Brelsford’s Mailbox [SMB Consulting Best Practices book excerpt]

Good morning folks – here is my daily virtual book readin’ and I hope you are enjoyin’ your FRIDAY!

Brelsford’s Mailbox


How are you?

I have a question for you: What is the best way to go about starting a consulting practice focusing on Small Business Server? I have been in IT for 19+ years and have had my own company (Client/Server Systems, Inc.) for about 11, previously focused on consulting to large federal clients (through the EDS’s, SAIC’s and generally large government prime contractors).

Over the last year or so I have noticed the trend toward the SMB market (anywhere from the home office worker to the 1-10/100 employee businesses). I am an MCSE and my company is an MS Certified Partner.

Since this is a different direction for me (i.e., marketing to a small business owner is VERY DIFFERENT than marketing to a govt. prime!), if you could point me in the direction of some “best practices” it would be very helpful.

Thanks, David

C/SS Inc.

Hi, David—

Thanks for the e-mail. I agree with what you say. The SMB market is getting much more attention in recent times than the past. In fact, leading journals like CRN have dedicated SMB sections now (CRN has a monthly supplement titled Selling Small Business). And you’ve got it right that selling to small businesses would be very different from selling to government prime contractors.

So first things first. Take a long weekend to sketch out an SMB consulting business plan. It’s important to validate your entry into this field. If you can do that via a written business plan, you’re well on your way to being a successful SMB consultant. I suspect the business planning process will allow you to think through the SMB sales process and find an SMB consulting niche that will be very profitable for you.


Next, I’d encourage you to hole up in a room with a broadband connection to the Internet and spend days surfing through the ready-made “Go To Market” marketing materials on the Partners site at Microsoft (http:// Because you are an MS Certified Partner, you’ll have access to some of the great restricted content (read “the good stuff”) that isn’t available to the general public and non-partners.

Please write again and let me know how it goes for you! All the best… .harrybbbbbb


This chapter closes the important introductory section of this book. Having commenced your business plan in Chapter 2 and discovered the fundamentals of SMB consulting in this chapter, the door has been opened to the next section, where you’ll learn to go out and get the business. In this chapter you:

·                       Learned about SMB consulting fundamentals

·                       Reviewed key SMB consulting concepts to help you be successful

·                       Were introduced to Brelsford’s Dozen rules for SMB consultants



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!


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