Are you a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none? You might be missing out on huge revenue opportunities. Our piece on MSPs in the Inc. 5000 list revealed that the fastest growing IT management and services companies don’t usually cover a broad range of solutions. They pick a piece of the market they can own.
- phData focused on data platforms and machine learning and grew 5,638 percent last year.
- DecisionPoint took aim at helping government agencies optimize cybersecurity and disaster recovery and grew 2,354 percent.
- 1Link Technology helps enterprises recruit IT talent and grew 2,138 percent.
The lesson here? A specialized focus can help your business grow exponentially. The question is: how do you figure out what that focus is?
Look at Your Core Competencies
If you follow basic marketing principles, you know how important it is to have one or a few solutions that help you stand out in the market. Are you the best at cybersecurity? Are you a DRaaS rockstar? Can you kill it when it comes to data center and cloud services? Do you know healthcare like nobody’s business? Finding a potential market niche might be as easy as looking at what you do well today and how you’re already perceived in your market. Next, consider what’s not worth doing. It’s tempting to take on any project or client that comes your way, but if you can focus on a specific area you can often command a much higher rate for work.
Understand Your Market
Don’t forget that just because you have a specialty doesn’t always mean it’s what the market needs most. If you focus on cloud services but several others do too, competition might force your prices down. If you’re great at healthcare IT but so are many others, maybe you should focus on a subcategory like pediatrics. Do some competitive research on area providers and see what’s missing. What types of businesses are underserved? What kinds of profitable companies require IT services that no other MSPs are focused on? What part of the market can be all yours?
Think Beyond Traditional IT Work
Most MSPs think in terms of basic IT services they can provide such as networking, AV, backup, and so on. But many of the companies on the Inc. 5000 list go a step beyond this to provide a unique service or even software solution. Beyond traditional MSP work, is there a SaaS offering that can benefit a specific vertical or nice market? Is there a unique service (e.g. IT recruiting) that you could branch into to make yourself more distinct? Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities like these.
Develop New Skills
Last, what if your core competencies and the biggest market opportunities don’t quite match up? What if you have the perfect software idea but you’re not a developer? You may want to invest in the training you’ll need to dominate a certain area. This might mean courses, new certifications, or even talented new staff members who can help you build your vision. Developing a profitable specialty isn’t for the complacent. You’ll go outside your comfort zone, learn new things, and quickly develop your acumen if you want to dominate a new or growing area of the market. If you don’t, someone will beat you to it.
It’s tempting to think that in order to grow, you should expand your service offering, do more for more customers, or be all things to all people. The fact is, if you’re looking for ways to grow, it may be time to narrow your focus instead. Specialized services are incredibly valuable to the businesses that need them, and they’ll pay huge dividends to get them. Take your time. Do your research. Find what the market needs and gobble up a corner of it. With any luck, your company will be in the Inc. 5000 in the next few years.