Contents

IT support requires a wide range of skills and expertise, including technical and people skills. Firms that possess both of these will experience success in their business of IT support.

IT Support: What Expertise Do You Need?

IT Support: What Expertise Do You Need?When it comes to small business IT support, expertise is relative and exists at all different levels. In this article, you'll learn more about expertise within your IT support business and what other skills are desirable for you and your employees. You'll find experts at every level of IT supportIn a big-enterprise IT organization for example, you find everyone from level one help desk technicians up to senior systems engineers, all the way up to the CIO. Of course, you'll find a lot of gradations and a lot of variations in between those levels. Ideally, each will be an expert in their own specialty. The same will usually be true among your IT support contractors and staff. More than likely, you have some technicians who can handle real simple things like a hard drive installation or a LAN adapter installation. You probably have some people on staff who can handle installing a simple peer-to-peer network or maybe a basic dedicated server. Then perhaps you have someone on staff who works with server-class firewalls and setting up VPNs and other more intricate, advanced networking technologies.Don't Forget People Skills Most of the people that are successful in IT support for small businesses are either really strong on the technical side or really strong on the sales side. Consultants who are phenomenal on the sales side and phenomenal on the technical side are a rare commodity in IT support. The best technicians and systems engineers, however, also have good people skills that come into play during a big project, for example, when installing a 10- or a 25-node network. In a situation where there are vendor products and solutions from many different vendors, a tremendous amount can go wrong. So, project management, administrative management, and account management skills are all important in IT support.The Bottom Line about IT support In this article, you've been introduced to the successful traits in consultants providing IT support.Copyright Notice:Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consulting Blog. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

IT Consultants: Don't Give Away the Farm

IT Consultants: Don

A common mistake many IT consultants make that may prevent them from being able to go full-time is that they basically give away their services. As " "IT consultant" s" , it is your responsibility to ensure you charge market rate. IT Consultants: Prove you are ProfessionalsTo be perceived as a professional, you need to charge similar hourly billing rates to those you aspire to compete with on a full-time basis. If you charge way below market billing rates, youll never have enough steady consulting revenue to go full time. Its really hard to raise your billing rates substantially when contracts come up for renewal. The full time IT consultants you compete with have already figured out the hourly billing rates they need to cover their overhead. Ensure that, at this stage of the game, you arent overlooking this aspect. Successful IT consultants know all about the costs including taxes, training expenses, insurance, marketing and promotion, research and administration.IT Consultants: Dont Sell Yourself ShortIf youre thinking you can go out there and be the Crazy Eddie of IT consultants in your marketing, or go out there for $25, $35, $45 an hour and ultimately, youre going to make it up on volume - youre wrong. There are only so many extra hours you can work in a week, even on a full time basis. To survive as IT consultants and eventually make the transition to full-time, you need to study the competition when it comes to setting your rates. As you look to move into full time consulting, make sure you have multiple sources of steady consulting revenue. The Bottom Line about IT ConsultantsDont put all your eggs in one basket and dont quit your day job if 90% of your IT consulting revenue is just coming from one or two clients. Theres too much uncertainty. As IT consultants, you want to make sure that youre diversifying your client roster. Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consulting 101. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

The Computer Consulting Business: Overcoming Client Risk Aversion

The Computer Consulting Business: Overcoming Client Risk Aversion

In the computer consulting business, risk-averse small business owners are very similar to small businesses that are apathetic about moving forward with your proposed small business network.Apathetic small business owners know they have a need, but theyll just keep putting the project with your "computer consulting business" on the back burner; indefinitely, if you let them!Understand Client FearsRisk-averse small business owners also keep shuffling your proposal to the back burner, but for totally different reasons. Theyre truly terrified of what might happen if everything falls apart during the network installation your computer consulting business is conducting.Fear of your small business network being "painful" (to the owner, managers and staff) prevents the sign-off from taking place - the kiss of death for your computer consulting business. Some small business owners become risk averse because they think they might eventually outgrow your proposed networking solution.Help Your Clients Plan for the FutureTo help address this concern, computer consulting businesses need to talk about the built-in growth path options offered by the solution that you propose. If its just a matter of adding more software licenses or stacking up another networking hub or switch, be sure to highlight how simple and inexpensive these options will be down the road.Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consulting 101 Blog. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

IT Consultant: Transition to Full-Time

IT Consultant: Transition to Full-Time

If you are working a full-time day job and moonlighting as an IT consultant, you need to know a few things before transitioning to becoming a full-time "IT consultant" .Take the following into consideration and avoid the common mistakes many IT consultants make when transitioning from part-time to full-time, self-employed consulting. Rule #1 Dont Make Assumptions A lot of moonlighting IT consultants are initially so enamored and so taken in by the idea of getting some self-employed income that they never stop to plan ahead and think through where its all leading.It just isnt serving them correctly. You will want to nip this in the bud and start off on the right track.Rule #2 Plan AheadA lot of the moonlighting IT consultants dream of being full time consultants. Sadly, a lot of them are never going to make it because of one simple shortcoming: theyre not planning ahead for how and when the transition is going to take place.Theyre hoping its going to take place, but theyre not planning for it.The Bottom Line about the IT ConsultantIf you are a moonlighting IT consultant and want to transition into full-time consulting, make sure you plan ahead. Dont get caught burying your head in the sand or taking huge risks that dont make sense. Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consultants Secrets. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

The World is going virtual

Now that everyone is going virtual, you can too. Many small businesses and entrepreneurs are having a hard time keeping up with the high cost of having a full-time employee. You can now reduce your cost as well as your work overflow, by hiring a Virtual Assistant. Virtual assistants are experienced administrative and secretarial office support professionals who can reduce your work load and save you time. Having a Virtual Assistant has many benefits for you and your business. A Virtual Assistant provides outstanding service and support for all your business needs.Virtual Assist Connection your best source for professional services. A Virtual Assistant can offers a wide range of services that are designed to help you save time and money. Ive spent nearly 12 years as an Administrative Assistant. Now I am putting my background to use by helping businesses with the overflow of you may have. A Virtual Assistant is a jack of all trades. We have a variety of services that we offer including, Word Processing, Website Development, Desktop Publishing, Website Maintenance, Webinars, Logo Design, Administrative Services, Travel arrangements, Bookkeeping, and so much more. Having a Virtual Assistant provided many benefits, such as unlimited availability, and reduced cost. Some of the benefits of using a Virtual Assistant are, No additional office space, increased productivity, Pay only for time worked, No costly payroll taxes, No extra equipment or office space, No ongoing training expenses, No need to provide benefits, more time to focus on your business rather than your work overflow.I know we all like to save time and money. So don't waste another minute. Hire a Virtual Assistant today!For more information on Virtual Assist Connection, please visit www.virtualassistconnection.com today.

Does My Small Business Really Need a Press Kit?

When the experts tell you youre going to need a press kit for your small business Ill bet youre wondering why on earth youd need one. At least, I think youd wonder why if you think a press kit is just for the press. But the term press kit is misleading if you ask me because press kits arent just what their name implies. I prefer to call them small business information kits or information packages instead because thats what they really are. They are meant to inform everyone, not just the press about you and your business.Once you have a small business information kit, youll find youre often giving them when someone asks for information about your company--who you are, what you do, how you can benefit them. In fact, youll probably find youll give out almost as many of your information kits as your business cards. Sometimes its more appropriate to simply hand out just your card, but other times, you might like to give someone more information than whats on your business card. Say youre at a party and someone asks what you do. Youd probably just give them your business card. But your business card gives this business contact only the briefest information about your company. So, you might also ask for their name and address, and send them an information kit the next day. Sending your information kit the next day also works as an important reminder of the evenings discussion.On the other hand, if youre a plumbing company, you might want to contact construction companies in your area to see if theyre interested in subcontracting your company from time to time, or better yet all the time! Sending them just a business card probably wont get you very far. Even sending a well-written letter introducing your company together with your business card probably wouldnt be as effective as a complete information kit. You could think of your business card as the who and the where, and a little bit of the what of the 6 interview questionswho, what, where, when, why and how. Your card probably has your business name, contact information and possibly a slogan, motto or some saying suggesting what you do. Your information kit on the other hand, answers all the questions. It tells people who and where you are, just like your business card does. But instead of one little line suggesting what you do, your information kit tells people exactly what you do. How well it tells them what you do depends on how good your copywriting is.And it tells them how to buy, (with your convenient order form for example, or by phone or fax, with cash, check or credit card) and when to buy (today, right now, before the special offer expires). Your business card doesnt have the room to tell people why they should buy from you, but your information package does. And not just by telling them youre the biggest, the best, and of course the most innovative either. The real secret is convincing people they cant do without your product or service, remembering that along with a great description of your product or service, to consider your information kit from your clients perspective. Everyone wants to know how what you do can benefit them. How you can save them time or how you can save them money, or how you can make their life just a little bit easier. One last word on presentation of your small business identity package. Its almost as important as what you say. A professional image can go a long way in assuring potential clients your small business is the one they want to do business with. You cannot compete with big companies without one, and youll be miles ahead of the small businesses that dont have one. And while were talking about professional image, imagine how your small business will be perceived when you have the ultimate in professional image-- a matching corporate identity package, information kit and small business web site.

Summary

IT support requires a wide range of skills and expertise, including technical and people skills. Firms that possess both of these will experience success in their business of IT support.