Starting an information technology (IT) consulting business is a dream-come-true for many people.
If you’ve always kicked around the idea but you didn’t know how to get started, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, you’ll learn the 6 steps to kickstart the process of creating your own IT consulting business.
Tools and advice to help you find clients for your web development, IT, or computer systems design business.
6 steps for starting an IT consulting business
Without wasting any time, here is the step-by-step process to start an IT consulting business. Remember to read each step carefully.
1. Do basic market research to determine a specialty
Before your dreams start coming true, you will have to do some market research. Market research entails taking a look at the competition in your area, understanding what your intended market needs, and then identifying the right gap in the market for your startup.
For example, if you observe that every IT consulting business in your area focuses on the same aspect of IT, you would want yours to occupy a different space in this field.
During this step, you’ll want to decide what’s going to make your business special. You need a selling point that sets you apart from the other guys.
Are you going to be more affordable, more technical, more knowledgeable, or provide a higher-quality product? Perhaps you can do something that no one else can?
Make sure that you have the correct amount of IT experience within your chosen category. You will be at a severe disadvantage before you even get started if you don’t have the right work history in the category that you choose.
2. Solidify your IT services niche
With a general idea carved out, it’s time to put together a more detailed framework. In this step, you need to identify your niche. A niche refers to the category of your services and the specifics surrounding your business.
What services you offer
The services that you offer will define your business as a whole. As mentioned earlier, the key here is that you either choose an under-represented service or that you add your unique twist to an existing service.
Your services can focus on a certain sector of IT, or you can be a more general, all-purpose consultant. Again, it’s worth re-emphasizing here that your services must align with your unique skillset and any previous knowledge.
Who your target audience is
What are the demographics of the audience that you’re targeting? This can refer to age, location, background, and socioeconomic status.
By understanding your target audience, your online marketing campaign will be more successful right off the bat and in the future.
Another aspect of knowing your target is knowing what career they will have: are you an IT consultant for large companies or for small companies? This all goes into targeting an audience.
What area you will serve
The area that you’ll serve will determine the path you must take to start your IT consulting business.
For example, if you’re providing online consultancy, then there’s more wiggle room than if you’re looking to serve a certain area face-to-face. In this case, you need to make sure this population matches your target audience.
In other words, if you’re looking to help blue-collar workers but you’re setting up shop in an affluent area with no blue-collar jobs, something will have to change.
3. Choose a business name and logo
In this step, your company really starts to take shape. Choosing the right logo and business name is the critical third step of how to start an IT business.
Try to pick a name and logo that coincide with the company you’re trying to build. The name should be easy to pronounce and easily recognizable. If someone has to struggle to say and remember your company’s name, you’re going to have an uphill battle.
Your logo should be simple and easily identifiable. It should also be easy to make larger or smaller. That’s because the same logo could be used in everything from a tiny thumbnail on someone’s phone to a giant billboard on the side of a highway.
No matter the size, a customer should recognize your brand.
4. Write a business plan for your business
Step four is all about making a business plan. If this is your first business, then you should consult this handy guide to help make a small business plan.
Your business plan is the process of putting pen to paper and formalizing what you want your business to do and how you will operate. It usually includes the market research that you conducted earlier. During this fourth step, you will outline what makes your company special and what will be your secret recipe for obtaining success.
Your business plan is an essential prerequisite for step five.
5. Fund your IT business
Now it’s time to get money to get your company started. Finding investors for your IT business is the key to starting correctly.
While you were generating your business plan, you should also have researched what type(s) of equipment you need. Now’s the time to find the pricing for that equipment.
How much does it cost to start an IT company?
You might not know how much it takes to start an IT consultant company. If you’re operating from your home, you can probably expect to pay less than $2,000.
This business is based on services. There aren’t any specific pieces of equipment that you need, so getting funding should be easy. Some business owners fund their operations themselves in order to avoid going into debt.
6. Implement a solid IT marketing strategy
With the money secured, you should start putting together a strong IT marketing strategy. There are many pieces that must come together to create your strategy.
Putting together a website is essential in today’s digital age. An IT consultant company website should outline who you are, what you do, and why people should choose you.
You can direct people to your website to answer their questions. Your website should have a way for someone to provide you with their email address and to reach out to you.
You might also consider paying a professional to make your website, or you could use a website builder from Constant Contact.
Don’t underestimate the power of social media for your IT business.
Social media is completely free to use and it’s a great way to generate a long list of leads. It helps build brand awareness and also gives people an easy way to communicate directly with your company.
It’s also a great place to put up ads since you can target the right people.
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. It’s one of the best ways to improve your internet presence. Every great online marketing campaign includes effective use of SEO.
Your website should definitely include SEO to generate leads and make you more money.
These tips and tricks should help you start your dream company. Now that you know how to start an IT consulting business, the rest is up to you.
To learn more, check out the ultimate guide for IT marketing. If you have questions and need an expert to help, Constant Contact has Marketing Advisors waiting to talk to you.