Many people with computer skills and a passion for technology look into how to become an IT consultant. Some go on to build successful businesses and earn a great income doing something they enjoy.
Planning and preparation is paramount if you want your computer business to be a success. These five simple steps show you how to become an IT consultant and avoid the pitfalls that hold many people back in their professional goals:
Decide How to Specialize: While it may be tempting to undertake every technical task that comes your way, in order to bring in money, it is better to clearly define the services your business will provide. Deciding to concentrate your efforts on one area—whether it is selling support contracts, repairing laptops, or offering hosted services— allows you to properly focus your efforts and become a renowned expert in the things you are best at.
Decide What NOT to Offer: While it may seem strange to have the guide advising you on how to become an IT consultant tell you to avoid certain tasks, not everyone is great at every aspect of IT. You may be fantastic at managing Microsoft Windows servers, but not cut out for intricate laptop hardware fixes or the design side of website creation. Know your weaknesses as well as your strengths.
Ensure Adequate Training: Never “wing it” with clients’ systems or with your own reputation. Businesses expect IT consultants to be true experts. So if there are gaps in your knowledge, train and self-study to fill them. Or find a partner or subcontractor for that particular project need.
Organize your Admin: Spend time implementing good systems for bookkeeping, invoicing, and call logging right at the start, when you will have time to do so. The last thing you will want to do when your company gets busy is spend time unraveling messy processes.
Obtain Enough Working Capital: Although IT consultancy is a business with relatively low start-up costs, you will still need money to purchase marketing materials, install software, and travel to meetings. You also need to keep food on the table until your first invoices are paid.
Did you think in detail about how to become an IT consultant before you started, or did you “wing it?” What would you have done differently? Share your thoughts in the COMMENTS box below.
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