Create a predictable, scalable Inbound platform for growth
The search engine optimization (SEO) industry has taken a big reputational hit in recent months. Now, it’s not so much that SEO is no longer important or effective for getting specific pages of your website ranked on page one of search engine results. It’s just that there’s been such a massive backlash against bad SEO practices, that the needle is clearly and rapidly moving more towards using content and Inbound marketing to organically attract the right website visitors.
Microsoft partners have a big dilemma: on one hand, their firm’s Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) credential can open doors and plow down sales resistance. On other hand, a lot of potential small business clients still don’t really know what being a Microsoft partner really means. But at the end of the day, Microsoft partners don’t have the luxury of waiting until their hard-earned credentials become as ubiquitous as being Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) or board certified physicians. In the meantime, what should partners do to attract better small business clients?
When entering a mature market, you need to focus your efforts to position your business in a way that will maximize your sales and beat out the competition. The question is, with so much competition out there, how can you differentiate your computer service and sales business?
If you own a computer consulting business that serves small companies in your local community, one of your biggest never-ending battles is getting new clients. But many times, your prospective customers are not only evaluating your firm, but they’re also checking out the competition. Competition’s a good thing, because within reason, competition generally proves that a market exists for your services. But what do you do, when you're relatively small firm, that may size-wise be anywhere from just yourself up to perhaps a handful or two of employees or contractors, has to go head-to-head against national competitors?
As a small IT consulting firm, your edge comes from the fact that you are more agile, more human, and have less overhead than some of the more corporate competition. You have a couple of decisions that you need to make to determine the type of business model you end up using.
While some MSP business owners got into managed services as entrepreneurs, most were system engineers or IT consultants first. So from the standpoint of hiring and managing technical talent, most owners have a pretty good grasp of the skillset that’s required to satisfy various client’s IT needs. But what about new marketing hires?
Is the computer consulting business market as exciting as headline-grabbing IPOs? This is probably not the case on most days. But a little while back, the little-known part of the IT industry that keeps small businesses humming got some ink in one of the world’s most prestigious dailies. Move over Facebook, Apple, and Google. Another lesser-known part of the IT industry has captured the attention of The Wall Street Journal.
If you’re tired of well-intentioned friends and family members making largely unfounded and naive remarks, like, “Hey, sorry to hear the IT consulting industry is in a recession,” you’re in luck! You can now prove them wrong, right from your mailbox, bookstore, newsstand, magazine rack, smartphone, or tablet.
The types and amounts of insurance coverage your IT business needs are specific to your company and can be determined with the help of an insurance agent, broker, or insurer. But as a rule of thumb, there are three main types of insurance you probably need.
IT consultants are a detail oriented group of individuals, which makes them particularly well-suited to small business leadership. The issues and requirements of running a small business are abundant; the more “on it” owners and managers are the better. But even the uber-organized like having options that save time and simplify things, right? When it comes to small business insurance for IT consultants, that simplification comes with a business owner policy.
To simplify staying on top of small business needs, and get plugged into what many small business clients and prospective clients are themselves reading (so you can enter the conversation already going on in their minds), consider this list of seven must-read small business blogs for computer support service owners.
Business consulting firms are called on by their clients for a wide variety of purposes. However at the most basic level, if a valued client suffers major business interruption, especially when preventable, that’s definitely not good for anyone. In this article, we’ll look at how a consulting firm can jumpstart its clients’ disaster recovery planning…before it’s too late.
There are many different ways for your computer business to earn money, and that’s obviously a great thing. The purpose of this article is to provide a list of all the different ways you can bring revenue into your company.
If you traveled to the ChannelCon event to learn where managed services are headed, you were definitely in the right place. Day 3 of the conference featured an excellent, eye-opening panel discussion on Business Transformation in Managed Services.
Do you own or manage a company that provides network support to local small businesses? If so, you may realize that a lot is changing right before your eyes – but at the same time wonder where you should be making the big strategic bets for the next several years.
If your company is new to providing business technology solutions, it’s important to make sure that you’ve very crisply defined your target market. Why? Because there’s a huge gaping chasm between the recurring IT needs and profitability of SOHO (small office/home office) clients vs. true B2B (business to business) clients. In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of each market segment and what your firm needs to be successful with each.
When most new to the IT business think about offering a computer maintenance agreement to their clients, they think about software patches, cleaning up dust bunnies, reloading corrupted disk images, and reviewing system logs. However if that’s all your agreement provides, it’s missing out on what your small business clients really want and need: someone who can take charge of anything and everything having to do with their IT needs. So what needs to be part of your computer maintenance agreement, to truly deliver the complete soup-to-nuts solution?
Some small IT providers specialize in business computer services – focusing most of their energies on B2B (business to business). Other small tech providers tackle both business- and home-computer services (B2C). Is selling business computer services inherently “better” than home computer services? And is there really a “right” answer?
Last summer, Scott Steinberg, CEO of product testing firm TechSavvy, wrote an excellent article for Inc.com on 5 Tips to Build a Killer Consulting Business. Since so many of our readers in the IT consulting industry struggle with this very challenge, we wanted to share a few of Steinberg’s tips, along with some additions and refinements that could be especially helpful for those providing outsourced IT services as part of their locally-focused small business consulting.
Even though many dominant companies in the IT channel try to get their message out with a one-size-fits-most approach, those that provide small business computer services are simply way too diverse in their business models and target markets to try to group everyone into just a few buckets or segments. A little while back, we ran a survey of about 300 technology providers, primarily small IT providers, around the globe to take a pulse on a number of issues. In this post, we’ll look at those who provide computer services to small businesses and what their business models are primarily focused on.
A lot of computer consulting businesses, especially sole proprietors and even moonlighting consultants, try to pretend like their companies are a lot bigger than they really are. Is this a good idea? (the ole “fake it til you make it) Generally no! But that’s beyond the scope of this post and would involve several rants about ethics and managing expectations. Here we want to share some data we recently collected in a survey of 312 SMB technology providers – mostly computer consulting businesses – primarily in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Australia.
In the survey, we asked, “How much of an ownership stake do you have in your company?”
Identify the 6 key pieces for planning an effective inbound marketing strategy (page 2)
Narrow down your “must do” list to these 11 ways to attract targeted visitors (page 3)
Convert a lot more of your website visitors to qualified leads with these tools (page 4)
Close sales faster with new clients that are eager to do business with your company (page 5)
Achieve the Inbound marketing holy grail by delighting and retaining clients for life (page 6)
Uncover four little-known secrets for locating the most highly qualified prospective clients (pages 7-8)
Learn how you can consistently attract more high-paying clients (pages 9-10)
Discover five easy-to-apply tips for marketing high-margin, small business computer consulting services (page 14)
The easiest way to create highly relevant content that attracts leads
How to give your company a 92% chance of acquiring new clients through your website
Whether your website copywriting is attracting clients or alienating them
The best keywords to target on your website
How to tell if your company is invisible to the decision makers that you need to reach
3 key social media best practices that attract the best website visitors
How to generate more leads from your blog posts
Which 4 elements must be in your news releases to attract great website visitors
The 9 types of partners most computer consultants need
How even the smallest IT company can build its own channel partner program
And much more!
What must happen first before your website is in a position to generate leads
Why most computer consulting businesses and MSPs are wasting at least half of their website traffic
How to create irresistible lead generation offers that cause conversion rates to go through the roof
What you can do to keep your sales funnel filled and accelerate the sales cycle
What it takes to transform qualified leads into highly-desirable paying clients
The key to making your best leads feel a burning desire to learn more
The 5 types of landing pages that nearly every computer consulting or MSP website must have
The basic workflow that must be mastered for effective lead generation
Which metrics matter most when it comes to generating more leads from your website
How to uncover which sources of website visitors ultimately monetized into paying clients
And much more!