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3 Ways to Make 2017 Your Most Successful Year Yet

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Recently, a group of successful managed service providers from across the country shared their most helpful tips for driving business growth. Here are a few of our favorites.

As the end of Q4 approaches, it’s important to look back in reflection and ask yourself, “What worked for my business? What could we have done better?” If you didn’t hit all of the growth numbers or revenue goals, keep reading.

Recently, a group of successful managed service providers (MSPs) from across the country shared their most helpful tips for driving business growth. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. Be the "Go-To" Guy

As an MSP, you likely offer a number of different IT solutions. However, it is important to specify the services in which you specialize in order to differentiate yourself from the competition. For example, if you offer strong ransomware protection technologies, you’ll want to broadcast that as much as you can on your website, your social media pages, your email signature--everywhere.

One of the MSPs we spoke with recommended developing expertise in specific industries, such as healthcare or finance. “When we first started out, I was hesitant to work with clients with HIPAA needs,” explained Dale Shulmistra, co-founder of Invenio IT. “Over time, we wound up with a lot of HIPAA clients, because they have a greater need for the services in which we specialize.”

He became an expert in industries that often require a business to meet HIPAA compliance standards. It is because of this that he has become the “go-to HIPAA” IT guy in his area. By specializing in one specific area, he was able to make a name for himself. 

2. Be Choosy about Clients

As you build your pipeline, it’s easy to jump at every opportunity that comes your way. It’s understandable to acquire any and all business when you’re fairly new, but as your company matures, so should your selection process of your clientele. Yes, I’m saying sometimes it’s better for business to turn down business. Hear me out.

It ties back to being the “go-to guy.” If you know where your business excels, your ideal client should be someone that has need for those services. If they are a good fit for your service model early on, this will lead to a smoother relationship down the road. These clients will be easier to service, as they are generally on the same wavelength as you in terms of what they expect from their MSP.

“We only go after clients that value technology and data,” Shulmistra shared. “It’s usually not worth the effort to try to educate them if they don’t value technology. You’ll never convince them if they are just looking for the cheapest price. Figure that out quickly, and move on if they just don’t get it.”

Your target customer should be as happy to find you as you are to find them.

3. Embrace Single-Vendor Accountability

Standardizing your technology offering will save you a lot of headaches down the road. Multiple products that meet the same need will likely be priced differently depending on the vendor, and this can get confusing for you and your clients.

For example, offering a single, all-in-one solution for security, rather than multiple solutions from different vendors, can be much easier for MSPs. According to Mark Calzone, president of Ash Creek Enterprises, “This is beneficial in two ways. First, it’s easier to manage relationships with a finite set of vendors. Second, your staff will develop expertise working with the specific products you choose.”

Your clients won’t have to stress over a decision they likely don’t feel qualified to be involved in--that is, which technology vendor’s solution to go with. Instead, you’ve already picked the best solution for them ahead of time. It’s truly a win-win.

To take it one step further, some MSPs work only with a single IT solution provider. Juggling fewer relationships leaves them more time to become solution experts, and, when they need support, they’re always calling the same vendor.

Interested in the other pieces of advice from the MSP gurus behind these tips? You can read them all in our newest eBook, “7 More Habits of Highly Successful MSPs.” Check them out today and make 2017 your best year yet!

Rob Rae is VP of Business Development, Datto.

Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.

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