It’s no surprise — the recession clobbered everyone, including VARs. CompTIA recently released a VAR post-recession survey, and while the end results were not surprising, the takeaways are valuable for everyone who would like to be prepared for the next (hopefully a long time away) recession.
- The majority of VARs focused extra efforts on maintaining existing customers and providing excellent customer service to keep them coming back.
- VARs also included social media in their marketing efforts in an attempt to garner new business in a non-traditional way.
- Focus on verticals.
- Manage cashflow tightly — including prepaying.
- Stay on top of quality service.
In this “survival” mode, it seems that most VARs ended up exercising, well, good business practices. While I understand that the recession made people cinch their belts a bit tighter, I would hope that most VARs continue to explore these business practices of making sure they were at the top of their game in terms of customer service and quality of service. Verticals are going to continue to be the place to be, with so much money being pumped into federal IT spending and health IT spending.
Here are some comments from the survey:
– “Stay on top of service…100% outstanding service.
– “Be more efficient with staff on hand
– “Never overextend equipment leases
– “People are more willing to repair their equipment in an attempt to be more efficient with what they have.”
– “Business needs to be diversified across public and private sectors and through vertical channels
– “Selling cycle got longer.”
– “Never trust the bank, but keep them happy in case of a rainy day when you may need financial support.”