Today’s IT Professional has a great opportunity for starting a small business as an Independent Computer Consultant… A career that can provide an excellent salary, an ultimate level of job security, unmatched growth opportunities and more.
Yet so many qualified techs are hesitant to even try because they believe it might be too hard to find enough clients or get enough consistent, billable work to make a steady income.
Well, how many clients do you believe you’d need to make a consistent, comfortable salary?
* Have you been led to believe that you need “lots and lots” of high paying customers?
* Or that you need to bring in a consistent stream of new business week after week to ensure your survival?
* Or that you need to have 30, 40, or even 50 or more billable hours a week, every week, scheduled in advance to insure a steady income?
Unless you’re building a multi-employee company, these expectations are just plain WRONG!
Let’s take a look at what is REALLY required.
Now, the current, average salary for an IT/Network Administrator in New York City with:
* 5 years of experience
* A+ and MCSE Certifications
* And expertise in Microsoft Windows Server Systems and Exchange
Is $ 57,719**
** www. payscale. com/research/US/Job=Information_Technology_(IT)_Consultant/Salary
So, how many clients would it take to reach the average salary level for this position?
To illustrate this, let’s take a look at Jay, a skilled and talented New York City Independent Computer Consultant (and a personal friend of mine) who started a small business of his own and is following a Flat-Fee, Proactive Support business model:
* Each of his clients is a small business with an average size of 10 workstations and one (or zero) in-house servers.
* He bills each client $ 149/mo. for a base Proactive Maintenance Plan fee. (this covers all daily monitoring and remote administrative tasks)
* He bills each client a $ 49/mo. fee per workstation (which covers all remote computer support)
* He bills each client a $ 125/hr. service fee for any work that’s performed on-site (this is for items that can’t be performed remotely, like installing new hardware or fixing workstations that won’t boot or have no Internet connectivity)
* He spends an average of approx. 1 1/2 hrs. PER WEEK on-site for each client.
So, for each client per month, Jay’s fees equal:
* A base fee of – $ 149
* 10 Workstations – $ 490
* 6 hrs. on-site – $ 750
* Total Monthly Income per Client – $ 1389
So, if Jay has a client base of only 4 Small Business Clients – his monthly income is $ 5,556 or
$ 66,672 a year!
Is Jay happy? Well…
* His income is almost 20% higher than his peers
* He spends an average of about 1 1/2 hrs. per week at each client site. That’s a total of about 6 hours A WEEK.
* He spends about another hour per day (an average of 15 minutes per client) doing remote administrative and computer support work, such as administering user accounts, running malware scans, etc.
So, Jay is making almost $ 67,000 a year, while working a grand total of about 10 hours a week.
Yes, Jay is happy.
But are his clients happy?
Because of the proactive, “win-win” support model, Jay’s clients have a computer consultant who:
* Is completely dedicated and responsive to their needs (easy to do with a small client base and easily managed networks)
* Costs less than a THIRD of what they’d pay for an in-house employee, while getting the same or even a better level of service. Plus, they don’t have to provide:
o Vacation time
o Sick Days / Personal Leave
o Office Space
o Payroll Taxes
o Cell Phone
o Or any of the other expenses that come with hiring an in-house employee
* He spends a fraction of the time on-site than their old computer consultant did (who was billing by the hour, and charging for as many hours as possible each month just to survive).
* He costs the same or less than a large IT Service Provider would charge, but Jay provides an even higher level of service (he provides all of the same monitoring and remote computer support that the “big guys” could provide, yet he brings a level of attention that only comes from a dedicated consultant, which a large company simply can’t provide).
* Their computer systems operate at a higher level of performance and reliability than ever before (thanks to Jay’s remote, proactive monitoring)
* And their fees are low and predictable month after month.
Yes, Jay’s clients are very happy.
So, since Jay is working a total average of about 10 hours a week, what’s he doing with all his extra time in the day?
HE’S GETTING MORE CLIENTS, OF COURSE!
Why stop with only four clients?
Jay’s “free” time is spent prospecting, obtaining referrals from current clients and networking partners, and handing out his card to everyone he knows so that he can quickly work his way up to his ultimate goal of…
That’s it. That’s the total number of clients that Jay is looking to acquire as an Independent Computer Consultant.
What would 10 Clients look like?
* Base fee per Client – $ 149
* 10 Workstations per Client – $ 490
* 6 hrs. on-site total per week – $ 750
* Total Monthly Income per Client – $ 1,389
TIMES 10 = $ 13,890 Per Month
$ 166,680 PER YEAR!
And he’s still working less than the average 40 hr. work week. Much less!
* 1 1/2 Hours On-Site per client per week equals 15 hrs per wk.
* 15 Minutes per client Remote Computer Support per day equals 12 1/2 hrs per wk.
Total Working Hours per WEEK – 27 1/2
Are 10 clients more than you can acquire? Are FOUR?
There are tons of ways to easily land new small business clients as an Independent Computer Consultant (a topic for another article), especially today, where companies are looking for ways to reduce expenses wherever possible, and outsourcing their computer support at a low cost is a very attractive option.
If you have ever considered branching out on your own by starting a small business as an Independent Computer Consultant, there has never been a better time than now!