SMB MSPs are managed service providers (MSPs) that provide managed cloud, big data, security and mobile services to small to mid-size businesses (SMB).
According to an article in Channel Partners Online, there’s a tremendous opportunity for MSPs in the next four years, 2015-2019, as small to mid-size businesses recognize the need for these types of services.
While that’s good news for SMB MSPs, it is also good news for small to mid-size businesses, if they choose to see it this way.
Small to mid-size businesses are traditionally marginalized by consultants and vendors, who prefer to chase accounts with larger companies offering greater ROI on the time spent cultivating that account.
This scenario leaves many SMBs on the outside, looking in, when it comes to cloud, mobile, security and big data.
This opportunity favors SMB MSPs who are dedicated to working with small to mid-size businesses. These are a special set of folks. Like me, they recognize that the key to economic growth and recovery is working with that portion of the U.S. business sector comprising as much as:
“99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms, 64 percent of net new private-sector jobs, 49.2 percent of private-sector employment, 42.9 percent of private-sector payroll, 46 percent of private-sector output, 43 percent of high-tech employment, 98 percent of firms exporting goods, and 33 percent of exporting value”.
Then there is the size of the global sector to consider and the opportunities afforded to SMB MSPs.
Why are SMB MSPs a new business species, in my humble opinion?
Small to mid-size businesses have a different persona than their larger cousins. If you, as an MSP, have honed your business development and sales skillsets on selling to large companies, you are in for a shock which will test your team’s patience.
Many small to mid-size businesses are family-owned. Again, if you are used to working with large corporations with multiple locations and legacy business models, your sales cycle will not look like a straight-shot down the bowling alley presented by your latest sales training program.
SMB MSPs will deal with companies who may not even have a dedicated IT department. Or that IT department may be a department of less than 5 folks (or even one), who is a family member with some IT knowledge.
And here’s the critical factor: in order to grow, expand and sustain a small to mid-size business, that SMB eventually will outgrow the capacity of their IT department.
That means SMB MSPs will need to become artists at prying the family-fingers off ownership of the IT department. MSPs already know that moving ownership from inside the company to outside the company can be the rate-limiting step in closing a deal or not.
Do SMBs need MSPs who specialize in their size companies? You bet.
In today’s unsecure digital business universe, any SMB who still is working on launching a pretty new website and straightening out their email situation is going to be left in the dust. That’s not IT.
Many SMBs aren’t enthusiastic about taking the necessary steps to source, specify, purchase and manage the technology that is mandatory to drive their organizations to growth.
So they put their heads in the sand and ignore the obvious. What are they waiting for? A security breach?
There’s tremendous business opportunity for SMB MSPs to cultivate small to mid-size businesses. Who will step up to specialize in this important business development and economic segment?
This post was brought to you by IBM for MSPs and opinions are my own.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a business coach and management consultant. Her Workshops create Playbooks for startups and small to mid-size companies who want to grow, expand and sustain their businesses, but wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Playbook on leadership, business development and collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact her here.