TGIF! I am the author of the SMB Consulting Best Practices book and several times per week I hold a virtual book reading. Today I am posting up the introductory passages from Chapter 2 about SMB Business Plans. It’s all good!
Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation www.smbnation.com
Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP
PS – did u know I host an annual conference in Seattle each october for SBSers and SMB consultants? This year we help launch SBS 2008 and Essential Business Server (EBS) between October 4-6!
SMB Consulting Business Plan
In This Chapter
· Defining a business plan
· Considerations when organizing your consulting practice
· Understanding your consulting space and the markets you serve
· Addressing promotion, marketing, management topics
· Surrounding yourself with business advisors
· Making the final decision to become an SMB consultant
Minimizing regrets is a big part of being in business. You can be successful often by trying things out and not regretting later that you let an opportunity slip by. But, that’s not to say you should take risks willy-nilly. Indeed your business risks should be well-analyzed and documented. To do that you need a business plan.
With a business plan, you can lay out the game plan for your business and understand both the risks and returns associated with the endeavor. A business plan is a dynamic road map the SMB consultant follows, updating frequently as conditions change. Better yet, consider your business plan to be the Global Positioning System (GPS) device that guides your SMB consulting practice.
Once you accept the importance of a business plan, take it seriously. I regret, in my younger days, not ascribing credibility to a business plan that crossed my desk for a start-up game company in Seattle. I even had the opportunity to get involved if I so desired. I didn’t participate and several years later I read about this game-maker having hit the big time with its “Magic – The Gathering” card game.
This chapter defines and presents the mechanics of a business plan. You will literally use the remainder of this book to fill in the blanks on forms, finish sentences in documents, and complete cells in spreadsheets as you prepare to become an SMB consultant. On nearly every page, the wisdom will all be pointing to things you should consider including in your business plan as you refine your business model. As an example of how you will do this, in the second section of this book, dedicated to the “finder” activities of business development, marketing, and promotion, you’ll find the tools and information necessary to complete the marketing section of your SMB consulting business plan. By the last page of this book, if you’ve followed along correctly, you will have successfully completed your SMB consulting business plan.