Resources for the SMB Consultant: CRN, MarketWatch [SMB Consulting Best Practices book excerpt]

Howdy y’all – I am the author for the above title, the SMB Consulting Best Practices book, and I like to hold virtual book readings! BTW – my Small Business Server 2008 (SBS) book is now here!

Words from CRN

CRN is a great resource for monitoring SMB trends. It recently posted a hopeful story about demand for IT consulting services and projected double-digit growth. This is shown in Figure 5-1 and can be read in its entirety at: )


Figure 5-1:

This CRN article summarizes research pointing to better times ahead in technology consulting.

In another recent story titled “Hard Facts: IT Spending,” CRN noted that small businesses have turned cautious about IT spending (CRN, page 30, 2- 17-03). This is of great importance to the SMB consultant. Witness:

·           Both Internet-related and hardware/software-related spending have
become lower priorities from late 2002 to early 2003 for SMB.

·           The overall drop in Internet-related spending priority was 9 percent.

·           The overall drop in hardware/software-related spending priority was 10 percent.

·           SMB spending priorities did not increase in any categories (18
Internet and hardware/software categories were surveyed).


In an article titled “Technical Difficulties – Many small businesses still catching up on technology” (CBSMarketwatch, 11-19-02), author Keith Girard found that most small businesses are still behind the curve when it comes to using technology. First in his findings for this was that small businesses lack money and expertise to put current technology to work (you

can fill the expertise void as an SMB consultant). Also, small firms with less than 100 employees invest a quarter of their capital budget on technology, including computers and communications equipment. However, this capital investment amount still lags behind the amount invested in technology on a “per employee” basis by medium-sized and larger firms (over 500 employees).

So, in the past few pages you’ve been exposed to a lot of economic factors that can be supportive or restrictive to your efforts to launch a fledging SMB consulting practice. Keep in mind that you need to work hard and have fun where you find it in this business!


Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation (

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

PS – my Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is now here!


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