Starting Your Own Technology Consulting Business

Today many of the nation's top security technology consultants are self-employed. Starting your own technology consulting firm as a sole proprietor doesn't have to be difficult. If you work on your own at first you don't have to stress about how you will pay your employees. You will have more free time to develop a solid client base and work toward your own professional development and training.

7 Steps to Get Started

1. Do not try to do too much at once. You should start small and work at building up your clientele. You may want to work part-time in the beginning while you keep another job for financial security, health insurance and other fringe benefits.

2. Hone your skills and work for clients in a niche area or specialty. As a consultant you will be expected to be an expert in your field. When you specialize in a certain area, you make it easier to stay abreast of the latest and greatest news and industry-specific information. There are plenty of different fields to work in including, biometrics, data encryption and security systems.

3. Present a polished and professional image at all times. Dress professionally, and your customers will trust you more. They are looking for someone who pays attention to the smallest details. You might want to purchase ID lanyards for yourself and any of your team members. A badge reel is another good way to display identifying information about you and your business.

4. Invest in insurance for your new company. Consulting businesses need specific types of insurance. If you aren't sure where to go to find the right insurance for your technology consulting business, start with your home or auto insurance agent and ask for help or see if they can provide you with a referral.

5. Complete a little market research before you establish your rates. Find out what similar businesses are charging in your region, and then set competitive fees. Remember that being competitive doesn't always mean you have to be cheaper. It is impossible to operate a business for very long unless you can figure out a way to make a profit.

6. Build a website detailing the services you offer. On your website you should include a home page, and about page, a services page, and a place for customer testimonials. You may even find that it's helpful to promote your business using social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

7. Maintain your clients' trust at all times. As a technology consultant it is likely that you will come into contact with sensitive information. It can be helpful to have a legal professional draw up contracts that outline the nature of your services and expectations very clearly.

Starting a technology consulting firm can be a lucrative business. If you have trouble getting clients at first, you might find that it's helpful to hold free seminars or consultations that show potential clients how valuable your services can be.

Massachusetts Information Technology Consulting Can Boost Your Company's Productivity

Information technology, known as IT or it, allows Boston businesses to use computer technology to handle their business information in a variety of ways. In order for your company business to run smoothly, you will need to use Mass it services to store, retrieve and process your information. Information technology is vital in every area of your business, from online sales, to keeping track of accounts receivable and payable, telephone information services, creating networks, network security, data management, and so much more. Every day businesses use it consultants. Boston companies know it makes sense to ensure that your IT department is operating at maximum efficiency. However, not everyone who owns a small or mid-sized business is a computer expert. This is why many businesses choose to outsource their information technology to expert it consultants. Boston information technology providers can handle it for you.

To make this shift, you may want to consider using it consultants. Boston-area businesses find that Mass it consultants can work with them to design IT systems that are customized to their specific, unique business needs.

Mass it consultants can offer money-saving advice when it comes to investing in business hardware and software it. Massachusetts companies know that it is all too easy to spend money on hardware and software that, at the end of the day, does not do the jobs that you need it to perform. This problem can be alleviated through the use of it consultants. Boston companies can benefit from the advice offered by consultants. They may suggest specific electronic equipment to purchase, or they may offer an even more competitive solution of hiring a Mass it company to provide the equipment and personnel for you.

When you need help with it, Massachusetts companies have the luxury of selecting from just the services their businesses require. Outsourcing can be a cost-effective option when you calculate in-house employee salaries, benefits, training and pensions. Of course, if your preference is for on-site it, Massachusetts companies are also offered the option of hiring it workers that will come to you.

Many East coast companies selectively use information technology help for certain areas of their businesses. Networking is one such example. Your company will need your computers and all of the many peripherals used to make your business run, including the Internet, printers, faxes, telephones and many others. It can be a fairly complicated process to make sure that all of these devices are connected together properly so that they can communicate with each other. This is when Massachusetts businesses hire it consultants. Boston companies can leave all of the technical manipulations to the experts, who will not only design and set up but maintain your network for you.

IT Management: Why a Proactive Approach Is Critical

Business leaders often put off hiring a business technology consultant until a certain system fails. A server crashes, a machine freezes, a network becomes overloaded - these are IT problems that can be prevented before they cause a money drain. Even if you have in-house IT experts, it's wise to bring in a technology consulting firm to find proactive solutions.

Here's a look at some of the benefit of taking a proactive approach to IT management:

Guarantee Regular, Reliable Maintenance

Regular software updates are your organization's main protection against hackers. Consistent data backups act as a second layer of defense, allowing your firm to "go back in time" to a point before data was compromised. Finally, ongoing hardware upkeep reduces wasted downtime. Hiring a technology consulting firm is a proactive method of guaranteeing that these critical IT maintenance procedures are carried out.

Conserve Time and Money

An information technology consulting company can suggest innovative solutions to daily problems - problems you might have thought were impossible to fix. For instance, the University of Kentucky's Office of Research Information Services saw significant savings after its business technology consultant created a remote information access point for 45 different campus locations. The new common remote access point empowers IT maintenance workers to update machines remotely; previously, these updates had to be conducted manually. The University of Kentucky is enjoying increased employee efficiency and machine reliability as a result of the technology consulting firm's expertise. Undreamed of efficiency can be yours if you proactively arrange for an IT consultation.

Stop Chasing Fires

It's exhausting to fix IT problems as they arise. This "treading water" approach to IT management causes stress at the office. Furthermore, it's harder to get a competitive edge when you're always catching up to the latest IT trend. For this reason, hiring a business technology consultant in a forecasting role is a wise business strategy. An IT professional can review your organization's IT assets, propose significant improvements and increase bandwidth for future development. Finally, bringing in an IT expert can open up managers' time for business development.

Accelerate Overall Operations

No IT department is an island. Because IT performance is woven into nearly every business transaction, slow machines and faulty networks limit overall business results. Forward-thinking IT answers from an information technology consulting company can help any company improve overall performance.

For the University of Kentucky, proactive IT management resulted in smoother help desk operations. Before the remote system was installed, an IT worker might have had to cross the entire campus to reset a certain password or fix a configuration issue. With the remote access system, however, IT help desk employees can correct most issues almost immediately, right from their own desks. Projects that previously sucked up hours of time, such as installing security patches or setting up a new employee's computer, can now be finished in a matter of minutes. Obviously, your firm will have its own exciting IT opportunities; connect with a business technology consultant to figure out which proactive IT developments can improve performance across your firm.

As we've seen, it's ideal to get advice from an information technology consulting company early, rather than following a system crash. Proactively hiring a business technology consultant can help you improve overall business operations, save money and time, and guarantee regular maintenance - all while helping you escape the "putting out fires" approach to IT management.

Beyond IT Staffing: Know What To Look For In A Qualified Business Analytics Consulting Firm

IT staffing has proven itself an invaluable tool for businesses looking to fortify their internal operations. Partnering with a reputable IT staffing firm not only delivers instant access to a virtually endless pool of technical talent, but it can quickly help an organization fill existing procedural gaps. Whether looking to staff short term or permanently, executives can easily rely on their selected vendor to understand their hiring needs and provide the resources required to streamline workflow almost immediately.

Business Analytics Consulting: A Fresh Set Of Eyes On Your Organization's Operations

Sometimes, however, corporate leaders find that their technology-driven operational glitches run a bit deeper than just manpower alone. They recognize that, while the team is working hard, certain objectives just aren't being met to keep the organization moving forward. In addition to their IT staffing needs, these executives understand that their company also requires a set of objective eyes to help them identify and proactively work toward eliminating current technical procedural missteps. In short, they need a firm that specializes in business analytics consulting. If you're currently screening through a list of potential technology consulting companies, keeping a steady focus on a few key criteria can help ensure that you partner up with a reputable and professional firm poised to help take your company to the next performance level.

Key Criteria To Demand From Technology Consulting Companies

While qualifying potential firms to partner with, it's important to remember that not all firms are created alike. Always look for a provider that not only offers business analytics consulting, but also specializes in IT staffing as well. Having both service capabilities ensures that not only will your selected vendor be able to identify strengths, weaknesses and objectives, but they will also be ready to help you quickly find the necessary staff resources to achieve these goals.

Also, always look for a business analytics consulting team that offers an extensive and diverse portfolio of services and capabilities. A reputable provider will have the resources and experience necessary to manage a comprehensive list of issues and needs within your organization. Look for items like portfolio management, process evaluation, quality assessments, C-level advisory services as well as strategic and transformative analysis to know that you're working with a firm that truly understands the depth of what your organization will need. Some of the more seasoned technology consulting companies will even offer transitional executive support to ensure that your business stays on course while navigating through the challenging waters of corporate leadership and technical change.

Finally, always look for a business analytics consulting team that truly wants to partner with your organization. A one size fits all approach just won't work. A professional and polished firm will recognize your organization as the unique entity that it is. Only entrust your business to a firm that will work hard throughout the partnership to understand your distinctive corporate culture and requirements to ensure a customized final solution.

Signs Your Business Needs an IT Consultant

Whether a business fails, succeeds, or perpetuates mediocrity is increasingly determined by a company's IT infrastructure. Today, most business objectives are supported by information technology objectives, and failing to achieve these objectives often results in a business's inability maintain success. The good news is that most businesses do not suddenly fail at IT objectives; there are usually signs signaling a potential of failure well in advance, giving businesses a chance to take action before financial loss occurs. According to managed services providers who specialize in information technology consulting, the signs below indicate that businesses should seek out IT consulting before devastating losses.

Data is not Stored Offsite

Research shows that seventy percent of small companies go out of business within two years of experiencing a major data loss. The same can happen to large businesses, but small businesses have a habit of avoiding offsite data storage to cut costs. The importance of data to revenue production proves the axiom that knowledge is power, and the best way for any business-large, midsize, or small-to protect its data is to back it up on a server located offsite.

Spam Floods Email Accounts

Receiving spam as personal email is frustrating, but receiving it as business email can be costly. If your onsite spam filter crashes, your business's email accounts could be flooded with unwanted communications until the filter is fixed-a task that can take hours unless the job is performed by a managed services provider. Because emails from clients can get lost in a sea of spam, pursuing information technology consulting to receive web-based spam protection is the safest move.

No Internal Network Protection

Preventing data theft traditionally focuses on detecting and deflecting third party hacking attempts, but research shows the majority of data theft occurs from the inside, with proprietary data the primary target. If a business's data has financial value, it should implement an internal firewall (perhaps more than one) that detects patterns of questionable activity and prevents the user from violating system rules. No business wants to distrust its employees, and when it implements a strong internal security system, the company should no longer have trust issues.

Unremarkable Network Performance

In-house networks exhibit unremarkable performance (operating slowly, experiencing crashes, not supporting certain application features, etc.) for a variety of reasons, but the problem is typically component-based. For example, the pace at which a department implements new, mission-critical software can outstrip the memory and bandwidth of its server. An information technology system that exhibits unremarkable performance typically gets worse instead of better, and should be examined by an IT service as soon as possible.