Business Security

The MSP Guide to Vertical Market Success: 10 Steps for Entering a Vertical Market

Erik Preisser, 22 October 2018

Continuing our series on MSP success, we delve into the key factors and necessary steps for entering a vertical market.

It’s a great time to be an MSP. With cybercrime a daily occurrence, the business sector is looking for managed security services to keep them protected. This is especially true among SMBs, who tend to have insufficient resources to hire and train their own IT departments. In our recent  series, The MSP Guide to Vertical Market Success, we lay out the benefits of becoming subject-matter experts for your clients. So far, we’ve explored the unique benefits of the education, professional services, and healthcare vertical markets; and in this post, we’ll address the key steps to entering the vertical market of your choice.

No matter the industry, we’ve identified the ten key steps that will begin your successful journey into that market. Let’s take a look at the first five.

1. Objectively assess your compatibility.

Start by selecting a vertical market based on your current customer base. Existing customers are usually the first source for determining a vertical that you can enter with credibility and confidence. It’s important to objectively assess your expertise or any specialized skills or knowledge needed to be successful in the selected vertical.

2. Define your ideal client.

The second step is creating a profile of the ideal desired customer in your vertical market. A client profile should highlight three to five characteristics that define your ideal client. Knowing your client profile will help you zero in on prospects that are most likely to value your services.

3. Research the local market value.

Step 3 is sizing up the local market value of your chosen vertical. Determining the potential size helps you with decision making on a number of fronts including territories, marketing programs, geographic focus, and whether the vertical is worth pursuing.

4. Dedicate your company to the vertical.

Once you have decided to enter a vertical, you are ready for Step 4 — committing to the vertical. You and your team must be committed to winning in the new vertical and to becoming the dominant IT solution provider. To do this, you will need to immerse yourself in the various business ecosystems, culture, and workflows of the vertical.

5. Create a clear positioning statement.

Step 5 is creating a clear positioning statement to frame your messaging. A positioning statement helps you focus your marketing efforts and brings clarity to your sales efforts. Items to consider when developing your positioning statement include the primary need of your target client, how you are different from other IT providers, and the most important benefits that come from your services or expertise.

Our guide on 10 Steps for Entering a Vertical Market explains the five steps above in more detail and lays out steps 6-10 for you.

In this guide, we also delve into the four key success factors for specializing in any vertical, based on the extensive experience and feedback of Avast Business partners. Download the guide, which will help you target the right vertical for your business model, enter the market competently, and build a strong foundation for servicing specialized markets.

Download the guide