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Monday, June 26, 2006

Consulting Firms: Being a Product Reseller

Sometimes computer consulting firms want to be pure consulting firms, because they think they will never make any money off product margin and there are particular problems with product reselling. A pure computer consulting firm is one that does not resell hardware, software or peripherals. These firms use their consultants to determine what to buy, including the specs and show them where to find the products they suggest.

PURCHASING AGENTS

Purchasing agents are almost pure consulting firms; their firms purchase products for clients and bill them a couple hours to do it. The consulting firm obtains and reviews quotes, places and tracks orders and completes the purchase. Both the referral and purchase roles fit into more of a pure consulting model.

HYBRID CONSULTING FIRMS

A hybrid consulting firm is one that resells some products. Many do white box PC reselling, which is selling PC clones. A computer reseller consulting firm is usually one that sells non-branded desktops, servers and notebooks.

SHOULD CONSULTING FIRMS RESELL OR NOT RESELL?

Whether or not you should resell depends on how you want to spend your time in the consulting business. If you want your firm to pick up some profit from product sales, you may want to consider reselling. Otherwise, you might just want to be a pure consulting firm. No matter what you choose to do, you shouldn’t start your consulting firm as a product seller if you want to give yourself a strong selling position. If you start by selling products, you’ve shown customers that you are a commodity broker and not someone that provides them with real services. They probably will be less to hire someone they see as an inexpensive commodity broker to do their consulting.

If you decide to resell products, you should sell them to those with whom you have consulting relationships and make sure you get a good profit margin for time, capital, staff, space and overhead.

Added By: Computer Consulting 101 Professional Kit