Copier and print companies are on the brink of an industry shift. What companies do now will likely affect the business in the long run. Many are catching onto the trend and venturing into the Managed Print Services sector. Considering the success of many MSPs as well as the available equipment inventory copy companies currently have, there is really no reason to hesitate moving into the managed services sphere. However, many companies are being held back because they are unsure or even overwhelmed by marketing and operations. Don’t let this scare you into complacency or you’ll be watching your competitors laugh their way to the bank.
Building an MPS business from your current copy and print services requires careful planning. Moving too fast can impact cash flow, but not moving at all can and will impact growth and new business. A successful MPS can help build more predictable, recurring revenue streams, augment recurring revenue streams from managed services, and open doors to new customers. Consequently, remaining focused on a single product or service is not the route to being accepted as a long-term trusted partner. So ultimately, how does an MPS get over this hump and sell managed services to current clients and find new?
The perception and reality of business growth can be daunting and can easily allow the loss of customers, profit and the potential of a MPS altogether. There are a few core items that will help you sell your services to current clients as well as retain these clients. A large issue with MPS is a disconnect with what they want to offer and what they can offer. Many bite off more than they can chew, which in turn slows down work and often times keeps them from executing deliverables for clients. This is the number one reason why clients leave MPS or shop for new services. Pre-contract expectations are extremely important when it comes the client retention. Building on this issue, not having the right employees on board with specific specialized skills, can also hinder retention. Basically, you need the right tools for the job in order for it to be done correctly and with quality. Finally, ensure your employees know your business. They don’t have to be pro’s in everything, but they certainly need working knowledge of the business.
Another large challenge that faces copier companies transitioning to MPS is credibility. Why is a customer going to trust you to manage their IT services when you’ve only sold printers? Many verticals entering managed services, will need to build competencies beyond their traditional knowledge. This will help immensely when targeting niche markets for new customers. Manufacturing, healthcare and legal sectors face challenges and need to meet industry compliances that you will need to be known. By flaunting your knowledge of these items, credibility will come naturally. This is also the key to new business. Knowing your verticals can assist in penetrating new markets.
The main takeaway for MPS or future MPS is that knowledge is power and to simply keep moving. The technology offered in today’s market will allow a copy company to grow into an MSP. Between cloud computing and financing like Saas, scalability is possible and inventible. Don’t be afraid to test the waters, do your research and succeed.