NEWS: Global Mentoring Solutions is now part of the Sherweb family. Click here to read more about the acquisition.

How is your MSP business doing right now?  Are you on top of your game or worried about where the next dollar is going to come from?  I am sure many of you are saying that you are rocking and rolling, but deep in your boardrooms you are curious or even scared about the future of the industry.

Enter perhaps the missing piece for many of our MSP businesses.  Separation.  Can you say that you are offering a unique deliverable that separates you from the pack?  Can I be totally candid with you?  Offering BDR solutions or a cloud offering are not key separators in business because many of you are doing it.  What is out there can totally separate you from the pack.

Houston IT support firm, CITOC is hosting a luncheon later this month where he is inviting the Houston business community out for lunch and is going to teach them search engine optimization.  Is sharing something that helps a business in Houston generate more opportunities a key differentiator?  I believe so.  After all, business really wants to know how to make more money or reduce expenses.  Many of our MSP marketing messaging does not hit these core fundamentals.  It is setup to talk business into spending more money.

Here is my professional recommendation.  Find something that compliments your MSP business that other IT firms in your community are simply not doing.  What is out there?  Perhaps you can look at CITOC as an example.  Or, another example is Calgary-based Aqurus who found a unique niche offering cloud ERP solutions to business in Alberta and British Columbia.  We really need to look at solutions that benefit the client’s business versus being another cost centre.  After all, no one has won business because the network was up and running.

In order to separate your business from the pack, you really need to have focus.  Focus in a vertical market (yes, I am hyping the importance of vertical yet again) or at least a technical specialization; even better, a technical specialty that really knocks it out of the park for unique markets.  The other day I spoke with Markus from Santa Rosa’s KLH Consulting about his Microsoft DynamicsNAV solution (specialty solution) that benefits the Northern California wine industry (vertical market).

I know you are probably reading this and saying “enough”.  You know you need to look at specializing and going vertical.  You have two courses of action.  One, commit to moving in a direction that separates you from the competition or elect to do nothing.  You choose!