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Business Startup

By iam4u3 ·
Any suggestions or recommendations on what i will need if i am to startup a i.t business,that is, support for SMB's, I.T consulting and network installation and sales.

ALL INPUTS WILLS BE APPRECIATED.

NEVER MIND WHERE JUST EVERYTHING ELSE THAT IS WORTH CONSIDERING, FROM A-Z.

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money, lots of money is required - nt

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Business Startup
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A second job

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Business Startup

Something that involves fries.

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"Well, that depends..."

by oldbaritone In reply to Business Startup

LEARN THAT ANSWER! It's a consultant's stock-and-trade! It makes you sound wise, thoughtful and deep. Follow it with, "Tell me a little more about what you're trying to accomplish." or "Tell me a little more about the problem." If you're going to take on the role of the oracle, act like one. Sometimes, customers may solve their own problem, and you get the credit! Smile.

1) You're going into a "people" business. Remember that. Disney has made billions with an attitude that everyone who comes to their theme park is a "guest." Never an "idiot" or a "pig" - even though many "guests" act that way. Your customers should be your friends - NEVER "idiots" or "jerks." THEY PAY THE BILLS! Remember that! Treat all customers with respect, always, even when you think you're alone in the office. Funny thing, if you don't play nice, word always gets back to them and you lose a client. Nobody wants to be an idiot.

2) Being self employed means you can work "half days" every day! (And you even get to choose which 12-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week you work!) Don't expect 40-hour weeks for a LONG time. And your next vacation is probably a few years away if you decide to start your own business. There's lots of rewards when you're successful, but the long, hard work comes first.

3) Don't sell yourself short. Find out what others charge for similar services, and price yourself accordingly. Many first-timers don't understand all of the costs contained in "overhead." If you think you're going to net $100K by charging $50/hr, you're in for a rude awakening.

4) KEEP YOUR ACCOUNTING CURRENT - ALWAYS! One big mistake that techies often make is to do the work and ignore the bean-counting. If you're a tech, you probably hate accounting. I did. BIG mistake. Funny thing - when you don't send the bill, you don't get paid. PLAN time every week for accounting, or hire someone dependable (perhaps a close, trustworthy relative) to keep the books up-to date. And stay on top of receivables. Otherwise, you'll be "rich on paper" and BROKE.

5) ANSWER YOUR PHONE! Customers hate voicemail. Talk to them. Here's another "pat" response - "I'm in the middle of something right now; can I call you back at _____?" Book that phone call like any other appointment, AND KEEP IT! Customers understand that consultants have many clients, but they appreciate dependability.

6) It's tough to make money in a hardware business, especially in networking. Everything you're trying to sell is available for less on the internet. The unscrupulous SMB's will take your quote and buy the hardware listed, then get some kid (like their geek nephew) to put it all together. When they call you to straighten it out, it's T&M at rack rate. (If you don't understand "T&M" and "rack rate" - go back to being an employee.)

7) You need quality people to make it a go. They don't come cheap, and there are a lot of worthless ding-a-lings on the market with high price tags. Hire one of them, and you'll be broke in a short time.

When interviewing, ask some tough questions. Forget about their certifications, ask probing technical questions. Find out if they understand networks, or if they just barely "squeaked through" a passing grade on a certification test.

Check their people skills. Ask what they think about working with users who do stupid things to mess up their systems and networks. Listen carefully, and remember #1 above.

Give a typical sample of what you expect to do. Ask them about a solution, what they might do, and why. Emphasis on the "why".

And if YOU don't have a clue about the example problem, consider starting a different business. Otherwise your subordinate will run the place while you take all the risk. And you'll probably end up broke.

When you hire employees, make them account for their time on time sheets or job sheets. Insist on "billable" hours from them - at least 36 in a 40-hour week. Yes, they have overhead too, but keep it under control - usually around 10% or less. If they don't deliver, replace them with someone who does. "Shop time" costs you money, but doesn't pay the bills.

And remember your market potential. An employee needs to create additional billings of 5 to 10 times their salary to be worthwhile. (e.g. $20K employee needs to bill at least $100K/year) If your market growth can't support that, don't hire.

Consulting isn't easy, but it can be a lot of fun. Do what you love, and your work will be enjoyable.

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I agree and disagree with the last replys

by ryantorresonline In reply to Business Startup

Besides the obvious things such as office space, business licensing, and tools needed to service your clients, and employees you need:

1)Website- When business need some sort of service to their business, about 92% start by looking over the web, the other 8% already know someone from a business who offers that service.

2)Money- Not just for running your business and paying your bills and employees but for ADVERTISEMENT. Advertising on google and yahoo really does bring in a lot of business.

3)Good communication skills- You or whoever you are using to find clients needs to be a professional sales person.

4)Enough staff on hand to service any client big or small. I worked as a manager for multiple companies in different industries and the size that your company appears plays a huge role. You don't want to seem small cause you don't want to scare away big clients.

5)Patients- It might take a long time before you start to see a profit back. Already having a client base will help your company start. That's why the last one of the other replies said a second job.

There are ways to cut back on expenses and try to work around these problems.

* If you can not afford to have a professional build a website for you or you do not have the knowledge to build it yourself, there are affordable website templates you can pay for. Try looking at webs.com and wix.com. With wix you can have a free flash website and if you decide to pay you can have the advertising taken off.

* You can cut back on money expenses by starting the business at your home, cut back on employee cost by contracting with individuals and paying commission, but like I said you need to have enough people on hand to do any job large or small. If you do not have the funds for google or yahoo you can try craigslist and social websites.

Good luck on your business venture.

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Lastly

by santeewelding In reply to Business Startup

Forget everything you heard here. Go forth and do it the hard way. Learn the hard way, too.

It will season you.

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You,

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Lastly

you, kinesthetic old salt, you.

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You

by santeewelding In reply to You,

Just learned me another new word connection.

Only last year did I trip to the connection between prophylactic and anaphylactic. Now, it's kinesthesia and anesthesia.

Check is in the mail.

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I'd prefer

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to You

a kinesthetic payoff. B-)

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Prophylaxis

by santeewelding In reply to I'd prefer
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