But MY Business Is Different…

One of the items on my “someday maybe” list is to own a working farm to not only live off the land but also to start a dog rescue – a dream that almost came true three years ago when a farm-to-table restaurant with 20+ acres of farmland, a barn, an old farmstead manor, a small schoolhouse and an event venue turned up for sale. Unfortunately, by the time I called the Realtor ready to buy, they had just closed on the deal, so for now I’ll have to be happy with my raised beds in the backyard. 

Anyhoo, in my pursuit of being able to live off the land in a small way, I discovered www.RentTheChicken.com, a business that sells a “chicken coop as a service” so you can try out raising chickens and getting fresh eggs without the commitment.  

Included in the basic package is the delivery, setup and pickup of everything you need to raise chickens in your backyard, including egg-laying hens, a coop, a food and water dish, plus training and a complete guide to taking care of their fluffy butts.  

You might think it’s silly, but they’re SOLD OUT of all their packages for the year with a wait list, and someone is making serious bank that doesn’t require a lot of work and maintenance. Drop off chickens, collect check. Simple. Of course, if I shared this idea with many business owners, there would be zero interest in investigating it further because they are of the mind “My business is different,” and therefore nothing can be learned, when quite the opposite is true. 

In fact, Rent The Chicken is doing exactly what I try to get most MSPs to do: offering standard and deluxe versions, as well as upgrades and upsells. For example, customers can pay more for organic feed vs. regular, larger coops vs. standard sizes and add-on play items for the chickens, which include swing sets and teeter-totters – and YES, people are buying this. 

But embedded in so many folks’ mushy brains is a hardwired stubborn streak to INSIST that THEIR business is different, and therefore the ideas, strategies, marketing, selling and operations “don’t apply” to them and cannot be used, preventing progress from being made. 

One of the things I encourage my members to do is to attend events that are totally outside of the IT industry – ideally one where there might be potential clients – to simply learn new ideas that can be brought over and used in their business. Good ideas are universal, and ALL businesses must accomplish the same core functions: they need to find a receptive, responsive target market that is affordably reachable, communicate persuasively using one or more medias, then put out offers and hooks to attract customers, build a list, close sales, retain customers, maximize profits, etc., etc.  

The willful blindness of NOT “seeing” good ideas as a potential fresh new way of doing business is extremely costly; if you become more curious and think of HOW something CAN be applied, you are far more likely to uncover a breakthrough that your competition hasn’t seen, tried or isn’t currently implementing. Drive-through windows in fast food restaurants led to banks offering drive-through; there are drive-through car washes, drive-through dry-cleaning and drive-through weddings. Some funeral homes even offer drive-through viewings (yes, it’s a thing).  

In my business, we took a very unique approach to selling CRM software that most agencies would never have considered and still don’t, which has led us to be the leading Keap reseller, as well as one of the largest CRM consulting firms in the world. Even though I’ve shown it to various software companies, there isn’t one that is using it, including ALL of the software vendors in our space. Why? Because their head is firmly stuck up their “My business is different” arse.  

Even when we show marketing campaigns that one MSP used, we STILL hear “My business is different” excuses as to why they can’t replicate it in their own MSP. They’re too big, they’re too small, their customers are too conservative, their customers are too liberal, their customers won’t pay those kinds of prices or buy those kinds of services, they live in a big town, they live in a small town, they don’t have those kinds of people available for hire, they have too much competition, etc., etc., etc.  

It really isn’t a mystery why winners win and losers lose, the rich get richer and the rest stay stuck, small and broke. Winners are curious and eager to find and try fresh new ideas and figure out HOW to make them work; losers are constantly stuck in finding ways something WON’T work for them, blinders on. ALL of the Sharks from this year’s Boot Camp had questions for me – how do I get so many members to show up again and again? How do I get so many sponsors in the hallway? What am I offering? What do I charge? What’s happening in the industry? Robert Herjavec and I had an hour long call after Boot Camp where he asked dozens of questions. Kevin commented that he comes back to our event because he’s very interested in the IT industry as a whole. He attends to learn something, not just pick up a check. Daymond met with me and my team after the event to learn more about the Shock-And-Awe boxes and how they are used.  

None of these guys “need” new ideas. None of them said, “THAT won’t work for us/me/our business/our industry.” They asked in a curious delight to find a clever, unique approach to business. Remember, there’s NO MONEY in creating lists of reasons why good ideas won’t work, only in figuring out how to make them work for you. 

Got a hot tip for us? We want to hear from you. Send your ideas, comments, or other thoughts to [email protected].

There’s no doubt about it: Robin Robins has helped more MSPs and IT services companies to grow and prosper, liberating them from stagnation, frustration, drudgery and low incomes. For over 20 years, Robin has been showing MSPs and IT services firms how to implement marketing plans that attract higher-quality clients, lock in recurring revenue streams and secure high-profit contracts. Her methods have been used by over 10,000 IT services firms around the world, from start-ups to multimillion-dollar MSPs. For more information and a FREE copy of The MSP’s Ultimate Guide To IT Services Marketing And Lead Generation, go to https://www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com


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