Auction yourself online – part II (SMB Consulting Best Practices book excerpt)

It’s almost Thanksgiving in the US – a major holiday. But I know my friends in other countries are still working! So today’s virtual book reading continues a passage on auctioning yourself as an SMB technology consultant to land that client! It’s the eBay way to earn money as an consultant.

Before I demonstrate the step-by-step posting of your SMB consulting solution on eBay, there is one final business point to make. In business, there is great value to being paid sooner rather than later. This concept is valid for two reasons: time value of money and risk mitigation. Those with MBAs know exactly what I’m talking about when the topic of time value of money comes up. Here, a dollar received today is more valuable than a dollar received tomorrow, because that dollar can be put to work sooner for you, inflationary pressures exist, risk is always a factor, and so on. And speaking of risk, getting paid upfront on a consulting gig is much better than being paid later. Enough said.

So how does the above financial analysis discussion tie into eBay? Simple. With eBay, the buyer pays for the item (your complete SMB consulting solution plus shipping and handling) at the end of the auction. You then deliver your SMB solutions at a future date.

BEST PRACTICE: Something else to ponder about the eBay pay­ment system. As an experienced SMB consultant, I’m willing to consider a significant discount for my services rendered if said services are paid for in advance. There is great value in the profes­sional services area to having what in effect is a retainer. You know you will get paid! Thus, you might lower the starting bid point for your SMB consulting solution on eBay to reflect the prepayment nature of the business transaction.


Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation (

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – did you know my Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is almost here? Yes!


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