IT Consulting Business Plan: Vital Steps to Take Before Starting
How to Start an IT Consulting Business
If you are thinking of starting an IT consulting business, there are important things you need to know about the business and the industry, and make adequate plan for before starting it. This post takes you through them:
As an IT consultant, you will be required to provide lots of expert advice relating to information technology.
If for example an individual wants to establish an Information Technology or computer company, such an individual would have to consult you for direction on how to get things done and how to ensure the goal of the business establishment is met in the long run.
This is a real delicate job description, since the company owner will be relying on you and would hang on everything you say, considering the fact that you are the expert in that field.
At the end of the day, the business owner may put the blame on you if things did not go as planned.
While you may decide to work as a freelancer, you can as well be employed by an IT company as one of their members of staff.
You can also decide to combine the two, provided there is no clause in your employment agreement that forbids such.
What are the steps to follow when starting out as an IT consultant? Some important points in this regard will be highlighted below.
What is your specific area of concentration?
The Information Technology field is a real wide field and there are sub specialties under it. In order to be successful in this profession, you need to choose a specific area to concentrate on.
This way, you will not be jack of all trades, which may turn you to a master of none.
Make sure you choose an area in which you have the most expertise and knowledge. You may have to read wide and go for further studies in that particular field.
A generalist consulting service will also be okay, but make sure you are well versed in a particular aspect and this will stand you out.
What is the structure to adopt in your IT consulting business?
You can adopt a number of structures for your IT consulting business, like troubleshooting consulting, observational consulting, and one-on-one consulting.
In troubleshooting consulting, you will have to take note of the problems described by the client and run a number of tests to determine the origin of those IT related problems.
In observational consulting, the solution to the problem is usually proffered by collecting lots of information from various sources and using the information gathered to solve the IT problem presented by the client.
In the case of one-on-one consulting, you are required to discuss with the client and decipher the possible cause of the problem via the explanations given by the client in the course of your one-on-one discussion.
Do your feasibility study
One important step to follow while setting up your IT consulting business is to survey the environment where you want to set up the business.
Find out how populated or otherwise the environment is. Find out how many IT companies are in that environment, as well as how far or near they are from your outlet.
Additionally, find out if there are other IT consulting companies around you. You equally need to find out how much these IT consultants charge their clients and also find out about their marketing schemes.
This will guide you right on how to establish your own business and how to set your charges.
Take some time to describe your mission statement
Your mission statement should be based mainly on how you can improve on service delivery to your clients.
The mission statement should include both short and long term plans on how to get this done. The mission statement should also include what your personal goals are about the consulting business you are starting.
What is the perfect name for your business?
Your IT consulting business needs to have an identity. When picking the name for the company, make sure the name easily identifies with the service you provide.
Consequently, it will be easy to identify your business by simply calling your business name.
The name must not be tacky and it must be easily memorable. Make sure it sounds professional enough to clients.
What is the legal structure for this new business?
You need to easily identify the company’s legal status; is it a Limited Liability Company, an S Corporation, a Corporation, a Partnership, or a Sole Proprietorship company? This is very important during company registration.
If you are starting out as a lone ranger, then your company’s legal structure is that of a sole proprietorship.
Writing a business plan – see business plan samples
You need to outline the services and products that your IT consulting company plans to offer to the general public. Outline also the steps you want to take in advertising and marketing your company. (if you need help in writing your business plan, you can find samples of business plan you can use online, you can even write yours too online.)
You need to also include in the business plan the steps you plan to take in raising capital for the business.
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