Business targets need to be created based on your needs for the future.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

March 3, 2020

4 Min Read

For partners on both the telco and IT sides of the channel, just knowing tech isn’t going to cut it anymore.

In today’s channel landscape, you need to be as knowledgeable about business as you are about speeds, feeds and software. That doesn’t just go for your customers’ business — it starts with your own organization.

In this year’s Business Success Workshop, the Channel Partners Conference & Expo preconference, March 9, we’re bringing in a slew of experts to teach you critical skills such as how to correctly calculate your valuation, perform a gap analysis and successfully negotiate an M&A deal.

You won’t just hear people giving you advice. You’ll work through an action plan with people who have walked this walk, and you’ll go home knowing exactly what your next steps are.

One workshop, “The Accidental Entrepreneur: Creating a Business Plan,” will teach attendees to: define the company they want to be; define wealth and size targets; and define desired outcomes and timelines. Workshop leaders will include Arlin Sorensen, ConnectWise‘s vice president of brand and ecosystem evangelism, and Juan Fernandez, ImageNet Consulting‘s vice president of managed IT services.


ConnectWise’s Arlin Sorensen

In a Q&A with Channel Futures, Sorensen provides a sneak peek of the information he plans to share will attendees.

Channel Futures: How should you go about determining what your company should be, based on demand, market trends, etc.?

Arlin Sorensen: You need to do your homework on what you are considering building, or changing into, before you dive in. There are many sources of information available, but the best is still to connect with peers and learn what works and what doesn’t. Peer groups can be immensely valuable in that process. From there you want to engage with experienced folks that can help you create a solid strategy and plan so you have a course for yourself and the people that you’ll bring along to create a business with value. Know what you are building – that drives all the rest.

Join Sorensen and 100+ industry-leading speakers, more than 6,400 partners and 300+ key vendors, distributors and master agents at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, March 9-12. Register now!

CF: What sort of business targets should you put in place at the beginning and how should those evolve? 

AS: Business targets need to be created based on your needs for the future.

  1. Begin with knowing the personal wealth target you need to have in place when you no longer are being paid.

  2. Determine the timeline over which you need to achieve this wealth target.

  3. Decide if the business will be the primary source of achieving your personal wealth target as that gives guidance to the size and scale of the company that needs to be built.

  4. Remember that hard work alone won’t get you there — once you know the target, you build a plan to build business value to achieve it.

  5. Key parts of that plan include: business value that needs to be created to fulfill the personal wealth need; timeline to get it done; expected tax impact; are there partners or others that will share in the business proceeds; [and] will the company run well without you.

CF: What are realist expectations in terms of outcomes and timelines?

AS: It takes time to build a company with value. Organic growth can be slow; M&A can make it happen much more quickly but requires a source of financing. The timeline does drive some of the decisions that need to be made. Outcomes are determined by how you manage time, talent and treasure that is available to grow the business. With a solid plan, good people, disciplined leadership and peer interaction, you can create a great company fairly quickly.

CF: What do you hope attendees can learn and make use of from this session?

AS: We want to challenge your thinking about the business you have or want to create. Far too many entrepreneurs enter the industry without a plan and a known target they are working to achieve, or they are running a company on muscle and feel with no real plan or success destination. We want to call out the important things to consider and give some ideas for how you can prepare to succeed and finish well.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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