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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.

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!

Computer Consulting Kit™ Home Study Course Preview Webinar

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

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:

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) 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),, 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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Start an IT Business with 5 Helpful Tips

Before you start an IT business, you need to make sure you’re organized and know where you are going. Which steps do you need to accomplish your goal of getting started?

Tip 1: Print Your Business Cards

In order to start an IT business, you need to get business cards printed, even if you don’t think your company name or any other details will stick. If you decide to change your contact information or business name in six months, you can just get them reprinted. But you HAVE to get momentum going by handing out business cards to friends and family members.

Tip 2: Get the Word Out

When you are in networking situations as you start an IT business, you need to talk about your venture and hand out business cards. People at your church, synagogue, at the movies, at your kids’ soccer games, anywhere can become a part of your extended sales force, so you need to seize the opportunity.

Tip 3: Get Active in Your Business Community

You need to start getting involved in local organizations for business owners to give yourself organized networking opportunities when you start an IT business. Look for three or four fitting local trade groups such as your chamber of commerce or a related user group or industry-specific trade group.

Tip 4: What Do You Know?

When you are starting your IT business, you should start where you know and branch out from there. If you start with a niche you already know, you’ll have some credibility and an easier time creating a strong marketing message that really hits home. You will have an easier time being remembered because you won’t look like every other generalist and will offer something unique.

Tip 5: Think about Your Prospects

As you choose your niche, you need to make sure there are enough prospects in it to sustain you. For example, if you decide to focus on doctors’ offices in your local area, you need to research to make sure you have at least 500-1,000 prospects that fit into that category within an hour radius of your location. Another way to find-tune your niche and specialty and communicate it to prospects is to put an industry focus in your name, in this case, “health care systems,” “medical office systems” or “medical office technology.”

Today we talked about 5 tips to help you as you start an IT business. To learn more about this topic, visit the attached link.

Blogged By: Computer Consulting Kit

Monday, September 22, 2008

Balance Your Computer Services Business Portfolio

In order to have a strong computer services business, you need to balance your portfolio. What does this mean? Basically, you need to keep 70% (or more!) of your business sweet spot small businesses with 10-50 computers. You can keep a very small amount of your business geared towards home networks and consumers and a few larger small business clients, but you will achieve the best balance if you focus on the sweet spot small business side.

No Matter What, DIVERSIFY

No matter what you do with your computer services business portfolio, you need to DIVERSIFY. This means that no single one of your clients can account for more than ten percent of your computer consulting revenue.

What’s the theory? If you’re getting most of your money from one source and then lose that client for any reason, you could potentially lose a LOT of revenue and have a hard time bouncing back!

Fire Your Bad Computer Services Business Clients

While you may not think firing a client is a good idea, sometimes you just have to do it. There are some problem clients of your computer services business that will just not be worth the trouble. They will drive you and your staff crazy and you might even LOSE staff over the ordeal. These types of clients eventually need to be cut loose. But if you make problem clients too big a part of your roster, you will end up having a really hard time firing them.

Your Ideal Clients Are Your Focus with Your Computer Services Business

You need to make room for ideal clients and just say “No” to those that are verbally abusive, harass you, cause you too much stress and generally are impossible. If you have enough really good, long-term, steady, HIGH-PAYING clients you will be able to replace the bad ones much more easily and will not waste time “reforming” anyone.

Today we talked about how to diversify and balance your computer services business portfolio. To learn more about this subject, visit the attached link!

Added By: Joshua Feinberg

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Create a Good Computer Technician Job Description by Asking Key Questions

If you are looking for a technology professional to help your small business, you may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of creating a solid computer technician job description that will get you the best candidates. Many small business owners don’t have a lot of technical knowledge and don’t know where to start when it comes to figuring out how to handle their own IT needs OR how to find a qualified consultant that can!

Skills in a Typical Computer Technician Job Description

Here are just some of the duties a good technician will probably need to perform for your small business:

1. Installs, configurations and upgrades of operating systems and software (typically using Microsoft products);

2. Installs, assembly and configurations for computers, monitors, network infrastructure and peripherals like printers, scanners and other hardware;

3. Troubleshooting for computer system problems and problems with hardware and software, e-mail, network and peripheral equipment and making necessary repairs and corrections;

4. Acting as a technical resource to help users resolve equipment problems and data and performing some help desk functions;

5. Recommending hardware and software solutions that fit your small business needs.

6. Helping with planning, designing, researching and acquiring new or upgraded hardware and software and implementing them into total business solutions.

Ask Key Questions to Create a Computer Technician Job Description

If you want to get just the right candidates for the job of maintaining your IT assets and helping you create an efficient small business environment, you need to ask important questions. Here are just some examples:

1. “Are you a part-time or full-time computer technician?”

2. “Are you a solo computer technician or do you have other employees and contractors?”

3. “Are you a generalist or a specialist? Which software specialties do you have and in which markets have you worked?”

There are many more questions you will have to consider as you are interviewing candidates and also creating your computer technician job description. To find out what these important questions are … and much more … visit the attached link!

Added By: Computer Consulting Kit

Monday, September 08, 2008

A Computer Repair Class: How Can You Find One?

While technical skills often are, surprisingly often not as important to starting a computer consulting business or computer repair business as business skills and people skills, they still are necessary in order to best serve your clients … but where do you find a computer repair class when you need one?

Many computer repair technicians serving small businesses mistakenly think they need to spend hours of time and a lot of money on expensive certifications and very formal classes. However, this is not often the case, as most small business owners will actually look down on extensive certifications and lofty qualifications; it means they will think they need to pay you more for your services or that you are overly qualified to handle simple problems.

Look at the Skills of Your Competitors before Seeking out a Computer Repair Class

Computer skills are important for you and the staff of your small business computer repair company, and when you are deciding which computer class to take in the time you have allotted for training and skills development, you have to look at which skills your competitors have.

What will a small business computer repair company need to know?

1. Some necessary networking platforms: Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS); Novell Small Business Suite or Novell NetWare; Linux (usually RedHat); Mac OS.

2. Advanced expertise in the following areas: Network Attached Storage (NAS); Storage Attached Networks (SANs); complex security solutions; CheckPoint firewalls; Citrix Terminal solutions; high-end Wi-Fi solutions; managed hardware.

Keep in mind that VERY advanced computer skills are only necessary once you start selling computer repair services to a real IT manager, which usually happens only the case of large small businesses. For the “sweet spot” of small business computer consulting (10-50 PCs), you really only need one or two entry-level certifications and to be working towards an MCSE or its equivalent.

Look for a Computer Repair Class

Once you decide what it is your clients need for their businesses and how your current skills fit into the picture, you can search for a computer repair class that suits you. Thankfully, there are many viable options that don’t involve going to a real “classroom,” such as on-line classes and seminars, tele-seminars and study courses that you can complete, even while sitting in your pajamas at home or between appointments with your customers and clients!

Today we talked about which skills you need and how to find a computer repair class that suits your needs. To learn more about this subject and many others related to business development, visit the attached link!

Added By: Computer Consulting Kit

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tips to Get Your Computer Contract Air Tight

Each computer contract you have that details the terms of on-going support for your clients is important to the health of your business. A computer contract requires advance planning to inspire confidence in your customers.

You need to know which benefits and prices you are going to offer ahead of time and do careful planning to create a compelling case for why each of your customers should be a client on a computer contract or on-going support contract.

Here are several steps you can take to ensure you have an air-tight computer contract with every client.

Tip 1: Make a Rate Card

A rate card is a simple, one-page document that shows typical prices vs. computer contract prices. It is basically a marketing summary of the benefits you provide to clients. You should brainstorm a list of at least a half a dozen compelling benefits for why someone should sign a long-term service contract with you instead of paying by the hour. You need to have your rate card ready before you go out on a sales call.

Tip 2: Carefully Consider Travel Time

When you think about developing on-going support contracts, you might have to re-think your service area. Competitors will be willing to travel 45 minutes or an hour for a good client on a computer contract, so you should figure out a way to do this affordably too. Usually you can enforce a minimum of an hour or a half day, depending on the situation.

Tip 3: Know When to Offer a Computer Contract

When can you offer a computer contract to clients?

1. Right after emergency service calls (when you’ve just saved the day and are at a high point!). This is a time when prospects and customers are very receptive to talking about how to prevent panic in the future, which is a HUGE benefit of an on-going support contract.

2. Once clients know, like and trust you. This means you need to give your relationships time to evolve!

3. After conducting IT audits. A computer contract is a logical next step once you’ve analyzed a customer’s systems.

4. When a customer expresses frustration with their other technology provider.

Today we talked about how to set up a strong computer contract. To learn more about this subject, visit the attached link!

Important Note: The blog post is not legal advice. This blog post is being provided for education purposes only. You are STRONGLY advised to consult a qualified local attorney to have your computer contract reviewed for appropriate to your personal financial situation, your business financial situation, your business entity type, your target client base and enforceability in your own local jurisdiction.

Added By: Computer Consulting Kit

Monday, August 25, 2008

Computer Repair Books: Encourage Your Staff to Read More and Learn about High-End Network Installations

As a computer repair business owner, if you want your staff to be happier with their jobs, earn more per hour and stay with you long term, you have to encourage each member to read computer repair books and do other activities that will help them learn about high-end network installations.

Higher-end solutions are worth more per hour, so why wouldn’t your staff want to enjoy this perk that can be as easy as reading a little every week or practicing on not-for-resale software, etc.? Most of your technical staff will have the basic skills to set up small LANs, do troubleshooting, cleanup jobs and desktop rollouts. But you need to start booking some of their time to work on honing skills that will be useful for long-term projects.

Keep Your Staff Happy through Professional Gratification

When you encourage your staff to read computer repair books to help hone sophisticated skills, you move them towards advanced networking projects. “Techies” enjoy working on difficult projects that tax their knowledge and will be frustrated if they spend time getting certified and reading up on complex subjects and then have to just rescue lost Microsoft Office toolbars or tell people to reboot, disconnect and reconnect.

When You Challenge, You RETAIN

When you encourage your staff members to read computer repair books and take certification exams and then put new skills to use in the field, you have a lot happier employees. They are working at their technical peak and feel challenged and will enjoy working for you and not look elsewhere for better opportunities. Training becomes an excellent retention tool.

Encourage Long-Term Client Relationships

When your staff members have high-end technical skills obtained through reading and training, they will be ready to engage in long-term client relationships as part of complex projects and end up being more excited about what they do. They get to know clients very well, get attached and want to stay with you and your company.

Today we talked about how computer repair books and other types of training can help your computer repair business staff thrive. To learn more about this subject – and many more subjects – visit the attached link!

Added By: Computer Consulting Kit

Monday, August 18, 2008

Three Important Computer Repair Tools for Your Business

When you start your own computer repair business that serves the sweet spot of computer consulting (businesses with 10-50 systems or employees), you will come across businesses with different needs, which means you will have to come up with computer repair tools to help you solve your clients’ biggest problems. The following three types of computer repair tools for your business can help you best serve clients.

1. Know with which tasks your clients will need help. Typically you will need to have computer repair tools that help you deal with applications like Microsoft Office, Intuit QuickBooks, Interact ACT! and hardware upgrades. Clients will need help with their shared folder backup software and antivirus and firewall software. You might have to do work with PDAs, syncing them and helping the work with Microsoft Outlook. And of course, expect to help with networks.

2. Remember that your micro small business clients will have very different needs. If you choose to work with these small businesses that have less than 10 PCs, you won’t need to worry about having advanced computer repair tools or certifications. In fact, the more experienced you are, the more unappealing it will be for these clients because they will worry they are paying too much for simple tasks.

3. Think LESS about certifications with the sweet spot. You will only really run into people looking for advanced computer repair tools once you get past the sweet spot into businesses that have 50 or more systems. These clients will usually have real IT managers and will know what different certification levels mean. If you’re dealing with basic computer repair you will probably not run into this situation because these types of companies will be looking for deeply-niched experts and specialists and not more general work.

Today we talked about three computer repair tools you should think about when working with “sweet spot” clients. To learn more about this topic, visit the attached link!

Added By: Computer Consulting Kit

Monday, August 11, 2008

Get More Computer Business Opportunities through On-Going Service

Most IT consultants find they get the most results when they create computer business opportunities through on-going service and build their businesses on the concept of virtual IT. Providing this on-going service to clients gives you steady business and ensures you continue to attract and keep only the clients that understand the true benefits of your services and will be willing to pay you on a regular basis.

The Concept of Virtual IT and Computer Business Opportunities

Virtual IT is based on the idea of you acting as your clients’ outsourced IT department. Your goal is to become a virtual CIO, responsible for integrating technology into your clients’ companies to solve complex business problems. Virtual IT can create great computer business opportunities because it is a convenient, flexible, comprehensive technical services program that lets client get what they need when they need it without investing in full-time staff.

Creating Computer Business Opportunities through Virtual IT

You have to know about computer business opportunities and typical small business solutions to be able to deliver virtual IT successfully and earn a living. You have to know the traditional types of services you can sell to existing and future clients and which other computer business opportunities exist.

Virtual IT grows your relationships and adds value to your existing customers and clients’ businesses as well as the businesses of new customers and clients. It helps you be proactive and create on-going relationships that will be the bread and butter of your business.

Today we talked about creating computer business opportunities through the concept of virtual IT. To learn more about this subject and much, much more, visit the attached link!

Added By: Joshua Feinberg

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Your Computer Consultant Business: 5 Steps to Startup

Before you start a computer consultant business, you have to get organized! The following steps can help you get ready to open your doors.

1. Print Your Business Cards. Even if you don’t think your cards are going to be good forever or if you believe you will eventually change your company name or any other information, you need to at least make a card with your information on it to get momentum going. Reprinting is always possible, but you have to be prepared to hand out some business cards to friends and family members.

2. Announce Your Computer Consultant Business. When you find yourself in networking situations, meeting people in any capacity, you will have a chance to tell them about your computer consultant business and even hand out business cards. These people can become invaluable to you, so you need to talk about your endeavor whenever possible. You never know who you’re going to meet!

3. Be Active in Your Business Community. You should get involved in local organizations where small business owners meet, like trade groups, etc. Find a few high-quality local trade groups like your chamber of commerce, user group or industry-specific trade group and start attending key events.

4. Start in a Place that Suits You. You should start where you know, pick an industry focus where you come from when choosing how to build your computer consultant business. If you start with a niche in which you’re already familiar, you will already have some credibility (which is critical!). You will have an easier time coming up with a marketing message that resonates and sets you apart from every other computer consultant business in the phone book.

5. Are There Enough Prospects in Your Niche? Focus your marketing efforts on your niche, but only after you decide you have at LEAST 500-1,000 prospects in a one-hour radius of where you are that fit your ideal qualifications for potential customers and clients.

Today we talked about some tips for starting your computer consultant business. To learn more about this topic, visit the attached link.

Added By: Computer Consulting Kit