IT specialists are heavily in demand in today’s internet-dominated market. Interestingly enough, the nature of their job is such that it’s not really necessary to employ one permanently in the office. This is why leading businesses today opt to outsource their IT specialists instead of getting one full-time.
Is this bad news for you? Not necessarily. In fact, it’s perfectly normal for IT specialists to transition into their own bosses. This maximizes your earning and gives you the chance to improve on your particular skill set. But how do you do this? Here’s what you need to know.
Don’t Quit – Yet
The time to quit comes when you have enough clients to match your current salary. This means that while trying to gain those clients, you’ll be holding down a 9 to 5 job to make sure that you’re still meeting your expenses even as you establish your own business. This is always a tough time and expect to burn double the hours as you try to meet the demands of multiple clients and your own employer.
Do the math for yourself and try to figure out exactly how many clients you need to have in order to establish your own IT business.
Set Aside at Least 6 Months of Overhead
Six months may seem like such a long time to save for, but understand that the first few months of being your own boss would be the most unsure financially. You don’t know if you’d actually be able to meet your quota and satisfy all your expenses such as water, electricity, grocery, and so on.
By setting aside enough money to cover all these revolving expenses for the next six months or so, you won’t have this financial burden hanging over you, allowing you to focus better on your new path.
Invest in the Right Tools
Specialty software such as those used by cross browser testing or for security testing are crucial for executing your services as an IT specialist. It’s a lot like a carpenter’s hammer or a photographer’s camera that functions more as an investment to help build your reputation in the industry. Even if you’re just starting, make a point of engaging only the best programs available or at least have plans to upgrade your tools as you enhance your business.
Know Your Worth
As your own boss, it’s important that you know how valuable you are when presenting yourself to future clients. Price yourself correctly – otherwise they won’t be able to place value on your services. But exactly how much should you be asking as an outsourced IT specialist? A good place to start would be your hourly rate on your previous employment. You can also ask around to find out how much other professionals are asking for their service.
Have In-Depth Understanding of Finances
Perhaps the hardest part of going off on your own is the impact of financial control. The office used to pay for the internet, the cost of running your computer, the computer itself, the cost of software, and various others.
From this point on however, these are the things you will have to handle on your own. The first thing you have to remember is that these additional expenses should be built into the cost of your service. After all, you’ll be using up more electricity than before because you’re now running many gadgets through the home system – as well as other concerns.
A good way of approaching this problem is by trying to separate the “business expenses” from the “home expenses”. Going back to electricity, you should be able to calculate exactly how much more you’d be spending with the relocation. It’s not all bad however, because if you’re working from home, then this means you’ll save on the cost of gassing up your car.
Don’t forget that as your own employer, you’ll also be responsible for paying income taxes. This is something you have to factor in and learn ahead of time so you can easily adjust your fee with these expenses in mind.
To wrap it up – eventually running your own business is a natural progression for IT specialists. This gives you the freedom to work when you want, choose the clients that you want, and improve your expertise in the direction and the way you see fit.