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Small Business

 

Small Business Computer Consulting: Finding the Right Prospects

Small business computer consulting firms need to consider evaluating criteria in their prospects. Know how to meet the right people to find clients for small business computer consulting.

small business computer consulting, small-business-computer-consulting

If you are starting a small business computer consulting firm, you should know that the small business accounts that have 10 to 50 PC’s are going to have at least one branch office.

Prospects of this size are used to using professional technology providers and this isn’t the first time they’ve had to hire a small business computer consulting firm. Organizations like this have a willingness to pay for support.

Does Your Prospect Have In-House IT?

However, if they have in-house IT, you should learn what they need you for. Is it for a very deep specialty or for an extremely unusual case where they want to outsource everything?

Researching Prospective Clients

To find prospects for your small business computer consulting firm you should Google towns in your area, ZIP and postal codes, area code and telephone prefixes. Additionally, these prospects will usually belong to a local or regional chamber of commerce or similar organization.

To meet some of these people and market your small business computer consulting firm, you can join the organizations or attend as a guest.

Know Where to Find Your Prospects

Your prospects will likely have presence at business to business events, so you can also attend these events to market your small business computer consulting firm.

Since your target clients will often be covered in the business section of your local publications, you’ll want to subscribe to these or read them at the library.

The Bottom Line about Small Business Computer Consulting

If you want to narrow down your focus to the best small businesses in the area, consider networking at local events and reading up on these businesses in your local publications. You want to pay attention to the criteria above and ensure you can identify your prospects right off the bat.

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Small Business Computer Consulting Freeloaders... and How to Avoid Them

Own a small business computer consulting company? Ever run across freeloaders that essentially want to steal your small business computer consulting services? This article helps you avoid small business computer consulting freeloaders.

small business computer consulting, computer consulting businesses, computer consultants, Computer Consulting 101

If you've been in the small business computer consulting industry for more than 10 minutes, you've probably already encountered a fair amount of freeloaders.

Regardless of whether you call these folks moochers, tightwads, cheapskates, tire-kickers, cherry-pickers, or time vampires, left unchecked these vultures can wreak financial and emotional havoc on virtually any small business computer consulting firm.

In this article, we'll look at what your small business computer consulting company can do to protect itself against freeloaders and other time and financial leaches.

The Root of the Problem

So where does the problem with freeloaders really originate? And how can you handle prospects that have unrealistic expectations of what professional computer consulting services should cost?

What it boils down to is this: You need to be able to convince prospects that hiring your small business computer consulting firm is an investment (not an expense) in their business.

In other words, the tangible, concrete, measurable and irrefutable benefits of what your computer consulting firm delivers must far outweigh their out-of-pocket costs.

Think about it… Would you make an investment in your computer consulting company if you didn't see how the benefits were greater than the costs?

Back-of-the-Napkin Prediction Tool for Small Business Computer Consulting

Now because you're selling a highly specialized computer consulting service, your sales message and value proposition will be different than your competitor down the street.

However, you can dramatically tip the scales in your firm's favor by paying attention to one really universal way to avoid the computer consulting moochers.

Simply, look for small business decision makers that are used to paying for other professional B2B (business-to-business) services, such as accounting services, legal services, public relations (PR) services, or marketing consulting.

That means this kind of small business is already used to investing in highly skilled $100+/hour professional services. The notion of having a professional services provider on a retainer arrangement, say $1,000/month or more, is not a foreign concept.

Work Hard or Work Smart?

Remember, it's much, much easier and much more time-effective for you or your sales staff to go after qualified leads and prospects than it is to try to talk an unqualified lead or prospect into needing something that the lead or prospect doesn't perceive to need.

And don't forget, that right in your local area, there are probably already be tons (at least hundreds, if not thousands) of leads and prospects for you that have real computer consulting needs, are used to paying for professional computer consulting-related services, and have at least semi-realistic expectations about the price-tag on professional computer consulting services.

So don't waste your time on those suffering from small business computer consulting sticker shock. Don't waste your time on professional computer consulting moochers and tightwads.

Focus on those small businesses that are accustomed to paying for other professional B2B services and your sales cycle and sales process will go much, much smoother.

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Small Business Consultants: Avoid Clients Using Peer-to-Peer Networks

Small business consultants should avoid working for clients with peer-to-peer networks. Companies with dedicated servers are a better option for the small business consultant.

small business consultant, small business consultants

Very small businesses, those with less than a handful of PCs, often use informal peer-to-peer networks to share files and printers. This is in sharp contrast to a more robust client/server network with a dedicated server computer, and often selected to keep costs to a minimum.

They are generally built around a consumer-oriented operating system, such as Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows ME.

Small Business Consultants and Peer-to-Peer Networks Don’t Mix

Although rarely utilized in the field, a business-grade desktop OS on a dedicated, business-class PC can provide a solid "happy medium" between extreme low-budget solutions and more robust (and more expensive) client/server solutions.

For small business consultants however, peer-to-peer networks are generally not a good thing - unless of course an upgrade is imminent.

Peer-to-Peer Networks Often Come With Other Problems

Since peer-to-peer networks are often selected to keep costs to a minimum, there is generally little or no budget for outside small business consultants or the owner or manager has plenty of funds, but just doesn’t "believe" in the value of technology.

Many times peer-to-peer networks go hand-in-hand with lots of other undesirable IT issues, such as a complete inattention to software licensing, data security, virus protection and data backup.

The Bottom Line about Small Business Consultants

On the flip side however, the above "IT-plagued" small business may be so fed up with the unreliable performance of their peer-to-peer network, the owner or manager may finally be receptive to your dedicated-server recommendations. And as their small business consultant, that’s your golden opportunity!

Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consulting Blog. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance




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