Computer Consulting: A Business of Time and Sweat Equity

Computer Consulting: A Business of Time and Sweat Equity

Building a computer consulting business requires a lot of time. It involves going out to meetings and it’s shaking a lot of hands. You’ll need to make a lot of follow-up phone calls. Display ads and direct mail drops and similar marketing efforts do not replace calling up a potential client to try to establish a person-to-person connection. Because of the required hands-on time, you should be realistic about what it takes to get your computer consulting business going.

Franchises Don’t Serve Silver Platters

Even with a franchise operation, the franchiser is not handing you a client list on a silver platter. If you want to be handed a client list on one, don’t buy a franchise: you need to buy a current business. And of course, buying a current business is even more capital intensive than a franchise. To buy even a small, thriving IT consulting firm could cost anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few million dollars… pretty much some multiple of its annual sales.

What Are Your Computer Consulting Business Start-Up Costs?

On the other hand, you can start your own consulting firm generally for as little as a few thousand dollars. What do you need? You need a business phone number and voice mail. You need a cell phone. You need business cards and legal licensing registrations. And you probably want to meet with an attorney and an accountant. You’ll need some insurance. In many cases you can get started working out of your home office. Start-up costs are certainly higher with a franchise.

Franchises Aren’t for Control Freaks

Another downside of franchise can be a loss of control. You have to do things a certain way and according to the established rules. And you can’t step too far outside of that. Again, your company would be paying the franchiser a percentage of your company’s revenue indefinitely. And you won’t have as much flexibility in taking your business in a lot of different directions that you may want to.

The Bottom Line on Computer Consulting

Computer consulting has a few different options for start-up. You can start an independent business, buy a franchise or buy an established business, depending if you want to start from scratch or be handed a client list. A start-from-scratch computer consulting business requires more sweat equity than money.

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