Using Business Advisors [SMB Consulting Best Practices book excerpt]

Good Monday morning everyone! I am the author fot the above title and each day I post up a passage as a virtual book reading! Did you know that it is important to align yourself with important advisors to help make your small and medium business (SMB) technology consultancy successful? It’s true!



Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation

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!

Business Advisors

Perhaps you’ve observed that many successful business people owe much of their success to having surrounded themselves with the right people. These business people let their common sense rule, not their ego. You’ve likely witnessed egocentric business people who operate under the mistaken assumption that they don’t need outside advice or help. More pragmatic business people understand it isn’t how hard you work, but how smart you work, and they understand the importance of developing a team of business advisors.

You might consider retaining the following business advisors as your needs and financial resources warrant:

·        Other SMB consultants — There’s nothing quite like running ideas by a valued peer group. Fellow SMB consultants whom you know and trust might be a tremendous source of business advice for you. It’s why fellow SMB consultants are first on my list today.

·        CPA/accountant — Not only should you enlist qualified accounting help to assist in setting up your accounting system and engage in yearly tax preparation, but before you know it, you may seek tax planning advice. It’s nice to have such problems as an SMB consult­ant, because when you need tax planning help, you’re making big money!

·        Bookkeeper — Early on, after an accountant creates your account­ing system, you’ll want to use a bookkeeper regularly to assist in your billings, collections, and general financial statement prepara­tion. Trust me! These are dollars wisely spent, as a bookkeeper is typically much cheaper than an accountant and can perform the tasks outlined herein. And you may remember my story earlier in this chapter, whereby CFO2Go did a trade-out of professional services with me to obtain an SBS network (and I received a professional business plan for my SMB consulting practice). Well, I have an update. On an ongoing basis, CFO2Go provides my monthly book­keeping and accounting services, while I provide SBS consulting and remote network monitoring services for them.

·        Business consultant — Perhaps you’re a true tech-head with limited business wisdom. And while you’re financially successful, you could be missing out on some tremendous business opportunities. I’ve always been impressed by technical types who accept their business limitations and hire a business consultant to guide them. In fact, you might find your best use of time and money to be hiring a business consultant to complete your SMB consulting business plan.

·        Lawyer — Initially, a lawyer may well be retained to assist you in organizing your SMB consulting practice. For example, quickly on you may elect to incorporate. As your SMB consulting practice becomes more sophisticated, you may seek legal review of business contracts. Two thoughts here: First, don’t try to be your own lawyer. Second, hire a good lawyer who specializes in the needs you have. A

general practitioner lawyer probably doesn’t even know what an SMB consultant is.

·        Banker — Bankers review many business plans in the course of their finance work. It is the job of a banker to cast a leery eye toward all schemes. So if you really want to get a thorough and revealing check on the validity of your SMB consulting business plan, have it criti­cally reviewed by your banker. A banker will point out weaknesses you might not otherwise have seen.

·        Spouse and other family members. By far your toughest critics will be your spouse and family members. This group of business advisors can most likely be counted on for offering frank and brutally honest feedback. If that’s not enough, have your friends take a look as well. Ouch!


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