The computer services industry is estimated to be a $300 billion industry. Billions of people rely on computers and technology every day to successfully operate their businesses. They need reliable services that can provide them with the help and guidance they need in the face of technological difficulties.
Determine the type of consulting services you plan to offer. Hardware, software, networking or a combination of those services are all options. The more services offered, the broader reach the business will have, which can create more customers. Consultants must constantly seek referrals and leads and be able to present their value in a clear and convincing manner. Consultants must be effective time managers to juggle their clients' demands and to maximize their billable hours. Keep in mind, not everything you work on is billable.
What marketable skills do you have? Differentiate yourself from the crowd.
Aside from a long and successful career running an IT Consulting, Certifications are industry-leading credentials to start and grow your business.
- CompTIA (A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+)
- Network+ $239
- Security+ / Linux + $258
- Microsoft (MCSE, MCITP)
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional $125
- Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer $875
- Cisco (CCNP, CCNA, CCiE)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate $250
- Cisco Certified Network Professional $600
- Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert $1750
- Apple (ACSP, ACTC, ACSA)
- Apple Certified Support Professional $200
- Apple Certified Technical Coordinator $400
- Apple Certified System Administrator $650
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) $599
- Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) $415
- Project Management Professional (PMP) $555
What IT services can you offer?
In a nutshell an array of IT services that entails designing, building, or managing a system are offered in an IT consultancy business.
To further illustrate, an IT expert is needed to design, build, and/or manage
A system for an e-commerce business for both the collection and payments for goods and services. If a system already exists, then an IT consultant that has experience and expertise in the software used will be needed to make sure that the system is working smoothly.
Maintenance work involving network, system, and server-set-up (anti-virus, installation, LAN, repair, Web Hosting, Email/Cloud Support, Back up and Disaster Recovery).
Mobile app development services. With users spending 90% of time using apps, more than a billion iOS users worldwide, and Google Play offering more apps than any other platform, it is clear that there is a business case to be made for developing apps.
Mobile app for your business. For customers and potential customers to stay and be aware of a business, it makes sense to have a mobile app to keep in touch with customers in the area.
Many attractive reasons urge businesses to have an app of their own:
- It’s the way things are done now – if competitors are not doing it yet, that means that you could be the first in the area to offer such, which could be an advantage for the business.
- It can build a bond with customers – an app offers an easy and accessible touch of point because of a business’ visibility on the customer’s phone or tablet.
- (A way to keep customers up to date – push notifications allow those having apps to notify customers of new products and services. That way businesses can introduce new offerings to each customer and increase the chances of the product/service sparking interest to the customer’s needs or wants.
- Stand out from the competition – having an app is one thing and having a good one is another. A business app should be consistent to the brand values and convey a consistent message of quality and efficiency to the customers.
- Offer incentives – much like how loyalty programs of brick and mortars work, an app can be utilized to incentivize purchases and thereby increase customer loyalty. A tracker of points and a series of bonuses can be offered without the hassle of possibly losing cards or stamped pads.
Web design and development – includes web graphic design; interface design; authoring, including standardized code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization.
Start an IT Business: The Bare Essentials
We will discuss the details further in this framework but as an overview, here are the things that you need to sort out when starting your own IT business:
Business Plan & Materials
Research and analyze your market, Identify your Core Services, Create a business logo, cards and stationer, Website, 5P’s – Feasibility Report, etc.
Prepare yourself Financially
Open a business bank account, Arrange your business accounting and apply for loans, Establish a business line of credit, Ready your workspace, Use QuickBooks
Business Registration, Taxes, Permits and Licenses, Business Laws and Regulations,
Build good relationship with your clients, Lead Generation, marketing strategy, etc
Franchise or Independent: Which is better?
This franchise category did not exist 20 years ago! That is also a great reason why the Computer & Internet category is full of franchises with lots of growth potential. Many computer and IT services franchises have low startup costs because they do not require a store front or much equipment. Many of these franchises take their services directly to the business they are assisting to do the job on-site.
Starting up from scratch could be challenging but less expensive, while franchising gives you a head start because of the brand name that people recognize. Continuous training and support from the franchisee are expected together with a royalty fee.
Permits and Insurance
Software License (EULA)
Certificate of Occupancy $250.00
Marketing Signs Portable on Private Property - $80.00
Payroll Account and Workplace Safety & Insurance Board Account
(extended coverage on buildings and contents)
Burglary protection (theft coverage)
(covers thefts by employees)