in the marketplace.
Marketing takes serious investment in terms of time, money, and energy.
Another fallacy is this. You can’t just put up a website, set it and forget it. Marketing is the hardest thing you will ever do in your business. It takes time, effort, and serious financial investment. After listening to a Dan Kennedy recording on “renegade millionaires,” I have come to the appreciation that the top 1% of businesses in any line of business understand that when it comes to marketing, they must make serious financial investment to win new business and do this continuously.
It is very important for my own company to understand this. We must eat our own dog food and we do. Ulistic continues to make serious financial investments in marketing. You won’t see us at IT Nation or other channel events, but you will see us each month travelling to Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, and other locations around the country sharing the gospel of MSP marketing.
We have also come to the realization that some MSPs are better served by our competitors. This is so true. We can’t help everyone, because everyone is not ready to be helped. Some, not all, managed service providers have expectations that are just simply not aligned with reality. Those guys are best served by our competitors.
What does this mean for me moving forward?
During our recent mastermind group in Savannah, GA this past week, I had my eyes opened wide. I have realized that we are not doing enough for our top tier clients. Why is this? Well, one reason is that we continue to be sucked into the “squeaky wheel” by lower end clients who want to be treated like VIPs but are not willing to make the financial investment that VIPs make. This thinking is all wrong.
This time consumption issue robs us of precious time that must be focused on those who pay for that service. You need to do this well. A client paying you $300 per month with no potential of ever moving up the food chain is probably better served by your competition versus being served by you. I know this is hard to say, especially for some one like me who comes with a servant leadership mindset. I want to help everyone, but finally after all these years, I realize that I can’t.
Does this mean significant change?
Absolutely. I will work with my leadership team over the next few weeks to start to implement significant change in our business model. We have to, or we will not survive. This is not good either.
What can you learn from this?
Sometimes you need to focus all your efforts on those who deserve it and let those who will never fit into you model move on.
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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