Can MSPs Really Keep Innovating?

When you launched your business, you wanted it to be "different" from rival computer consultants and managed service providers. You had clear goals. But somewhere along the line you got tied up running your business. You stopped innovating. You became just another VAR or MSP. So what went wrong -- and how can you start innovating again?

For our company, the key to continued innovation involves breaking free from our desks, getting out on the road and speaking with smart people. A prime example: I'm spending Saturday and Sunday hanging out with 300 bloggers in Texas.

Now here's my key point:

  • I am NOT spending my weekend with peer IT journalists and peer IT bloggers.
  • Instead, I will meet bloggers from all sorts of professions -- from cooks to teachers.
The bloggers know nothing about managed services and IT solutions -- but they can certainly teach me about next-generation blogging technologies related to search engine optimization, video and so on.

Get An Outsider's Perspective

Now, let's apply that example to the managed services market -- and your business.

Many MSP-related conferences remain extremely valuable networking opportunities.But you need to take an extra step. You also need to hang out with small business owners and executives from outside the MSP industry. Check in with your local better business bureau or attend some business workshops that aren't necessarily tied to the MSP and IT markets.

Learn how small businesses (from outside the IT industry) focus on:
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • HR
  • Finance
  • And so on
Chances are, you'll find important nuggets of information that you can leverage within your own business.

Marching Forward

I'm on a journey of sorts for the next two days. I'll be taking notes like crazy as I talk with leading chefs, real estate agents, insurance pros, architects and other professionals who also have mastered the world of blogging.

No doubt, I will return home with plenty of new ideas that we can apply to MSPmentor and its peer sites. Innovate or die.

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