MSPs Should Use Leverage in Their Marketing Like Lyft and Airbnb!

Leverage conceptThe Internet has created several new industries in the new century revolving around the merging of digital and physical services, such as Airbnb and Lyft. As part of your MSP marketing, it’s advantageous to study these companies, since they are growing quickly in exposure and acceptance. These companies involve independent contractors using their own cars and homes to provide services. By learning more about these emerging leveraged business models, you can strengthen your own online business.


Travelers who want to save money visiting other cities can use the app Airbnb to book accommodations at the residences of citizens who promote themselves via the mobile app. One of the most innovative services of the new era, Airbnb serves not only business and vacation travelers, it can be used as an emergency housing service in the event of disasters.

Airbnb earns its revenue by taking a small percentage of the fees paid by lodging providers known as hosts and short term guests. Property owners determine their own rates. This global service is available in nearly 200 countries, serving thousands of cities. Airbnb itself does not own any properties, which has allowed the company to grow worldwide without typical high expenses that a hotel or motel chain would have to pay.

Instead of ever worrying about inventory, like the conventional hospitality industry, Airbnb focuses its scalability on the number of hosts it attracts. Like similar Internet of Things (IoT) services that merge with traditional services, customers help each other evaluate hosts by providing online reviews.


As a peer-to-peer ride sharing service within cities, Lyft is an app that allows consumers to order short distance rides online, paying through Google Wallet or PayPal. This San Francisco-based service is currently available only in a limited number of major cities, but continues to expand geographically.

Drivers and passengers create profiles that include personal information, including addresses, phone numbers and email. Passengers can rate driver performance, which then helps other fellow passengers choose their drivers. Meanwhile, drivers have the freedom to choose how often they work and the passengers they transport.

This convenient service saves Lyft an enormous amount of money on expenses, since they don’t have to invest in vehicles. Drivers use their own cars and earn a percentage of the fees that passengers pay and collect payments through Express Pay. While drivers are independent contractors, Lyft agrees to provide insurance as long as drivers maintain respectable ratings with customers. As a bonus incentive, drivers get to keep all their tips.

Model For the Future

Both Airbnb and Lyft leverage their independent contractors’ property to provide consumer services. This emerging model extends their reach far beyond last century’s networking models that would have required huge company investments. MSP marketing professionals and innovative businesses can harness the same money-saving leverage by hiring talented tech staff to build and manage the apps. The more desired market reach, however, the more costly the investment.

MSPs can also expand their market for IT services anywhere by following the OnForce business plan. This concept does not require a substantial investment, which mainly involves hiring a competent technical team. Programmers are needed to craft and update mobile apps that interface with an online marketplace platform. Some people may say this model began with sites like Amazon and eBay, except the newer strategy uses downloadable web applications, instead, beyond websites.

Much like Adam Smith’s original vision of capitalism, this IoT model is a win-win-win for the owner, workers and consumers. Offering a real world service that can be accessed at the fingertips of consumers is proving to be a sensible modern opportunity that’s disrupting traditional more costly industries like taxis and hotels.

The key to succeeding in this virtual meets material world environment is to offer a unique service in your local region that saves consumers time, money or both. Ratings and reviews are essential to the platform so that people can research which providers meet their standards. Even though Airbnb and Lyft are both backed by billions of dollars in capital investments, a smaller scale operation could serve as a prototype for an investor-driven expansion.


The Internet is changing the economic landscape into a digital global village that interfaces with the physical world. Airbnb and Lyft are just a few of the companies leading this revolution. Businesses and MSP marketing firms can empower themselves by learning as much as possible about these models to apply to their own companies. Study this innovative wave thoroughly to put your business ahead of the curve.

Mark McGarvey

Mark McGarvey is president of One Click Solutions Group, a managed services in San Francisco and security provider serving small and mid-sized businesses with 20 to 100 employees in the Bay Area. Mark began his career in msp consulting, before living in San Francisco, in the 90s as a senior support technician for a then-small company in Austin, TX called Dell. After working for a number of organizations in desktop support/management and systems administration, Mark realized a passion for two things: Ensuring computer systems ran smoothly and keeping the people that used these systems happy and productive. This passion helped him get his IT business started in San Francisco!  As a small business owner, Mark empathizes with other business owners that need computer support in San Francisco and understands the things dearest to them: Increasing productivity and efficiency and keeping costs low and ROI high.