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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wow! It's Been a While Since a Post to the Computer Consulting Blog!

Holy guacamole! Has it really been that long?

If enjoy reading this blog, definitely check out our newer, more up-to-date Small Business Computer Consulting Blog.

Make sure you also subscribe to its companion SP Home Run Weekly Update Newsletter!

Thanks for your continued support!

And we look forward to helping you get great clients, building up more recurring IT services revenue, and grow your business.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Becoming an IT Consultant? Ask Your Prospects These 4 Key Questions

One of the most important parts of becoming an IT consultant is making sure you know which type of small business clients you want to attract.

How can you find the prospective clients that will most benefit from your services long-term?

Look for companies that are big enough to need your services on a regular basis. So these potential clients are candidates for signing on-going service contracts, that bring you the steady revenue that will be the foundation of your business. Doing this successfully, as you are becoming an IT consultant, means you absolutely need to know the major qualifying questions inside out and backwards, like the back of your hand.

  1. Geographically Desirable? Because most small business clients need a lot of hand-holding, potential clients need to be located nearby to you. Look for prospects located within a 30 - 60-minute drive from your location. If you live in a large urban area, for example, your service area may shrink considerably, as there will be a high concentration of viable prospects very nearby. Also think about proximity as you attend networking events and develop your marketing campaigns.
  2. Big Enough, But Not Too Big? Think Goldilocks: not too big, not too small. As you are becoming an IT consultant, target clients that have 10-75 workstations. At this size, the prospect is big enough to need a real, dedicated server … but not so big that the prospect needs a full-time, in-house IT department. Another way to think about this is that the prospect will likely have $1 million - $10 million in annual sales, or your local currency equivalent. Know this type of information about your potential clients, so you can develop much more powerful, affordable, and cost-effective marketing strategies.
  3. A Platform You Can Support? Before you get too far into the sales process, be sure to properly qualify prospective clients based on their installed platform of OS's and NOS's. For example, if your specialty is Windows-family OS's/NOS's and a prospect is 100% standardized on Mac's, you should refer that prospect elsewhere.
  4. Serious About IT? If you come across a small business prospect for your IT consulting business that doesn’t have a dedicated server, because they're messing around with peer-to-peer ad-hoc networking, you probably want to run the other way. Before you spend too much time on a potential client, make sure the prospective client is really ready for your solutions.

In this short article, we talked about 4 simple, but very powerful qualifying criteria for prospective clients. By consistently asking these questions, you can more proactively manage the selling process and utilize your limited time more effectively. Learn more about becoming an IT consultant and attracting steady, high-paying clients now at http://www.BecomingAnITConsultant.com

Copyright (C) BecomingAnITConsultant.com All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Computer Consulting Kit Home Study Course Preview Webinar

Learn how you can get more of the best, steady, high-paying small business clients in your local area. This free live preview event is exclusively for those who are not currently owners of the Computer Consulting Kit™ Home Study Course. As no recording will be made available, this event is only available live. Registration is limited to the first 100, first-come, first-served.

Sign-up now so you don’t miss out!


Title:
Computer Consulting Kit™ Home Study Course Preview Webinar

Date:
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Time:
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/239429297

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Computer Repair Contracts that Keep You Profitable

If you are trying to set up profitable computer repair contracts for your small business clients, you might have some questions about their real benefits, or at least how to clearly explain these benefits to non-technical small business decision makers.

Many small business technology providers choose not to use on-going agreements and build their business around customers that have short-term needs or need immediate emergency services. If you fall into this category, you need to start thinking about your business realistically and planning long term. Unless you intend to spend a lot of time and money on aggressive marketing tactics or hire a huge number of employees to handle thousands of clients every year, you’re just not going to build sustainable revenue. You need to be prepared to build a solid foundation for your business, and this means focusing on long-term, sophisticated repair and support needs that will require you to enter into on-going relationships with clients that will pay you predictably a certain amount of service revenue each and every month.

Consider the following 3 points when building a solid foundation for your business on computer repair contracts.


1. Computer Repair Contracts Are Essential to Your Business. On-going agreements formalize your working arrangement with clients and provide your company with very highly profitable recurring consulting revenue. This is nothing like the commodity-oriented managed services business that puts you into a low-margin "box-pusher" mentality. Repair agreements contribute to your longevity in a way that no number of quick fixes or short-term solutions can, because they represent your commitment to cater to the real long-term needs of your small business clients … and most importantly, your clients’ commitment to pay you regularly for your expertise and high-end premium services.

2. The Customer is Not Always Right. Just because a large potential client wants to have his/her attorney rewrite your entire agreement doesn’t mean you should go along with it. If you have done a really good job of building a relationship with each client, you will not likely run into this situation. Start out each new customer on some kind of mutual proving ground project to make sure the relationship will work before you present the idea of your computer repair contracts. And there will be a certain amount of faith and good will build up between the key people in your company and the key people in your client’s business. Most of the time, the only reason a client will ask for a contract revision is because he/she senses weakness and the opportunity to take advantage of the situation. Of course if you focus on the legal niche, it often becomes a matter of price and ego for your customers to bully-you into adopting their one-side contract mentality. So unless your clients are power-hungry attorneys, just follow a set, step-by-step sequence for engaging with new customers and clients, and the issue of a client that wants and demands a total rewrite will usually be a moot point.

3. Be Prepared. You need to have your entire computer repair contracts package planned out and ready to go, because you never know when a new customer or client will be ready to sign. Delaying for a few weeks will not only kill your credibility, but it will also potentially make you miss a valuable opportunity to strike while the iron’s hot.

In this article, we detailed some important points about building a plan for long-term agreements with clients. Learn more about how to build compelling, mutually-beneficial, highly-profitable computer repair contracts that will attract steady, high-paying clients now at the attached link.

Copyright (C) ComputerRepairContract.com All Rights Reserved

Saturday, June 13, 2009

PC Repair Price Best Practices for Those Billing By-the-Hour

Are you trying to set a fair PC repair price that will also bring you enough revenue and profitability to grow and sustain your business?

PC repair prices vary from business to business, as there are a lot of different fee structure options. One popular choice is to use billable hours, sometimes called time and materials, to estimate and quantify your time spent servicing clients.

As you develop a more long-term relationship with your clients, you will definitely want to get their commitment to on-going services through a PC repair service contract, as this will ensure you get on-going, steady revenue for your business. And for your clients, they'll have peace of mind knowing that you'll be there to take care of both their urgent and ongoing PC repair and other IT-related needs.

But as you are starting out and doing initial projects to gain trust and establish a good working relationship, setting a sustainable, profitable precedent for your PC repair price and billable hours is important.

Consider these 4 tips and best practices to make sure that you select a PC repair price structure that's a mutually win-win for both your company and your clients.

1. Understand Billable Hours and Hourly Billing. Your PC repair price can be based on a variety of fee-structure options. If you decide to use billable hours, you need to do your homework. You need to ensure that clients find your rates fair, but also that you can sustain your business profitably on the rates you set. The basic concept behind billable hours is that you set an hourly rate for your work. When the project is completed, you get paid for the number of hours you spent on the project. This often works well for consultants because it abides by the philosophy that time is money (which it most definitely is in the PC repair business), and it helps ensure those that use this structure are compensated for their time. From your perspective, it's important to note that billing by-the-hour, again often referred to as time and materials, is by far and away the most popular option for most PC repair businesses with diverse client lists.

2. Know How to Start a Project Using Billable Hours. The most important tip to remember when you estimate a PC repair price to your clients is to be upfront about all costs. There should be no surprises. Before work begins, plan carefully and provide a written estimate calculating the amount per hour that will be charged. Also make sure you include a fair projection of the number of hours you will need to finish the project and be very clear. For instance, you could say, “Client agrees to pay $100 per hour for 6 hours of work.”

3. Be Prepared if the Project Goes Over Budget. Often a project is bigger or more time consuming than you originally expected. Before beginning work, you need to address this contingency in the written estimate and include it in your PC repair price estimate. A clause can be added that the client must approve additional hours. This is often called a “change order” and is critical to ensuring that you get paid appropriately for the time you spend.... especially if the client introduces additional requirements after the original PC repair price is quoted. When working on long-term projects, make sure you keep your client informed of your progress with a regular detailed report of any additional costs or schedule changes. This will help you build solid relationships and decrease the chances of disputes over fees.

4. Track Your Hours Well. Before you set a PC repair price in stone for a project, discuss all details with each client. Will you be charging for travel time, documenting time, research time and phone time? And regardless of which software or service you use to keep track of your billable hours, you need to keep careful track of your hours expended and make sure that you are taking into account all possible time and financial costs.

In this short article, you were introduced to how to manage a pricing structure based on billable hours. Learn more about setting a PC repair price structure that will be mutually beneficial for both your clients and you now at the attached link.

Copyright (C) PCRepairPriceSecrets.com All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

IT Support Contracts Build a Stronger Business

Does your small business IT company offer IT support contracts?

Some small business IT professionals question the power of IT support contracts and whether they will really help them build a solid business. The truth is, as a small firm, you can’t afford to just rely on unpredictable pay-as-you-go customers that will only call you once in a blue moon. You need some sort of recurring service revenue and a guarantee that you will have a very specific amount of money coming in each and every month.

Otherwise, you will find yourself treading water and potentially hitting a dead end while trying to build your business before you really even get started. You need to build solid relationships with on-going, steady, high-paying small business clients that have signed IT support contracts and made a promise to work with you long term.

The following 3 tips can help you understand why on-going agreements are essential to building a solid IT consulting business and having fulfilling, mutually-beneficial relationships with your clients.

1. IT Support Contracts Are Mandatory for Building a Strong Business. Support contract agreements are an essential part of small business IT consulting. These agreements formalize the consultant/client working arrangement and provide your consulting firm with very highly-profitable recurring revenue that can keep you in business for many years.

2. Don’t Rewrite Your Offerings for High-Maintenance Prospects, Customers and Clients. You can’t be at the mercy of your clients’ every whim if you want to be perceived as a real, professional, necessary part of their business and IT plans. If you’ve followed a steady sales process and let your relationships with prospects, customers and clients evolve, you will use a very calculated sequence that will help build faith and goodwill between the key people in your company and the key people at your clients’ companies. If a client asks you to completely revise your support contract agreement the client probably sees a weakness or is trying to take advantage of the situation. Imagine if a client of an IT giant like Microsoft or Apple asked one of these companies to rewrite its standard contract just to accommodate him/her. You should see the essential details and terms of your IT support contracts as standard and non-negotiable, just like the details of the contracts of companies much larger than yours. If you are following the same sales sequence with each client and letting relationships evolve, a scenario where a qualified, lucrative client asks for significant changes in your basic contract will not usually arise.

3. Don’t Neglect Your Proving Ground Project. Your proving ground project is an essential part of the sales cycle, and you can’t forget about it as you build relationships with your prospects, customers and clients. You will have a very difficult time selling IT support contracts to small business owners that have never done any work with your company. You need to turn prospects into paying customers by getting them to agree to pay you for an initial small project to make sure you will work well together long term. This way, you and your new customers get to take your relationship out for a test-drive with a very nominal project commitment before you commit to each other for the long haul. Your proving ground project is an opportunity to find out whether or not you and a customer will be a good match for on-going work.

In this article, we went over 3 tips to help you understand the power of building your business around on-going IT support contracts. Learn more about designing IT support contracts that will get you great, steady, high-paying clients now at the attached link.

Copyright (C) ITSupportContractSecrets.com All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

PC Repair Price List Tips for Designing Your Rate Card

Are you having trouble figuring out how to present your PC repair price list?

As someone working in PC repair, your best bet is to make sure you’re not setting yourself up as the source for “low, low prices” on repairs and related services. Why? Because you will only attract customers that are looking for rock-bottom prices right now and will leave you as soon as something cheaper comes along.

Instead, focus on small business clients that need on-going support. This will help you attract more steady, high-paying clients that are looking for higher-end, long-term solutions, rather than what appears to be the cheapest price. And your best bet for presenting an organized PC repair price list to your potential clients is to design an effective, high-compelling rate card.

The following 3 tips can help you set up your rate card so you can communicate your solutions and prices clearly to your new customers.

1. Know that Every PC Repair Specialist Struggles with the Task of Setting Prices. Many new computer repair specialists have trouble figuring out what they should charge clients. Many perceive presenting a PC repair price list as a big, hidden mystery of running a business. However, it is entirely possible to set rates for your services so that they will not only bring you a stable source of service revenue, but also help you build satisfying, mutually-beneficial client relationships.

2. Understand the Factors that Help You Decide on Prices. There are a number of factors, depending on your skill set and local marketplace competition, that can help you decide what to charge your PC repair clients. Make sure that you do your homework before you decide on a set PC repair price list. For example, be sure to Investigate what other equally-qualified professionals and firms in your area are charging, the demand for your services, as well as your own cost of doing business and monthly overhead.

3. Decide What the Goal(s) of Your Rate Card Should Be. A properly-designed rate card accomplishes many objectives that are critical to your PC repair business: it sets the tone for your level of professionalism; it fully discloses and clearly communicates your prices and shows how they are a critical investment; it ensures you are fairly compensated for after-hours and emergency repairs; it allows you to bill more for highly-skilled work; and it reinforces the value proposition of your on-going agreements with long-term clients. Some of these goals and objectives may be more important to you than others. But before you decide on your price list, be sure to think about what matters most to you and your business.

Establishing and presenting a PC repair price list doesn’t have to be a complicated process if you plan carefully and know the factors that go into setting rates.

In this short article, we introduced 3 considerations for establishing and presenting a strong PC repair price list. Learn more about how you can get great, steady, high-paying clients signed onto your PC repair price list now at the attached link.

Copyright (C) PCRepairPriceSecrets.com All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 02, 2009

How to Become a IT Consultant and Attract Great Clients

Are you trying to figure out how to become a IT consultant, but you’re not at all sure where to start?

Before you run out to chat up every friend, family member and former colleague or print out fliers and take out ads in your local phone book, think carefully about who you want as clients. You also need to get ready for a lot of hard work pounding the pavement and honing your people skills.

Becoming a IT consultant can be very rewarding, but it’s not necessarily easy. You aren’t going to get your clients handed to you on a silver platter, no matter what your business model is or where you are located. Of course if you have several hundred thousand dollars or more in working capital, you could buy an existing IT consulting business. But there'd be no guarantees that you'd be as successful as the previous owner. And that option just simply isn't practical for 99.99% of those reading this article.

You also aren’t going to immediately attract great clients just because you have a real way with technology, or a deep roster of close friends that know, like and trust you.

The following 4 pieces of advice can help you understand why you need to engage in targeted marketing activities if you really want to learn how to become a IT consultant, attract great clients, and build a solid business.

1. Don't Get Complacent About Building Relationships and Keeping Your Sales Funnel Full. Many new IT consultants make the mistake of assuming that just because they have enough business today, they will have enough tomorrow, next month and next year. This way of thinking can be the death of even the most seemingly thriving IT business. You need to be diligently and regularly meeting new people through networking organizations and targeted marketing activities so you are prepared if one or more of your clients suddenly jumps ship, goes out of business or simply can’t work with you anymore. Make time for marketing activities and follow-ups... now.

2. Don't Rely on Co-Workers, College Buddies, Relatives or other Close Acquaintances. If you want to become a IT consultant, you need to be prepared to meet new people. You can’t rely exclusively on contacts that have taken years, decades or even a lifetime to cultivate as you build your business. While these people can be helpful in the beginning, they will not build a stable foundation for your business. Branch out and focus on continuously building your network of potential clients and partners.

3. When You Don’t Market, You're Threatening Your Company's Survival. Unless you have a never-ending supply of former bosses, former co-workers, college buddies, cousins or other relatives, you will sooner or later have to confront a harsh reality – you to be able to confidently and effectively market to strangers. You need to develop skills that will help you relate to people that don’t know you yet so you can continue to build a network that extends beyond just those that already know you.

4. Know the Great Results of Targeted Marketing. Be very aware of which types of clients will help you succeed at starting your own business. Develop a marketing message that speaks to those that will most need the IT solutions you are providing. When you can do this well, you will find targeted leads that will have the best possible potential of becoming your next, steady high-paying IT consulting clients.

In this article, we discussed 4 tips on how to become a IT consultant. Learn more about how you can attract great, steady, high-paying clients as you become a IT consultant now at the attached link.

Copyright (C), BecomeAnITConsultant.com, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Start a Computer Business by Finding Great Clients from Day 1

Are you trying to start a computer business?

Even if you are just starting out with basic desktop support level technical skills, you need to make sure you can get paying clients. Many computer professionals worry that they are not technically proficient enough to start their own businesses. But the truth is, you can start a computer business with a very basic level of technical knowledge. The key to starting up is to make sure your computer business gets some paying clients that are at your current technical skills comfort level. You can and need to work your way up as your technical proficiency and ability to work well with larger small business clients improves.

The following 3 tips can help you learn which types of clients to pursue first.

1. Start Small. In the beginning if you have weak technical skills, you may want to start working with home offices and small stand-alone businesses that have simple, really small peer-to-peer networks. This will give you some paying clients right away and some reference accounts, so you can continue to grow and also improve your technical skills. A successful computer business owner will not be able to continue working with this client size long term, but in the beginning these accounts can be incredibly useful.

2. Use Small Clients and One-Shot Deals as a Stepping Stone. While small accounts and one-shot deals can be great ways to start a computer business, you need to make sure that you move beyond them eventually. You want to have a successful small business computer consulting practice based on recurring revenue retainer agreements and sophisticated, dedicated server solutions. In the beginning, there is definitely no reason why you shouldn’t take on some smaller clients and one-shot deal customers to get great references and really get your feet wet. But you have to recognize that you are moving towards more sophisticated, profitable long-term client accounts.

3. Never Stop Learning. If you feel like your lack of technical training is holding you back from catering to the needs of larger small businesses that need sophisticated solutions as you start a computer business, put aside some time each week for training. Even two or three hours can make a real difference. Go through tutorials and resource kits. Install your not-for-resale (NFR) software. Then, break the installation and troubleshoot the setup process. Finally, reinstall the applications again and again until you get really comfortable with setup and troubleshooting. What you learn during this process can really help you respond to the long-term needs of great clients.

In this brief article we discussed 3 tips to help you you start a computer business. Learn more about how you can attract great, steady, high-paying clients as you start a computer business now at the attached link.

Copyright (C), StartAComputerBusiness.com, All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 29, 2008

IT Contract Work vs. Starting Your Own IT Company

Have you been considering IT contract work, but you don’t know where to start? Before you start working piecemeal, contract-by-contract, consider opening your own IT contract business.

Many interested in IT contract work aren’t sure they have what it takes to start an independent business. But basically, if you have a good understanding of computer systems, strong problem-solving skills and a desire to help other people, you probably already have what it takes to consider going out on your own.

The following 5 points can help you build your own IT contract company and avoid the frustration of trying to constantly find revolving-door, thankless IT contract work.

  1. Open Your Own IT Contract Business to Maximize Your Income. When you have a regular corporate IT job or even act as an IT contract worker in a corporate environment, your career opportunities, advancement possibilities, and the chance to earn a higher salary are restricted sometimes significantly by elements outside of your control. You are at the mercy of lazy or incompetent peers, ineffective management or a seniority system that rewards employees that don’t pull their weight and punishes new, aggressive, competent employees. When you start your own IT contract business, these career issues all but disappear, because you have control over your peers. If you don’t like your partners or subcontractors, you go find better ones. And if you don’t like your “bosses”, your major clients, you can look for new clients for your business. When you run your own business, you can also forget about being under-appreciated or unappreciated. No client will pay you or your consulting firm $100 per hour (or even more!) for your services if they don’t value your expertise. Even if your clients don’t constantly express gratitude, your bank account will reflect your hard work.

  2. Enjoy Great Business Opportunities. The market for those that want to start their own IT contract businesses is diverse and steadily growing. Every company and organization needs some type of IT help and will get it from a variety of sources: internal employees, outsourced consultants or some combination of the two. The choice to start your own IT business can be the start of a successful, highly-profitable business. While there will be a lot of competition, competition is good for your IT contract business. If there were no other consultants succeeding, you’d have to wonder, “Is the industry even viable?” You wouldn’t want to be in an industry where no one else had been able to succeed. Many IT contract businesses are very poorly run and have big problems with customer service. These problems become your opportunity as you develop cost-effective solutions to exactly what small businesses need. Also as technology changes, the changes create huge opportunities. New small business technology problems crop up every day that you can help solve. The industry is constantly producing more prospective clients.

  3. Know Which Skills You Need to Start Your Own IT Contract Business. As you think about how to launch your IT contract business, think about your skills. Start by listing your computer-related skills. If you are the person that everyone turns to when they have problems with their computers, you are probably off to a good start. You don’t need to be an expert in every detail and aspect of IT. Because the industry is so diverse and huge, you could never possibly know everything there is to know. You can bridge skills and service gaps by finding excellent partners and subcontractors to help you.

  4. Think About the Transition from Employee to Business Owner. If you are already doing IT contract work, or you're working as an employee of a company in the IT industry, making the transition from employee to business owner will be a big decision. You may want to start out by moonlighting to get a feel for the experience of finding your own clients and owning your own IT contract business. You can also use moonlighting to make sure you know what to expect once you go out on your own, or to try out working independently before committing full time. Moonlighting is also a great way to build a client list and reference accounts that can give you a head start building your business.

  5. Evaluate Your Non-Technical Skills. Remember, you need a lot of non-technical skills to be successful at starting your own IT contract business. There are some personality traits that will make working for yourself much easier: the ability to be self motivated; the drive to work independently when you have no employer looking over your shoulder; the ability to multi-task and wear many hats in order to run the accounting, marketing, sales, operations and other aspects of your business; good delegation skills. If you are weak in any of these areas, don’t be discouraged or overwhelmed. They are important to your business, but there are many ways to develop these soft skills and build relationships with people to whom you can delegate.
In this article, we talked about 5 reasons you should stay away from IT contract work and move towards starting your own IT contract business. Learn more about how you can get great, steady, high-paying clients for your IT contract business now at the attached link.

Copyright (C), ITContractWorkStinks.com, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, December 13, 2008

IT Maintenance Conttract Tips Increase Your Profitability

Are you offering an IT maintenance contract package as part of your computer consulting business?

Many small business computer consultants fail to understand how important a solid IT maintenance contract can be to building relationships with clients and developing a profitable, stable business. Therefore, many don’t choose to offer IT maintenance contracts right off the bat, instead settling for one-shot deal customers or low-paying, fly-by-night customers that leave them working way too hard for way too little money.

The following 4 tips can help you learn how to incorporate a strong IT maintenance contract into your business, so you can establish great relationships with your clients, increase your profits and provide a solid foundation for your computer consulting company.

1. Start Offering and Selling Your IT Maintenance Contract Services. Even if you are afraid or unsure of how you will package on-going services, you need to start offering them right away. Go slowly until you build up your confidence level. Confidence is not going to come through training, reading a report or preparing a template for a standard IT maintenance contract. You will only build confidence when you actually start selling on-going maintenance services and going out to clients to deliver them. This will in turn build stable, trusting and mutually-beneficial relationships with your long-term clients.

2. Start Small. As you are building your small business computer consulting firm on strong IT maintenance contract packages, start with relatively small accounts and ease into larger accounts. This doesn’t mean you should dismiss the idea of taking on a large account at the beginning if it happens to fall in your lap. But remember that accounts that are on the small side can be good for getting your feet wet and building your business responsibly, in a way that helps you manage growth.

3. An IT Maintenance Contract Package Requires Advance Preparation. In order to get anyone to sign up for an IT maintenance contract with you, you need to manage the sales process and let relationships with clients evolve naturally. But you also need to have a very strong plan for on-going services and a compelling contract offering ready to go as you move through the sales cycle. If you don’t have a strong IT maintenance contract ready to offer, you will stay in a perpetual state of reactive fire extinguisher mode. Your customers will call you when there’s a problem, but you will not have any recurring relationships. The IT maintenance contract connects you to a client in a way that gives you a relationship that is the business equivalent of a marriage.

4. Your IT Maintenance Contract Package is What Makes Your Business Profitable. You can’t build a stable computer consulting business when you are just waiting for the phone to ring or doing a couple of billable hours here and a couple of billable hours there. Your business will be easier to run and more profitable when you find the right kinds of clients that need the long-term hand holding, long-term oversight and long-term assurances. An outsourced Virtual IT department provides this all through well-crafted IT maintenance contract agreements. When you have a strong IT maintenance contract plan, your clients will know you are going to take care of long-term projects and upgrades, be the intermediary with phone companies, ISPs and Web hosts, as well as with specialty application developers. Clients want the peace of mind that you will be there to bail them out of IT emergencies, which comes naturally from the relationships built on the IT maintenance contract packages you offer to your loyal clients.

Without a strong IT maintenance contract, you will be keeping your fingers crossed that customers will keep calling you and that you will have a regular relationship with them. A contract for on-going services is what facilitates a long-term relationship.

In this short article, we discussed 4 tips to help you make your business more profitable with a solid IT maintenance contract plan. Learn more about how you can get great, steady, high-paying clients on your IT maintenance contract offering now at the attached link.

Copyright (C), ITMaintenanceContract.com, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 29, 2008

PC Repair Services: Provide Stellar Support for Your Clients

Most small businesses are overwhelmed by finding professional PC repair services to help them manage their technology. So how can you understand their needs and concerns to develop the best PC repair services and solutions to their business problems?

You have to remember that your prospects, customers and clients have many options when it comes to PC repair services. The key to making sure you become their best option is to provide exactly what your target small businesses need and truly distinguish yourself from the competition.

The following 4 quick tips can help you provide cost-effective, convenient and secure PC repair services to your valuable clients.

1. Most PC Repair Services Clients Will Also Want Remote Support. Remote support is the simplest and most effective, low-cost option available to small businesses. And it can often solve simple problems, while avoiding costly travel time and unnecessary on-site visits … so you can focus on more complicated, involved work when you go on site and maximize efficiency. Make sure you set your PC repair services business up so you can access your clients' computers and networks remotely.

2. Save Your Clients Time and Money. The right software and hardware can help you save your clients time and money when things go wrong. Desktop sharing software can help create a lot of options for remote support, which becomes a cost-effective way to solve minor problems. The time spent on PC repair services when your clients have easy-to-use software will be much less than without it, allowing you and your clients to get back to their work quickly. You need to advise your clients on the inexpensive nature of this software and tell them how it can improve important key parts of their technology infrastructure, and system up-time and reliability.

3. Don’t Try to Compete Head-On with Larger PC Repair Services Companies. On-site PC repair services may seem very expensive initially to small businesses; particularly because huge corporations like Best Buy and others are offering support through entities such as “Geek Squad” to home and business users at what appears on the surface to be rock-bottom hourly rates. Keep in mind, you are not in competition with Fortune 1000 companies. You need to sell the value of your services and not the low cost. As someone offering sophisticated, total business solutions through personalized PC repair services, you are in a totally different league. You are selling long-term relationships and your specific expertise.

4. Be a Professional Consultant. Small businesses are best served when they find a trusted local PC repair services company that can take end-to-end responsibility for all their technology assets. You need to make sure you are offering personalized, complex solutions. Many large retailers and national computer manufacturers will look to point fingers at problems outside of their control. What sets you apart from these large retailers is that you provide personalized solutions, peace of mind and high-quality relationships that will help your clients be a lot more efficient with how they use IT. A big selling point and benefit of your PC repair services is relationship equity. Build these mutually-beneficial relationships solid enough and you'll be rewarded with tremendous client loyalty.

In this article we discussed 4 tips to help you provide your clients stellar support as a PC repair services professional. Learn more about how you can get great, steady, high-paying clients for your PC repair services business now at the attached link.

Copyright (C), PCRepairServiceTips.com, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Starting a Computer Business Step by Step

When starting a computer business, most obsess over technology and certifications, and give relatively little thought to crucial business issues. Starting a computer business requires organization and careful planning. You need to make sure you have everything in order before you open for business. You also need to have a realistic plan for delivering end-to-end, complete IT solutions.

In a nutshell, you need to have all your contracts and agreements for clients and partners ready to go. This way, when you bring your very first client through the sales process, or build a relationship with your first partner, you know where you are going and exactly what you are doing. You have to know the steps of the sales cycle and be ready to approach your sales cycle consistently with each and every prospect, customer and client. And you need to know which benefits you will be offering that are going to set you apart from the competition.

The following 4 steps can help you get organized when starting a computer business.

1. Don’t Give Away Services for Free. As you're starting a computer business, you need to learn how to take your prospects through the sales cycle, from free to fee. Barring some extraordinary circumstances, you should not spend several non-billable hours on just an initial proposal. A typical sales proposal has no value-added uniqueness and will make your company look like a commodity broker. And when your services are seen as a commodity, you will primarily attract extremely price-sensitive buyers that will be hunting for the lowest bottom line, and not necessarily the best value or greatest potential return on investment.

2. Position Your Computer Business as an Outsourced IT Department. Think of the five or six different functions that small businesses need when you're starting a computer business: needs analysis; project management; training; desktop roll-outs; notebook fixes; server issues; etc. Build your business around these important functions. Think of your company as a single point of contact for clients. Present your value proposition as an outsourced IT department responsible for fulfilling your clients’ on-going IT needs and solving big business problems with IT.

3. Include Annual Service Agreements in Your Business Model. If you don’t propose service agreements to your customers and clients, your small business decision makers are usually not going to ask for them. You have to tell your clients even in the beginning, as you're starting a computer business, that service agreements are the main way you work with all of your clients on an ongoing basis. Well-planned service agreements help you build mutually-beneficial relationships where your company becomes an outsourced virtual IT department.

4. Tackle One Task at a Time. As you're starting a computer business, pick one thing a week for the next several weeks and just start working on it. It might be coming up with a couple of marketing ideas, or creating a service agreement to start offering to any existing customers. You just need to stay organized and get your plans in place. Build your network and have everything ready so you can hit the ground running. You need to get known as an organized, credible, professional business.

In this article, we looked at 4 important steps for starting a computer business. Learn more about how you can get great, steady, high-paying clients now when starting a computer business at the attached link.

Copyright (C), StartAComputerBusiness.com, All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 06, 2008

IT Freelancer: How Do You Start?

If you are like many other smart IT professionals, as you move towards opening your own computer consulting business you will probably have to be an IT freelancer for a while before you can go into business full time. While many IT consultants choose to be freelancers in the beginning, you can’t afford to mess around with anything but steady clients.

As an IT freelancer, you have to stay away from one-shot deal customers that you will only hear from irregularly. How will you get into business full time when you can’t get steady commitments?

You need to focus on working with small businesses that have many and complex IT needs and need you at least a couple evenings per month or one or two Saturdays per month.

What do you need to do?

1. Watch your schedule! You need a schedule that allows you to really be an IT freelancer. If you already have an 80-hour work week, you just can’t do it! The ideal situation for you if you want to transition into a full-time computer consulting gig is a typical 9-5 job. You can take off a morning, afternoon or a lunch here and there.

2. Look for the right kind of IT freelancer jobs. You need to be seeking $1,000 per month clients that need you for one or two evenings per month, one or two Saturdays or Sundays and with some light phone support in between businesses. NEVER accept a client that gives you less than $500 per month.

Today we touched on how you can be an IT freelancer as a transition from your old job into your own business. To learn more about this topic, visit the attached link!

Added By: Joshua Feinberg