I-BN Blog

The 3 R’s of Surviving in a Zero Margin World

Posted by I-BN on Mar 17, 2017 9:00:00 AM

I-BN’s own President, Gary Feldman, was a guest on the SMB Jumpstreet podcast recorded live at the annual 90 Minds’ Meeting of the Minds Conference in sunny San Diego, CA.

“Surviving in a World of Zero Margin” was the topic of the podcast and it led to some lively discussion as Gary, the hosts, and Moira Goggin, a fellow guest from Chismet Consulting, imagined a world where their vendors no longer offered margin.

Wisdom was shared, mostly focusing around the 3 R’s of VAR success that can be applied to most businesses.

The 3 R’s:

  • Recur (recurring repeatable revenue)
  • Retain (keep your ideal, desirable customers)
  • Recruit (new customers)

 The following questions were asked by the hosts and can lead to some insightful responses that could apply to your business:


  • What is the first thing you need to do to adjust to this new reality?
  • How does this impact your new customer strategy and marketing?
  • Are you charging for initial visits?
  • Are you charging for discovery/due diligence?
  • What higher margins activities will you promote to offset the zero margin on the software?
  • What activities will you stop offering?


What does your typical customer look like for the future?


  • What type of customer will you fire?
  • Are you still reselling or are you distancing yourself from the software/service and becoming more independent?
  • Do you pursue a niche market? If so, what niche(s)?
  • If you are not realistically going to do X by X months, stop and find a better niche.


Gary had insightful and beneficial points, including:


  • Long-term social media strategy as it relates to customer acquisition cost.
  • To humanize social media and marketing.
  • When it makes sense to be more selective when choosing a customer.
  • Why it’s so critical to define your packages (services) and their scope and value


The only question that you’ll have left is, “What’s with the bagpipes?”


To learn some ways you can improve performance in your business by implementing best practices, contact us! (And don’t forget to listen to the podcast!)

Topics: ERP Partner

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