SBSC? Why Bother?

I wasn’t going to post this originally but i’ve changed my mind! 

I was talking to someone earlier in the week about the upcoming Midlands User Group meetings

*-*-*-*-*-* PLUG *-*-*-*-*-*-*
 If your in the Midlands area the next AMITPRO meeting is Tuesday 11th September
For more details contact Vijay

I’m going to paraphrase a little but this is the long and short of it

“call me an old sceptic, will see if any real opportunities come from it, i.e. pounds on the table”

So my initial reply to that was “your an old sceptic”

So bearing in mind i’ve only been involved in one, in-person, meet-up (and that mainly involved curry and beer) how do i explain to someone this is the old fashioned way of doing business? 

My view of it is this. If your expecting to turn up, speak to a few people and expect to see an increase in your client base the following week thats not really going to happen

The “cash” value is in how you can improve your business by seeing how other people are doing it. The contacts you make, the knowledge you gain.

Lets say your a one-person “SBS shop”. You decide that you want to change your product offering (anti-virus for example)

How do you know what will and wont work? You can sit through all the presentations the major vendors will give you, read a forest worth of brochures, attend lots of sales events, install it on your network and discover all the features. While this is hunky dory and shows how it works when all is well, how are you going to find out what it’s like in the field? What the support is like when you have a problem? How easy is it to work with in practise?

This is where your money on the table comes in. By talking to people who have been there, done that and got the battle scars.

This is just one scenario. I can create a hundred posts explaining this but if you use your imagination and you’ll realise it could stretch to any part of your business

It can also help you see where your going wrong. If your just a small company with one maybe two people….(for example) how do you know that your supplier is providing the best deal? You could be wasting thousands of pounds per year when the answer could be in a throwaway comment at a meeting such as

“Oh yeah we use widgets international, they give us good deals”

What’s even better is you’ll even get a contact into the place!

As long as everyone keeps on sharing it works out great for everybody. You might think that you don’t have much to contribute but just turning up and talking is a good start

This is what the community is about. It’s the smart way of doing business

You’ll also get to meet some great people and it’s fun!

Anything to add before i go back and kick some ass?

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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4 thoughts on “SBSC? Why Bother?

  • I reckon you are just about spot on.

    But don’t rule out the possibility of generating more cash by becoming an SBSC.

    I for one have profited greatly from it. Either by opportunities found in my local group and inbound referrals from the Microsoft Small Business Center.

  • Thanks for the comment Paulie

    Your right about SBSC..but it was the community side of things i had in mind

    Lots of companies are SBSC accredited but don’t even know there is a community to participate in!

  • Andy – I couldn’t agree more. Speaking personally, I’ve been running my own business for a few years now and since I became a SBSC last year and started actively networking with other SBSC’s, I’ve seen my business model change radically, the number of services I offer to clients increase, a dramatic leap in the number of partnerships I undertake with other businesses, and a direct increase in income as a result of all of these things. Could I attribute that income increase to any one thing? No. Would I have made those business changes without being an SBSC and participating within the Community? Possibly. But I know that by being an SBSC and speaking to other SBSC opened up doors and filled me with an enthusiasm to achieve those targets a lot more quickly. What’s more, being part of the Community just makes everything more fun. 🙂

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