it-service-contract-secrets-for-getting-more-repeat-clients-and-recurring-service-revenue

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What Happened to this Blog? (Computer Consulting Kit Preview Blog)

This Computer Consulting Kit Preview Blog hasn't been updated in quite some time...OK years!

If you like what was published over here, you'll love the Small Business Computer Consulting Blog as well as its companion SP Home Run Weekly Update Newsletter.

Thanks for your continued support!

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Becoming an IT Consultant? Ask Your Prospects These 4 Key Questions (YouTube Video)

Are you becoming an IT consultant?

Wondering how to get some great clients to get the ball rolling?

Make sure you know that not all prospective clients are created equal.

Learn 4 key qualifying questions that you must consistently ask every prospect, to build a great client list as you're becoming an IT consultant.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Computer Consulting Kit Home Study Course Sample Template Video Excerpt



Checking out the Computer Consulting Kit Home Study Course? This brief sample video excerpt on the Software Review Template for Client/Server Application helps you position yourself as Virtual CIO. Then learn more sample proven tips from the Computer Consulting Kit Home Study Course now at http://ComputerBusinessTips.com

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

How to Become a Computer Dealer

Do you want to learn how to become a computer dealer in the small business space?

If so, you should understand an important reality -- most technology professionals that start small companies of their own don’t survive when they label themselves as “computer dealers.”

Why not? First of all, when you’re selling a commodity – in this case, a computer – you’re going to attract clients that are looking for “low, low prices,” and not anything particularly unique in the way of services.

You’ll run into some serious problems no matter what you do when you’re focusing on just a product sale. If you don’t offer “low, low prices, you’ll be priced out by competitors that do and make no sales. If you do offer prices that are low enough to attract the attention of small business owners, you’ll run yourself right out of business. Because as a small dealer (or any dealer), you’re already facing very low profit margins on computers in the small business space. And when your prices are barely above what it costs you to get the computers in the first place, you’d have to sell a whole lot of computers to come out ahead … probably more than you as a one- or two-person operation could possibly sell.

What’s the answer to learning how to become a computer dealer successfully? First, you need to focus on services that will add value to your overall offering. These services will include comprehensive small business solutions and on-going maintenance for your client’s technology assets, a business model supported by on-going service agreements that provide tangible benefits to your small business clients and on-going revenue. Go way beyond the product sale and offer something that will set you apart from other commodities brokers and show that you really are unique in what you do.

The following 3 tips can help you learn how to be a computer dealer profitably in the small business arena.

1. Build Real Relationships. Developing a bond and a real relationship with your clients is critical to having a successful computer business. Your relationships are your assets. Success is not about the size of your customer list or about the revenue you get. It’s about the longevity and the long-term relationships you build with your customers. Your best clients could bring you a lifetime value well in the six-figure net profit range, so really getting to know small business owners is worth your time and will pay off in the long run. Remember, the relationship isn't just about selling a box. Not even close.

2. Manage Customer and Client Expectations. If you are running a small computer business, you’ll probably be handling sales initially, so you won’t have to worry that the salesperson talking to your clients will change, causing you to have to start all over again. When you avoid impersonal sales tactics and build personal relationships with your customers, you can much better manage the expectations of your potential long-term clients from the very beginning of the sales process. You won’t have to worry that a slick, hyper-aggressive impersonal salesperson is going to try to make a quick sale by misrepresenting the actual capabilities of your company.

3. Personally Train Your Sales Staff. As you learn how to become a computer dealer offering real value-added services to small businesses and not just products, you have to watch how you grow your business with well-trained staff. When your business gets some long-term clients and you find you need to hire additional staff members to help manage the sales side, make sure you train them properly so they are learning the tactics consistent with your best practices and ethics, so they represent your company well.

In this brief article, we talked about some critical ways to go beyond selling products and add real value with small business solutions for your clients. Find out more about how to become a computer dealer and attract steady, high-paying clients now at the attached link.

Copyright (C) BecomeAComputerDealer.com All Rights Reserved

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Start Your Own Computer Repair Business

As you start your own computer repair business in the small business arena, you might think you need to spend a lot of time learning “sexy” networking product platforms, impressing clients with buzzwords and seducing them with the latest and greatest technologies.

In reality, many businesses you will serve – especially those with less than 25 PC’s – will have extremely modest networking needs that can be met with easy-to-install, relatively inexpensive and highly mature technologies. You can profit from repairing and maintaining simple networks, both before and after the initial installation. There are very easy steps you can take to keep your clients’ systems up and running through long-term, proactive repair and maintenance agreements.

The following 3 tips can help you build strong relationships with steady clients as you start your own computer repair business by providing simple, high-margin maintenance services.

1. Prune the Weeds on the Server. Without internal IT staff, the shared folders on your clients’ servers can get pretty disorganized, bloated and inefficient in as little as a few weeks. If you take an active role as network manager and go beyond just basic repair services, you can help your clients get off to a strong start by instilling specific best practices. Encourage your clients to help you tackle disorganized file server shared folders by appointing one person in charge of server folder structure and file-naming conventions. While implementing a LAN can help your clients’ scale up their personal productivity to company-wide productivity, once there are folders being shared on a centralized file server, things get pretty complicated. Encourage your clients not to just let anyone put anything in the computer “filing cabinet” and follow a uniform structure.

2. Assign Organizational Responsibilities to Your Clients. As you start your own computer repair business, you need to make sure your clients appoint an “owner” of each shared file folder and that this person has four key responsibilities: designing and maintaining an orderly set of folders and sub-folders; monitoring storage space use (checking the MBs and GBs) in conjunction with any quota or storage management tools that you’ve already trained them to use; purging and archiving obsolete folders and files; setting up and enforcing file-naming conventions everyone can follow easily. This job is usually a good fit for a department manager, supervisor or team leader. No matter what, make sure your clients choose someone that is very well-organized and detail-oriented … even if this person is not the most computer literate.

3. Stay Proactive as You Start Your Own Computer Repair Business. You must be proactive about providing services to your clients, no matter which repair services or maintenance services you provide. A few times a year, follow-up with some informal client training on procedures for helping your clients stay organized. And be sure to review the condition of the server shared folders with the internal guru and those in charge of folders.

In this brief article, we outlined 3 tips to help you keep repair services to your clients simple and effective, while still adding tremendous value to your clients' networks. Learn more ways to start your own computer repair business and attract great, steady, high-paying clients now at the attached link.

Copyright (C) StartYourOwnComputerBusiness.com All Rights Reserved

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Friday, May 29, 2009

How to Become a Software Reseller

If you are working as a technology professional in the small business space and wondering how to become a software reseller, think carefully about how you are packaging your products and services.

The truth is, most technology professionals that want to resell software and other products solely in the small business space can’t expect to see very high, if any profit margins. This is why, if you want to make product reselling a part of your business, you need to think of other services you can provide to your valued clients. This might include on-going service agreements that will have you working with small business clients on a steady basis and bringing them real, total business solutions they can’t live without.

Here are 3 ways for you to learn how to become a software reseller successfully and profitably by building up the value proposition that you provide to your clients.

1. Create Sound Pricing Strategies. Make sure you set your prices for both products and services high enough to put you in line with other high-end technology professionals in your area... and even more importantly, so that your business is profitable enough to survive and thrive. You can’t sell yourself short or give away the store by charging rock-bottom prices. While low prices might attract the attention of some penny-pinching small business owners, this short-sighted positioning strategy will not attract the attention of the right kinds of long-term-focused small business owners. If you don’t set your rates and prices right from the beginning, you will find yourself with a client list full of cheapskates and deadbeats -- essentially those that really don’t appreciate or understand the value of your comprehensive IT solutions. Also bear in mind that if you set your prices and rates wrong at the beginning, you will find the process of changing your prices and rates nearly impossible, which means you'll basically have to dump your client list and start over. So make sure you create sound, sustainable, and profitable pricing strategies right from the start.

2. Leverage On-Going Service Agreements. In order to learn how to become a software reseller profitably, you really need to leverage your long-term client relationships and make sure those relationships lead to on-going service agreements. These agreements give you predictability and financial security for your business and your family, so you don’t have to torture yourself every month with “feast or famine” and jeopardize the long-term survival of your business. If you are too stubborn to implement service agreements, you'd better scale very large very fast (8-figure annual sales or more) or you will go out of business sooner rather than later ... really! So don't procrastinate. You need clients on long-term service agreements.

3. Get Your Prospects and Customers to Commit to On-Going Service Agreements. If you want to know how to become a software reseller successfully in the small business space, you need to set a goal of getting the overwhelming majority of your clients on long-term service agreements. This means you need to get rid of those prospects and customers that are on the fence or just want to cherry-pick you. If you have a lot of customers that only call you every once in a while or just rely on you for low-margin software and other products every few years, you need to really up the ante on your business model. Reselling can be a valuable part of your overall service offering, but you can’t survive without on-going commitments from your clients to provide them with regular services that they pay for on a monthly, recurring basis.

In this brief article, we talked about 3 reasons why you need clients on service agreements if you want to successfully and profitably resell hardware or software in the small business space. Learn more proven secrets about how to become a software reseller and get steady, high-paying clients now at the attached link.

Copyright (C) BecomeASoftwareReseller.com All Rights Reserved

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Data Cabling Companies Partnering Strategies

Most data cabling companies face a choice of two distinctly different business development paths.

Some spend most of their marketing, sales, and business development resources pursuing large major bid opportunities with Fortune 1000 enterprises and government entities.

Other data cabling companies do a lot more in the small business space, where installations typically involve networks of anywhere from 10-100 nodes.

However it can be very difficult to profitably market to customers that really only need your services once… with perhaps some small add-on work a few years down the road.

This is because your customer acquisition costs can be quite high relative to the rather limited size of the job.

Think about it…. How much can you really afford to spend on marketing, sales and business development expenses when the upside potential of the projects is say $1,000 - $5,000?

That’s why for many data cabling companies that want to service small businesses, it makes more sense to partner with those technology providers that already have existing relationships with small business owners and managers.

How can you go about finding these movers and shakers that can not only drastically cut the length of your sales cycle, but also provide predictability and stability through constant referrals?

Consider these 5 ways to locate like-minded technology providers that are eager to work with data cabling companies like yours.

1. Look for Those Small Business Tech Providers that Don’t Do Cabling In-House. At the risk of stating the obvious, make sure those VARs, consultants, solution providers, MSPs, and integrators that you choose to partner with are complimentary to your core cabling skills, and not a direct or indirect competitor.

2. Check Out B2B Networking Events. Generally those technology providers that get involved with chamber of commerce organizations, lead sharing groups, and local expos are pretty receptive to building their businesses up on a variety of fronts.

3. Go Where Techies Hang Out. Often-overlooked, IT user groups can be a great way to network both with potential partners and those that routinely subcontract work to data cabling companies like yours.

4. Keep Your Ears Open at Training Events. Ever been to a reseller or channel partner event from an IT giant like Microsoft or Cisco? These confabs are often bursting at the seams with those technology providers eager for opportunity. The key thing… network with those who don’t fulfill the needs that you do.

5. Ask Your Accountant or Attorney to Facilitate Introductions. Chances are, your trusted business advisors like your accountant or attorney have clients that are VARs, consultants, solution providers, MSPs, and integrators. So don’t be shy about letting your trusted business advisors know that you’d appreciate any relevant, appropriate matchmaking. After all, you do already have one important thing in common… you’ve selected the same trusted business advisor.

Most data cabling companies are either excellent marketers or destined to starve themselves out of business. This can be an especially daunting challenge if you work primarily with small businesses. In this short article, we looked at 5 simple, proven, powerful strategies for leveraging the existing relationships of other technology providers to get an instant foot in the door. To learn more about how data cabling companies can attract more steady, high-paying clients, go sign-up for the free tips now at the attached link.

Copyright (C) DataCablingCompany.com All Rights Reserved

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

I.T. Contract Work and How the Rules of Engagement Have Changed

If you are looking for I.T. contract work you might be running into some challenges when it comes to finding viable clients. Why is this happening?

In recent years, the rules of standard I.T. contract work have changed dramatically. You can’t just slide by on being a highly-talented I.T. consultant anymore. You have to be proactive about looking for new client projects and opportunities. In this highly-challenging business environment, finding great clients is getting tougher and tougher. And unfortunately without paying clients, you really can’t build a business or a career.

Let's look at 3 ways to take charge of your IT career, so you can build stable sources of project revenue and more long-term relationships.

1. Make Finding New Clients a Priority. Finding new long-term clients should be a top priority. In times like now especially, you can longer afford to back-burner marketing and promotion. Are you prepared to not only survive, but also thrive in the coming months and years? Stop procrastinating and get to work building relationships with both peers and potential clients. This way, you can sidestep unpredictable I.T. contract work and move towards more steady, stable projects.

2. Plant the Seeds for Your Future Business Development Activities. To be a great I.T. provider, you need to focus on real ways to grow your business. This means you must engage in activities like networking and targeted marketing and stop spending all your time learning about gadgets or racking up large numbers of certifications. Success with I.T. contract work is largely about building and maintaining long term relationships.

3. Know which Goals Help You Succeed in I.T. Contract Work. In order to build a successful business based on strong relationships with steady clients, you'll need to start making a dent on getting more word-of-mouth referrals from contacts, customers and clients; looking for revenue opportunities that surround you as you do business; preparing targeted marketing materials that will boost the number of prospects you convert into lucrative clients; uncovering your prospects’ biggest problems and showing how you can solve them in sales calls, and leaving your competitors in the dust by providing stellar customer service that builds tremendous client loyalty.

In this short article, we talked about 3 tips to help you get the most out of I.T. contract work opportunities. Learn more about how you can get great, steady, high-paying projects and I.T. contract work now at the attached link.

Copyright (C) ITContractWorkStinks.com All Rights Reserved

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Become a Software Reseller that's More Than Just a Box-Pusher

Do you want to become a software reseller for small businesses? If so, you need to know how to do it without coming off as a box-pusher or commodity-broker.

Many that decide software reselling will be a part of the services they provide to small businesses make the major mistake of focusing on the products they sell in their marketing materials. The truth is, if you do this, you will become just a commodity to your small business clients. And you’ll just attract customers looking for dirt-cheap prices and not real solutions to their technology woes.

Your best bet if you want to become a software reseller for small businesses and make an actual profit is to make sure your marketing materials, and your business as a whole, are focused on sophisticated solutions and not just the software you sell. The best small business prospects and clients will usually want you to be an insurance policy for their technology assets. This means you need to provide long-term services, not just short-term fixes and software solutions to your clients.

The following 3 tips can help you become a software reseller that's actually profitable.

1. Play Up the Value of Your Consulting Services. To build real client relationships with steady service revenue, make sure small business owners have a way to get a one-stop IT support solution for your company . Simple software sales will not accomplish this goal. Even if you want to make software reselling a part of your business plan, you need to play up the value of your consulting services and make sure you are focusing on important issues like data protection and security when selling software.

2. Help Clients Secure and Protect their Data. If you want to become a software reseller for small businesses, be sure to weave security and data protection bullet-points into your sales presentations. You may find that some of your prospects are using peer-to-peer networks. This just isn’t going to fly if you’re going to build a dependable, secure, reliable solution for your clients. Educate prospects on the inherent peer-to-peer limitations like share-level access control, lack of granular access levels, and no meaningful audit trail.

3. Stop Using Software Reselling as Your Loss-Leader. If you want to profitably become a software reseller, focus on selling fully-integrated IT solutions and not just being a software reseller. Remember, you only have one chance to make a positive, professional first impression on your new prospects. If your prospects perceive your company to be nothing more than glorified box-pushers, it's pretty tough to overcome that limiting perception. Rather that using software reselling as your loss-leader, consider focusing your marketing activities on the problems you solve for clients as a software solution provider.

In this article, we discussed 3 tips to help you become a software reseller without becoming just a product-pusher or commodity-broker. Learn more about how you can attract great, steady, high-paying clients now at the attached link.

Copyright (C), BecomeASoftwareReseller.com, All Rights Reserved

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Monday, March 30, 2009

IT Maintenance Agreement Tips for Smart Computer Consultants

Does your computer consulting firm currently offer an IT maintenance agreement option for long-term clients? If not, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build great relationships with steady, high-paying clients. Plus done right, these offerings grow the annual revenue base of your company, so it can last well into the future.

Many computer consultants fail to understand the importance of why you want every client to be on some kind of an on-going IT maintenance agreement. A long-term agreement helps your clients, because it gives them peace of mind... peace of mind of knowing that someone is keeping their systems running all the time, solving their big IT business problems, and making their companies more efficient and productive. But what’s really in it for you?

Here are 5 big reasons why you should focus all your business growth efforts on IT maintenance agreement clients.

1. Stability for You and Your Business. An official consultant-client agreement gives you a stable foundation on which to grow your business. Even just a few clients on long-term maintenance contracts give you great results and helps you to know that you can expect a certain amount of minimum service revenue each and every month.

2. Predictability. What’s more predictable and comforting for you as a computer consultant than knowing which clients will be paying the bills, when they will be paying them, and exactly how much they will be paying? You can’t get the same kind of predictability in computer consulting from pay-as-you-go customers and one-shot deals that you can get from those that sign on-going agreements.

3. Regularity. When you have IT maintenance agreements in place, you get clients that see you on a regular basis. This way, you can develop deep and trusting relationships with people that can be a joy to work with. Plus regular clients on IT maintenance agreements allow you to put your skills to good use.

4. Confidence So You Can Grow Your Business. Once you add on-going agreements to your business model and see the results in the form of regular, recurring revenue and strong client-consultant relationships, you will feel that final push to go grow your business confidently.

5. Immediate, Obvious Prioritization of Services. If you currently find yourself wondering how to decide which of your clients deserves premium services, wonder no more. With a well-developed IT maintenance agreement, you know which clients are truly on your side and in a relationship with you long term. And these loyal clients are the ones that will get your attention when you have several customers pulling you in many directions at once.

In this brief article, we looked at 5 big reasons why you need to add an IT maintenance agreement program to your business. Learn more about how you can attract great, steady, high-paying clients with a well-planned IT maintenance agreement now at the attached link.

Copyright (C), ITMaintenanceAgreement.com, All Rights Reserved

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

IT Marketing Ideas that Attract More Great Clients

Are you looking for some IT marketing ideas to help you really get noticed by potential clients? Perhaps you should start looking beyond all the generalist tasks you are doing as a trusted technology provider for your clients … and start positioning yourself as a real IT specialist.

Why? Well, the truth is you don’t need that much industry experience to position yourself as an IT specialist. But specialization can make an enormous difference in your marketing results, your hourly billing rates, your sales call closing rates, and your clients' lifetime value.

Of course, there are a lot of IT marketing ideas that can help you position yourself as an IT specialist. But the key is identifying something you enjoy doing that many small business owners in your area need. Finding a specialty helps ensure you won’t just look like everyone else providing technology services.

Consider the following 5 IT marketing ideas to help you attract and retain great clients for your business.

1. Be Choosy with Your Clients. If you are like many others in the small business IT consulting field, you are probably doing everything for your clients, including tasks like network design, procurement, project management, dealing with phone companies, Web hosts and ISPs, deciding what to buy and inspecting it when it comes in, and doing configuration, testing, integration, customization, training and troubleshooting. Wow, that's a lot of hats to wear! Your Virtual CIO role as the person that does everything certainly makes you a generalist in some respects. But who says you have to be a generalist for everyone under the sun? IT marketing ideas that really work involve you being all things to only some of the people in a particular niche. You provide true IT consulting solutions and show your clients that the buck stops with you. You become accountable for everything your clients need. But most importantly, you must limit the scope of the kind of clients you pursue, usually by industry niche.

2. As an IT Specialist, You Can Market More Cost-Effectively to Your Niche. Marketing to a niche is actually easier and a lot more affordable than virtually any other IT marketing ideas. You will know exactly where to advertise when it comes to trade publications. You will be able to stop wasting time and money on generic ads in the newspaper, phone book or on the radio. When you understand your specialty and the needs of your niche, you will be able to come up with a marketing message that speaks directly to your target audience and really resonates. All of a sudden you become very valuable to potential clients and find yourself getting a warm response to your sales letters, postcards and any seminars you give.

3. Picking a Specialty Niche Doesn’t Always Require Extensive Experience. Finding your specialty and your niche can be as simple as having two or three clients, in the same or similar industries, who you’ve been working with for a year or two. Perhaps you’ve been doing a project such as migrating an antiquated MS-DOS-based industry-specific application to a 32-bit or to a Web-based application. As you go along, you may get to know a specific applications through work with a client or two. Now that you know that specific application, you most likely stand out from other consulting firms that those that use this industry-specific application could call.

4. Size Up the Market Size When You Think About Your Specialty Niche. One of the best and most important IT marketing ideas is to make sure you do your homework before you decide who you are going to serve. As an IT specialist, sometimes you will have to turn away potential clients, which may be counter-intuitive to the idea of growing your business. However, you are not really turning away any really viable clients. Instead you are making room for, almost like a kind of de-cluttering of your client list, and honing in on a segment that will be a good fit for your solutions and bring you a good source of high-margin, long-term, steady service revenue.

5. Develop a Marketing Message that Fits Your Specialty. Don’t try to speak to the masses with your marketing materials. You can’t possibly create a message that will resonate with everyone. And if you do, you will find yourself competing on price and reduced to a commodity. A well-defined specialty helps others know exactly what you do and for whom you do it. Plus focusing in on a well-defined niche avoids those prospects that would just call 30 companies they found in the phone book, looking for the lowest, dirt-cheap price.

In this article, we discussed 5 IT marketing ideas to help you become a specialist, so you can attract more great new clients. Learn more about how you can attract great, steady, high-paying clients with more proven IT marketing ideas now at the attached link.

Copyright (C), ITMarketingIdeas.com, All Rights Reserved

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Computer Business Name Ideas for Small Business Virtual CIO's

Are you trying to come up with a strong computer business name? If you are having trouble landing on that perfect way to brand yourself, think about one of the most critical concepts of running a successful computer business... your role as a Virtual CIO for your clients.

When you build your entire business around being a Virtual CIO for local companies, you get the advantage of working on end-to-end solutions that need to be maintained and expanded on over time. And when your company name reflects this concept, you help build a brand for yourself that attracts steady, high-paying clients that recognize the importance of computers to running successful businesses and will need you for many years to come.

The following 4 tips will help you understand your role as a Virtual CIO, so you can decide on an effective computer business name that reflects your unique expertise and attracts the best small business clients.

1. Know What CIO Means. If you are going to choose a computer business name based on the idea of the CIO, you of course will have to understand what this concept means. In a medium-sized or enterprise-sized company, you will almost always find a CIO or chief information officer on payroll. Although this person is not generally as important as a CEO, a CIO is still a trusted business manager, trusted for his/her extensive expertise in technology. Because you are working with small business clients that have a lot of IT challenges but are too small to have a full-time CIO on payroll in most cases, you become a Virtual CIO for your clients. You may wish to reflect this concept in your computer business name, so you immediately communicate the problem you solve for your clients.

2. A Virtual CIO-Related Computer Business Name Helps Position Your Firm in the Marketplace. You can’t make the Virtual CIO concept an afterthought when you are coming up with your full brand, including your name, logo and business plan. Why? Because how you position you and your company makes an enormous difference on the hourly billing rates you can command with your clients. A strong name based on your mission to provide end-to-end business solutions should convey that you are an expert and the only rational choice for your target small business prospects.

3. Be Prepared to Deliver the Goods as Virtual CIO. If your company had complicated financial needs that included expanding payroll, looming strategic acquisitions or expanding to a different business model, would you feel more comfortable getting advice from a freelance bookkeeper, a freelance accountant, a freelance CPA, or a freelance Virtual CFO? Of course, you would want someone that is an expert in more than just one area of finances and could give you the total package. The same thing applies with your small business clients and the whole Virtual CIO concept, which is why you need to build your computer business name around it. A small business that has a need for things like a high-end database management application, a mission-critical point of sale network, a highly-visible e-commerce site, regulatory IT requirements, and a need to integrate the systems of a recently acquired competitor needs you to be that end-to-end, one-stop solution.

4. Being the Virtual CIO Self-Selects the Best Small Business Clients. When you brand yourself as a Virtual CIO, you help create a decisive strategy for targeting and qualifying small business prospects. A name based on the Virtual CIO concept helps you show you want to be involved with your clients at high strategic levels. It also pretty much guarantees that you will work on projects with very measurable business results and ROI and command the highest hourly billing rates in your area for your services. When your name reflects the idea of truly sophisticated technology solutions, you help build a client roster primarily with those small businesses that need to retain your high-end, premium Virtual CIO services, vs. plain, ordinary break-fix repair and systems integration with no long-term potential.

In this brief article we discussed 4 tips to help you understand why you need to choose a computer business name that supports the whole Virtual CIO concept. Learn more about how you can attract great, steady, high-paying clients with an effective, highly-compelling computer business name now at the attached link.

Copyright (C), GreatComputerBusinessNames.com, All Rights Reserved

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Become an I.T. Consultant and Small Business Super-Hero

Look up in the sky... it's a bird, no it's a plane. No, it's your smart and friendly I.T. consultant here to save the day and protect your small business from data meltdowns.

Are you trying to become an I.T. consultant? Are you interested in solving the problems of big small businesses and medium-sized businesses?

If you want to become an I.T. consultant for the big small business and medium-sized business market, you need to understand their needs and know what they are already getting in terms of technical support.

Big small businesses, those with 50-100 PC’s that do anywhere between 5 million to 20 million dollars in U.S. annual revenue (or your local currency equivalent), get their technical support usually from an internal I.T. person or a small I.T. department.

Medium-sized businesses usually have more than 100 PCs and are doing more than 20 million dollars in U.S. annual revenue (or your local currency equivalent). Here you will see more I.T. departments and companies that have bigger versions of those same I.T. resources you saw with the big small businesses.

The following 3 tips can help you get started as an I.T. super-hero for bigger small businesses and medium-sized businesses.

1. Know Where Most Big Small Businesses Get I.T. Support. Big small businesses will often have a full-fledged I.T. manager or director providing support, though sometimes they will just have a very knowledgeable internal computer guru. However if IT is strategic enough, you may even find a small I.T. department. When you decide to become an I.T. consultant for bigger small businesses, you will find fewer solo practitioner consultants, more small firms, and some deeply-niched specialists.

2. Pick a Specialty to Stand Out from the Crowd. If you want to be successful in bigger small businesses and you don't have the resources to compete as a larger consulting firm, you usually don't want to just be a standard generalist. You need to at the very least be marketing yourself as a specialist. Your best option if you want to work with these types of clients is to pick a few things you love to do for clients and get really, really good at them, so you can be one of those deeply-niched specialists that will help them fill out their existing I.T. departments.

3. Think About How to Complement Internal IT in Medium-Sized Businesses. With medium-sized businesses, you will almost always see an internal I.T. department and especially an in-house generalist. So to become an I.T. consultant for these clients, you need to get really comfortable with working in a deep niche. While this presents a challenge, it also presents many opportunities for you to learn how to do specialized tasks that you love to do. Just do your homework to make sure your narrowly-defined marketplace is big enough to support your tiny little niche.

In this short article, we talked about 3 tips to help you become an I.T. consultant for bigger small businesses and medium-sized businesses. Learn more about how you can attract great, steady, high-paying clients as you become an I.T. consultant now at the attached link.

Copyright (C), BecomeAnITConsultant.com, All Rights Reserved

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Computer Company Tips for Overcoming Sales Objections

When you’re approaching your computer company clients with network upgrade proposals, often they will dwell on cost. They don’t think about the great cost to them of failing to invest in a network: lost employee productivity; downtime when they don’t think about fault tolerance and additional service costs from computer consultants when dead-end or impossible-to-support solutions are chosen just because they are cheap.

No matter how great you are at explaining your solutions to prospects, customers, and clients, inevitably some sales objections will crop up before you can get authorization to proceed. One minor concern can derail a whole sale, which is why you need to know how to overcome objections so you can close the deal on big network installations.

Use these 3 strategies to overcome common computer company sales objections, so you can be less emotional and defensive, and better prepared when you are trying to turn non-paying prospects into paying customers and clients.

1. Overcome Apathy. Apathy is a formidable force in the sales process. If small business decision makers have an apathetic outlook toward implementing a network, they might take weeks, months or even years before they feel a sense of urgency about your proposed network. Maybe these small business owners don’t see any problem with their peer-to-peer network. Luckily for you, sometimes all it takes is just one little disaster for those who are apathetic to see the light. Maybe a person working on the PC acting as a server accidentally hits the reset button with his/her knee, or maybe the server inadvertently performs an unannounced shutdown and restart due to a software setup issue. Situations that cause catastrophic data loss or interrupted business can be great ways to combat apathy. Suddenly a small business owner will be very receptive to your suggestions and solutions. You can also overcome apathy by discussing your prospect’s or client’s competition (without naming names), citing examples of those you are working with that are buying into more sophisticated computer solutions and changing the landscape of the industry.

2. Overcome Unrealistic Expectations. You may not think there is such a thing as a prospect being too enthusiastic about jumping headfirst into a major IT project, especially if you are a new computer company owner. However, too much enthusiasm can be dangerous. Succumbing to hype is essentially the exact opposite of succumbing to apathy. Be careful to manage client expectations regarding undue optimism … as soon as possible. As an example, maybe a small business owner returns from a trade show with a glossy brochure for an industry-specific application and is incredibly excited, seeing it as the next big thing. While the small business owner may have been really impressed by the demo at the trade show, you need to overcome the hype surrounding the application and save your client from making huge investments in anything that will not be best for his/her business. Part of your responsibility as a computer company owner and outsourced Virtual CIO is to make sure your clients don’t squander scarce IT budgetary resources on ill-advised solutions that fail to deliver as advertised.

3. Overcome Denial. A big question you might get from prospects, customers, and clients, when you’re trying to sell a major project is, “Why do I need something as big and powerful as the system you’re recommending? We’re just a seven-person company and our network works great … most of the time …” Also popular is, “My staff has been with me for years, is very careful about sensitive data and I trust them completely,” as well as “It could never happen to me!” The truth is, in order to overcome denial, you have to sell fear. Be ready to tell horror stories about catastrophic data loss, employee betrayal and other security disasters. Small business owners rarely think about issues like IT security until it’s already too late. You need to get small business prospects, customers, and clients thinking about sensitive files such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, trade secrets, payroll data and annual employee reviews. You need to get them thinking about the big picture and why your solutions will help protect them, so they can understand the pieces of their business that are at risk, and what you can do about this risk. This helps you overcome the “it could never happen to me” denial.

While you will encounter more than just apathy, unrealistic expectations and denial when it comes to small business sales objections, those are three big obstacles you need to be prepared to confront and overcome. In this article we talked about 3 tips to help you overcome computer company sales objections. Learn more about how you can attract great, steady, high-paying clients to your computer company now at the attached link.

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