Every startup IT consulting firm needs a business plan. It’s a must if you’re looking for any kind of financing. You also want a business plan to make sure you’ve thought through the fundamentals of your consulting business.
SCORE, the non-profit that partners with the U.S. Small Business Administration, provides a lot of valuable information on its website. In an article on business plans, Rieva Lesonsky offers the following three essentials for business plans in today’s marketplace:
A social media plan – You may think you don’t need to bother with social media if you already have leads with local clients. However, you may look behind the times if you’re not at least up-to-date on your social media presence. Also, consider that customers now are used to being able to contact companies through multiple channels. Take advantage of free information (like SCORE webinars) to learn basic SEO strategies to optimize the web content you do create.
Have a plan B – Especially in this economy, which is not yet in a firm recovery, any new IT consulting firm needs a “plan B.” For small business VARs and MSPs, this means flexibility in your target market and/or the focus of your services. Your consulting business plan should have alternate goals for target markets, and an understanding of the sales cycle length, showing short-term revenue sources you can tap into when necessary.
Company’s unique value proposition – It can be a challenge to stand out amongst all of the other IT consulting firms serving small businesses. The key is to know and be able to articulate what sets your services apart from the others. Thinking through this will help when you pitch your services as well. Know what your competitors offer—and if you don’t, find out.
Every IT consulting firm needs a business plan. Make sure yours shows how you’ll compete and thrive in today’s economy. Share your business plan tips in the Comments section below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to watch the recording of Inbound Revenue Acceleration Webinar for Managed Services & IT Consulting.
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr Alex Ristea