Take a moment to think about how you want to start the New Year, as 2010 is coming to a close and you’re prepping for 2011. You’ve had personal New Year’s resolutions, probably even kept some of them. I propose four business resolutions for managed services providers, VARs and solutions providers; these are actionable and vital to the success of your IT business in 2011.
Let’s get to it:
1. Review Your Toolset: Stay or Go?Compare the products that you use to run your business and service your clients to their competitors. If you haven’t addressed the market in a year or two, you will find many improvements in features, pricing, and options of delivery. Take the time to make an informed decision to stay or to switch; these decisions can save you a lot of time and money. I recommend you review your PSA (professional services automation), RMM (remote monitoring and management) and BDR (Backup and Disaster Recovery) decisions. Integrations between your systems will save you time too. You may also uncover features or upgrades to your current tools that will help you run your business better today.
2. Embrace the Cloud: It’s Coming, Whether You’re Ready or NotAs the IT expert you are, wrap your arms, head and heart around the cloud. Create cloud offerings and alternatives for your clients, set pricing and get ready for the sales and invoicing process. Educate your current clients about what the cloud really is and how they can leverage cloud solutions to meet their business needs. Easy ways to educate your customers include email campaigns, blog posts, one-on-one virtual CIO reviews, and even ‘lunch and learn’ events. You want to be the one informing your clients, not your competition.
3. Get Serious About SalesThe economy is turning the corner so the time is right to give your current clients (and your local prospect base) the IT over-haul that they desperately need. Since your clients put off IT expenditures in 2009 & 2010, they are due for a whole systems and equipment upgrades. Be one of the smart solution providers who are ready to capitalize on the loosened budgets that are coming in 2011: put together a campaign, a plan, and have your staff ready for this welcome influx of business.
4. Work ON Your Business More, IN Your Business LessEasy ways to get your head in the game is to join a peer group to help you get a higher-level view of your business, set aside time each week to review industry publications and blogs, set a goal to read a business book each month, and make investments in your business that help improve efficiency so that you can work less hours and strive for a life outside of your business.
Regardless of your resolution, understand you may not be able to change what went wrong in 2010, but you sure can take control and plan for 2011 and make it a better year. The key ingredient to making your resolution happen is something many of us forget to do, that is to write it down! Once it is written down, your staff can help contribute instead of passively doing as you say based on what you remember.
What business resolution tops your list for 2011?
David Bellini is president of ConnectWise. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsor program. Read all of Bellini's guest blogs here.