A big question when starting out is comparable to the chicken and the egg dilemma. Do you get computer consulting training first and then look for clients? Or do you look for clients and then get the relevant training. In this article, you’ll learn why it’s best to do them both at the same time.
How About Both?
When guiding owners of new computer consulting firms, my general preference is to do both client recruitment and skills development at the same time. You shouldn’t take six months off to do computer consulting training because six months later, how are you going to pay the bills? You need paying clients to survive and thrive in the computer consulting business.
On the other hand, if you let six months to a year go by, and you’re not keeping your technical skills sharp, at some point you’re not going to be able to take on the high-end projects anymore. You’re not going to bid with confidence on certain kinds of small business accounts.
The Ideal Scenario
Here’s the way most small business IT consulting firms and most computer resellers generally balance this perpetual challenge of computer consulting training versus obtaining clients. Some spend a couple of days a month or a couple of weeks a year going to formal classroom training.
In addition, most consulting firms have “lab systems” (for testing and computer consulting training) in their offices, so these firms can work with basic, entry-level server hardware. These lab systems can be used to do informal, self-guided computer consulting training on a continual basis.
Consider a Program
You can belong to many different programs that allow you to get copies of the software for your own internal use and training. If your firm is a Microsoft Certified Partner (), your company gets a certain amount of software for your internal use. Lots of vendor partners do the exact same thing as part of their annual program membership fee.
This evaluation software is a great way to keep your technical skills sharp. Because you’re running the programs internally, you and your staff are getting very proficient on the software before you go out and set it up in the field.