Jamie Warner, CEO of 50 staff MSP eNerds and MSP Software Invarosoft, examines how to scale your business by either a vertical or general market strategy.
It doesn’t really matter whether you go wide or in a vertical in building an MSP. We’ve been a generalist for 23 years, we’ve just signed up $50K in MRR Support in the last 5 months – across all industries. We’re a $10M MSP.
However, as you get bigger and do a good job it’s inevitable you start getting verticals simply by doing a good job in certain verticals. So we definitely have a few, we just don’t market to them specifically.
We’ve tried vertical and generalist, so definitely tried everything.
Every client has the same problem when looking for a new IT Partner;
It’s generally nothing to do with a technical issue.
So when they look for a new IT Partner they go to Google, Ask a Friend or respond to marketing.
In our experience no client ever changes IT Partners until they want to change. Think about that. They never change because of a fancy message in marketing or sales – they change because they gave the relationship a go and for one reason or another it hasn’t worked. It’s a pain in the butt to change MSPs (like Banks, Accountants or Lawyers) so marketing won’t make that happen, a bad relationship will.
So think about that in terms of your marketing – they’re in the market looking – you need to simply be there and catch them. If they’re not looking, they’re literally not seeing your marketing.
I tried to target Construction businesses in Sydney. We got the list (~300 businesses), we made marketing material targeted to construction, we got reference clients in construction, we hired a sales guy, we bought a car so he had something to drive, we literally knocked on their doors over 3-6 months and met them in person to see if they needed help. We dropped them into a drip email funnel with content marketing for 12 months. You can’t try any harder than this!
We got 1 converted lead.
Conclusion, if you understand the buyer you’ll understand why this will happen. They were happy and weren’t looking yet. It was a smaller market so statistically going to be less people looking.
It didn’t work … very well.
We’ve found the following has helped us scale as the #1 marketing strategies:
Any marketing strategy will work. What can’t be denied though is some strategies work better than others.
Take advice from MSPs who’ve been there. Take advice from those that have actually scaled.
It’s going to take a lot of time. Building a business where you’re essentially selling ‘relationships’ is much harder than product businesses. Shown by the fact 80% of MSPs are under $3M in revenue and 60% are under $1M. Most have whether they like it or not grown from referrals – slowly.
Invarosoft® delivers one MSP software platform to replace five products – CX, vCIO, CSAT, Warranty & Engineer Scheduling. You also get 20+ tools helping your MSP reduce stack costs, improve CX, increase productivity, enhance communication and increase your sales.