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Small Business

 

IT Consulting: Steps to a Gradual Business Launch

IT consulting start-ups should follow a step by step plan before launching their business full time. Follow some of the 21 steps for success in your business of IT consulting.

IT consulting, IT-consulting

In IT consulting, you need a step-by-step plan to launch your practice. There are 21 steps that will take you through the first 90 days of beginning your IT consulting business.

Preparing for your gradual launch will lower the risk associated with starting a business because you will have already prepared.

Step One. Overcome Three of Your Weaknesses

Pick 3 of your shortcomings to overcome them within the next 90 days. They can be personality, business or technical skills....you choose.

For example, you can decide to work on technical skills and pick three products to learn a little more about or get some evaluations units or preview copies. If you want to pick 3 business skills that are weak for you and learn more about them. It could be credit card merchant accounts, negotiating skills, learning to delegate, etc.

Don't try to learn everything. Clients will hire you because you know how to get it done. If you don't know the answer, they expect you to find someone who does. Know which vendor or contractor to call who can solve the problem.

Step Two: What Size Clients Are Your Best Match?

Identify any niches or industry that you may have some experience based on where you did some IT consulting or worked in the field. To narrow down and focus on just one niche, you need to have a substantial amount of experience.

You need at least 500 - 1000 people that you can market your IT consulting business to. Only a small percentage of them are going to be receptive to the marketing and an even smaller percentage are going to be the sweet spot clients of yours.

First, decide what size clients you are best suited for and then look at how many natural industries you will target for your initial IT consulting marketing. Focus on the sweet spot now and worry about specializing later.

Step Three: Pick a Company Name

Pick a company name that says exactly what you do and makes you unique. If you want to convey a certain geographic area or you want to convey a certain specialty, put it in the name. Bounce the name off some people who can be more objective. Ask them if they can guess what it is that you do from the name. You will save yourself a ton of time and marketing aggravation over the years of your name says that already.

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IT Consulting: Targeting Different Sized Businesses

IT Consulting is possible for many different sized businesses. Be sure you know the requirements and make up of each before you offer IT consulting.

IT consulting, IT-consulting

In IT consulting, you can target various sized businesses. Beyond the "sweet spot small businesses" with 10 to 50 computers and 10 to 100 employees are "large-small businesses" that have 50 to 100 computers and 50 to 200 employees.

What a Larger Small Business Involves

The big distinction for these larger small businesses is they usually have at least two dedicated servers and you start to see an in-house IT manager who handles most of the generalist work. Because they’re handling the generalist work, they don’t need IT consulting work in the same capacity as the smaller businesses would.

Networking Skills and Specialization Required

In IT consulting, if you want to be successful with really large small businesses, you need to drill very deep in two or three core networking skill sets and be a strong specialist. However, if you want to target midsize businesses for your IT consulting practice, it’s an entirely different business model that’s very hard to crack as a soloist or a start-up.

Targeting Midsize Businesses

The midsize business is where you start to see more than 100 computers, more than 100 employees, and more than three dedicated servers. Additionally, there’s not just an in-house IT manager but an in-house IT department. As far as IT consulting goes for these businesses, the only things they’re going to outsource are deep specialties.

Where Do You Want to Take Your IT Consulting Business?

If you want to move into medium-size small businesses, focus on a couple of deep networking skills. If you want to go beyond that, start focusing on enterprise-oriented platforms like Computer Associates, IBM, Linux, Oracle, and Sun Solaris. To successfully target this environment, you will really need to specialize in your IT consulting skills.

The Bottom Line about IT Consulting

The big picture is that most small businesses are usually 12 to 18 months behind the curveball with most technology platforms. In IT consulting it’s important to be aware of what the targeted businesses are looking for.

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IT Consulting for Micro Businesses: What You Need to Know

IT Consulting in Micro Businesses requires you to be familiar with basic hardware, software, and networking. You only need to know how to perform about half of the skills to be successful at IT consulting.

IT consulting, IT consultant, computer consulting, computer consultant

IT consulting for micro businesses is a good starting point for many IT professionals. In addition to the general hardware and software, and peer-to peer networking, you'll need to be familiar with some additional items. In this article, you'll learn what other skills you need for micro business IT consulting.

When providing IT consulting to micro small businesses, you will occasionally get requests for support of the big competitors of the basic Windows software for their competiton. Some of these include Goldmine and other kinds of tech management or Peachtree - another accounting package.

Virus protection is also real important, so make sure you are comfortable with McAfee and Norton. Make sure you are comfortable with personal firewalls like Zone Alarm, and Norton personal firewall as well as remote control packages like PC anywhere.

Micro Small Business Networking Needs

You need to be comfortable with working and setting up basic peer to peer LANs to share a drive, to share a CD-ROM, to share a printer, to share internet access, and share ICS kind of stuff. You should be pretty comfortable with the inexpensive routers that share a broadband connection among a whole office and have the little built in 10/100 switch and you can scale it up there.

With IT consulting, you should also have some familiarity with some Y-5 products, the wireless products that allow you to do some limited amounts of wireless access, especially the entry level ones you find in a lot of office supply superstores and warehouse clubs.

The Bottom Line about IT Consulting

Do you need to know all of these to provide IT consulting micro small businesses? Preferably you should know half or more. So in other words there are like 13-14 things on the list, so if you know 4 or 5 of them you are kind of ok, you should ideally know half of them or more.

Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consulting 101. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}




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