Joe, What Is The Benefit For A Managed IT Services Firm To Join A Peer Group?
When you are entering and starting off in the IT industry, you’re running around trying to pick up clients, any clients. A break/fix here, closet server reboot there, a virus infection emergency, and so on. All low hanging fruit so to speak.
The longer you are in the business, you begin discovering who the real professionals are and who are not. You also notice there are certain competitors, that are only serving one or two markets, like Healthcare or Legal, and oddly enough they keep growing, and you’re not. You may even find yourself asking around trying to figure out what they know.
Then out of the blue one day, you’re invited to a “Peer Group Meeting”; where other IT companies gather to discuss the industry and share business ideas. Only out of sheer curiosity do you grab a pen and a notepad and go. When you arrive, you see that one particular competitor, (you’ve been asking about), at the same gathering.
When it’s all over, and you’re walking back to your vehicle, there are so many thoughts running through your mind. You heard Business Owners and CEO’s sharing what they did in their IT companies to find more qualified buyers, switching business focus and only serving a specific industry, like Healthcare or Legal, and how the peer group challenged them to keep and reach their business and personal goals.
That mysterious competitor you’ve been asking about was also opening up and freely giving away:
- Fresh Business Advice
- Innovative IT Services Marketing
- Step-by-Step Business Strategies
- How to Target a Vertical Niche
- Their Company’s Trade Secrets
- How to Join the Group
It’s as though you’re handed an exclusive invitation to sit down with successful IT business owners, from different industry sectors, to ask them any questions. By the end of the discussion, you’re walking away with an inch-thick pad full of notes you wrote and a new direction for your IT business.
Joe, Is It True Peer Group Members Are Accountable to One Another?
Yes, but for a good reason. Clients hold our companies accountable for keeping their IT systems healthy. We as owners and CEO’s hold our employees responsible for the work they produce. When you join a peer group of highly driven, like-minded industry-focused professionals; where the primary goal is to push each other to keep raising the bar higher, there must be checks and balances in place.
When I or any member come to the group; each of us is asking ourselves: “How can I improve, as a CEO, at keeping and reaching my goals, for my business?”, We look to the peer group to hold our feet to the fire and vise versa. It’s like that old saying, “Iron Sharpens Iron.”
Here’s a hypothetical example of being challenged to raise the bar higher:
- I come to the group and present a process we’re using to generate “X” number of good leads
- you point out, another part needs adding, so I will generate “Y” number of qualified leads
Now, I could go away frustrated my process was shot down in front of the group, or genuinely consider the honest feedback, tweak our system, and see if we get more qualified leads; not average inquirers.
So, I go ahead and test this member’s suggestion and implement the addition. I quickly learn my process was good but needed that one tweak, and now, more qualified buyers are calling.
In this hypothetical situation; had my peer group not challenged me to take it up a notch,
- I would not have noticed I was not targeting the right buyers.
- Or worse I was attracting the wrong types of clients.
Joe, Before You Go. Do You Have One Peer Group Strategy You Don’t Mind Sharing?
If you visit our website, you will notice that our company, Global Data System, is a Healthcare focused IT services company in New England. In the past, most of our content focused on shameless self-promotion.
Thanks to Stuart Crawford of Ulistic’s High-Performance peer group, our content strategies changed. Our material focuses primarily on informing and educating the visitor. As a result, viewers are staying longer on our site. They are reading more of our in-depth articles, and the effect is, more qualified buyers are calling.
Like this article? Check out, How Social Media Platforms Have Increased the Burden of Compliance to HIPAA Regulations and Cybersecurity Gaps Still Plagued Organizations in Spite of Better Risk Management Protocols or Are You Operating On Your Own Technology? Let Us Scrub In and Provide Healthcare Technology Consulting!