“The Godfather” movie series has earned its place in the history books. This exciting multigenerational crime drama also contains some helpful nuggets for improving your MSP business. It may be a different century and a different industry altogether, but a lot of the wisdom contained in the movie still holds true today.
Focus on Your Core Competencies
No IT business can be successful by trying to do everything. With limited time and resources, there’s more wisdom in focusing on your strengths instead of being pre-occupied on your weaknesses. You can always outsource what you’re not good at or form partnerships with those who specialize in those areas. In “The Godfather,” we see Don Corleone turn down a possibly lucrative business opportunity to expand into other trade. After careful consideration, he decided that it would not be the best decision for the family business. Before expanding the IT services you currently offer and saying yes to new opportunities, do a skills and resources assessment. You may find that it’s better not to branch out, at least for the time being.
Learn Effective Communication Skills
This involves building up your sales and marketing skills. Any MSP business that is going to get ahead must do more than provide excellent IT services. These services must be communicated and sold to the target customer in the most appropriate and effective way possible. Don Corleone was excellent at negotiation and communication. His famous line “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse” speaks to understanding the customer and offering value that appeals to them. An important part of building relationships is learning how to communicate effectively. Take some time to build up your team’s sales skills.
Invest in Relationships
“The Godfather” series puts a lot of weight on investing in relationships and building a circle of trust and influence around you. Don Corleone was all about keeping his family close, connecting with influential figures, and always keeping one eye on what his enemies were up to. It’s hard to reach the top on your own, so take time to build your network and put in place the necessary support structures.
• Build relationships that are mutually beneficial. Business is about give and take. You may have to offer support and favors at one time, to receive them when you need them in the future. You should also sow into others even when they may not be able to return the favor anytime soon.
• Learn from someone who knows better. This may be a mentor, an advisor, or just any other business that has been around longer. In “The Godfather,” we see Don Corleone employing the services of a trusted lawyer, Tom Hagen. Instead of claiming to know it all, he was able to benefit from the advice of an expert.
• Build relationships with key influencers. Don Corleone was very strategic about connecting with influential figures like judges and politicians. These relationships kept him ahead of his competition. In the IT industry, your business should look for strategic partnerships and alliances that can accelerate your growth. Consider your marketing efforts, for example, and how they can benefit from this strategy. Are you using the most effective channels and tools to reach and grow your client base?
Don Corleone knew how to conduct a large business operation. From developing the right relationships around him to learning effective communication methods, he was able to keep his competitors at bay. Your MSP business can benefit from incorporating these lessons. By evaluating your current network and communication channels, you can position yourselves for business growth.