IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

SMB Nation Launches Pocket MBA Online Education

The Pocket MBA is a 12-week six-course intensive online education program designed for partners who want to learn how to become trusted business advisers to their customers. By Elaine J. Hom By Elaine J. Hom

The Pocket MBA is a 12-week six-course intensive online education program designed for partners who want to learn how to become trusted business advisers to their customers.

By Elaine J. Hom

SMB Nation, an SMB IT channel community, is launching the Pocket MBA, a practical outcomes-based online business program. Starting today, interested resellers and MSPs can register for this 12-week educational program that includes sales, marketing, and finance training.

Harry Brelsford, founder and chairman of SMB Nation, started the Pocket MBA program two years ago with online educator Aspen University. Now, the program has been tweaked to meet the needs of MSPs and channel professionals in six intensive courses. The curriculum includes sales and marketing strategy, business analysis and process, income generation, operations, and other business fundamentals. Through Brelsford's leadership, the courses have been specifically developed to be hands-on, case-study driven, with a small student-teacher ratio (15-1).

"The Pocket MBA is less of a traditional MBA curriculum and is a little more relevant," says Brelsford, who has a background in collegiate education. "Instead of learning about corporate finance and Wall Street, our guys want to learn from the relevant finance and accounting guys [in the channel]." Instructors well-known in the IT community include Karl Palachuk, Josh Peterson, and Todd Colbeck. In addition to providing training materials and guidance, the instructors are offering daily office hours to students.

"The program is for any IT entrepreneur, independent IT professional or established IT business owner who recognizes that the changing business landscape means it's time to pivot or perish," says Brelsford. "For MSPs, VARs and IT consultants to succeed, they will have to make the transition from strictly IT solution providers to integrated business consultants and become trusted business advisors."

The program will begin on October 12 at the 2012 SMB Nation Fall conference in Las Vegas. Following the initial cohort class, 12-week course sessions will be available on a monthly rolling admissions basis. Charter students will receive a free pass to SMB Nation Fall, plus a $500 discount off of the $2995 tuition. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. Students also receive an Android tablet, where they can download and view instructional materials for each course.

For more information or to register, visit SMB Nation's Pocket MBA.

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