There are many different ways for your computer business to earn money, and that’s obviously a great thing! The purpose of this article is to provide a list of all the different ways you can bring revenue into your company.
Perhaps you have yet to exploit all of the avenues listed, or are making less effort than you should in certain areas. If so, working through this list should help you establish some new revenue streams, or put a renewed effort into enhancing existing ones.
IT Consultancy - The lifeblood of almost every computer business is IT consultancy. Usually charged by the hour or by the day, this is probably your main source of income, which justifies its position at the head of this list. However, don’t just skip to the next idea! There are probably some additional forms of IT consultancy that you could offer. Do you assist your clients with disaster recovery/business continuity? Have you helped customers develop their BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies? There’s no end to the consultancy services you can offer your clients – they probably just need telling that they need the help.
Support Contracts/Retainers - Now often crossing over with managed services (see below), support contracts are often a source of significant regular income for a computer business. Going beyond pure consultancy, agreeing to a support contract means making a commitment to be there when things go wrong, and to be at the end of the phone to deal with all the routine issues.
Managed Services - Many IT support companies are moving away from break/fix support and consultancy arrangements and instead offering integrated managed services contracts instead. But this needn’t mean that you need to aim to get every client onto an all-inclusive monthly contract. Managed services can mean a whole host of things: Perhaps you could offer managed online backup, mobile device management, or managed Internet security. You’ll certainly find plenty of companies waiting to partner with you and share the revenue – or, alternatively, you can design or repackage services to sell as your own.
Selling Hardware and Software - Your customers will, inevitably, need various types of hardware and software to run their businesses. If you’re not making money by providing it, you’re doing it wrong! Vendors of all kinds are crying out for resellers, so you should, at the very least, be making a commission stream from every item you sell. Even better are commission streams from renewable software products such as antivirus programs or anti-spam services – you only need to “make the sale” once to guarantee a stream of income that will continue indefinitely (or for at least as long as your client is in business and happy with the product or service).
Commissions from Other Firms - You probably experience situations where clients ask for products and services that your computer business can’t (or chooses not to) provide. You should always work to build a network of trusted partner companies to whom you can send these customers. In return, it’s not unfair to expect some financial compensation. “Kickback” is a nasty-sounding word, but if you send a partner business in the form of a client who’s going to earn them thousands, it’s only right to agree to a proportion of the revenue politely.
Training - “Training” can mean anything from teaching individual technophobes to use their computers to training entire companies or departments how to use a new system or product – and there’s plenty of demand for both. Not everyone has the natural aptitude for technical training. Experienced techies sometimes find it difficult (and frustrating) to explain computing in plain English, but if you can do it, or have a team member who can, you shouldn’t have to look too far to find potential revenue.
Software Development - Companies will often need software tools, bespoke (custom) databases, and mobile apps. Is it worth adding a developer to your team, or outsourcing the work so that you can earn some profit? If customers need software, they will have to get it from somewhere – so why not from you?
Hopefully, having read through this list, you will have found at least a couple of new ways to start bringing money into your computer business. All you need to do now is get started, and you should see results on your “bottom line” in the months to come!
Can you think of any other inventive ways to bring money into a computer business? Share your ideas in the Comments box below.
And to follow through on the tips introduced in this short article, especially if you also support SaaS or IaaS, be sure to enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.
Topics:- Computer Consulting Business