By Jay McCall, networking and managed services Editor, Business Solutions magazine
The latest Gartner research shows that SMBs worldwide spent $860 billion in 2011, and that spending is expected to surpass the $1 trillion mark by 2014. It’s no surprise why a VAR would focus on this market. Yet, the reality is that many VARs focused on the SMB market are themselves SMBs that have to address their own business struggles before they can effectively help their customers. While attending Ingram Micro’s SMB Alliance (SMBA) event last month, I discovered three business pain points SMB VARs struggle with the most:
In the same session, the presenter talked about a training academy that is available to help resellers keep up to date with their certifications. He then asked whether the audience was already aware of this. Again, just a few hands went up. The speaker talked about several other services, including marketing assistance, vendor management, and IT integration services and even then only about half of the attendees indicated they already knew about these services.
Your distributor is one possible resource to help with the above business challenges. But, even if you don’t buy through a distributor, you should be looking at industry associations and/or peer groups (e.g. ASCII, CompTIA, HTG, RSPA) for business advice and assistance. Help is available. The more you get plugged into your industry and play an active role in finding out what’s out there, the more likely you’ll be to find the assistance you need.