To remain competitive, reduce risk, and secure data in today’s business world, firms of all sizes require a strong technological foundation. You and other IT services specialists are in high demand across all industries as a result.
Businesses are increasing their IT budgets in order to hire these specialists. According to a recent Gartner report, global IT spending would increase by 6.2% in 2021.
Starting your own IT services company is an excellent way to take advantage of this need.
There is a lot of work to be done, no matter what your specialty is. And last but not least, there is a lot of financial rewards.
What is positioning
Your company probably has a specific function in the marketplace due to its unique capacity to make an effect, so you probably have an idea of the niche you fill. People’s behavior toward you can drastically change depending on where you fall inside that niche.
Getting crystal clear about your niche and where you want to be in it is a key part of the art of positioning in marketing. You can’t position yourself without first defining your objective. Nothing happens by accident when it comes to position. You have to take charge of the situation. So, you need to know where the company is going in the future. The next step is to establish your credibility so that the people you want to influence will perceive you in the light you want them to see you.
What is the significance of brand positioning?
You already have a reputation, whether you want to build it or not, so why not develop a brand positioning strategy to assist you to take control of your image and reputation as a brand.
Using brand positioning, a business can set itself apart from its rivals. This differentiation aids a company in increasing brand awareness, communicating value, and justifying pricing, all of which have an impact on the company’s financial position.
On the other hand, not all brand positioning strategies are created equal. You’ll need to adjust your positioning and messaging based on the specifics of your product and industry. Let’s take a look at a few tried-and-true placement tactics to get you started.
Choose your IT service offerings
Keep in mind that the value of your services will be a key selling point for prospective customers.
A list of the following IT services may be offered by your business
- design and installation of a network, software installation, updates, and technical support
- Decisions on IT budgeting and procurement
- Storage and hosted services
- risk evaluations
- a security plan
- administration from different angles
If you’re going to choose your offerings, stick to what you know. It’s alluring to offer services you don’t know how to provide in the hopes of attracting more clients. Taking on an IT project, on the other hand, can be a mistake.
Conduct market and competitive research
Following your decision on possible IT services, decide on the kind of customers that you’ll go after. Depending on the size of your business, you may want to target specific customers with your advertising. Alternatively, you may concentrate on companies in industries in which you have already established a name for yourself.
In terms of the consumer base, competition, and expenses, some cities are more challenging than others to establish a business. Investigate the IT companies in your city that are already in business.
Finding out what services they provide and how much they charge is straightforward. Your local IT services market likely has holes that a competitive study might help you fill.
Start an IT consulting firm in one of these seven cities to see which places have the most potential. While some cities are more expensive than others, you can charge more for your services if you choose to work in one of these more pricey locales.
Decide on a legal framework for your company
Finding the correct corporate structure is critical when beginning an IT services firm. If you want to succeed, you need more than just a little bit of experience and cash to get started.
The majority of small IT service companies are sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, or S corporations (S corp). The business structure you choose will have an influence on your taxes, paperwork, and personal liability.
One of the simplest company structures for one-person firms is a sole proprietorship. As a result, you won’t need to submit any papers to your state government. However, if you’re sued by a client, personal and company assets are all on the line.
An LLC can cost up to $500 to form, and depending on your state, the paperwork may take a few weeks to process. But an LLC protects the personal assets of a small business owner in the case of legal action.
Incorporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships all have different forms of paperwork and filing requirements. In addition, the tax structures and limits differ between the two countries. Your accountant will be able to provide you with advice on what’s best for your present financial situation and long-term goals.
Establish a reliable source of funding
Certain costs may stand in the way of starting your firm. If you don’t have enough money in savings or aid from family and friends to cover the costs, there are other possibilities.
Capital raised from venture firms might be beneficial. You should look for a venture capital firm that specializes in IT service companies. Some examples of these early-stage investors include America’s Seed Fund and others.
The venture capitalists will be looking for more than just a business plan when considering whether or not to invest in your company.
A grant from the Small Business Administration (SBA) like the 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Services award may also be available to you. This program gives money to enterprises that help other small businesses with technical assistance and management.
Look for business grants provided by outside corporations and groups if none of the above sounds appealing. There are a variety of organizations that offer grants to small enterprises, such as the National Association for the Self-Employed.
SBA microloans, low-interest credit cards, and crowdfunding platforms are other options for small businesses seeking finance.
Produce and utilize client agreements on each and every job
Contracts outlining your terms and conditions should be in place before beginning work for a client. Contracts can shield you from legal action while also letting your clients know exactly what they can anticipate from you.
The following details should be included in any basic IT services agreement:
- Timelines for project termination
- Conditions, price, and frequency of invoicing for project scope
- Information about resolving disagreements
The acquisition of technical errors and omissions (E&O) insurance is frequently required by client contracts. In the event of a lawsuit arising from a missed deadline or a lapse in quality control, this policy will shield your business from financial loss. You’ll be covered in the event that a client files a lawsuit and seeks compensation from you.
Some projects may necessitate cyber liability insurance to assist in recovering from a data breach or responding to a lawsuit that results from one. Many insurance companies now offer both cyber liability and E&O coverage as a package deal. Though not stipulated in the contract, this is nevertheless a wise investment.
When your firm begins to expand, it may be time to explore recruiting staff or independent contractors. Apart from easing your workload, this can free you up to take on new initiatives.
However, you do not have to hire the first applicant. Each new hire should be subjected to an extensive background check. You may be entrusting these employees with sensitive and secret information. Make contact with their references and ensure that all job and wage terms are clearly stated in the offer letter.
To protect against employee theft and fraud, you might obtain fidelity bonds. Indeed, your clients may include such a clause in their contracts.
Workers’ compensation insurance is required in the majority of states for firms with employees. If an employee is hurt or becomes ill on the job, workers’ compensation coverage covers the injured employee’s medical bills and lost income.
Additionally, these insurance cover attorney fees, court costs, and settlements in the event that an injured employee sues your organization.
Additionally, you may wish to consider employment practices liability insurance to protect yourself from lawsuits for wrongful termination, harassment, and other similar claims.
Make marketing and networking investments
Clients for your new IT services firm can be difficult to come by. However, it is the most critical step toward long-term success. That is why marketing and networking are vital to your success.
Digital marketing is critical for an IT organization. Numerous prospective buyers will discover your organization via search engines. Hire a web design business or freelancer to construct your website if your budget allows. A search engine optimization (SEO) consultant can assist you in enhancing your website’s Google ranking.
If you lack the cash for professional assistance, you may create a website using online platforms such as Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress. Additionally, starting a blog can be an efficient method of attracting business and improving your search engine rankings.
Social networking is another effective method of reaching out to potential clients. Create LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook profiles for your IT services firm and share industry- and client-related material. Additionally, you may run paid advertisements that target people based on their location, demographics, income, and other characteristics.
However, do not overlook the human touch. There is no substitute for networking at this point.
Make contact with both present and former coworkers. Attend virtual and in-person conferences and networking events to meet new potential clients and business partners. Spend a little amount of money on business cards and distribute them to your new connections.
Prioritize ongoing training and certifications
Obtaining certifications and accreditations in the IT field might help your new company stand out from the crowd.
You can gain new skills and stay current on trends and best practices by participating in ongoing education. CIO Magazine has compiled a ranking of the best IT qualifications, but there are many more available online, depending on your area of expertise.
The following are a few well-known certifications
- Security threats and IT governance are tested in the CGEIT, which is a certificate awarded by the Center for Governance of Enterprise Information Technology (CGEIT).
- Information assurance, organizational structure, budgeting, risk management, and more are all included in the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.
- Certification in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework demonstrates your knowledge of effective ways for managing teams and enhancing efficiency within a business.
- IT professionals can improve their project management and leadership skills, especially when it comes to organizational transformation, by earning a Six Sigma certification.
- With the Scrum Master badge, you can demonstrate that you know how to keep IT projects on track, minimize distractions, and increase the efficiency of the project team.
- With the Certified Associate in Project Management CAPM certification, you’ll be able to manage many IT projects at once and oversee the life cycle of a product or service.
Obtaining vendor technology certifications is another option available to your company. Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and Amazon Web Services are examples of such firms. Prospective clients like these certifications since they let them know you’re knowledgeable about the technology they employ.