Are you planning to start an IT consulting business, the good news is, it’s a growing business, which is recession proof too. A business that is going to keep on trending as the world is growing more global.
Even if you have no skills or experience on how to start an IT consulting business you can still easily start, and run a successful IT consulting business. Having a past experience is just a value added bonus to you.
How? Because it is career field that is open to customization and flexibility.
On my recent marketing research were I discovered 28 highly profitable business ideas to startup (you should visit the internal link to see the rest of the other businesses ideas). IT consulting business made the top list, because it is a lucrative business idea to launch and of which It requires just little to no investment.
What is IT consulting business
IT consulting business or consulting business is a kind of a business that centers on advising brands, organization on how well they can use IT (information Technology) in achieving business success. It is a skill set or service that is needed in every business firm.
Thanks to the digital age and increasing use of IT in our corporate and daily life. The services related to IT are diversifying and people are in dire need of professional IT consulting services, but the digital market is in short supply of it.
How did I know all this?
There is a huge shortage of manpower available in this industry. Furthermore, the demand is increasing day by day. There are enormous prospects as people are now looking for professional IT consulting services in different fields.
So, before you start your IT consulting business, determine which segment you specialize in. You can focus upon a specific segment such as
- ERP consulting,
- Software development or networking.
- Computers repairs
- Organization Design
- Knowledge management
- Social media Agency
- Strategy Building
You can even go further and define your core specialization such as ERP for marketing or accounts to be more specific and meaningful for your prospective clients.
The best facts about consulting business is that there are no specific skills required to run a consulting business, or any consulting business whatsoever.
You should have some prior knowledge of the segment, business acumen and some passion to make it big. You should also have ordinary business skills such as:
- Communication skills
- CPS (Creative Problem Solving) Skills
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Skill
- Regression Techniques
- Personal Productivity
- Analytical skills
- Sales skills
- Ability to synthesize
- Performance Management
- Computer skills
In addition to the skills related to providing advice regarding consulting services you are going to offer, you should know how to manage, estimate, deploy, implement, and administer IT systems on businesses’ behalf.
So, if starting an IT consulting business is what appealing to you, follow the steps below and you will be able to start-up yours.
8 Steps for starting an IT Consulting Business
Like I said earlier on that there is no specific skills needed to start an IT consulting business.
Following the laid step by step guide will get your IT business running in due time.
- Create a website of your business and promote it.
- Consistent Viral Marketing
- Prefer long term contracts
- Organization design tactics.
- Investment and earning in it consulting business
- Focus and coverage around the specific segment.
- Develop a CRM (customer relationship Management) strategy
- Develop your PP (Personal Productivity)
Create a Website of Your Business and Promote it
You should also have a proper website representing the following features:
- Your business,
- Your services,
- Your location and
After creating your website, you should also optimize your website for industry specific keywords and perform a local and global online marketing, too. For that, you can mark your presence on local maps and do Internet marketing with location keywords. Such as, you can include certain keywords in your SEO marketing campaign including the names of the city and the state, you are operating in.
For example, “Digital marketing consulting service in U.S” would be the ideal keyword, if you are operating in U.S area.
Let help you create a professional website
Marketing Is still the heart beat of every business. You should also perform social media marketing and run “Cost – per – Action” or “Pay-Per-Click” campaigns, if you want to have more traffic on your website and therefore more business leads.
You cant just sit back after creating a website for your business and expect to get jobs call ups. Nope, things are not done that way.
You have to be consistent on marketing your website always both online and offline. Your sales and marketing campaign should include both traditional marketing and web marketing. You should attend all the industry specific seminars, conferences, workshops, meet ups and press events, so as to increase your market penetration and build more relationships.
You should spare no opportunity to increase your PR and networking. It brings references and your job becomes easier than ever. It also reduces your advertising costs.
Prefer Long Term Contracts
You should go for long-term contracts and bigger corporate assignments, which would keep you in business always. Otherwise, even if you are hectically busy one week, you might have nothing to do the next week. It puts strain on your working capital.
Organization Design Tactics
This is a crucial factor that will go a long way to determine how successful your consulting business will be on the long run. Like I have stated that Even if you have no past experience or skill you can still start a consulting business.
Yes it is possible by hiring people to work for you. And that where you need great Organization Design techniques to keep your consulting business on the right track.
The hallmark of organization design process is a comprehensive and holistic approach to organizational improvement that touches all aspect of your consulting business life, so you can achieve:
- Excellent customer service
- Increased profitability
- Reduced operational costs
- Improve workflow and efficiency
- A culture of committed and engaged employees
- A clear strategy for managing and growing your consulting business.
Also I will recommended not to focus on hiring permanent employees. Instead, you should find committed freelancers and subcontractors, who can perform your tasks as and when needed. It will add to productivity and prevent a strain on your payroll budget.
Investment and Earnings in IT Consulting Business
If you did recall when you read the begining of this article, I said you can start an IT consulting business with little Investment. ALL you just need is an office and a land-line number (optional), to start an IT consulting business. If you have even one client, you can start earning right from the first month.
You can charge a fee for your services and earn commission on the IT systems being deployed by you. You cinan also charge for training. However, you cannot predict your earnings in any business before starting it.
Focus and Converge around a Specific Segment
You should also focus your marketing efforts towards a specific clientele, so that people may spot you for it, instantly. However, it should not block you from providing other services. You know that to survive as a business, you need to provide comprehensive solutions and should not confine yourselves to some specific services.
You can outsource these additional services through subcontractors, in order to facilitate your clients. It is better to form an LLP (Limited liability Partnership) and to establish a legal entity instead of operating as a sole proprietorship. To establish a level of trust and to avail government benefits, you “have” to incorporate your business. You should also consult a chartered accountant for tax filing, which is utmost necessary to avoid any hassle in future.
Develop a CRM (customer relationship Management) strategy
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refer to the practice, techniques, skills and strategy that a business or company use to manage and analyze customer interactions throughout the customer life cycle.
So, you should set a goal to improving business relationship with customers, as in customers retention, customer satisfaction of and driving sales growth.
Develop your PP (Personal Productivity)
Personal productivity will help you set scalable and achievable goals. Some will tell you that personal productivity is setting goals and accomplishing those goals.
Risk Factors involved in IT Consulting Business
Just like every other businesses, there are following risks in this sector:
Competition: You have to assess your competition beforehand.
Cost structure: You should charge your fee according to the market trends.
- Distribution: Make sure that you are able to service the needs of your clients in time.
- Employees: Your employees should be competitive and trained.
- Errors and omissions: You should be quick to address the errors and omissions if any, before they cause a havoc and loss of client or your own prestige.
- Financing: You should have the necessary working capital to enable you to finance the required equipment and systems.In order to deliver your services to customers, you may need to invest in some hardware or software. The exact purchases will depend on your area of expertise, but you’ll almost certainly need a computer and basic office supplies, at least. You might also want to invest in some insurance to cover that equipment in the case of an emergency.
Well, to enjoy and achieve success in your consulting business it is essential that you learn how to design routines, make scalable goals, create an efficient environment and use organization design techniques to maximize your business output.
No matter what type of IT consulting business you choose to start up, if you take cognizance to what you have learn here, you should be able to kickstart your own IT consulting business, because it is nothing much more than this.
Have any questions or contribution let me know in comment section.