Sales and marketing, Sales and marketing

Traction: The Entrepreneur’s Operating System for Business?

Nick Bock
Nick Bock

Nick Bock and I check in with one another ever few months. I don't know why he puts up with my banter -- or my long-haul driving to tech conferences (that's a blog for another time). But I certainly value his views and takeaways from running Five Nines Technology Group -- one of Nebraska's top MSPs.

It was Bock who told me about ransomware headaches long before ransomware became a household name.

Now he's back telling me to read Gino Wickman's Traction -- a book that promises to help you get a grip on your business. (Gotta admit: At first I thought Bock was referring to another book of the same name: Gabriel Weinberg/Justin Mares Traction -- a book that promises to reveal "how any startup can achieve explosive customer growth.")

Wickman's book, the one on Bock's reading list, provides an "Entrepreneurial Operating System" for business leaders -- a practical method for achieving the business success. The EOS, when implemented in an organization, helps leaders run better businesses, get better control, have better life balance, and gain more traction, Wickman claims. Bock is a believer -- though I have to ask him about some of the outcomes he's experienced as a result of reading the book.

The book apparently has captured the attention of many MSPs -- including those that participate in Service Leadership Inc. peer groups, led by Paul Dippell.

That Other Traction Book

Meanwhile, I also stumbled onto the other Traction book (by Weinberg and Mares), read the first three chapters as part of a free download, and was intrigued.

At only about 200 pages, Traction is a quick read. And frankly, the very first chapter cuts to the chase with this quote:

"Traction is growth. The pursuit of traction is what defines a startup. After interviewing more than forty successful founders and researching countless more, we discovered that startups get traction through nineteen different channels. Many successful startups experimented with multiple channels until they found one that worked."

How Startups Gain Traction

What are the 19 different channels? The answers involve everything from targeting niche blogs (Can I get an AMEN!?) to SEO and content marketing. Dig a little deeper, and Traction provides actionable guidance to help startups generate buzz and sales.

So what's missing? Frankly, many MSPs don't have full-time marketing or PR pros to build out their Traction Plans. That's where a range of channel-focused marketing and sales pundits can assist your efforts. Names like Channel Maven Consulting, ClikCloudKLA GroupMarketopia, MSP Sales Pros, Technology Marketing ToolkitUlistic and The Wiser Agency come to mind (I apologize to those whom I've overlooked).

Next Up: Optimism's Reality Check

That's for the call, Nick. Now that you've offered the industry (and me) some hope on the business management front, I'll wait a few hours before blogging about the other topic we discussed: Why Wall Street is Overdue for a Market Correction.

In the meantime, it's onward and upward for MSP expansion efforts.

Note: Article updated April 14 to reflect the fact that there are two Traction books that have momentum on 

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.