MSPs: What’s Your Vertical Industry Focus?

MSPs: What’s Your Vertical Industry Focus?

July 17

A  lot of businesses get so caught up in the idea of having a lot of clients that they forget to think about what types of clients they’d like to have, and perhaps more importantly, what types of clients they should specialize in working with. There are many different potential industries with various needs. Industries range from the hotel industry to the food and beverage industry to the medical industry all the way to the legal industry. There’s no shortage of verticals to work with, but it’s also wise to think of what fits you as a business. According to StorageCraft partner and MSP, Guy Baroan, MSPs ought to find an industry in which they can be an expert:

“I believe you definitely want to have a specialization in one area if you can. It’s very difficult to be successful as the person that ‘knows everything’—it’s hard to be successful in all areas at once. To be good at something you have to have information, whether it’s the education vertical, healthcare, distribution, manufacturing—you have to find the information. That’s what makes you better.”

Guy also noted that while it is beneficial to have a specific vertical focus, there are certain niches within a vertical that can be extra challenging—especially if you’re talking about healthcare:

“If you’re working on a niche within healthcare where it’s very focused and defined, you could be running a risk. If a new regulation comes out or something gets changed, it could affect you negatively. It could be good and it could be bad, but the more specific focus you have on a niche within the industry, the bigger the risk, although there can be greater rewards.”

Of course, when you’re looking at an area to focus on, it’s essential that you pick one that makes sense for your business. Some verticals come with challenges that can keep them out of reach for many, and one of these is government. As Guy puts it:

“You can’t really just go and start working for government agencies and be good at it. You’ve got to know someone, you’ve got to know how to get in there, plus you’ll be competing with a lot of people.”

Another difficult area to focus on is education. Says Guy:

“Let’s say you want to work with education, it’s tough to do. They have people they usually work with and trust, so you have to know someone, and you need experience, you need to know what their budgets are—they have very strict budgets, and you need to know how the budgets work. Things are similar with the government. You’ve got to be low-priced and there’s a bidding process.”

Knowing all that makes it seem daunting, though there can certainly be rewards for working in these industries, if you know how to get into them. Guy suggests taking small opportunities when they come your way, and working into the industry from there.

“When an opportunity comes up to get your feet wet you go for it. Suppose a small town government wants your help, then you can work with them, they can refer you to other towns and now you get more knowledge and experience. They always want to know things like who else you service, what you know, and why they would want to work with you.”

While there are a number of challenges when it comes to servicing various verticals, they aren’t without their rewards. Guy suggests having thorough knowledge of the needs of any industry you hope to focus on so that you can give them what they need, whether those needs deal with compliance, or basic IT productivity. Photo Credit: Geralt via Pixabay