So you’re thinking about starting your very own IT consulting business? Well, the first thing you need to know before opening an IT consulting business is to do your homework. While we won’t include this as one of our “things to know before”, but reading books and engaging with others in the industry might prove useful before getting into this line of work.
With all that said, we do have some tips for you so without further ado let’s get started.
Not Every IT Pro Is a Good Consultant
The nature of IT consulting is to support clients with projects and offer your views based on different business models. As an IT consultant, you will be required to work at unpredictable times during the day and leverage a variety of hardware, software, and network technologies to appeal to your clients. If you’re an IT professional who likes to focus on a few projects, then IT consulting might not be the job for you since IT consulting is widely renowned for being the ultimate multitask line of work. This can be further amplified if you have a broad client base.
Be Wary of Vendors
In this line of work, vendors will constantly chase you to sing your consulting firm as an authorized reseller of their products. They will take you to lunch, offer free products, and even stack your office with lots of gimmicks. However, everything changes as soon as the software starts bugging out. According to Alliance Technology Partners, dealing with vendors as an IT consultant is one of the most frustrating things in the world. While not always the case, if you end up in bed with a poor vendor, he will abandon your calls whenever you need explanations as to why the software doesn’t work. The best way to deal with this is to develop considerable skills and expertise with a couple of products in each product category such as switches, routers, email platforms, software, antivirus, backup, etc.
You Will Be Required Immediate Service
We live in a microwave society where everyone expects things to be done right away. While no one wants to wait, and they will make damn sure that they don’t wait, it is completely understandable. You have to completely understand that SMBs can struggle to remain competitive, relevant, and profitable if key operations suddenly fail. As an IT consultant, you are required to be available 24/7 and offer immediate support if systems start failing such as email, printers, firewalls, etc. Your job will mostly include correcting issues with IT infrastructure, network infrastructure, hardware, etc.
With all that said, you will have to be stocked on software and hardware equipment in order to act swiftly when an issue occurs. And the most frustrating thing is that most of your clients will require 45 to 60 days to pay invoices, so you best learn how to manage cash flow effectively as well.
IT Consulting is the backbone of SMBs because it takes care of a core problematic that these types of businesses cannot deal with themselves.