Essential Advice for Future IT Consultants: Top 10 Tips

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You’re considering becoming an IT consultant – how exciting! Before you dive in, our social media community, rockstar trainers and excellent team of people are here to give you some tips and essential advice.

1. Start small

Starting an IT consulting company from scratch is hard. Consider starting small. This will allow you to determine if full-blown IT consultancy is something you want to do. Part-time work can help you get a few clients before you commit to full-time consulting. Starting small will make the steep uphill climb seem more manageable.

2. Create a business plan

You should make a detailed business plan. This is the hardest step when starting a consulting business, but you must consider all aspects. Some people are passionate about their work but have yet to learn how to run a company. Creating a business plan would help you look at the long-term, big picture. Will you be working full-time or part-time? Do you want to start a sole proprietorship or an LLC? Do you have to provide health insurance for your staff? What accounting procedures will you use? This information will be needed if you apply to a financial institution to get capital.

3. Get qualifications

Take a course in project management if you need to improve at planning. You must know how to bid for a project, identify potential problems, and prepare for the unexpected. You’re responsible for more than IT when you start your own business. You’re also responsible for sales, accounting and marketing. Planning and time management go hand in hand.

4. Take a client-centric approach

Don’t just listen and respond; try understanding your customers’ needs. Imagine yourself in the shoes of your clients. Try to solve their problem, not just sell them your service. Just because you speak tech doesn’t mean that they do. You can simplify the IT language, but ensure you don’t talk down to your clients. You will benefit from addressing their concerns and thoughtfully meeting their requirements. They will keep coming to you for assistance if you exceed their expectations.

Discover the in-demand consulting career path that aligns with your interests while prioritising insurance coverage, regardless of your specific consultancy role.

5. Business networking

Make a point of getting to know other people. Networking is essential for two reasons. The first and most obvious reason is to attract potential clients. One day, you may have clients knocking on your door, and the next your phone might not ring at all.

Find events and conferences that you can attend in your locality. Talk to friends, family and former colleagues about how you can get involved. Another benefit of networking is that you have backup options. What happens if a client asks you to do a voice-technology job, and you are a storage specialist? You need to be able to recommend someone to complete the task. Your client will be impressed by your honesty and integrity and may come to you again when they need something you can do. The other consultant will likely recommend you.

6 Pricing your service

Pricing is essential. Determine what your rate will be. Be realistic about the hours you will work. Also, remember that your admin time is included in this rate. The hourly rate might seem high, but it’s lower when you average it out. 

Discounting is another thing to think about. It’s ok to give discounts to your customers, but you should always bill them at the actual rate and then list a discounted price. Never list the lowest number as your “rate.” This sets a lousy expectation for future work when you want your rates to go back up where they should.

While providing a few dollars less may seem appealing, you should be prepared to justify your price and set it at the market rate. Don’t hesitate to say ‘no’ if you can’t reduce your rate further. It’s easy to offer discounts, but raising rates for existing clients takes time and effort. Find creative ways to work with smaller contracts or statements if a customer is uncomfortable. This will allow you to demonstrate your capabilities and convince them that your work is worthwhile. Price is only an issue if your work does not match it.

7 Gain soft skills

Soft skills are critical. Soft skills are included in some of the tips that we have provided, but they’re only some of what you need. Communication skills, for example, are essential if you want to pursue a career in IT consulting. Your knowledge and certification will only mean something if you can establish a rapport with your client.

8 Keep learning

Diversify your knowledge. Does a client ask you to configure a multi-node Hadoop Cluster? Do you plan to manage a virtual data centre that is production-ready based on VMware vSphere V5.5 for a customer? Then you will need to know the basics of Windows Server 2012 installation. The more skills you possess as a consultant, the more you will be able to meet the needs of more clients.

9 Specialise

It may seem counterintuitive to tell you to specialise in one area, but it is wise. What is your passion? Indulge in it. You see that a specific need needs to be met in your market. Make it happen. Learn everything you can about the subject and establish yourself as an expert. It’s also an excellent way to gain fame and be recommended by other IT professionals.

10 Be ready for change

The only constant in tech is change. You must stay on top of the latest software, trends and topics to ensure the success of your IT consultancy business. You will quickly lose ground if you become complacent. To excel in IT, you must be willing to learn.


Remember that being an IT consultant differs from working in an internal company IT department as a SysAdmin. You will be placed in many different situations. From helping a client who has yet to gain knowledge of IT to supporting a customer who is short on time, you can expect to encounter a wide range of scenarios. And remember, you are an expert in any situation.



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