Saturday, October 20, 2007

Nichemanship 6 ways to Thrive as a Computer Reseller

My brother's Lyle and Glen have a running debate about who is saving the world the most. Glen has a good blog post on it. My older brother Mark and I think we could solve the world's environmental problems if we could harness the hot air between the 2 of them.

I ran to work today which uses no fossil fuel so I think I am the cleanest. Using less counts as much as producing more.

Earlier this week, I spoke at a Technoplanet reseller event. Lots of high quality resellers and vendors too. They run good events. I spoke about "Nichemanship - 6 ways to thrive". Since the audience were mostly independent reseller, I was speaking to how they could be more successful. My 6 points were:

1 - Be personal. People like to buy from people they know. Network locally. Being personally known can be a niche. There is always lots of market space for being personal and this is a tough area for larger companies to do well.

2 - Pick a vertical market. If you sell solutions to the same type of business repeatedly, you can become the expert. You can also easily identify the target market. Read their trade journals, attend their trade shows, speak their language.

3 - Be an outsourced IT dept for smaller companies. I have seen many thriving resellers who are the IT dept for companies who have perhaps 2 to 50 computers and sometimes more because most of those companies cannot afford to have a full time person in house.

4 - Specialize in a brand. The more of a brand you sell, the better you will know it, service it and inventory it. It also builds clout the manufacturer and because you focus, they are more likely to help you and supply leads etc.

5 - Specialize in a technology. For example, specialize in wireless networks or bar code reading or portable printing etc. Similar to 2. The more you sell of a specific technology, the better you will be. Your knowledge and ease of installation, service and probability of a successful implementation grows.

6 - Do training, installation, services. These tend to be tough to scale economically. For example, large companies can do it but their costs are often much higher.

I am a business optimist and think there is lots of market for all. The key is figuring out where you can gain competitive advantage. And doing business in a niche can be the way to win.


At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

I read the post. Started to laugh imagining the banter. That is funny. Both Lyle and Glenn are doing good things. Lots of people are working on alternatives, its actually amazing once you start seeing the various points of view and how we can all contribute, by changing just a bit at a time.



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