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8 Questions Every VAR Should Ask Themselves to Start 2018

2017 wrapped up the year with business booming, and 2018 is ready to take the baton and continue on that path. Before you set your sights on the top, ask yourself these questions…

1. Have you made the jump to providing Managed Services?

According to ResearchandMarkets, the MSP market is expected to grow from $152 billion to $257 billion by 2022. Not only are businesses looking to change to cloud solutions, but it increases your ability to provide management from offsite. Managed Services helps you to secure recurring revenue through your new and existing customers, and even help many of them attain better services and support than they had on their own.

2. Are you ready to jump outside your comfort zone?

2018 can be the year of expansion into market segments that you may not have perfected in the past. It’s great practice to have your bread and butter market segment or segments that you and your team have mastered, but take a look back at your past for some places where you threw a little time but just not enough. Haven’t fully embraced Education? Dive into the problems facing schools and how you can help them find the right solution. Only a few sales in State and Local? Read up on ransomware’s effect on major cities last year.

3. Have your in house security practices fallen to the back burner?

You keep the concerns of your customers at the forefront of your mind, but your team in house needs to stay on top of their security practices as well. Cyber criminals are quickly advancing their techniques for phishing, CEO fraud, and financial scams that primarily use social engineering as their way in. Experts believe that in 2018 phishing will continue to be the most common and dangerous threat cyber attack method. User training when it comes to security can be extremely beneficial. Employing a continuous security awareness training method can help close off some of the openings criminals are looking for.

4. Are you capitalizing on your existing opportunities?

You probably get opportunities from a lot of different sources, and sometimes they’ll come in specifically looking for one solution. There’s a good chance they are purchasing other software, hardware, or services and you might be able to bundle or capitalize on those other opportunities in the future. If you’re selling Windows laptops into a school for a one to one program those devices will need software too. Office 365, security, creative suites, etc. can be bundled in and turn existing deals into increased revenue.

5. Will you be able to continue in 2018 without a professional management tool?

Mainly applying to those VARs that have taken the dive into managed services, a PSA tool can be very valuable as you continue to scale up in 2018. You can introduce a host of new ways to organize and track all of your business information, along with added features for your customers that can include a formal helpdesk. There is a wealth of information that comes from every minute of every day as you bring on new customers, solve problems, manage billing, and track projects. A PSA tool could be the key to unlocking this mountain of data and sorting it into manageable reports that your business can benefit from.

6. Are you creating vendor relationships that are mutually beneficial?

It’s important to foster relationships with not only your customers, but your vendors as well. Many vendors, including PC Matic, sell exclusively through the channel but will often generate leads themselves. This gives you the opportunity to not only earn a new deal, but a new customer that may have a wealth of other needs you can also begin to fill for them. Most vendors operate with an understanding that they want to see VARs earn leads with a reciprocal relationship. You help them, they’ll help you. Everybody wins!

7. 2018 will have a lot of cloud in store… ready for the challenge?

You hear about it all the time, and the cloud is here to stay. More and more businesses are looking to change their solutions to cloud based offerings for increased flexibility, scalability, and often a more user-friendly interface. It’s important that you’re able to offer the cloud based solutions that customers are currently making the transition to. Don’t be left behind in the on-premise world.

8. Are your customers ready for what ransomware has in store for them in 2018?

Ransomware had its best year yet in 2017 and experts are predicting it will continue that success in 2018. It has become a concern at the forefront of almost businesses mind as we enter the new year, and that concern is warranted. Last year we saw ransomware take down school systems, public transportation, hospitals, and businesses of all shapes and sizes for days or even weeks. An approach combining application whitelisting security, backups, and user training can go a long way to keep businesses secure and online.

We’re ready for what 2018 has to offer, and know PC Matic’s Made in the USA solution will make a great fit for your customer’s security in the new year.

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