Starting a business is never an easy task, and an IT business is no exception to this rule. While there has never been a better time to start an IT business and become profitable, there’s also never been as much competition as there is right now. You must remember that you are going to be facing off against some of the smartest and toughest people you will ever meet. They’re grabbing all the attention, and you are starting off as a grain of sand in the IT universe.
Fear not, because it is not impossible for you to become successful. Indeed, there are many new companies in every industry imaginable that are springing up out of nowhere and managing to do well for themselves. If they are able to make a name for themselves, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do the same.
Rather than start off and take random actions that will lead you nowhere, it would be a good idea to learn from those that have come before you so that you can avoid making the same mistakes that they made. You can accelerate far faster than you think by being aware of the things that not worth your time, energy and attention.
What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
In the IT industry, there are two ways to go: You either create a new product that meets a vital market need or you offer a service via consulting that also addresses a vital marketing need. This is going to take an incredible amount of market research on your part. Not only do you have to be aware of your own strengths and knowledge, but you also need intimate knowledge of your market. Is there a vital need that is not being served? Is there a lack of people working within your niche of interest?
Once you have your unique selling proposition down and you know what you want to do, you have to figure out if people are able to pay for it and if they are willing to pay for it. You need both. There’s no point in targeting wealthy customers if they have no intention to pay you. It’s also ineffective to target those who want your business but are unable to afford it.
It will take more time than you think to find a customer base that can meet the two criteria mentioned in the previous paragraph. Once you find them, do everything you can to target them and hold on to them. They are your key to financial success.
What is your targeted business plan?
Once you know your target market and what you can offer in terms of your strengths and expertise, it’s time to draw out an elaborate business plan. Where exactly do you plan to find your ideal customers? How are you going to offer your USP (unique selling proposition) to your customers? How much are you planning to charge? How do you plan to keep generating revenue? If you need initial funds, how are you going to find them and who will give them to you?
Obviously, the questions are going to differ depending on whether you are operating a product-based or service-oriented business. Leanstack is a great business plan model that you can use to get yourself started. It’s not perfect, but you will end up with a 1-page summary that will keep you focused in the right direction.
Figure out your WHY.
This is a personal item, yet one that many new IT business owners struggle with. When it comes time to put in the long hours, give up on certain pleasures in order to get the business, and deal with some inevitable struggles, most people will throw in the towel and give up. All of the pressure and the stress was simply too much for them.
This is why you need to clarify your intentions, figure out the real reason why you are choosing to start your own business, and ensure that you genuinely love what you are doing. Most people who are going in for the money alone are the ones who burn out fastest. If you figure out that you are starting this business because you obsessed with the work and enjoy every moment of it, you are far more likely to succeed and get through the hard parts.
Don’t let a lack of experience get you down.
Some people are fortunate enough to start their own IT business with a lot of qualifications and results behind their name. However, not everyone starts off so well. Some people need to start from the beginning and learn as they go along. If that’s you, you do not need to worry about your qualifications or a certificate with your name on it. It is far more important to have the drive and the spirit to learn new things and offer the best service possible to your customers. That will take you further in business and in life than a stamped piece of paper.
People are forming their own IT businesses and succeeding at an alarming rate – why not join in the fun and see how far you can push yourself?
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