As copier dealers, the industry has treated our businesses very well for many reasons – customer retention, strong cash flow and most notably, recurring revenue streams. Personally, it has provided us with financial stability and great lifestyles. It’s been a good run.
I don’t think there’s a lot of debate about the fact that the copier industry is in a permanent decline. We’re facing one of the most significant inflection points in the last five decades. What you do next will be important for both you and your business.
We know copier manufacturers have already started their diversification. Some of their strategies include the dealers and some don’t.
The industry has chosen Managed IT Services as a diversification strategy to deliver sustainable recurring revenue for the next generation. I think it’s a great idea, but it’s proven to be very difficult for dealers to execute and gain traction. A lot of people are talking about it, but very few are actually doing it.
So, how will you approach Managed IT Services?
- Do nothing (and worry about it)
- Outsource to someone else
- Acquire someone who does
- Build your own
- Sell your business
Each has its challenges and will shape the future of your dealership, and doing nothing will not be an option for much longer.
While the market opportunities for Managed IT Services are significant, in my experience, only a handful of dealers have effectively executed a strategy. The reason? It’s easier to think about the future than do anything about it. It takes time, discipline, resources and a significant upfront investment.
We know. We’ve done it and have already paid the “dumb tax.” The good news is we started our Managed IT practice over a decade ago. Today, it is a significant part of our business, and it continues to drive value in our company.
Is your company well-positioned for the future?
As dealer principals, it’s our responsibility to keep our businesses relevant and sustainable. The maturity of the copier industry is driving the need for diversification. The strength of your management team and their ability to effectively execute will determine your company’s future.
If you’d like to talk about it, feel free to contact me.