This article originally appeared on MSP Mentor.
Netflix recently added Nickelodeon’sGood Burger, which in my opinion (because I grew up in the nineties), is one of the greatest stories ever committed to film. Ready for a healthy dose of nostalgia, I watched the film ASAP and was surprised to find that although it’s a kid’s movie, it’s got interesting marketing advice for MSPs who want to stand out and get more business. Yes, I’m serious. Bear with me.
For those of you that don’t know the story, Good Burger is a small burger joint that’s been around for thirty years. Things are fine for them until a huge burger chain called Mondo Burger opens across the street, offering gigantic burgers, low prices, and staff members in super sweet outfits (like, totally radical). After Mondo Burger’s grand opening, Good Burger stops making money until they discover that one of their staff members, the über-dufus Ed, makes an amazingly delicious sauce. The manager decides to put it on all the Good Burgers, which draws in large crowds each day and effectively saves the restaurant (before other shenanigans involving shark poison, giant exploding hamburgers, and Carmen Electra muddle things up, naturally).
What are YOUR secret trade tricks?
Good Burger had special sauce, but what would you do if a competitor set up shop in your space? Having a few secret trade tricks can put you on top, but before we get to those, let’s talk about quality ingredients.
For many small businesses, those quality ingredients will often be the human element larger companies can’t always provide. A smile, an honest handshake, and unyielding efforts toward providing customers with top-notch quality in both services and goods are the best ingredients a business can have. The human element is important because many people find it much easier to foster relationships with small businesses because they often work harder to provide excellent goods and service.
Once you’ve got the basics you need the special sauce to stand out. One way to stand out is to offer quick service (example: Good Burger started making speedy food deliveries). If a client has an issue, it’s imperative that you help them out immediately. Service agreements are one way an MSP can explain to clients what they can provide and how quickly the client should expect various types of service. They also let clients know exactly what their costs are each month. Service agreements are useful, but these need to fit each size of client you work with. MSPs who wish to stand out should try to be as flexible as they can. Cookie-cutter agreements can leave some companies paying for things they don’t need and other companies not quite getting all they require. As a small business, it’s beneficial for you to adjust agreements so they work well for all clients, while also providing services and products at a price point that’s affordable.
The real secret sauce: innovation
Speedy service and great customer service are great, but Good Burger’s real special sauce was innovation. You’ve got to add value to your offerings so you’ve got to think about how to do things differently. Will you support mobile devices? Will you give clients loaner equipment in the event that one of their servers or desktop units goes down? Do you bring cheeseburgers to clients when you come to visit? Do you offer free training on things like computer viruses and Internet etiquette for your clients (doing so can actually save you trouble in the long run)? What else can you possibly do to be more interesting and innovative than competitors in your space? Aiming for quality with an innovative twist is something any small, forward thinking business can do. That’s why taking a moment to consider what your special sauce is and working towards perfecting it can really give you a superior burger er… business.
Are you an MSP in charge of cyber-security for your clients? Check out Cyber-Security: Five Ways Clients Jeopardize It and Five Ways MSPs Can Educate Them.