Sunday, February 5, 2012

IT Consulting: Targeting Different Sized Businesses

IT Consulting is possible for many different sized businesses. Be sure you know the requirements and make up of each before you offer IT consulting.

In IT consulting, you can target various sized businesses.  Beyond the "sweet spot small businesses" with 10 to 50 computers and 10 to 100 employees are "large-small businesses" that have 50 to 100 computers and 50 to 200 employees.
What a Larger Small Business Involves

The big distinction for these larger small businesses is they usually have at least two dedicated servers and you start to see an in-house IT manager who handles most of the generalist work. Because they’re handling the generalist work, they don’t need IT consulting work in the same capacity as the smaller businesses would.
Networking Skills and Specialization Required

In IT consulting, if you want to be successful with really large small businesses, you need to drill very deep in two or three core networking skill sets and be a strong specialist. However, if you want to target midsize businesses for your IT consulting practice, it’s an entirely different business model that’s very hard to crack as a soloist or a start-up.

Targeting Midsize Businesses

The midsize business is where you start to see more than 100 computers, more than 100 employees, and more than three dedicated servers. Additionally, there’s not just an in-house IT manager but an in-house IT department.  As far as IT consulting goes for these businesses, the only things they’re going to outsource are deep specialties.

Where Do You Want to Take Your IT Consulting Business?

If you want to move into medium-size small businesses, focus on a couple of deep networking skills. If you want to go beyond that, start focusing on enterprise-oriented platforms like Computer Associates, IBM, Linux, Oracle, and Sun Solaris.  To successfully target this environment, you will really need to specialize in your IT consulting skills.

The Bottom Line about IT Consulting

The big picture is that most small businesses are usually 12 to 18 months behind the curveball with most technology platforms. In IT consulting it’s important to be aware of what the targeted businesses are looking for. 

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