Improving lifestyles while increasing profits will be the central theme of a two-day channel conference in November. Run by resellers for resellers, SMB Focus is the brainchild of Correct Solutions director, Wayne Small. The motto of the event will be 'Grow your business, balance your life'.
"A lot of smaller resellers are so focused on their business that they forget about the other side of their lives. They forget to relax and have fun," Small said. "They become burned out and don't operate as well as they should.
"We want to flag that to people and get them to slow down for a couple of days so they can think outside the box. They can listen to people that have managed to balance work and personal life effectively. Few of us do that well.
"The idea of SMB Focus is to teach smaller resellers how to run more profitable businesses without getting stressed out about it."
SMB Focus will feature two streams running alongside each other - one focused on business; the other on technology. The business sessions will be based around discussions and Small promised they would be "extremely light" on PowerPoint content. Instead, they will feature resellers presenting tried and tested solutions to real-world problems. Topics are expected to include how to run a marketing campaign, hiring staff and terminating unwanted customer relationships.
The technical track will focus on the next version of Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) and associated technologies.
"The aim will be to demonstrate how to use technology so the network needs as little maintenance as possible by taking advantage of automated management systems," Small said. "We will also talk about managed services in both streams as a way of building recurring revenue and improving customer service."
While vendors are expected to play a significant role in the conference, they will be involved in panel discussions with resellers rather than making product presentations. Small is hoping to attract more than 200 resellers to his conference, with more than 20 per cent expected to bring their wives or partners.
"We want wives and partners to do some networking of their own so they understand a little more about geeks running businesses," he said. "There are many talented geeks out there but sometimes their partners don't get it. My wife understands me a little better now that she has been to the Microsoft Partner Conference and traveled to the US with me on business trips."
SMB Focus will be held in Sydney on November 23-24. Admission to the two-day conference costs $895 but tickets are available for $745 until the end of July. For further information, visit www.smbfocus.com.