Wear Many Hats As An SMB Technology Consultant [SMB Consulting Best Practices book excerpt]

Hello everyone – I am the author of the above title and I like to hold a daily virtual book reading! I do this by posting up a passage. Today is the all important and well-known concept that we have to wear many hats as SBSers (that is – small business technology consultants supporting products like Windows Small Business Server 2003 and 2008!)


Be Willing to Wear Many Hats

Truth of the matter is that SMB consultants aren’t just pretty faces and SBS heavyweights. Clients are bound to request additional services from you. These can range from making espresso coffee to lifting heavy equipment to running to the computer shop for a part. More likely, you’ll be brought into business meetings where you find yourself participating in a marketing discussion, etc. On the one hand you can chalk it up to all in a day’s work and consider these tasks all part of the job. On the other hand, you have to be careful about offering advice on areas where you might do more harm than good. For me, that boundary typically comes in the accounting software area. I’m happy to provide the SBS infrastructure needed to support an accounting system, but I do not work on the accounting software system myself.

Your work is not made up of just bits and bytes when you’re an SMB consultant. Often it’s about putting on an analytical hat and helping plan the strategic direction of the client’s information infrastructure. Wearing many hats as a professional has often gone by another phrase: “Doing whatever it takes.”

On the technical discussion side, remember that a product like SBS requires you to be a jack of all trades. SBS, being a product suite in the Microsoft “BackOffice” tradition, contains components that are typically consulting niches in and of themselves. For example, there are people in this world who make a great six-figure living from just mastering and consulting on Microsoft Exchange. Yet this robust e-mail application is but one of many pieces in SBS. So if you’re an SMB consultant who works with SBS, you will by default wear many technical hats, let me tell you!

I’ll leave more technical discussion on SBS until the last section of the book: Grinder.



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