November 14, 2008, 1:41 PM — When starting a computer business, most obsess over technology and certifications, and give relatively little thought to crucial business issues. Starting a computer business requires organization and careful planning. You need to make sure you have everything in order before you open for business. You also need to have a realistic plan for delivering end-to-end, complete IT solutions.
In a nutshell, you need to have all your contracts and agreements for clients and partners ready to go. This way, when you bring your very first client through the sales process, or build a relationship with your first partner, you know where you are going and exactly what you are doing. You have to know the steps of the sales cycle and be ready to approach your sales cycle consistently with each and every prospect, customer and client. And you need to know which benefits you will be offering that are going to set you apart from the competition.
The following 4 steps can help you get organized when starting a computer business.
(1) Donâ€™t Give Away Services for Free. As you're starting a computer business, you need to learn how to take your prospects through the sales cycle, from free to fee. Barring some extraordinary circumstances, you should not spend several non-billable hours on just an initial proposal. A typical sales proposal has no value-added uniqueness and will make your company look like a commodity broker. And when your services are seen as a commodity, you will primarily attract extremely price-sensitive buyers that will be hunting for the lowest bottom line, and not necessarily the best value or greatest potential return on investment.
(2) Position Your Computer Business as an Outsourced IT Department. Think of the five or six different functions that small businesses need when you're starting a computer business: needs analysis; project management; training; desktop roll-outs; notebook fixes; server issues; etc. Build your business around these important functions. Think of your company as a single point of contact for clients. Present your value proposition as an outsourced IT department responsible for fulfilling your clientsâ€™ on-going IT needs and solving big business problems with IT.
(3) Include Annual Service Agreements in Your Business Model. If you donâ€™t propose service agreements to your customers and clients, your small business decision makers are usually not going to ask for them. You have to tell your clients even in the beginning, as you're starting a computer business, that service agreements are the main way you work with all of your clients on an ongoing basis. Well-planned service agreements help you build mutually-beneficial relationships where your company becomes an outsourced virtual IT department.
(4) Tackle One Task at a Time. As you're starting a computer business, pick one thing a week for the next several weeks and just start working on it. It might be coming up with a couple of marketing ideas, or creating a service agreement to start offering to any existing customers. You just need to stay organized and get your plans in place. Build your network and have everything ready so you can hit the ground running. You need to get known as an organized, credible, professional business.
In this article, we look at 4 important steps for starting a computer business. Learn more about how you can get great, steady, high-paying clients now, when starting a computer business at http://www.StartAComputerBusiness.com
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