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February 15, 2022
By Ted Roller
Most MSPs are masters of day-to-day service delivery; they excel at providing tech solutions to solve their customers’ problems. Sometimes, though, they can’t see the forest for the trees. By focusing on the daily grind, they overlook the big picture — business growth. How will they grow their sales pipeline? What new markets will they tackle? Where is their business going?
If you can’t answer these questions, you’re likely one of the many entrepreneurs working in the business instead of working on the business. Fortunately, there’s a fix for that: Adopt a growth mindset.
What is a growth mindset? In business, it means embracing learning, innovation and the risk of failure to drive change and growth. It means getting out of your comfort zone and thinking beyond what’s happening today to what’s possible in the future.
Developing a growth mindset isn’t a solo endeavor but one that you should share with your team to maximize the benefit to your organization. To get started, try these three business-building strategies:
Work your network. Networking never goes out of style, and it’s foundational to becoming a trusted vendor in your community, which is a primary driver of your business’ growth. Your solid reputation among customers, prospects, peers and even competitors may be challenging to measure, but it’s undoubtedly linked to revenue generation.
Trust is built organically over time as satisfied customers become advocates for your services with businesspeople in their networks. But you also can boost trust-building within your network by engaging in:
Philanthropic initiatives, such as volunteering at an after-school program or donating tech services to a local nonprofit
Professional organizations, such as participating or stepping up to a leadership role in your local chamber of commerce or other business groups.
Community groups, such as serving on a city beautification committee.
As a result of these activities, you will not only build goodwill, but you’ll also build your company. Here’s how: People you meet in these groups will learn about you and your company’s services. When folks in their network have a need that’s in your wheelhouse, you’ll be top of mind as a trusted source.
Pro Tip: To amplify the impact of your efforts, encourage your team to participate as well. Consider reimbursing their fees to join professional groups or adopting a charity as your firm’s annual giving campaign.
Inspire your team. Once you’ve personally embraced a growth mindset, your next step is to get your team on board. Every employee should understand the value of focusing on the future and how they can benefit from and contribute to the company’s growth.
Inspirational speeches can motivate employees in the moment, but for sustained results, set clear goals they can work toward over time. Make sure to agree on forward-looking activities or targets that help employees stretch beyond their daily duties.
Encourage team members to focus on long-term outcomes with both qualitative and qualitative values. Include soft goals like supporting the corporate community initiative and numerical targets like increasing sales calls by X percent.
Pro Tip: Cultivate a climate of innovation that empowers employees to come up with new ideas, processes or programs that you may pilot to minimize the risk of failure and maximize the chance of success.
Educate ‘Insiders’. A go-to strategy to ramp up growth is marketing — lots and lots of marketing. One of the most cost-effective strategies is word-of-mouth marketing. However, rather than let it happen by accident, you can give it a push by empowering everyone you know as part of your “marketing team.”
Your employees, customers, suppliers, personal and professional contacts will talk about you and your company. No doubt, these “insiders” will be asked for referrals for a tech provider at one time or another. Make sure they know your story so they can tell it right.
Start by crafting your elevator pitch. What are the high-level takeaways you’d want everyone to know about your business? What is your value proposition? What differentiates your products and services? Once you have a few key points, use them consistently, document them and share them with your “insiders.”
Pro Tip: Don’t overlook people in your extended network, such as the guy who refills the watercooler, your doctor, your accountant, your family (even your kids!). These folks could easily find themselves in conversations where your story is relevant, which could lead to your next sale or business opportunity. What at first seems to be a one-off sale to your daughter’s friend’s dad’s chiropractic practice today could turn into a thriving niche revenue stream for your business tomorrow.
Instead of stepping in to resolve the next trouble ticket in the queue, sit back and start thinking less about problem-solving and more about possibilities for your organization. You’ve assembled a great foundation; it just takes a bit of forward-thinking to make it grow.
Ted Roller is channel chief for Zomentum and CEO of GetChanneled, a channel sales and marketing consultancy that taps his close to three decades of technology sales and solution provider experience. You may follow him on LinkedIn or @zomentum on Twitter.
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