5 Reasons Why MSP Leaders Should Join Peer Groups
Historically, being a leader in the IT space in any capacity can be a stressful and even lonely job. The pervasive feeling within the channel used to be, keep your business secrets guarded and work in isolation.
Thankfully, one of the evolutions in the managed service provider (MSP) community are peer groups. Designed to accelerate your leadership abilities, peer groups provide a safe and open environment to discuss the challenges and successes of being an IT leader.
One of the biggest differences between peer groups and informal network groups, which are usually supported by a local chamber of commerce or similar organization, is that you pay to participate. Of course, when it comes to your business, where you spend your money is of the utmost importance. Discover five important reasons why joining a peer group is a good investment for your MSP’s future.
The act of stating your goals, objectives, and plan to accomplish them in front of business peers can have the kind of pull that keeps you focused on achievement. Just like working out with a buddy or utilizing a business coach can help keep you on track, setting timelines out loud, and knowing you’ll have to provide updates, means other people are invested in your success too. As an added bonus, it feels good to reveal positive progress and get encouragement along the way.
Peer groups expose you to seasoned business owners who have dealt with a lot of the same things you’re tackling. Having navigated past downturns and groundbreaking changes in the industry, these business leaders can impart valuable wisdom to help you best succeed. Make an effort to connect with a variety of people in your group to gain perspectives from both new and old industry members. The flow of conversation and ideas can help you avoid common missteps and take advantage of resources you may not have thought of individually.
It’s important to be vulnerable in your peer group to get the most out of your time. You need to be willing to share both your wins and your losses. Not only does it help you learn from the experience – good or bad – but it can also help other people in your group. Peer groups are a safe space for IT leaders to share their real business struggles, not a place to show off. Be honest about where you are and where you want to go to make real connections with other members who want to help you succeed.
4. Emotional Support
In tough times, it’s helpful to have a friend in the field who you can talk to about the personal impact of business. During especially hard moments, like the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s never been more important for you to seek out support. As IT leaders, you’re expected to have answers and provide certainty for your employees. It’s a lot of weight on your shoulders, but you’re not alone. Utilize your peer group to unload some of that stress, see how other leaders are dealing, and gain a new perspective on difficult situations.
5. Gain New Ideas
Peer group members are unique because they have a mutual interest in learning from and brainstorming with each other. The open flow of ideas, sharing of strategies, and candid discussions breed innovation for your business. Communicating in this forum with other leaders in your space and vertical can provide invaluable insights to better your approach to growth. Not only do you see how other people are approaching similar situations, but you get to discuss the pros and cons with them to come up with fresh solutions.
If you’re ready to join an MSP peer group, start by speaking with your friends in the industry. They might have suggestions on groups in your particular vertical, or even be part of one already. You can also start one of your own if you can’t find one that exists. Either way, take advantage of the knowledge, information, and connections among your peers.
About the Author:
Michael Goldberg // VP of Sales, Axcient
As Axcient’s VP of Sales, Mike Goldberg has more than 15 years of IT channel experience and a strong track record of sales leadership. He is passionate about building partnerships that drive rapid growth. Most recently, Goldberg held the position of Vice President of Global Inside Sales at FireMon. Before joining FireMon, he was instrumental in driving growth and partner success in the IT channel at ConnectWise, the leading business management platform provider, as the Director of North America Sales. When he’s not helping MSPs cure date loss, he loves spending quality time with his family, taking trips to the beach, and playing golf.