How will Baby Boomer “Consulting” businesses create generationally sustainable value in the age of Social Media? How do consultants prepare to sell their businesses?
A brief analogy — then some thoughts…
A number of circles in the early 2000’s collaborated to adapt corporate IT best practices for SMB’s. (Small, Medium Business.)
We realized that policy and process standardization would lead to the development of the Small Business Consultancy Sector in IT:
Consultants would build value in growing a portfolio of well managed clients and a measurable history of successfully serving them.
See this example serving that community, mentoring SMB IT Consultants www.SMBNation.com.
The client portfolio has value because it produces income, the brand through reputation. Classic. Any MBA can execute.
Fast forward to now. Boomer Consultants, corporate refugees — especially since the “great recession.” Unable to find work under the corporate “umbrella” they hang out a “shingle” build a business around their relationships leveraging career experience and expertise — becoming successful in their “second” career.
But many of this generation are managing their business simply for income, more or less disregarding eventual disposal value. I mean: why not position for a “flip?”
Well, simply: Because it’s way more difficult than it sounds on the face of the question: “How to build something I can sell?”
There is a gap. Namely the absence of best practices guiding Consultancies (“Relationships Business”) to imagine and prepare for an end-game. An end that is, other than simple evaporation upon the retirement of the Principal.
The good news? Circumstances have evolved. Substantially. Where? The emergence of Social Media affording new kinds of relationships. These channels make possible that wasn’t available even just a few years ago. But in many, many cases those “Boomer” consultants proudly avoid participation in facebook, twitter, linkedin … I’m always surprised at how willing people I respect are to be so reckless.
So heads up “Consultants”: Put your eyes on the mechanisms that “relationships” businesses might leverage to emulate those same MBA valuations that the SMB Consultants nurture (clients and organizational reputation.)
How does one drive separation of the business from the person? Is it Corporate Perspective? What elements of “Community” apply?