How to Start an Information Technology Business

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As small businesses continue to grow, many companies are choosing to forego the expense of employing a full time Information Technology department and instead choosing to utilize an information technology business to keep essential systems up and running. If you have an IT background and have dreamed of owning your own business, there are a few simple steps that will have you well on your way.

Things You'll Need

  • Verifiable IT Credentials
  • Business License
  • Office space
  • Testing Software and Hardware
  • Basic Tools For Repair Projects

Have solid credentials. This means both knowledge and formal education. A degree in computer science will be helpful, as well as degrees in related fields of computer technology. Know what systems and software are in common use today, as well as some of the lesser known equivalents. Being able to articulate the range of your knowledge to prospective customers will help to build confidence plus also make it possible to appeal to a wider range of clients.

Obtain a business license. This is usually not difficult to do. In most jurisdictions, the business license for starting up a service related business such as IT support requires filling out a few forms and paying a fee. Having the business license will provide you with a degree of legitimacy in the local business community and may open some doors as well.

Set up an office. Even though much of your day will involve site visits to clients to run diagnostics on servers and related components and troubleshooting minor problems, you still need a permanent location with a phone, a desk, and a couple of chairs. The existence of the office, however humble, tells potential clients you are permanent and ill be around for the long haul.

Acquire your own testing equipment and hardware. This will include portable devices you can use on site, as well as equipment that you keep at the office and use when it is necessary to bring a monitor, hard drive, or server into the office for more detailed work. Also, make sure you have the proper tools to open casings and work with motherboards and other internal components without constantly having to run out to buy something.

Establish your basic fees. Many IT support businesses offer one to three packages of service for a monthly fee. The packages will specify what your normal and standard services will be each month, as they relate to maintenance, repair, consultations, and other IT related functions. Offering more than one package will make it possible to earn clients with varying ranges of support needs.

Network in the community. Proactively ask existing customers for recommendations. Join the local chamber of commerce and show up at gatherings. Leave business cards posted on bulletin boards and other places where business cards are routinely collected. Find a few other small business owners in the area who are willing to pass out your cards and contact information in exchange for you returning the favor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Unless you have resources to launch a publicity campaign, look for inexpensive promotional resources to get off the ground. This means flyers, business cards, online and print classified advertisements, and asking friends and others to spread the word about your new business.
  • Never promise a prospective client something you cannot deliver. One instance of this can kill your business before it is ever off the ground. Also, always comply with the terms of the working agreement between yourself and the client. For instance, if the agreement requires that you run diagnostics on the system at least once a week, do it without fail even if there are never any issues with the system.

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