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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Realistic Expectations in Small Business Consulting

When starting in the world of small business consulting, you may be under the impression that no prospect or client can be over-zealous about jumping into a large and involved IT project. The truth is, client enthusiasm can sometimes be detrimental to your small business consulting contract, and it is your job to keep realistic expectations in check.

CLIENT OPTIMISM

Although optimism doesn’t typically get in the way of sales, you should be prepared early in the relationship to handle client expectations when it comes to undue optimism. Often in the process of small business consulting projects, you will have to use vertical industry software solutions to overcome the hype.

REALISTIC CLIENT EXPECTATIONS

A small business owner or manager might come back from a trade show with a beautifully-crafted brochure or mouse pad for a specific application. Because your small business consulting client believes, based on what was heard at the trade show, this application is the best to come out in a while, he will probably be ready to write a check as soon as you okay the application yourself as his consulting expert.

Even though the ISV’s marketing brochure may seem professional, you might learn when you check into it that it is way over-priced and built on an MS-DOS-based database engine from the early 90’s.

Your client may have been impressed at the trade show, but as his small business consulting expert you have to save your client from making a large investment that is already outdated. If you don’t step in and bring clients down to earth, they will squander IT budget resources that could instead be invested in a solution you provide.

Blogged By: Joshua Feinberg