SMB technology consulting business plan is only the start of your success! [SMB Consulting Best Practices book excerpt]

Good Sunday morning to you. I am having my morning coffee and maybe you are too. I like to use this time of day to hold a virtual book reading whereby I post up a few pages from the SMB Consulting Best Practices book that I wrote a few years ago. It’s still all goodness!

Today I speak towards the fact that yor business plan is only a start and not the end. You have literally only just begun!



Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation

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!

Only the start

Here’s something important to note. A business plan isn’t an end in the business planning process, but rather the start of a lifelong business planning process. Typically you write the business plan and tweak it along the SMB consulting journey. Once a year you might get away and have a “think week,” much like Bill Gates does each year at his family’s long-time vacation compound in Union, Washington, USA. Larger SMB consultant practices might hold an annual planning session. You get the point. Keep at it and don’t let the plan gather dust after its first draft.

An ongoing business planning process means that you will be surrounding yourself with advisors. This could be your trusted bookkeeper or CPA who holds vast knowledge about what is working for small entrepreneurs and what isn’t. You’ll likely have a legal relationship and perhaps even a therapist to help you deal with the stress of being an SMB consultant!

BEST PRACTICE: In all seriousness, look at your existing clients and see what type of advisors they surround themselves with. This will show you in part how these clients actually became successful business people. Imitating your successful clients can be a terrifically helpful tool.

Another ongoing business planning exercise is to constantly assess and evaluate whether it is in your best interests to work in the SMB consulting field. I’m not suggesting here that you throw in the towel after a bad day (of which there can be many), but periodically look out to sea and determine if sailing on the good ship “SMB Consulting” is the best place for you to be. It’s healthy.

Hear me out on this next point: You want to use your time and efforts to their highest and best use. Adhering to basic economic principles, you should be efficient and profitable in your chosen profession. Much like in real estate, where you attempt to place land in its highest and best use, your life as an SMB consultant should represent your highest and best use of professional time. The business planning process can help you discover that being an SMB consultant is your highest and best use of time. In Figure 2-1, the business planning process is presented graphically.

Figure 2-1:

The business planning process




Have idea!




Idea Refined





business plan

Business Plan



















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