Five Tips to Surviving the Economic Storm
It’s official. Even CNBC says the Wall Street meltdown has spilled over into Main Street USA. Credit is getting tighter. It’s going to be difficult for entrepreneurs to make deeper investments in their own business. But don’t panic, folks. Here are five steps every VAR and managed service provider should take — right now — to generate more recurring revenue during the economic turmoil.
1. Borrow Money Before You Need It: Sure, that sounds crazy. The VAR Guy isn’t suggesting you borrow money to lease that new BMW you’ve had your eyes on. Instead, establish a line of credit with your local bank NOW, just in case you need money for business development down the road.
2. Take Inventory of Your Customers: Check your CRM system (or, alas, your customer spreadsheet) to determine which products and services your customers are already using. Then, build a business plan to cross sell your customers like crazy into all of your services.
3. Get Out On the Road: Visit all of your customers over the next two weeks. Assure them that you’re hearing good things from small businesses, especially when it comes to outsourcing IT services. Show your customers how predictable, monthly managed services costs can help them with their own cash flow.
4. Announce Customer Wins: As each new piece of business comes in the door, brag about it. Get the word out to your local media. All it takes is a two-paragraph press release describing the customer, their need and your IT solution. Also, announce customer wins in a monthly enewsletter to your existing customer base. Tell them about new IT solutions and services that are gaining traction. Over communicate!
5. Outsource Your OWN IT services: You’re a managed service provider that needs more feet on the street. Instead of hiring more full-time service technicians, leverage online marketplaces like OnForce to find on-demand pros in specific regions who can assist with specific customer engagements.