TruMethods Founder At XChange: How MSPs Can Grow Their Business Utilizing This One Concept

In a motivational keynote address to the XChange 2014 crowd, TruMethods President and Founder Gary Pica said managed service providers can better their businesses by adopting one principle: Find and embrace your "superpower."

"Your superpower needs to be unique to you," he said. "It has to be based on process and delivered by people. If it's not a process, you won't be able to impact every customer in the same way. Once you get it, make your superpower your top priority."

Pica, who is a well-known mentor to solution providers and former head of Dynamic Digital Services, also pioneered the "schnizz" factor and runs annually the Schnizzfest, where mentors come together to discuss strategy and how to improve their business culture. TruMethods, a channel consulting organization that specializes in helping solution providers increase their services revenue, is based in Moorestown, N.J.

[Related: TruMethods, MSPs Ready To Talk Cloud, More At Schnizzfest]

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Pica referred to Peter Drucker's line, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast" in a morning session at XChange in San Antonio Monday. He said all MSPs who feel they're "stuck" at a certain margin point can boost their business by focusing on one aspect of their business that sets them apart from the rest of the market. Then MSPs would do well to hone in on that feature and make it their main focus.

Pica said he has taken the superpower concept to many of his own businesses and investments and seen extraordinary results. He referred to one business he is currently working with where customers were not pleased with the support they were getting. Pica said he encouraged their leader to develop a superpower and, from there, employees were motivated and worked harder.

"Does your team feel passionately? More than money, we all want to feel that we're a part of something that's bigger than us. We want to feel [like] what we do every day, which we spend most of our waking hours on, has meaning," he said. "The better your culture is, the less management you need. [Employees] police themselves."

NEXT: MSPs, XChange Attendees Weigh In On 'Superpower' Concept

Shael Risman, CEO of PACE Technical Services in Toronto, said Pica's strategy through TruMethods changed his business. The audience Monday heard a testimonial from Risman, who said his company was in a lull, and it turned around by pinpointing its specialty. Risman told CRN he now makes triple in revenue from what he did before.

"We were spinning our own wheels. … We built this whole company based on relationships and, suddenly, relationships weren't the end-all-and-be-all," Risman said. "We found a way to integrate the relationship and service in a unique way. We got a lot of focus from Gary ... It's about having a face in front of a client and riding hard on standardization and best practices -- and bringing that to your client so they can actively see the work that's being done to bring them up to the level of technology they need to have."

Bill Steen, director of marketing for Brimfield, Colo.-based Level 3 Communications, said he was impressed with Pica's presentation following the session this week.

"It's always hard to really get that zeroed-in focus on that one thing that differentiates you," he said. "It's good to think about that one thing and see if it really can improve your business."

Mike Aquino of Cetan in Chesapeake, Va., said his company is finding its own "superpower" by defining its role for clients. Cetan has launched its methodology and branded it as SureFlight already, as Aquino said marketing becomes more critical for MSPs. He added he saw another TruMethods presentation several months ago, and as director of cloud solutions for his company, Aquino said it stuck with him.

"The difficulty is always in defining your role," he said.

Pica ended his San Antonio presentation saying he felt certain if MSPs found their superpower, it would not only change their business but change their lives. He quoted Muhammad Ali, who said famously, "What counts in the ring is what you can do after you're exhausted."

"I don't know how you can be an entrepreneur or a team member and not get exhausted along the way," Pica added. "When I think back to those past businesses, I think about most fondly those first years when it was hard … where we were literally a week away from a death sentence. … Now when I look back on those, knowing that's the price to pay to become world-class, I consider them the good ol' days."