Starting an IT company requires the right idea and right skills- it also requires several steps.
Here are the ten steps you can take to build your very own IT business.
10 Steps to Launching a New IT Business
1. Choose Your Type of IT Business
The first step in launching an IT business is identifying the type of business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Software Development Business: A software development company designs, creates, and sells software applications.
- Web Development Business: A web development business specializes in creating websites and web-based applications.
- IT Support and Consulting Services: An IT support and consulting services company provides businesses with expert IT advice and assistance.
2. Name Your IT Business
Give your IT business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your IT business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your IT business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so customers will want to use your products and services.
3. Determine Your IT Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for an IT business including:
- Sell Products: You can choose to sell products that you create or resell products from other companies.
- Sell Services: You can launch an IT business that provides services such as website development, software development, or IT consulting.
- Create a Subscription Service: You can create a subscription service that provides customers with access to your software or other IT products and services.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the products and services you offer.
Read more about choosing the right business model for your IT business.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your IT business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your IT business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common IT business structures.
5. Write an IT Business Plan
All IT business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
When developing your IT business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What services do you offer?
- What are your prices?
- Do you have any case studies or references?
- What is your competitive edge?
- What are your long-term goals?
- Do you have any industry awards or recognitions?
Read our article about how to write an IT business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your IT business.
For example, if you’re starting a software development business, you may need to obtain a license from the National Security Agency (NSA) in order to work with certain types of software.
You must also register your IT business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your IT business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your IT business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your IT business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting an IT business to help you determine if funding is needed.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your IT business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in project management software to help you keep track of deadlines and milestones, as well as customer relationship management (CRM) software to better manage your clients.
Read our article about the technology and software you need to run an IT business.
9. Market Your IT Business to Potential Clients
Before you start selling your products and services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your products and services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the IT industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. IT businesses should consider the following promotional strategies:
- Creating a brochure or website
- Creating an email list
- Developing a social media presence
- Creating blog content
- Speaking at conferences and events
- Writing articles for publications
- Creating a sales deck
- Participating in webinars or podcasts
- Offering free trials or coupons
- Creating a referral program
- Hosting an event
Read our article about how to market your IT business for more tips.
10. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business
When you promote your products and services, you’ll start to get interest from potential clients.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your IT business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your IT business to learn more.
Starting an IT Business FAQs
The IT industry is growing rapidly, and there are many opportunities for entrepreneurs to start a successful business. IT businesses provide a needed service to both consumers and businesses, and there is a lot of room for growth.
To start a successful IT business, you need a few key things:
- A great idea for a product or service
- The right technology and software
- A well-executed marketing and promotion strategy
- The ability to attract and retain clients
- The right team to help you grow your business
To start an IT business from home, establish a workspace and home office. Get the technology and software you need, create a marketing plan, and start networking with other IT professionals. You should also participate in online forums and social media groups related to the IT industry. They will help you stay up-to-date on industry trends and news.
To start an IT business online, you need a website and social media presence. You should also create blog content and promotional materials. Additionally, consider speaking at conferences and events, writing articles for publications, and participating in webinars or podcasts. Offer free trials or coupons to attract new customers, and establish a referral program to encourage customer loyalty.
Some tips for starting an IT business include:
- Find a niche: Don't try to be everything to everyone. Focus on a specific niche so you can be the best at what you do.
- Research the competition: Know who your competitors are and what they're offering. This will help you price your products and services competitively.
- Invest in the right technology: Make sure you have the right technology and software in place so you can provide a high-quality product or service.
- Create a marketing plan: A well-executed marketing and promotion strategy is essential for attracting new customers.
- Assemble a great team: Find and train the right people to help you grow your IT business.
A simple checklist to use when starting an IT business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of IT Firm: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your IT Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your IT Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write an IT Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your IT Business to Potential Clients: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the products and services they truly need.
- Get Clients & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your products and services.
Start a Successful IT Company
If you follow the steps above, you’ll be on your way to success. Remember to focus on what you’re good at and what interests you, research the competition, and invest in the right technology. With a well-executed marketing plan, you’ll be able to attract new customers and grow your business.