Have you ever considered starting your own small business as an Independent Computer Consultant, but were hesitant to try because you thought it might be too hard to find enough clients or get enough consistent, billable work?
Well, how many clients do you believe you’ll need to make a consistent, comfortable salary?
- Have you been told or led to believe that you need lots and lots of high paying customers?
- That you need to bring in a steady stream of new business week after week to survive?
- That you need to have 50, 60, 70 or more billable hours a week, every week, lined up in advance to assure a steady income?
Let’s take a look at what you REALLY need to accomplish.
The current, average salary for an IT/Network Administrator in New York City* with:
- 5 years experience
- A+ and MCSE Certifications
- Expertise in Windows Networking and Microsoft Exchange
So, how many clients would it take to reach the average salary level for this position?
Let’s take a look at Jay, a skilled and talented New York City Independent Computer Consultant (and personal friend of mine) who’s following our business model:
1. Each of his clients is an average size of 10 workstations and one (or zero) in-house servers.
2. He bills each client $149/mo. for a base Proactive Maintenance Plan fee. (which covers all daily monitoring and administrative tasks)
3. He bills each client a $49/mo. fee per workstation (which covers all remote computer support)
4. He bills each client a $125/hr. service fee for any work that’s performed on-site (for items that can’t be performed remotely, like new hardware installations or workstations that won’t boot)
5. He spends approximately 1 1/2 hrs. PER WEEK on-site for each client.
So, for each client per month:
Base fee of – $149
10 Workstations – $490
6 hrs. on-site – $750
Total Monthly Income per Client – $1389
If Jay has a client base of only 4 Small Business Clients – his monthly income is $5,556 or
$66,672 a year!
Is Jay happy? Well…
- He’s making an almost 20% higher salary than his peers
- He’s spends an average of 1 1/2 hrs. per week at each client site. That’s a total of about 6 hours A WEEK, on-site.
- He’s spending another hour per day (avg. 15 minutes per client) doing remote administrative and computer support work, such as setting up user accounts, installing printer drivers, etc.
So, Jay is making almost $67,000 a year, while working a grand total of about 10 hours a week.
Yes, Jay is happy.
But are his clients happy? You can’t sustain a business for very long without satisfied customers.
Well, Jay’s clients have a computer consultant who:
- Is completely dedicated and responsive to their needs
- Costs less than a THIRD of what they’d pay for an in-house employee, while getting the same or better level of service. Plus, they don’t have to provide: o Benefits o Vacation time o Sick Days / Personal Leave o Office Space o Workstation o Payroll Taxes o Cell Phone o Or any of the other expenses that come with hiring an in-house employee
- He spends a fraction of the time on-site than their old computer consultant did (who was billing by the hour, and racking up as many hours as possible each month just to survive).
- He costs the same or less than a large MSP would charge, but provides a higher level of service (he provides all of the same monitoring and remote computer support that the MSP could provide, plus the attention of a dedicated consultant that a large company simply can’t provide). Plus:
- Their systems operate at a higher level of performance and reliability than ever before (thanks to Jay’s remote, proactive monitoring)
- And their fees are low and predictable month after month.
Yes, Jay’s clients are very happy.
So, since Jay is working a total average of approximately 10 hours a week, what’s he doing with all that extra time in the day?
HE’S GETTING MORE CLIENTS, OF COURSE!
Why stop at four clients?
He’s spending his time getting referrals, networking and making the sale, so that he can work his way up to his goal of…
That’s it. That’s the total number of clients that Jay is looking to acquire as an Independent Computer Consultant.
What does 10 Clients look like?
Base fee per Client – $149
10 Workstations per Client – $490
6 hrs. on-site total per week – $750
Total Monthly Income per Client – $1,389
TIMES 10 = $13,890
$166,680 PER YEAR!
And he’s still working less than the average 40 hr. work week. Much less!
1 1/2 Hours On-Site per client per week equals 15 hrs per wk.
15 Minutes per client Remote Work per day equals 12 1/2 hrs per wk.
Total Working Hours per WEEK – 27 1/2
Are 10 clients more than you can acquire? Are FOUR?
There are tons of ways to easily land new small business clients as an Independent Computer Consultant (a topic for another article). Especially today, where companies are looking for ways to reduce expenses wherever possible, and outsourcing is a very popular solution. If you have ever considered branching out on your own, starting a small business as an Independent Computer Consultant, there has never been a better time than now!