The Lazy VAR's Guide To Recurring Revenue
By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
I don't think you would dispute the fact that its pretty difficult to grow your business on hardware and software margins alone. Having interviewed many resellers over the years, one stand-out characteristic of the most successful of the lot has been a focus on some service that earns them recurring revenue. Indeed, whereas hardware and software sales can yield healthy lump sums of revenue on occasion, recurring revenue is something you can count on every month.
What I've also noticed about the top performing solutions providers is that once they offer one service, they're eager to tack on additional ones. Recurring revenue can go from something to help cover one of your monthly utility bills, to paying for an employee, to something you can retire off of. I just spoke with one POS VAR who's 300 customers are yielding $135,000 in yearly payment processing residuals. If that doesn't get your attention, I'm not sure what will.
No matter what your situation today, if you're looking to add recurring revenue sources to your business, you might need some pointers as to where to begin. Following is a list (thanks to a discussion I started on BSM's LinkedIn group) of services you can offer:
1. Payment processing (if your customer accepts credit cards)
2. Remote monitoring/management/alerting of PCs/POS
3. Cloud storage/backup/disaster recovery
4. Mobile device management
5. Remote monitoring/management/alerting of servers
6. Remote monitoring/management/alerting of printers
7. Application monitoring/patch updates
8. Network security monitoring - Antivirus
9. Network security monitoring - SPAM
10. Hosted Email/Exchange
11. Cloud-based POS
12. HaaS (Hardware as a Service)
13. Hosted VoIP
14. Maintenance & service of hardware
15. Loyalty/Marketing POS integration
16. Restaurant online ordering service
17. Hosted video surveillance
This list is just the beginning. We plan on expanding the list as we come across other good services you can provide your customers. Also, we plan on writing specific guides for each of the services on the list. If you've got examples of other recurring revenue sources, please include them in the comments below. NOTE TO VENDORS THINKING ABOUT COMMENTING: THIS IS NOT AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCTS.