How to start a Computer Consulting Business
Are you a computer whiz? Do freinds and family constantly call you for help in installing software, setting up computer hardware or simply teaching them how to use the computer. Then you may be the ideal condidate to start your own computer consulting business.
One of the most appealing parts about starting a computer consulting business is that you can start your business part-time from your home and it doesn't require much initial capital to start. Just be sure to keep your skills up to date and learn the latest operating systems, because the bulk of your business will probably come from instructing users on how to use new software.
You don't have to limit yourself to purely assisting clients with theor computers; many clients will gladly pay for assistance in learning how to correctly use their fancy new phones which now have the capabilities of a lightweight computer. You can also assist in training others on how to create their own websites, or create customized websites for them.
There is no limit as to what kind of services you can provide; new soaftware, hardware and tech gadgets are being released every week - and people will need assistance in setting up, configuring, learning and maintaining these technology marvels.
Starting a Computer Consulting business can be fun, exciting and very rewarding. If you are considering starting your own Computer Consulting business, be sure to read the following advice so that you can shorten your learning curve, minimize your risk, and start generating income quickly.
Read on to learn how to start your own Computer Consulting business in 10 easy steps.
1. Write A Business Plan.
Writing a business plan for your small business is key in getting your new Computer Consulting Service venture off to the its best start. Lenders won't even consider your request for a loan without a written business plan in hand. Also, the process of preparing a business plan forces you as an entrepreneur to consider every aspect of the company's operations. Don't skimp on this crucial step.
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2. Choose A Company Name.
When choosing a company name, pick a name that easily fits into a web address or domain name. Your web address should be easy to type, simple but catchy. Every business has an internet presence nowadays. You must be sure that your Computer Consulting business is on the internet as well. Once you pick a company name for your Computer Consulting business, make sure to register the domain name quickly, before someone else does. You may also want to get not only the .com version of the name, but the .biz and .info versions as well, so that competitors don't encroach on your business by grabbing your domain with a different extension. You may regret not having these additional domains when your company grows and becomes successful.
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3. Incorporate Your Business.
One of the primary advantages to incorporating your Computer Consulting business is the fact that you can then enjoy limited liability. As a sole proprietorship, of a Computer Consulting business owner, you assume all the liability of the company. Your personal assets, such as your house and car can be seized to pay the debts of your business.
When you incorporate your Computer Consulting business, you become a shareholder in the corporation. As a shareholder in the corporation, you can't be held responsible for the debts of the corporation. Your liability as an individual shareholder of the Computer Consulting business is limited to the amount you have invested in the company. In today's litigious society, it is best to protect yourself, and separate your personal assets from the Computer Consulting's company assets.
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4. File For A Tax Identification Number.
There are several types of tax id numbers:
*A Federal EIN Number - The Federal Tax Identification Number is used to identify a business entity and is required for employers and corporations as well as partnerships.
*A State Sales Tax Id - Sales tax id number or sales tax exemption certificate is a legal document issued by the state. This certificate of authority gives your business the authority to collect the required sales and use taxes, and to issue appropriate sales tax exemption documents, including resale certificates used for purchasing inventory
*A State EIN Number - A state specific Tax Identification Number. Check your state regulations to see if it is required.
5. Examine Your Competition.
Examine your competition in the Computer Consulting industry - your clients will. Compare your business ideas against your competitors. Determine what are your strengths and weaknesses are. Compare them and determine how to strengthen your weaknesses and how to emphasize your strengths. Your clients will compare your Computer Consulting services with others before choosing - so make sure you offer your clients a service they can't refuse.
6. Calculate Your Fees.
Since you will be working on your own you will need to determine your wages. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for self-employment taxes, insurances, supplies and education. Make sure when calculating your fee to include all of your expenses and what you need to make a profit. Make sure your rates are competitive or you can justify why you are charging more than your competitors. Remember, your potential clients aren't always looking for the cheapest Computer Consulting business. They want dependability, relaibility and genuine quality service from a skilled and professional Computer Consulting.
7. Get A Logo.
A logo is also a very important element for your Computer Consulting business. A logo clearly sets the tone and presents a graphic representation of your business and its value - providing your Computer Consulting business with an extra level of professional presence. You need to provide your clients with a sense of legitamacy, as they will be entrusting you with their Computer Consulting business needs.
A great logo should be eye catching and visually appealing, without being too garish or flashy. Hiring a professional to design your Computer Consulting company logo is a wise choice, because a logo is often the first impression a potential client will get of your Computer Consulting services. So it is best to have a professional design it, who can create a timeless and balanced look that can stand as your business identity for years to come.
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8. Create A Website.
Hire a website developer or use one of the many do-it-yourself online companies that offer you an assortment of website templates, where you can enter your own content. Be sure to choose a template that relates to the Computer Consulting industry.
Keep your website simple and to the point. Start with a home page, which describes your business and the services you offer. Then include a page that provides your professional biography and credentials as well as a photo. A web form that allows potential clients to enter their information for quote by phone is a nice feature. Don't forget a page that provides your contact information. Include a payment form where clients can pay for your services using a credit card or electronic check, if advance payment or a deposit for your services is required.
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9. Find Clients.
You will need to advertise, market and promote your Computer Consulting business in order to attract clients. Make sure to prepare a budget for maintaining your a website, getting business cards, ordering fliers, and sending out a press releases. Offering a special incentive to your first clients could help speed up your client acquisition process.
10. Keep Learning.
Stay current within your field of Computer Consulting. Sign up for free newsletters and subscribe to magazines and newspapers designed for those in the Computer Consulting industry. This will help you stay in touch with the newest trends in the Computer Consulting business world. The more knowledgeable you are about Computer Consulting, the more likely to you are to succeed.
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