There are many companies around the globe that need experts with expertise in AI/machine-learning, analytics, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Data Center Transformation, and Internet of
Things. There’s no shortage of IT consultants in these fields, given the skills shortages. Even so, this does not guarantee that IT consultants will be successful in their business.
Take a look at the 10 things that you can do to help your business if this is your industry.
1. Adapt your culture and process
Being a successful IT Consultant requires adaptability. Each client is different and has different business processes. Consultants are often hired to improve not just their software, but also their processes. If their current process isn’t working as well as it used to a few years ago, they may need a consultant.
Clients do not normally instruct consultants on how to perform certain tasks. It’s usually the opposite, where consultants promote process improvements to their clients. It’s not a problem to make a few suggestions whether you’re asked or not. But don’t let your personal preferences get in the way of doing the job for which you were hired. Adapt your work to the culture and processes of your client when needed.
2. Be confident
You should have confidence in your areas of expertise, even though no consultant can be an expert on everything IT related. You should still build a consultant network that can help you when your expertise is not enough.
Your clients will be more confident about your abilities if you have confidence in yourself. Lack of confidence can make clients question whether they chose the right IT consultant.
- Don’t neglect the liability risks
You are in IT consulting. There are still risks in your field that could put you and your business at risk. Unfortunate events can strike any business at any time, whether it is a client claiming they have suffered losses due to the project you completed. These events can have a significant impact on you and your business if you don’t have adequate insurance coverage. See your insurance specialists or insurance platforms like BizInsure to get the right policy for your business.
Protecting your new business with the right insurance can protect you, your clients and your employees. Your clients will feel more confident if you are properly insured. They know that your insurance covers any potential losses if your business doesn’t pan out.
4. Understanding the business domain
As an IT consultant, your main concern is between the business problems you were hired for and the software implementation. This requires a thorough understanding of the domain. If you are hired to work on a project, it is important that you learn about the client, what they do, their challenges, their competitors, and the benefits of your work.
This groundwork will make it easier for consultants to tackle other projects with the same client or clients from the same industry.
5. You can work within the constraints of your clients
IT consultants will encounter client-related restrictions sooner or later. These constraints can make a project a million times more challenging. Consider whether the client is in control of these constraints.
Make a polite request, highlighting how the change would ultimately be beneficial. You should work with the constraints that are out of their control. For example, regulatory compliance for cloud data storage.
6. Offer alternatives to clients
You can offer clients a variety of options, whether it’s to help the company with developing testing strategies or working on an entirely new user interface. You might find that your client will only consider one option if you don’t offer them other alternatives until you have already started implementing the proposal.
Give them several choices at the start and they will be more likely to participate in the process of decision making. They’ll choose the best solution for their needs.
7. The best business solution is king
Most IT consultants believe that the best technical solution is also the best business solution. They are not wrong. Make sure that your client understands and knows what the best solution is.
If your client has a strong attachment to one DMP, which you know is inferior, do not push it too hard. Take a moment instead to acknowledge that a business solution is always better than a technical solution.
8. Take ownership
Own every project that you work on. As an architect or developer, you should still approach each project as if it were your own. Think about the bigger picture. Consider whether there is enough money or resources to complete the project. Also, consider the potential risks and the requirements for success.
Fix them if you can, whether you do it yourself or with a client’s team. When problems occur, focus on how to solve them rather than who is to blame. It’s important to understand the difference between accepting responsibility and taking it. You’re more likely than not to build camaraderie and inspire respect with stakeholders if you own the projects that you work on.
9. Answer Feedback Appropriately
Respond to your clients’ feedback if it is valid. You should thank them for their feedback, and then show that you have taken it into consideration. If, for example, you receive feedback from a client that your invoicing or quoting processes are inaccurate or lacking relevant information, review the instructions on how to create an invoice and brush up with the how-tos.
10. Wind Down Projects Correctly
Be sure to wind down the project properly when you finish it. Tell your client how to extend and maintain the software and about any limitations. Before signing off, they should be aware of where they stand. You may be able to work with them in the future if they have all they need for success.
11. Turn Client/Vendor Relationships Into Partnerships
It is important to have an open and honest relationship with clients. Delivering on what you promise is also essential. Repeat business is vital for any IT consultancy. You can turn the relationship between client and vendor into a long-term partnership by becoming a valued member of your team, or even a thought-leader.
In order to run a successful IT consultancy, it is important that you stay on top of your admin, advertise through the right channels and invoice promptly and professionally. The real key to success is how you approach each project and client. You can increase your chances of success by using the tips above.