How to Start A Consulting Business
How to Create an IT Consulting Business
Consultants provide expert advice in a wide range of fields. Within a specific field such as the information technology industry, a consultant might be hired to counsel a startup computer company or simply provide technological support to his or her clients. Consultants are often employees of a consulting firm, but there are countless self-employed consultants who perform their job at home. Like developing any business, starting an IT consulting business can be overwhelming. Use these steps for help on how to do so.
Determine your specific areas of expertise within the field of information technology.
- Select a particular domain within the IT field in which you are especially well versed and capable to focus your business on. You might decide to start a generalized IT consulting company, but if you can boast specialized skills in a unique sector of the industry you are more likely to receive clients with specialized needs.
Decide on the structure of your consulting business.
- Choose among the following structures: one-on-one consulting, observational consulting and troubleshooting consulting. One-on-one is especially conversation based, observational involves taking in an abundance of information from an outside perspective to determine a solution, and troubleshooting consists of taking a client's problem and running various tests.
Scout out other IT consultants in your area.
- Find out the expertise and services offered by others in your field. Figure out their prices and their marketing schemes.
Write a mission statement that explains what you wish to achieve with your business.
- Base your mission on your personal goals in the industry as well as how you feel you can improve the businesses of your clients. Consider your competition when drafting this statement. How are you different from them?
Name your business.
- Pick a name that reflects who you are and what you stand for in business. It should be memorable but not tacky. Consultants are professionals.
Choose a legal structure for your business.
- Identify your company as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, corporation, S corporation, or a Limited Liability Company. Starting out, most consultants choose the sole proprietor structure.
Draft a business plan.
- Lay out the products and services you will offer, how you plan to market and advertise your products and services, how you plan to finance the business and how you will manage it. The business plan helps guide you through the thorny process of starting a company by helping to establish your goals.
Consider startup costs and the finances needed for your first year.
- Figure out the bare minimum needed to get your business up and running. Will you need to hire an assistant or secretary? Do you need to purchase new computers or other expensive equipment? Will you need a travel budget?
Obtain the proper licenses for your state.
- Purchase a tax and business license as needed in your state and city. These vary throughout the country but are crucial for running a business.
Set up your office.
- Create a space that is quiet and workable where you can take calls and meet with clients.
Design business cards and professional letterheads.
- Have these items printed professionally and keep your office and wallet stocked at all times. Promoting yourself as a professional can go a long way in becoming a successful consultant.
Market your service.
- Attend conferences and spread the word about your business. Have a conversation with past colleagues and peers for advice and referrals. Offer your services at low prices or even free to build up a reputation.
Approximately how much can an IT consulting business earn in six months?
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Is this the method Bill Gates used?
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Video: Consulting Startup - How to start a consulting business
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