Blog | October 22, 2012

7 "Must Do's" For Retail IT VARs In 2013

By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @monocello

Do shed the mindset that you're just a provider of ECRs or POS terminals. Your customers have business problems that you can solve if you look beyond the checkout area. Step up and become a true trusted advisor.

Do reinvest back into your business. As a business owner, you might be tempted to take any 2012 profits and give yourself a big bonus. Invest that money into marketing or training to give your company a boost in 2o13.

Do put more of an emphasis on recurring revenue. Lump sums of cash are great, but in the long run you're better off getting checks in the mail on a regular basis. Convert your solutions into bundled offerings available for a monthly fee.   Offer everything as a service.

Do get your existing customers buying their merchant processing from you. We've talked with a lot of retail VARs and many aren't hitting the processing potential they have with their existing customers. This is a way to increase your annual revenue significantly without going out and finding new customers.

Do have an open relationship with your partners. Most of the distributors I've spoken with have revealed that they have money to lend. However, to get it you need to be open with them about your financial status (good or bad). Many payment processing companies will help you sell their processing if you provide them a hit list of customers. Mutual trust is the key here.

Do adopt new technologies. If you shed the mindset that you're just a POS provider, you should be open to things like digital signage, wireless infrastructure, IP video cameras, etc. Become a provider of retail IT solutions and a whole new world opens up.

Do get your books in order. A 2012 survey with the RSPA showed that many VARs don't have a good grip on their financials. Hire someone or step up your efforts so you can answer a simple question like "how much does it cost you to open your doors for a day?"

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