Do you think small businesses would accept this proposition??
YES. Who are you?? Go to Members Page and share some info.
Everybody loves FREE
My impression of someone who will work "FREE" is that they know the value of their work.
Alternately, here's an approach that may find interest, and could be very profitible to you.
What if you first determine the basic problems and opportunities of the business (Not a full analysis, because that would require too much time at this point), and offer your services on the basis of a two-tiered payment basis. First, a very basic (hourly / daily / etc. ) pay scale, with your real payment for services coming from a small pecentgage (5-15%, negotiable) of increased profitibility over the following year (or two years, etc.).
If your guidance proves to be successful, you can earn a great deal of money. - But that should be OK with the business owner, because that payment will be only a small percentage of his increased cash flow.
It all depends on how you sell yourself to them. If you run into a problem of being "free" though and you really don't want to charge, you could perhaps call it an "internship". I think if it's called an internship, it's kinda implied that you want a recommendation afterward.
Personally, I would not suggest working for free. You will get trampled all over, and only attract the deadbeat customers who will always be hassling you for more. It is not worth it my friend, this is your life!
If you are working for free, work for yourself for free. Get out there and sell yourself as a consultant for say $997/mo. If you are confident you can increase a businesses sales, you should have no problem getting that amount. Action, confidence, and persistence will get you much farther than working for some deadbeat who only takes on free labor.
Hope this helps!
If you work for free, people will be suspect that that's exactly what you're worth. To be successful with increasing a business's revenues, the owners have to be as invested as you are in your recommendations to market in a different way, go after a diffferent niche, hire and fire, motivate the staff, invest in whatever is needed to systemitize their operations. They won't invest in these necessary tools, staff or endeavors unless they believe in you. And they won't believe in you unless you engage them to have some skin in the game up front.
Here is something else I've seen businesses do successfully. They declare that they do one probono project per year for a non-profit (put it on your website). They find one or more non-profits who want this work from you (you can make it a contest or at least an application process). Let them know you will expect a testimonial, a referral and a case study as well as some resources to follow your suggestions. Then you do the probono work. Most likely there are people on their board of directors who might take a liking to your work and offer you other opportunities. It's a good way to get started. I hope you are successful.
I am trying to gain a solid reputation as a business consultant,
as I am recently out of UCLA's Anderson Business School with an MBA in
business management,I am curious as to whether small
businesses would allow me to essentially act as a consultant for
their business, and come up with ideas to improve the revenue and
decrease the costs of your restaurant. I would be willing to work for
FREE, (as I am just looking to gain experience in this field), and
would like to be able to present detailed business ideas to the owner (which would
be implemented on their approval), through which they can eradicate any
existing inefficiencies their business might have, and improve any
existing methods of marketing,day-to-day operation,etc.
Do you think they would allow me to give them free help in that area, in exchange for experience for me
and possibly a testemonial when my ideas DO increase their profits.