TubbTalk 102: How to Niche Your MSP and Navigate M&As

TubbTalk Website_Nancy Sabino

Amazing Women in IT - TubbTalk with Barracuda MSP Tech

An Interview with Nancy SabinoAmazing Women in IT - TubbTalk with Barracuda MSP niche

Nancy Sabino is the VP of Sales and Marketing for Synetek Solutions. They’re an integrated, outsourced IT department in Texas. Previously, Nancy was CEO of SabinoCompTech, a niche MSP.

SabinoCompTech has recently merged with Synetek Solutions. Nancy explains that when she and her husband and business partner set up their MSP the goal was to sell it at some point.

They both had roles that they could step out of and let other people take over. And they had processes in place to make this as easy as possible.

Why Nancy uses the Niche Term Outsourced IT Department

Nancy explains that she pays attention to the language people use when talking about the services her business provides. “When they talked about us, they didn’t say we were their MSP. They called us their IT department.”

Saying they had a team was an ego boost to her clients. But it also let them feel that the company was integrated. So, Nancy adopted that and described it as an extension to the client business – outsourced IT.

Why Nancy Chose to Niche into Compliance Strategy

SabinoCompTech was based in Houston, where there are lots of private health care organisations. In the US, they have to follow HIPAA guidelines regarding data sharing.

Nancy realised that there wasn’t a lot of support to help those businesses stay compliant. So, they built a platform to do that. As well as healthcare providers, accounting and law firms also have to be HIPAA compliant. They helped with the tech and carried out security risk assessments. 

Why might a niche help your MSP to grow? This blog might help.

The Best and Worst Parts of Running an MSP

Nancy says the best bit is the people she meets and works with. As a teenager, she was an early adopter of the latest tech and interested in the user experience. She now brings that into her own business to ensure customers get a great tech experience.

She also admits that people can be the worst part of the job, too. “Business owners don’t always prioritise tech. They don’t keep things updated. So, it’s something I try to educate our customers on consistently. Otherwise, it’s frustrating.”

Why should you consider a niche for your #MSP? And what's it like to then sell it on? @nancysabinosct tells Richard Tubb about her experiences. Click to Tweet

What it’s Like Working with Your Husband

Nancy and her husband, Angel, have been together since high school and set up their first business when they were quite young. She says they’ve had to learn to work together and be a team.

“The balance of work and home sometimes is non-existent. The kids help a lot to remind us that we have a life outside of work. It’s difficult, but we do manage to have time where we don’t talk about work. It’s hard but definitely doable.” 

Why Nancy Thinks Branding is Important for MSPs

Nancy says people often think of branding as a logo and company colours, which of course is part of it. But she feels it’s really the soul of the business. If you get it wrong, your business won’t come across right.

“It’s an unspoken language between every aspect of your company and how it comes across to your customers. And then you add the pretty bits on top, which is what we usually think branding is.”

Encouraging More Girls into Tech

When she started in the tech industry, Nancy felt intimidated. Imposter syndrome made her feel like an outsider. But she was soon part of supportive communities. And there are a lot of women in the space now, who help each other.

She was the president of Nerdy Girl Success for a while. The charity supports young girls and women to consider STEM as a career. “You need to give exposure to them so they know they can fit in and find a place.”

Nancy still mentors and speaks to girls about her own experience in the MSP world. She recommends that IT and tech companies are welcoming and encourage young women who are interested in being part of the sector.

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