Small Business Computer Consulting Blog

How Small Business IT Support Firms Can Stay Ahead of the Competition

Posted by Jennifer Feinberg

Nov 2, 2012 5:36:00 AM

How Small Business IT Support Firms Can Stay Ahead of the CompetitionNew small business IT support companies enter the marketplace every day. Maybe it’s a hobbyist who’s taking their business full time. Maybe it’s a corporate IT professional who was just laid off. It really doesn’t matter where they are coming from; what matters is how you defend your small business IT support company and stay steps ahead of the competition.

Here are some strategies that should help you to formulate your plan:

Think 6 Steps Ahead

Think in terms of what’s next. Jeff Hoffman wrote an article for Inc.com titled, “Eight Ball, Corner Pocket: Think 6 Steps Ahead of the Competition.”

Hoffman talks about a professional pool player he met who simply destroyed her competition. Her secret—she didn’t just think about the next shot she would take. She would think about the next six shots.

Applying this to your small business IT support company, don’t just think about what’s next. Start thinking about the next two, three, even six steps—what will you do next? Most competitors are probably only thinking in the short term.

What Do Your Customers Want?

One way to start figuring out what your next steps should be is by simply asking your customers what they want. What matters to your customers? What do they want and expect out of your small business IT support company? How do or how will fluctuations in the market change what they want?

Once you have a better understanding of what your customers are looking to gain from their relationship with you, you can better plan the services you offer. Maybe you’ll need to hire subcontractors so you can differentiate, providing services that may be outside your comfort zone.

Competitors may focus solely on generalist work. By differentiating, you can offer more to your customers than a potential competitor.

Create a Roadmap to Your Future

Take the information you’ve gathered and create your roadmap. Look into your future.

Where do you want your business to be next year? What about in three years? How about five or ten years? Unless you know where you’re going, you’re not going to know how to get there.

Sit down and think about what you want to get out of your business. Next, start figuring out the steps needed to get you there. Small business IT support companies that plan their growth tend to be more successful than those that don’t.

The Bottom Line

Planning is crucial to staying ahead of the competition. Show your customers that you have the ability to support them for a long time to come. Put all of these ideas to work, and your competitors won’t know what happened.

How does your small business IT support stay ahead of its competitors? Please share your thoughts in the Comments box below.

And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on How to Start a Computer Consulting Business: 6 Proven Ways to Build Your Initial Client Base.

Wikimedia Commons Image Source: David Ball

Topics: computer consulting business