2 Catastrophic Events That Almost Bankrupt This Managed Services Provider

Posted by Robin Robins On January 23rd, 2012

The January 2012 Marketing GENIUS of the Month 

Story as told by Tim Shea…

Before finding Robin, our business was hovering just below $1 million dollars in sales for a couple of years. We were making a profit, but I was incredibly frustrated by the lack of growth. It seemed as though we were stuck and needed to figure out how to get over the hump and bring more new customers in the door. Like most of her clients, we were good technicians but not good at sales or marketing, so when I saw that her program was geared specifically toward managed service providers, signing up was a no-brainer – and thank God I did.

Two Catastrophic Events That Almost Bankrupt Us 

Shortly after signing up with Robin, I had two catastrophic events happen that had the potential to put us out of business. A key engineer quit because he was going through a divorce. He had been servicing a contract that represented 25% of our

 revenue and, since we couldn’t service the contract without him, we lost it. Then, a month later, our largest MSP client (135 computers) decided they had outgrown us and cancelled their contract. That meant 20% of our revenue stopped suddenly, leaving a big, gaping hole in our profitability. Leveraging Robin’s strategies for marketing, I was able to sign 26 new accounts that year and re-sign the lost account a few months later. That means we ended up recovering the 45% in lost revenue. Since then, she’s gotten me through a number of mini-crises, but those were the ones where the marketing really saved our bacon.

The Best Campaigns We’ve Implemented To Date 

Since then, I’ve implemented a lot of Robin’s marketing campaigns. First, we completely revised our web site, and are working with Tom Malesic at EZSolution to improve our SEO. I also spend about $400 per month on Google AdWords, something we’re still working on improving. The one campaign I’ve had a lot of success with is Robin’s classic “Bad Date” letter, as well as a BDR campaign. But in addition to those campaigns, I’ve implemented a monthly hardcopy newsletter that I send to all my clients and warm prospects, a monthly e-mail TechTip (to warm leads and cold suspects we have), and a quarterly seminar at my office. The seminar has gotten such a great response that we’re going to start doing them monthly. We are also starting to implement web videos and telemarketing to follow up on the campaigns we’re sending out and, based on our early estimation, should see a significant boost in response, leads and sales from it.

250% Increase To The Bottom Line 

It’s hard to say which particular marketing campaign gave us the best results overall, but it IS working. This year, we are on track to increase gross revenue from $1 million to $1.3 million (a solid 30% increase) and a net profit increase from $136,000 to $340,000 (a whopping 250% increase).

Looking back, I wish I had been more consistent in the marketing and promotions. I think this is a mistake many new clients make: they get the material and dabble, yet we all know that generating results requires more than just the occasional campaign – it takes a serious effort and focus. If anyone out there is unsure, my advice would be to stop second guessing everything and just put it into practice. But make sure you do it with 100% effort and not a half-attempt or you’ll waste your time and be disappointed with the results.