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How To Start A Home Based Computer Consultancy Business

Aug 17, 2007
A small business computer-consulting firm can be set up once you are clear about the economics of the venture, have the skills required for setting up shop and the various options available to start a business on your own.

Economics of a Computer Consultancy Business
A typical billing rate for a small computer consultancy business is in the range of $100 an hour. Setting a rate at this level would be appropriate for a start-up firm, as anything more would require you to move into the really big league with highly skilled sales and technical staff. Taking a 40 hour week with a 75% utilization rate, the billable time works out to 1500 hours a year. This yields gross revenue of $150,000 per year, which can typically be deployed as iin the following list.

Salary for Sales Executive: $40,000
Marketing Expenses: $10,000
Taxes, Insurance and Overheads: $50,000
Technical Staff salary: $50,000
Total: $ 150,000

Skill Requirements
Besides pure technical skill, setting up a computer consultancy business also requires business skills to ensure that you are up and running. Below is a list of these types of business skills.

Data Management: A good knowledge of a spreadsheet program like Excel will help you to manage the data for your client and your own business.

Communicating Effectively: Good verbal and written communication skills are a definite asset. The ability to come across effectively on the phone while dealing with prospective clients and retaining them is essential. Hone your ability to write effective and grammatically correct emails. You may also be required to give presentations to small groups of people. Familiarity with packages like PowerPoint will be an added advantage in setting up effective presentations.

Options for Setting Up
Essentially, there are two routes you can take when making the decision to set up your home consultancy. Either you can decide to set up your business entirely on your own, or you can buy into a franchise. Whichever course you decide to take, you must be prepared for some hard work, especially in the initial startup phase. You will be required to meet with prospective clients, follow up on the promising prospects personally and on the phone. The final decision will depend on how much time and financial capital you are prepared to invest in your venture.

Franchising: The franchiser will have certain rules and procedures that you will be expected to follow. You will also have to part with a fixed percentage of your revenue. If you are looking for independence and flexibility in running your business then you may not like to follow this route. Alternately, if you have the requisite capital, you could also consider buying up an existing business.

Starting Your Own Enterprise: Starting your own business can be done with a few thousand dollars, a home office, a business phone number, and a business card. In addition, besides the legal licensing registrations, you may require an attorney and an accountant.

Starting your own computer consulting business does require hard work initially. However, the rewards of being able to get your venture up and running can well be worth it.
About the Author
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes a free weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com.
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