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Help with - IT Consultant / Computer Service business

LouRobLouRob Posts: 1subscriber
edited April 2008 in Selecting a Business
I`m writing as a person who`s interested in starting an IT
Consulting business and I would love your insight and opinion on how I should approach this Venture as an IT Service / Web Development Entrepreneur. 
 
I`ve
been in the Web Site development arena side of IT for almost 8 years
serving as a Project Manager and Sales Rep. for a small company.  And
although, I`ve haven`t
really used it, I do hold a 2000 MCSE, an Older A+, and CompTia
networking Certifications.  I basically started taking the computer
classes as a way to break into the industry.  But I really don`t use the skills in my day to day job. 
My
goal for going to school in the first place, was to eventually go into
business for myself, but 8 years later life happened and I`m still with
the same web company.  I now have 2 young boys and I`m at a point in my life
where I really need to make move and start my own business, or I feel
like I will regret not taking the chance.
I owned a small business about 8 yrs ago for a total of 10 yrs.,
and my current company is a very Small - Sales driven company, that
seems like it reinvents itself every 6-12 months. Although, I feel like
I`m now at a dead end with my current company, I do feel like it has
given me the opportunity to get experience within the field and see
what`s like to work for a startup.  We`ve basically had to go out and
kill it every day if we want to survive.
Ideally, I would start working out of my home office, doing the
work myself to replace my income and then hire a tech. once I begin to
get a steady stream of business.
But --  my problem is, I really
haven`t stayed on top of the Networking and hardware support except for
very specialized services(setting up IIS, FTP, User Accounts, Secure
Certificates, Domain Name Management, User accounts, etc) with my
current company.  Therefore, I feel my skills are very diminished, and
I think I would need to go ahead and develop a relationship with a few
contracted field techs I could use to  go on service calls while I
worked on the sales/marketing and growing the business.
My plan would be to get educated on the opportunities within the
onsite tech services field - both break/fix and then move more into
management services for small to medium size businesses, as my business
grows. And additionally, I would offer web services as a way to
leverage my knowledge and experience with Web Development, Strategy,
and Online Marketing.  I have a solid network of Web developers and
designers I could tap into to service that side of the business.
Based on this information, can you give me some guidance and
direction towards pursuing a full IT Service
Business? 
Thanks Again,Rob

Comments

  • daleyfla99daleyfla99 Posts: 1subscriber
    Joshua Feinberg`s stuff is pretty good, I think.  One of my clients has a computer service biz.  Do your research on your competition first.  How many?  Who, Geek Squad, Firedog, and all the business supply stores also offer computer service on site now.  Find out how much they charge, factor in the cost of gas, what you will be doing, how much you need to get paid for it and whether your market will support you.  Computers break, but not all that often.  Leaves you with a corporate contract model for income stability.  How many can you service before adding help?  How much can/will they pay?  Just things to think about. 
     
    I think you might start an "outsource your IT" model and market yourself that way.  Have several companies to service and put them in rotation.  Company 1 on Mondays, Company 2 on Tuesdays, etc.
  • LouRobLouRob Posts: 1subscriber
    Thank you very much for your Reply. I appreciate it!
    I noticed you have a Computer Service Business from your profile. Do you run that business?
    Have you used Joshua`s Feinberg`s stuff? 
    My thought was to find a solid IT technician that I could send on the service calls.  I will initially be with him to make certain everything was ok, but then once I had a little history, I would spend most of my time on Sales and Marketing.   What do you think?. 
    I was a little concerned that the residential on-site service wasn`t that large of a market, but it`s hard for me to tell, because I take care of all computer problems for me and my family.  But I know in recent yrs. the systems are getting better than they used to be, but I was still thinking there`s enough "people" with computers and problems, that once I got my name out there and effectively marketed my company, I would be able to build a good referral network. 
    But going to the small shops w/ the "outsourced" IT Model would definitely be part of my plan. I was just thinking about trying to go after the residential market in the beginning along with SOHO business until I could fill the day w/ service calls and eventually migrate to business and then scale back on the residential. 
    What are your thoughts on this approach? 
    I would also offer Web Site Services since I have the resources and background to deliver in that area.
    Thanks again!
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