4 Easy Ways to Start Competitive Benchmarking Today

Author: IT Glue’s Joshua Oakes
Author: IT Glue's Joshua Oakes

How much do you really know about your competitors? If you’re like most MSPs, you love talking to your peers to find out what they’re doing and what tools they’re using. It’s pretty easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day, but there’s a lot of value in stepping back and looking at the big picture. One of the best ways to do this is through the process of competitive benchmarking.

What is Competitive Benchmarking?

In essence, competitive benchmarking is the process of learning about your peers and competitors. There’s a lot of value in knowing what they are doing well, what’s working and not working for them, and how they are performing in the marketplace. Your friends in the industry are probably the ones who turn you onto new tech, as well.

When you know what others are doing, and what they are experiencing in their businesses, that can help you in a lot of strategic areas, from finding your point of differentiation to tactical moves like bundling and pricing, or uncovering new verticals in which to carve out a niche.

But you don’t have all day – so how do you implement a process of competitive benchmarking? There’s a few things you can do, starting today.

1. Leverage Content Aggregators

Scan industry media for the latest news. ChannelE2E is obviously getting a shout out here, but channel media also includes channel partner blogs, too. Use an RSS feed, feedly or blog subscriptions to aggregate content for quick scanning.

2. Take Part in Surveys

Several channel partners run surveys each year, often of their own partners, but sometimes these are opened up to the entire channel. Participating in a survey should get you exclusive access to the results. There’s almost always going be valuable insights about how MSPs around the world are working. Even if you don’t participate, these surveys are usually followed by a white paper. It might not have all the results, but it will still have value, so fill out the form and download it.

3. Attend Conferences

Channel events are a great way to meet other MSPs, pick their brains, and get insights from a variety of channel experts. Most MSPs attend 1 show (or zero) per year. So choose wisely – they come in a variety of sizes and themes. One thing to keep in mind is to look for an event that is geared towards the most progressive, innovative MSPs. Those are the ones you’ll learn the most from, not to mention the insights of the speakers.

4. Actively Network

There are a number of ways to network without taking massive chunks of time out of your day. There’s several industry groups and associations that can provide a venue for finding out what your peers are doing. Online forums have long been a popular way to network with other people. These can range from things like reddit to forums focused on product reviews - places where your peers are evaluating the tools you might be considering.

Competitive benchmarking is a matter of continuous improvement. But it doesn’t need to be an exhaustive process. A survey might take 15 minutes of your time; reading the latest channel media might take 10-15 minutes each morning. One or two well-chosen conferences will deliver insights that give you rapid ROI on your investment. If you’re wondering what the next step is for your business, the time spent on competitive benchmarking is time well invested.

BONUS - Grab This: Click to find out more about the IT Glue MSP Global Benchmark Survey.

Joshua Oakes is a content writer at IT Glue, which develops documentation software for MSPs. Read all IT Glue blogs here.