Your MSP (managed service provider) focus for SMBs (small to medium size businesses) is offering a suite of integrated business process management solutions. It’s What’s Next.
Your competitors throw a lot of products, platforms and solutions against the wall of the SMB marketplace, hoping something will stick. The sheer amount of technologies being promoted are both overwhelming and confusing.
Avoid the temptation to join the party.
Yes, there are a lot of growth opportunities in the SMB segment. However, it takes more than optimism and wishful thinking to catalyze a SMB company from where it is Today to where it needs to grow Tomorrow.
Focusing on business process management solutions as your MSP SMB strategy forces your own company to become more entrenched in your customers’ DNA.
Are you up to that challenge?
Small to medium size (midmarket) businesses are looking to MSPs and CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) for clarity of business process focus. Position your offerings to integrate and align with execution of SMB strategy.
Cut through the Internet of Noise. Focus on three areas for a MSP SMB strategy that targets clarity for your customers.
- Define SMB and midmarket ecologies. There is some discrepancy in definition. Develop your MSP strategy for SMB based on revenue tiers ($50-$500M), number of employees and presence of a dedicated IT (information technology) department. Companies generating $10-$50M fall into the upper tier of small business or the very lower tier of midmarket in some definitions. As a sidebar, there are very small businesses and microbusinesses which operate far below this level of revenue, but whose CEOs become indignant when you call them very small or micro entities. Each segment is critical to regional economic recovery and economic development. Your reps may be barking up the wrong trees (or are more comfortable) when prospecting companies in various SMB segments. Make sure your own company teams are aware of these differences and communicate accordingly.
- Understand behavioral /cultural differences. One MSP SMB strategy won’t be appropriate for everyone within this broad tier. Corporate cultures for these companies vary depending on company size, expertise, business model, longevity and revenue stream sustainability. Whatever you decide to call them, the lowest midmarket segment (or upper small business segment) behaves differently than companies earning between $50M to $150M, which can represent one company, multiple divisions especially in the manufacturing space. Then there are the mid-market companies earning upwards to $500M. Look before you leap.
- Identify proof (or signs) of business process life. Smaller businesses, those operating between $10-$50M in annual revenue, wrestle with stabilizing their revenue streams. They talk to you about being “poised for growth” but are business process poor. Your MSP SMB strategy focuses on suggesting both business process solutions as well as external consulting partners which your company provides. Midmarket companies >$50M are the result of business models and processes which support revenue growth. However, will your MSP SMB strategy positively or negatively impact “the way things are” in these organizations? Again, your technology solutions may be best integrated in concert with partners skilled at traversing executive team dynamics.
Ponder the talent in your own organization. What business process management expertise can you offer your targeted SMB tiers today? Start your MSP SMB strategy by understanding your own business process management capabilities as you create your trajectory for “What’s Next?”
Slice through the Internet of Noise. Provide cross-discipline MSP “What’s Next” business process solutions representing the hybridization of information technology know-how with business consulting. This strategy creates a suite of fluid solutions which offer tremendous value to your customers.
This post was brought to you by IBM for MSPs and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s PivotPoint. Dedicated to providing valuable insight from industry thought leaders, PivotPoint offers expertise to help you develop, differentiate and scale your business.
Babette N. Ten Haken builds innovative, productive and profitable teams focused on excellence in the execution of strategy. Her Playbook on collaboration hacks, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.