IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Business Development with a Little Help from Your Friends: Page 2 of 2

L.A. Creative Technologies turned to coaches, outsourcing partners, and tools to grow and rebrand as an MSP and virtual CIO targeting the creative vertical, nonprofits, and startups. By Josh Weiss

Targeting the Right Customers

The journey to MSP also involves parting ways with “wrong fit” clients who don’t value technology or service provider relationships. For me, the traditional IT model of desktop/server/database—and managing that infrastructure as an expense—felt like a “wrong fit” as well.

That’s when I discovered ReframeYourClients, a business development platform that solidified my process as a virtual CIO. I learned how to talk with clients about business processes rather than network assessments, embrace a cloud-first philosophy, and reframe technology as a tool for business innovation and growth rather than a cost center.

This all clicked for me. Now I was excited about IT again and knew how to talk with clients about it in a fresh and engaging way. It was time to brand my company to reflect this approach and target businesses I’m passionate about—the creative fields, startups, and nonprofits. It would’ve been easier to sell to legal, accounting, and medical firms, but that’s not where I’m comfortable, and it’s also where every other MSP is targeting.

I started working with consultancy Run & Hop to craft a new brand. We help people with their businesses, not just their IT. Our target clients are creative thinkers and innovators who understand the larger scope of what technology can do for them; they are often cloud-first movers and shakers. For example, one of our clients is an upstart real estate agency with a lifestyle brand. We’ve helped them rapidly scale by deploying network infrastructure and bandwidth at 14 (and counting!) national offices, which we also manage for the efficient work of their 450-plus employees.

L.A. Creative has now grown to a staff of three. But with my extended team of advisers, which includes high-speed Internet and telecom partners, our reach scales well beyond a three-person team thanks to process, relationships, and tools.

Here are some tips for how your MSP can scale too:

  • First, remember that outsourcing is about relationships. You need to influence the right people and get the right level of service.
  • Second, turn your passions and interests into strengths and leverage them. In my case that means work with creatives.
  • Third, understand that in every industry there are tools available to make your job easier.

Finally, get a little help from your friends in the industry. I can’t stress that enough.

Photography by Rafael Ortega

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