It consulting firm business plan: how deep will your services go

IT Consulting Firm Business Plan: How Deep Will Your Services Go?

Your menu of services is a keystone of your IT consulting business plan. To decide on this menu, you have to consider how deep your services will go into the companies you work with.

The Big Question

The big, initial question which determines what kind of services you will offer is whether you consider your business an IT consulting firm or really an IT outsourcing firm. A pure consulting firm would offer strategic advice, recommendations, and information, but would stop short of  actually doing the IT work of the company. An IT outsourcing firm would take on these internal IT tasks, whether they are system design, implementation, and maintenance, software and web development, or other work. A third option is to try to operate as a combination of these two, but be careful of trying to do to much.

Tradeoffs

The highest level IT consulting work is to create overall IT strategy for the firm, looking ahead to how IT will both lower costs and increase revenue for their business. This type of work has an extremely high value for a forward-looking firm. It can save a firm the cost and overhead of hiring an IT director with deep enough expertise to manage these decisions. Your consulting firm should be able to charge a relatively high hourly rate for this type of service, assuming your firm’s expertise and reputation call for it.

Working more as an outsourcing firm which takes on the IT work which companies prefer not to do in-house (whether to save money or to focus on their core work), may not earn as high billing rates. However, this type of services can generally be undertaken by your employees or freelancers you enlist with narrower experience than you and your firm as a whole. This allows you to maintain higher profits when engaging in this “lower-level” work, on which customers expect to save money from the alternative of maintaining an in-house IT staff.

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