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.

The way data is created, accessed and shared, the way communication will continue to expand our personal networks while shrinking our planet, the new and stronger methods we’ll need to protect ourselves and our information, the way we sell and market our services and ourselves… All will change, and will continue to change for long into the foreseeable future.

As long as technology continues to evolve, they’ll continue to be a need for a qualified support person to install it, configure it, monitor it, maintain it, and yes, fix it when it doesn’t work as it should.

And of course there will always be for a knowledgeable professional to show an inexperienced user how to get the most out of their systems.

To get the greatest long-term financial return from a technology investment, a small business owner will need to properly maintain these systems that are so critical to the daily functionality of their operations.

Qualified Computer Consultants who can keep their client’s systems current, working at peak performance levels and that operating with minimal problems will always be in high demand.

This is where an Independent Computer Consultant has an advantage over larger IT Support Providers or MSP’s. Thanks to affordable system monitoring and remote support utilities, the independent computer consultant can provide the same reliable and immediate support response as a larger provider, yet, can be very price-competitive thanks to much lower overhead.

Providing the computer consultant’s business is created on the correct business model, success is easily reached.

What is destined for extinction is the old support model of being the on-call computer “repairman”, who runs to the client’s office whenever a problem occurs… at a high, hourly billing rate. This reactive method of support relies on having systems fail for the consultant to make an income. The worse the systems perform (and the more dissatisfied the customer becomes), the more money the consultant makes.

This business model is guaranteed to fail. It’s heavily reliant on having problems to resolve, keeps your clients continuously associating you with greater expenses to their business and provides a very unstable income.

For a computer consultant to succeed in supporting small businesses, they need to provide a proactive monitoring keep their customers systems functioning at peak performance levels and operating as reliably as possible. They also need to provide instant response to critical support requests. Fortunately, these things can easily be accomplished by using today’s affordable IT support utilities, such as GFI Max for server monitoring and inventory reporting, and LogMeIn Free for reliable… and free, remote computer support.

When a computer consultant builds a business on a proactive support model, they can charge affordable, flat, monthly rates to their clients. This is much more preferable to billing high, hourly rates that the consultant is always looking for more of, while the customer is trying to cut them down.

By being proactive and reducing problems, a computer consultant will have a much more satisfied customer base, a more predictable and reliable income level and will be able to support many more computer systems in far less time.

The Independent Computer Consultant can be the ideal support model for providing efficient and cost-effective IT Support to today’s small businesses, who are more cost-conscious than ever before.

Starting a small business as an Independent Computer Consultant can be one of the most lucrative and rewarding career choices an IT professional can make today.

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