IT consulting, just like any other consulting business, can be highly lucrative. The initial costs are low, with significant chances of upsell and high revenues. Statista, for example, predicts that IT consulting revenue in the US will reach $424.33 billion by the year 2022.
So how do you successfully create an IT consultancy business?
The Process of Starting an IT Consulting Business
1. Refine your skills
A consultant, according to Merriam-Webster, is “one who gives professional advice or services: EXPERT.”
The keyword in this definition is expert. For success as an IT consultant, your IT skills need to be second to none. The first step, therefore, in this entrepreneurial journey, is to gain the relevant experience.
You can start by working at IT companies before building your IT consulting business. In the process, you will not only master your craft but also enlarge your network. Most of the business owners you meet in your various IT roles may well end up being your first clients when you establish your business.
2. Select your area of expertise
It’s important to develop a niche and make it the main focus of your IT consultancy business. For example, cloud services, software services, or managed IT services are all in-demand functions.
Experts that find a niche and specialize in one field tend to make more money than generalists.
3. Register your business
The process of registering a business is a lot more intricate than you might think. By this stage, you should have gone through the process of naming your business, creating a mission and vision statement, deciding a legal structure (sole proprietorship, company or partnership), and developing a business plan.
After all the business planning, you can proceed to register and obtain a license for operating in your area.
4. Buy the needed IT tools
It’s important to have state-of-the-art equipment to deliver an exceptional experience to your clients. First, figure out what hardware and software tools are the most crucial in your area of specialty. On top of that, there are also office supplies to factor into the budget.
Your business and growth plans should be your main point of reference when making IT equipment purchases.
Your investment should be targeted at improving productivity, streamlining processes, and improving your bottom-line. Your equipment budget also needs to account for the total cost of ownership, because 80 % of IT costs occur after the purchase, according to data by Gartner.
5. Get into marketing
The next step when starting an IT consultancy is marketing. Without effective marketing strategies, you might not be able to lock in the right clients. Start off by identifying the businesses you want to work with.
Consider working with your local chamber of commerce to find a consultant, or explore digital advertising, flyers, and business cards. You can also start asking your former colleagues and other people in your network for referrals and connections.
6. Create a customer communication strategy
According to iTeam Technology Associates IT Consulting NYC, every consultancy business is anchored on customer communication. You need your non-technical clients to understand what you are saying whenever you communicate with them. The right communication strategy explains your value proposition, your commitment, work culture, and objectives.
The plan should also support customer feedback and outline ways of collecting. Customer feedback can help to inform the future direction of your business.
Myth buster: Now, you know that starting an IT consulting business is hard work, and even more work is needed to keep the business running. There are no 4 hour weeks and automatic seven-figure salaries. But the hard work often pays, eventually.