A role in IT or technology comes with plenty of benefits. You can work in any industry, flexible hours are usually offered, and you might not even need a degree. Plus, with the growing demand for software engineers and AI experts in the UK, job security is high and salaries are generous.
If you’ve spent a few years building your skills and confidence in IT, you might be ready to take the plunge and start up your own consultancy firm. However, it can feel like a daunting prospect, especially if you’ve never run a business before.
From gaining the right qualifications to creating a business plan, there are several things to do before you can open your doors to clients. We outline some of the things to consider when setting up your own IT consultancy firm.
Get the right qualifications
Professional qualifications not only make you appear knowledgeable to clients, but they are often a requirement to obtain funding for your business too.
Following a concerning drop in the number of students studying IT subjects, the UK Government is encouraging more people to consider training in IT and technological skills. There are now plenty of courses you can take to gain new skills, as well as hone your existing ones.
It would be beneficial to research industry trends and predictions for future requirements in technology, as this will give you an insight into which skills are most in-demand and are likely to be sought after in the years to come.
Create a business plan
The fastest way to fail in business is to fail to plan. Create a clear business plan that shows what products and services you’ll offer, your target market and your goals for the company.
Review your business plan regularly and adapt it to accommodate changes in your market and industry, or to include any additional services you’ve decided to offer. For example, if you take on a web developer, add “website development and maintenance” to your client services.
Get approval and insurance
To legally run a business and take on clients, you will need to register your company with your local council. When you register, find out if you need to obtain a business licence too. It’s unlikely you will, but it’s always best to be certain. As soon as your business is officially registered, ensure you take out insurance to protect you, your company, your employees and clients should anything go wrong. You should obtain specialist technology insurance to ensure you’re covered in the event of theft or damage to equipment, as well as data leaks or cyber threats.