Posts by: successfulcomputerconsulting.com

IT’s EASY to be a Successful Independent Computer Consultant. Really!

It used to be very difficult being an Independent computer consultant. When you didn’t have enough clients, finding enough billable hours in a day could be a real challenge. And when you had “enough” clients, way too often you would be needed at two places at once. Either there’s too many emergencies going on, or you’re working on a decent project that could bring in a chunk of hours that prevents you from giving other clients the attention they demand. Make one client happy, another is getting angry at you.

But starting a computer consulting business today as an Independent Computer Consultant is one of the best career choices an IT Professional can make. All because you can now monitor and service your clients remotely. All the things that made running a consulting business difficult in the past (too many unexpected emergencies, can’t be in two places at once), are eliminated by using cheap or free utilities (I use GFI Max for server monitoring and inventory reporting and LogMeIn Free for remote computer support).
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How to FAIL as an Independent Computer Consultant in 3 Easy Steps

I’ve met a lot of Independent Computer Consultants over the course of my career. While a few continue to thrive in their Independent practice, and a few others have grown their business into larger, successful computer consulting firms, the vast majority will give it less than a year before they give up and begin actively searching for a job again.

Almost every small business today that relies on computer systems, needs someone qualified to maintain them. The demand for affordable solutions for maintaining and supporting small business computer systems is huge. Today, every small business owner is looking for ways to reduce costs, and the Independent Computer Consultant is perfectly positioned to offer an excellent level of support that costs less than alternate solutions like in-house employees or larger IT Support firms.

So with such a strong potential market and with the Independent Computer Consultant able to provide a much needed solution, why is success for Independent Computer Consultants so rare?
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Is the Independent Computer Consultant Destined for Extinction?

The IT Support landscape is rapidly changing, with new, inexpensive tools being developed for proactive maintenance and remote support that allow support to be delivered faster and cheaper than ever before.

Is this the beginning of the end of the Independent Computer Consultant? Or can he evolve to become the preferred option for cost-effective Small Business IT Support in the coming decade?

With almost 30 million small businesses in the US alone, there is no shortage of a need for new innovations in technology. Every major technology developer… Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, Apple, IBM, HP, Sony, BlackBerry, Intel and so on, as well as the thousands of smaller, but just as significant tech companies will continue to invest billions of dollars year after year developing new and innovative products for the immense and continuously growing small business market.
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7 Major Perks of Being an Independent Computer Consultant – Part #2

In Part 1 of this 2-part article, we discussed 3 of the 7 Major Perks that can be gained by starting a small business of your own as an Independent Computer Consultant.

Let’s discuss the 4 remaining Major Perks you’ll get by taking charge of your career and becoming your own boss.

Major Perk #4: Flexible work hours – You’re the one who sets your office hours. Naturally, as the support provider for your clients, you’ll need to be available when they need you. However, if you want to get paid an overtime rate for any work your clients request outside of your regular business hours, you can.
Simply set the ground rules for your hours and rates in the support agreement that you have signed when you begin your relationship with your customer.

When you follow the correct Proactive Support Model with Flat-Fee Billing and Remote Computer Support, you should be providing the vast majority of your work from a remote location and not at the client site. And because your support model is based on preventative maintenance and not on constantly addressing emergencies, you’ll have a great deal of flexibility as to when you begin and end your work day.
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The Independent Computer Consultant – Easily Convert Clients from Hourly Rates to Managed Services

To operate profitably, today’s Independent Computer Consultant must function on a Managed Service Model, providing proactive monitoring and remote support for a flat-monthly fee. But when so many of today’s small businesses are still accustomed to the outdated model of hourly support, it can be a challenge to convince them that preventing downtime through daily monitoring is less expensive in the long run than only having the consultant in whenever a problem occurs.

How do you make your case to your prospective (or current) small business customer that moving to a flat-fee, proactive model makes sense?
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