In the latest TR Member Spotlight, Sonja Thompson interviews IT consultant Glen Ford (aka PMP'sicle), who has 20+ years of industry experience and has worked as a project manager, trainer, and writer (check out his TechRepublic articles listed at the end of this post). Glen discusses a variety of topics, including when he became interested in technology, the most difficult project he's had to manage, and whether he believes that any IT department is as strong as its weakest link.
Here are Glen's three tips for IT consultants who want to branch out on their own (his answer begins at about the 13:00 min. mark):
- Recognize that as an entrepreneur you are no longer a technician. You need to change your mindset completely if you are going from being a technician working for other people to running a business. You've got to think in terms of working on your business not working in your business.
- There's always work out there. If you can identify something that people need, and that they are capable of paying for, then you can continue to build a business and you can build a very strong business. The trick is, of course, finding people who can afford to pay for you and are willing to pay for your services.
- You are probably also looking for a business which is not heavily gate kept. In other words, when you go for the large organizations such as I'm focused on, they have gatekeepers and those gatekeepers sometimes don't know what they're doing. And they are there for the sole purpose of limiting the number of contacts that are made with their clientele, with the managers, and unfortunately, the manager is often the only one who can make a decision. You need to get past the gatekeepers somehow, and when you pick a niche instead of customers that you're going to deal with, then you want to pick someone where the gatekeepers aren't that strong, and you can access managers directly.
Listen to the entire interview to learn more about this active participant in our IT Consultant forums.
Read Glen's TechRepublic articles
Mary Weilage is a Feature Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.