Start a Computer Business with a Gradual Launch
To start a computer business requires a lot of planning.
If you’re still in the early stages of starting up, consider these seven concrete steps as a way to get started.
Begin with these about three months prior to the date you’d like to start full-time:
Client base – Decide what size clients would best suit you now. Identify niches or industries for which your background makes you particularly well-suited.
Company name – Choose a company name. Select a name that is succinct and says exactly what you do, while also making your business unique. (Editor’s Note: While most who open a computer business focus on very localized markets, if you have national or international aspirations, be sure to consult an intellectual property attorney for a consultation on trademark issues.)
Business details – Talk with an accountant or attorney to choose your type of business entity. Start looking into licenses and insurance required.
Contacts – Start a basic contacts database that includes everyone you know. Contact each person to let him or her know you are going to start a computer business and would appreciate referrals.
Set your rates – Decide how much you’re going to charge and how you’ll bill. Calculate hourly rates, travel charge/service call fees, and minimum on-site hours.
Volunteer your time – If more than 30 days have passed since Step 4, and you don’t have enough paying customers, pick a local non-profit to volunteer for. Approach the director and explain that you are offering to provide a few hours of service in exchange for a testimonial and introductions to three members who own small businesses.
Get testimonials from your first customers – When you get those first customers, do a great job and ask for testimonials; either a few sentences, or, even better, a short 1-2 minute video. (With video testimonials, spontaneity and authenticity are more important than production quality. Unless Steven Spielberg is your client, the built-in camcorder on your smartphone is fine for this purpose.) A couple of strong testimonials can start you on your way.
Follow these steps to start a computer business gradually. If you have your own tips on launching a new business, add them in the comments section below.
And to follow-through on the steps introduced in this post, be sure to download your copy of the free special report on How to Start a Computer Consulting Business: 6 Proven Ways to Build Your Initial Client Base.
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr woodleywonderworks