7 Tips for Building a Successful IT Business

Advanced computer tech has become essential for almost every company — which means that business is excellent right now for IT companies and consultants. A favorable market doesn’t guarantee success, however. As an IT business owner, there’s still a lot of room for error — and a strong market can also mean a lot of competition you’ll need to rise above.

These seven tips will help you hone your business sense and build a stronger IT company:

1. Take Hiring Slowly

Hiring is often a time- and money-intensive process. In 2016, the Society for Human Resource Management estimated that companies spend more than 40 days and $4,000 to fill each position.

Even if you need to fill a position fast, it’s best to give the hiring process time. Otherwise, you may end up with employees who aren’t a good fit and whose roles you’ll need to hire for all over again.

For example, you may be tempted by IT “rockstars” who have excellent experience and credentials to back up their interview performance but don’t seem to emphasize their ability to work with clients or team members. Your employees aren’t creating products in isolation. They’re performing a service, troubleshooting errors and solving problems, often in a team or directly with your clients themselves. Your workers need to be both highly skilled and excellent at communication, capable of working in a team to overcome challenges.

While it may make the hiring process a little more lengthy, taking the time to find these employees will be worth it.

2. Offer Services Fit for the Moment

Companies’ needs can change in an instant. When this happens, the services they require will shift.

Stay on top of trends impacting the entire business world, not just IT. For example, if companies are beefing up defenses following high-profile data breaches, that may be a sign that you should consider security services. If businesses are moving large numbers of workers off-site into remote positions, they’ll similarly need IT companies to help them manage secure remote access.

Industry publications and business contacts can help you here. Other IT companies are also paying attention to business trends and are likely analyzing how companies can offer new services to meet shifting demand.

3. Advertise for Current Market Conditions

Modern IT companies face several challenges, including significant competition, increasingly complex tech and longer lead times on client commitments. The market is both crowded and increasingly expensive, which is pressuring businesses to think deeply about which companies they work with.

Your business’s success depends on more than just the quality of your work. You also need to attract, retain and upsell clients. The best way to do this is with effective IT marketing.

Developing a meaningful social media presence, creating valuable content and connecting with existing clients via email or other channels can help you market your services. Because clients want to build knowledge about services before they commit, informative content can be especially useful.

4. Prepare for the Rise of 5G

One of the most significant opportunities for IT service companies will be the rollout of 5G across America. This tech will enable ultrafast connections from IoT devices — further encouraging the growth of Industry 4.0 tech.

Most businesses don’t have the capacity or knowledge to manage a large IoT fleet on their own, but still want to adopt the tech. This is where IT companies can come in. If your business knows how to source, set up, secure and maintain this tech, you could find some valuable clients in need of IoT-related support.

5. Remember That You’re a Leader

Before starting your own IT business, you may have worked your way up from the ground level. In many ways, you may still think of yourself as more of an IT worker with a team rather than a business owner.

As a business owner, you may still spend a lot of time doing IT work — but in addition to being a technical specialist, you’re also the leader of your business. This means you may need to delegate some technical work you’d be excellent at in favor of business management work — like coordinating advertising and branding, reaching out to potential clients and reviewing your business’ spending.

In the same way that a person learns new technology to be an IT professional, you can learn to be an effective leader. You can dedicate time to continually learning and practicing values that make for successful business owners. One such value is confidence, which can help you commit to business decisions instead of getting stuck wavering between multiple options.

6. Consider Specializing

IT companies that specialize shrink their overall client pool, but they can typically charge more for their services. Clients are also likely to build stronger relationships with specialist IT companies. If you’re one of the few that can meet their needs, they’re more likely to view you as a partner company rather than an easily replaced asset.

You may want to focus on cutting-edge technology or enterprise-level cloud management. Ensure you have the expertise to offer special services before advertising them. It’s always best if you can position yourself as the expert on a given topic.

7. Keep up With New Tech Developments

New technology means new possibilities. In the same way that the rise of 5G and IoT devices will push some businesses to spend on managed IT services, just about every piece of new technology can be a business opportunity.

Businesses need companies to help them manage network nodes for fog computing, cloud-based solutions and cybersecurity tech that will help them defend valuable customer data against hackers. If you can identify which trends are likely to drive business ahead of time, you can spend time researching and hiring and get ahead of the competition.

However, while new tech can be a valuable opportunity, it’s worth distinguishing between cutting-edge and bleeding-edge tech. The cutting-edge is less experimental than bleeding-edge, and while not widespread, is closer to being adopted by major businesses. When possible, focus on technology that’s both already a little established and underserved by other IT companies.

Finally, How to Boost Your IT Business

Right now, the market is great for IT businesses. More and more companies are relying on computer tech, and they often need special services to keep business systems running.

Still, there’s a lot that an IT business should do right now to stay competitive. Developing new services based on shifting technology and business trends, for example, will help you keep ahead of your competition.

 

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