Ongoing business planning for SMB technology consultants [SMB Consulting Best Practices book excerpt]

Howdy-Howdy! I am Harry Brelsford – the author of the above title – and I like to hold a daily virtual book reading. This is accomplished by posting up a passage or two.

 

cheers…harrybbbb

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!

Ongoing Business Planning

Moving forward, let’s assume you’ve made the decision to become an SMB consultant. The business planning process doesn’t stop here. On an annual basis, you should be getting away from your practice for a few days to reflect on the past year and to engage in some strategic planning. A framework you can use for strategic planning is SWOT analysis, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal variables used to look at the pluses and minuses of your SMB consulting practice. Opportunities and threats are external variables used to


examine the competitive and economic landscape affecting your SMB consulting practice. Simply sit down with a pad of paper and create your own SWOT analysis as the starting point for your annual planning process. As a follow-up to that, touch base with your key business advisors periodically to assess whether you’re still on track to becoming and remaining a profitable SMB consultant!

Brelsford’s Mailbox

Across the pages of this book, I intend to insert authentic e-mails I’ve received from loyal readers. I hope you’ll find the replies I offer to my dear readers provide a real-world perspective on SMB consulting.

From: Bob D

To: Harry Brelsford Subject: Business Plan

I currently work for a consulting firm, and I am responsible for the networking side of the house. Like other people, I can’t seem to type those first words when it comes to writing a business plan. I need help on how to start one.

Where to go from here? Thanks,

Bob D

Hi Bob—

Thanks for the e-mail and sorry for the delay in replying… been a tad busy this past week. Aside from using the resources highlighted in my SMB Consulting Best Practices book, such as the US Small Business Administration (SBA) at www.sba.gov, consider the following:

• Troll your lure at www.microsoft.com/partner. (The partner materials include tons of helper tools.)


 

·           Attend a TS2 event in your area. Visit www.ts2.com. (Business resources are located at this site too.)

·           Search on business plans and other like keywords at Google and MSN. You’ll see an abundance of resources.

Keep in touch… all the best mate… harrybbbb

Summary

This chapter has covered the basics for your SMB consulting business plan. You’ll spend the balance of the book discovering the answers you need to complete your SMB consulting business plan. Major points covered in this chapter included:

·      Defining what a business plan is

·      Launching your SMB consulting business plan

·      What to consider in organizing an SMB consulting practice

·      Learning how to define and understand your consulting space and the markets you will serve

·      Developing the promotion, marketing, and management sections in your SMB business plan

·      Surrounding yourself with business advisors

·      Understanding there is a point at which you will be making the final decision to become an SMB consultant


 


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