If you're already running an IT Company that is sustainable, with retained earnings, and calculated growth, please post your input for everyone else who isn't. I would like to keep this post constructive, providing tips & tricks to help improve start-ups on their way to becoming self employed.
So to get things started, this is for everyone who's a "one man band", start-up, moon-lighter, and wanting to be full-time, and making a good salary all on their own.
Step 1. What Are You Good At
I can't stress the importance of sticking with one thing that you really excel at early on. By trying to offer tons of products you'll distract yourself from really having one stellar service offering that blows your competitors away. It doesn't matter what it is really, for me it was Malware Removal, but for you it could be something different. Whatever your focus is you must be able to not only DELIVER it well, but PRESENT it well too. This requires you to be more than adequately prepared and informed when it comes to your area of focus. One person can't be "perfect" in every area, so don't try to spread yourself too thin. Knowing your SINGLE point of attack is XXXXXXXX, will allow you to market yourself to resolve that particular issue.
Step 2. Get In Front Of People
You should ask yourself "Who, When, What, Where, Why, and How?" when it comes to the people you want to service, whoever they are, and identify multiple reasons for them to come to you for your One Service. You should probably consider working with whoever the majority of your current customer base/demographic is, because they'll be the easiest to talk to since you're already talking to them the most. The when is pretty simple, if this is your day job, well you're already doing it non-stop, and hopefully you're committed to doing whatever it takes to make that $$$, but if it isn't, you're stuck working in off hours and you have to find ways to automate and make selling your service to customers an easy task (something you can do a few minutes a day without much difficulty to continually build exposure). If you have a demographic, you know what kind of people you're working with already, but if you don't you should consider what kind of people/demographic you want to work with, and come up with a list of reasons why they're potentially the best demographic to sell your One Service too. Where is easy for now, because it's wherever you can get to within reason, without making yourself stranded, out of gas, or without a vehicle (walk if you have to). The Why, is very crucial, this is your sales pitch, differentiating yourself between what your One Service is, and anyone else in the area doing the same thing, so you better be above average and spectacular, AND able to communicate that to your customers in multiple ways to leave their jaws on the floor. How do you get in front of your customers now? You're not going to achieve it by sitting at your computer all day long, that's for sure...
Step 3. Stay In Their Minds
Now that you have worked with them, presented yourself to them, and they know who you are and what you do, you have to continue to pop-up periodically. This ensures that you have a higher chance of repeat business, or catching them when they have a problem, but don't feel like taking 5 minutes to call or email to get it fixed. Send out regular (personalized) emails, and stay away from mass-mailers because they'll go to the spam folder quickly. Select your top 10 clients, and be sure to visit them regularly every month, showing you're there, checking on them, bring a snack like donuts, candy bars, etc. if you can, or at the very least a personalized Thank You letter for doing business with you previously. If you don't stick in their minds, when they really need help, they'll simply go somewhere else.
Step 4. Know How To Grow Your Business
We're mostly all hailing from previous IT jobs, or interest in the IT field. Normally we don't have strong accounting skills, or business skills. If you do, you're one step ahead of the game, and coodo's to you. In this area you NEED to spend MOST of your time developing a new skill. Sales training, Marketing training, and Public speaking, are the three area's I strongly advise you to begin studying and practicing even if it's through good old fashioned TRIAL AND ERROR. You need to become familiar with a few terms; ROI, Net Profit, Gross Profit, and Sales Tax. There are thousands of other's for sure, but that's a nice way to ease into learning the ropes. If you have a friend in business, with a business degree, CPA, Accountant, anything in the financial area's I strongly recommend you treat this person to coffee or dinner regularly and pick their brain. In addition hit your library, local book store, and online portals like amazon to pick up best sellers for growing your IT business, because it'll be worth it, every penny.
Once you attain knowledge, it's hard to have it taken away from you. Always look to grow your understanding of your business, what you want it to be, and how other's are doing it, and in no short time at all you'll be doing just fine.
Places Of Interest You Should Check Out:
- I added over $20,000 into my revenue stream with Robins training, after a single client meeting.
- These tools keep you in business very easily, by reducing the time it takes to do the work manually.
- Tons of software solutions you can retail to your clients, at great prices, ask for Rob Wagey.
*this is the tip of the ice-berg, and with a little bit of searching on Google you can find hundreds of other places that can change how you do business over-night. I suggest you start with just one of them first though.*