Let’s face it; the IT services marketplace is a crowded one. Everyone from unqualified amateur techies to huge household names offer to provide IT support these days.
Your MSP needs to do something to stand out from the crowd. It needs a unique selling point – a Unique Selling Point (USP).
Thinking of a USP for your business may seem difficult. After all, all you are essentially doing is making technology work for your customers. But there are plenty of different kinds of technology, and plenty of ways to support them. This article provides you with some general ideas that should help you home in on a decent, compelling USP for your company.
Most MSPs provide support during normal working hours. You could instead be the local MSP that provides 24-hour support, seven days a week. Clearly this means you will need plenty of staff cover, but it gives you the chance to uniquely offer support to those that need it out-of-hours, such as global firms, hospitals and hotels.
Perhaps you could specialize in providing support to companies with mobile workforces such as logistics firms, or focus on restaurants who may need urgent help with their EPOS systems as well as their PCs and servers. There are plenty of niches than still fit within the basic MSP model and allow you to attract a certain type of client.
Focusing on a specific sector can also be a way to establish a USP.
For example, you could focus your energies on working for design companies who usually work in a different way to traditional offices. By working out a way to construct systems that effectively deal with their huge file sizes, and the storage and email implications that go with them, you will be a more desirable IT partner than MSPs who are taken by surprise by their nonstandard requirements.
For every business sector, there is a potential USP to focus on. Get seriously clued up on IT security and version control and you can then focus on accountancy and law firms, who will probably pay more for your specialist knowledge.
You can also base your USP on the technology you use and support. It may not be truly unique any more, but you could perhaps consider offering IT services based entirely in the cloud. Combine this with a sector-based USP and you could have something truly new.
Similarly, the popularity of Apple technology continues to build rapidly, so there is plenty of room for MSPs specializing in supporting Macs, or perhaps competently building and supporting networks using a mixture of OS X and Windows.
Make Your USP Your Strength
When you work out your USP, think of your company’s strengths and think about the clients you want to work for. Would you rather support accountants who need a high level of security and formality (but probably go home at 5pm) or creative types who will give you plenty of cutting edge Apple kit to play with (but will probably call late from an airport because they can’t receive a 100mb file!)
Take all this into account, along with the ideas above, and it shouldn’t be too hard to arrive at the perfect unique selling point for your MSP business.
By Scott Calonico