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Thursday, January 6, 2011

10 resolutions to help grow your consulting business in 2011

(This article is published in two parts)

The New Year has arrived, and many people have been making resolutions they most likely will keep for only a few weeks or at best, months. That doesn’t have to be you. For your consulting business, you need to make resolutions you can keep — especially ones that will help increase your business. But how? There is always something new to try that can help build your business. Here are a few possibilities.

1: Go social
Let’s face it: The “networking” of today is all about social networking. This means Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You and your business need a presence on these sites to expand into markets you wouldn’t reach otherwise. One outstanding trick is to offer special deals via Twitter. Post something like, “The next person who responds to this tweet gets 15% off their next visit.” Just make sure you let the winner know this does not include the cost of any hardware or software.

2: Include open source and Linux
As much as the media and Microsoft do not want to admit it, Linux adoption is going to continue increasing. So you should start picking up Linux and open source skills. Even if you don’t focus on the Linux operating system, you can add LibreOffice, Apache, Samba, or a number of other open source technologies to your toolkit. The more you add, the more powerful and marketable you will be.

3: Focus on mobile platforms
If you add mobile platforms to your toolkit, your business will boom. Anyone who knows anything about the IT industry knows the future is mobile. This means you are going to be taking on more and more clients who have mobile help needs. This does not just mean iOS. You need to know Android as well as Blackberry. Of course, knowing the Android OS means you’ll need a solid understanding of the different Android platforms: Droid, Samsung, HTC, etc. All of the Android platforms are fundamentally similar, with the biggest differences being at the “desktop” level.

4: Learn a new skill that will increase your clients
If you are a small shop, you might want to consider adding something like Web site design. If you are a larger shop, you could add virtualization or cloud computing. Regardless of your size, the important thing is to diversify your toolkit. This goes along with knowing the mobile platform or open source, but you want this to be something that goes beyond what you already do. If you are primarily a desktop service, add a level of server work. If you are a server-specific shop, add some desktop work. Whatever it takes to add business and success to your bottom line.

5: Spend a few dollars on traditional advertising
The beginning of the fiscal year (regardless of whether that’s the beginning of the calendar year) is a great time to run an advertising campaign, no matter the size. This could consist of a run of fliers you can hand out at shopping malls or plaster cars or mailboxes with. Or you might buy a small advertising slot on your local newspaper’s Web site. Yes, you’ll have to incur the cost up front, but prospective clients (who may not have known about you before) will become aware of your presence. You should recover the cost of that campaign fairly quickly.

(More 5 Ways to continue in Part-II)

Source :
Website: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/10things/?p=2108
• Date: January 4th, 2011
• Author: Jack Wallen

Contributed By :
Mohammed Sufiyan,
Software Engineer, Octaware Technologies,

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