How Does A Small IT Consulting Business Get Its First Client?
We speak to several Managed IT Services daily, and we are always asked for advice on attracting and meeting new clients. Finding new clients is one of the biggest challenges they have all faced. On the other hand, one of the biggest challenges small IT consulting businesses face is getting their first clients. Finding that first client is always a struggle, but that first client will set the course for your business’s future.
Before we get into how you can get your first IT client, we want to talk about what you will need to be prepared with before you approach a potential client. A business will not walk away from its existing provider just because you are offering IT consulting services at a cheaper price. To introduce a potential client to your IT consulting business and leave a positive impression on them, you will need to have an effective website that has your key details and you must have an effective online marketing strategy so you will have an established online presence.
You will also need to establish a specific business vertical. After you have selected your business vertical, you will be able to focus your efforts from there at the very beginning. Once you have established your target audience and your marketing base, you will have the foundation you need to help you land your first client:
Find Your Niche
As a small IT consulting business, you will need to establish your target market in order to successfully execute your business plan. Unless you are ready to put up a constant fight on prices in an industry that is already crowded, separating yourself from other IT consulting businesses will be key. It is important to choose your niche. To choose a niche, think about your level of expertise and your location.
If you are not sure where you should start, you should think about your area of expertise. As prospective clients are looking for skilled professionals, if you are able to offer services that fall within your level of expertise, you will find it easier to attract clients who need the services you are offering.
Utilize The Proper Channels
As mentioned previously, having a solid website can be a viable asset. Instead of you going from one potential client to the next, your website will allow the clients to come to you. When you have the right type and the right amount of marketing, you will have a viable resource that can help you establish an online presence that can be used to generate leads online. You will need to ensure all your business’s contact details are properly listed on the website. It is important to ensure you have the proper resources to handle each inquiry that comes in.
Attend Networking Events
One of the most powerful ways of doing business is to network. Join various groups and organizations in your area to meet other business owners and make long-lasting connections. Even though there are websites and online groups that can help you network, nothing will beat the in-person networking events where you will get the opportunity to tell other business owners about your business.
As a new and small business, we encourage you to attend as many events as you can because there is always the possibility that you will receive referrals and leads that can transform the direction of your business. Even if you do not find any leads or referrals, you will have the opportunity to establish your presence in the IT circle and other business circles. Participating in networking events will help you learn how other businesses network and establish themselves in the business world.
Networking events will allow you to meet prospective clients and introduce them to your IT consulting business. Inform everyone how they can make smarter business decisions by utilizing the knowledge of consulting businesses.
Partnering With Other Companies
Partnering with Managed Service Providers(MSPs) that are already established can be one of the keys to helping you attract your first client. Established MSPs already have a large client base and may come across some leads they may want to direct to someone else. If you are able to provide a beneficial partnership offer to an established MSP, you may be able to gain smaller leads that will allow you to create a name for your IT consulting business.
Another key to getting your first client is to locate businesses that are looking for IT teams or System Administrators and offer them your consulting services. Talk about how your IT consulting services are better and different than maintaining an on-premise IT team.
Get Out Of Your Own Way
Too many IT consulting business owners worry that they will not be able to make good on the promise of delivering efficient and effective IT consulting services. As an IT consulting business, you will provide a service to a business’s IT world. One of the fears you will have as a small IT consulting business is making mistakes. “What if I am not able to do this?” or “What if I make a huge mistake?” are common questions. People will be paying you to evaluate their IT systems to ensure they are meeting their business objectives.
Chances are you already have experience in monitoring networks and keeping them running well. You probably have experience in finding solutions to problems when an error or breakdown happens. Have you ever said to yourself: “If the client would do A, B, and C there would not be any problems.”? If you have, your new job will not be a big deal. You already have the experience; now you will need to choose the right tools and resources. There is no perfect path. Believe in yourself. Do not doubt yourself.
You are offering services you know will benefit other businesses. Why wouldn’t they accept what you are offering? Honestly, some will be willing to accept what you are offering and some will not. However, you can ultimately land something that will be more valuable than the money you will bring in. You will get your first client and you will have the opportunity to provide services that will lead to amazing feedback.
Over time, you will learn the following:
- Is your marketing strategy working?
- Are you providing the level of services that are needed?
- The steps you need to take to attract new clients
Building a professional brand will be one of the keys to success. If you want to have success charging for advice, you will need to establish a winning record. MSP marketing can be challenging, but there are ways to reduce costs while increasing exposure. One of the ways to achieve marketing success is to utilize the proper techniques. Entering into a partnership with an established marketing firm can increase the industry’s regard for you while providing you with clients who need your services.
In order to build long-lasting business relationships and attract new clients, you will need to improve your marketing techniques. Do you want more from your MSP marketing? Contact Ulistic LP today at (863) 451-3088 to book a complimentary discussion.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.