Starting up any sort of business is a challenge in today's ultra competitive culture, but for IT service firms its even more challenging. Technology moves fast and so does the competition. Here are 3 things an IT services startup must do to succeed:
Tip #1, Collaboration
You really don't think about sharing your clients with your competition or with other professionals because they are going to steal them right? Wrong, collaboration means you do what is best for your client because you cannot do everything on your own. It doesn't matter what you know, you don't know it all. So its best to find other professionals with complimentary skills and work together to provide the client with the best. Read this article from Harvard Business Review, its great.
Tip #2 Marketing
You are thinking, I'm an IT pro, I can fix anything and clients will flock to me because I know my stuff. Wrong, I fell into this trap when I started my business and guess what happened......crickets chirping. Take some time and learn about marketing, take a class, sit in on a presentation, hire a consultant, do something....anything...but learn how this works and why its important. Great article on startup marketing here.
Tip #3 Accounting
Did he say Accounting? Yes I did. Once the marketing kicks in and the dollars start rolling, you think, I could use a few new things. Or maybe the dollars are not rolling in but you are doing a significant amount of work. Where are the payments? How much do they owe me? Did I make money on that last project? Am I making any money at this? The list of questions goes on and on.....be sure you have this area under control because you may break the record for fastest start-up to flame-out.
While the above 3 tips are not the only things you should be doing, or the most important, they are critical to your success.