Competitive survey for the SMB technology consultant

Hiya folks – harrybbb here – author of the SMB Consulting Best Practices book. I am pulling out a book passage as a virtual book reading for your pleasure. So enjoy it!

Brelsford’s Dozen: Competitive survey

Before you get too far into this SMB consulting lifestyle and bet the family farm, please do me and yourself a favor. Undertake a survey of a dozen SMB consulting competitors in your area. This doesn’t have to be as sinister as it sounds (although I’ll get to that in a moment). To conduct a rate survey, simply browse (and bookmark for future reference) the Web sites of your competitors. Many post their bill rates openly. Now for the sinister part. First, you can call your competitors and ask what their bill rates are, the implicit belief being that you are a customer. To be honest, I’ve probably received these calls unknowingly in the past and haven’t worried too much about telling all. I figure my rates are what they are and I’m confident in my role as an SMB consultant not to be threatened by competition.

Next up and farther down on the sinister bar is trade show floor walking. One of the greatest all-time tricks for surveying competitors is to attend trade

shows and talk directly to your competitors in their booths. You’d be amazed at what you can learn about their business models (including bill rates).

 

cheers….harrybbbb

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! J

PPS – my spring show, SMB Nation Spring 2009, is in the NYC-area on May 1-3, 2009.

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