Hi ya – I am the author of the SMB Consulting Best Practices book and each day I post up a passage as a virtual book reading! Today I talk about the risks of being a self-employed SMB technology consultant!
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 a technology conference in the New York City area each spring? Save the date for March 6-8, 2009 and watch “voice meet data” in the SMB space!
PPS – my SBS 2008 book will be out in mid-November 2008!
PPPS – my Microsoft Response Point Primer book is here NOW!
All businesses have risk factors and your SMB consulting practice is no exception. Your SMB consulting business plan should discuss business risks to which you are susceptible, including the following:
· Obsolescence — What happens if you don’t stay current with your skill set? Worse, what happens if you stay current but Microsoft stops producing SBS or other SMB product offerings? Don’t laugh too hard at that statement as such a decision could be made as part of its antitrust settlement down the road. If such an event happened, where Microsoft stopped selling your niche software product, the skills you’ve worked hard to develop might be in far less demand.
· Economy — When I wrote several books on SBS and consulting in the late 1990s, I was able to proclaim that times were very good in
the technology consulting world. That was a true and honest statement before April of 2000, when the NASDQ stock market, top-heavy in technology issues, begin its slow descent (okay, call it a “crash”). With the middle of the first decade in the 21st century fast approaching, you and I both have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. Whereas technology consulting, including the SMB sector, was unbelievably lucrative in the late 1990s, today we have to work keenly to earn our profits. When assessing economic risks, be sure to insert commentary as to how both boom time and recessions might impact your plans to launch a successful SMB consulting practice.
• Key person — What happens if, as a key person, you are unavailable to deliver your services? I’m not so much implying you’ll be going to the SMB consulting practice in the sky before your time, but you might suffer an accident and be sidelined for a few months. Do you have enough cash in the bank to survive downtime?