New Consulting Firms Help MSPs With Marketing, Sales and M&A
The managed services gold rush has created a cottage industry of consultants and organizations that are assisting MSPs with marketing, sales, mergers, acquisitions and other strategic business tasks. Three recent examples include MSPexcellence, MSPXchange and Ulistic’s MSP Marketing initiative. Here’s a closer look at each organization and its backers, plus a broader update on the coaches and pundits assisting MSPs with their business efforts.
MSPexcellence debuts this week. Launched by Todd Hussey and Dave Zwicker, MSPexcellence has developed a playbook that assists MSPs with CEO focus areas, revenue growth and sales strategies. MSPs can also participate in a forum for shared best practices. Hussey and Zwicker have extensive real-world experience with a range of networking and MSP-centric companies, including Silverback (acquired by Dell).
In some ways, MSPexcellence reminds me of some work done by the former MSP Coach (launched by Michael Cooch and other Everon IT Services executives), TruMethods and MSP University. Still, it’s unfair to lump all MSP consultants into a single box. We’ll be watching to see how Hussey and Zwicker shape MSPexcellence in the months to come.
Merge and Acquisition Experts?
Meanwhile, MSPXchange quietly launched during a recent conference hosted by the Utility Company. According to an organization description, “MSPXchange is a marketplace for small managed service providers (MSP) to monetize their business through either a structured merger or acquisition strategy.”
MSPXchange is backed by:
- the Utility Company, founded by former N-able CEO Mark Scott.
- Weaver & Associates, an MSP M&A consultancy launched by MSPAlliance President Charles Weaver.
- FranNet, a franchising organization.
- The Entrepreneur’s Source, which helps entrepreneurs with their business initiatives.
The big question: Are there enough MSPs interested in M&A activity to warrant an online exchange? To the best of my knowledge, I suspect North American MSPs engage in roughly 50 to 70 M&A deals per year.
Some pundits are certainly assisting MSPs with their M&A efforts. A few MSPs tell me they’ve worked with Weaver & Associates. And others point to successful engagements with Cogent Growth Partners, a consulting firm that assists MSPs during and after M&A activity.
Marketing the Modern Way?
Meanwhile, Ulistic has launched an MSP Marketing web site to specifically promote marketing services to the managed services community. The effort is backed by Stuart Crawford, a former MSP who will well-known across the channel and within peer groups such as HTG.
No doubt, plenty of pundits assist MSPs (and their end-customers) with their marketing and lead generation efforts. Familiar names include Kutenda, MSP University, Robin Robins, George J Sierchio and Stuart Selbst. (If I overlooked you I apologize; feel fee to post a comment and flame me for my short sightedness.)
Do Your Homework
MSPmentor doesn’t endorse any particular coaches because we don’t directly use their services. But it’s good to see marketing, sales and M&A professionals targeting the MSP market. It’s a sure sign that the managed services flame continues to burn bright.
Still, do your homework and ask for plenty of references before signing up with a coach or pundit. Hot markets attract plenty of experts … and plenty of pretenders.