Information technology (IT) is a fast-growing industry touches almost every aspect of our lives. Most tech users do not have a strong IT background, so they depend on expert IT professionals to solve their tech problems.
With global spending on IT predicted to grow by 2.4 per cent in 2023, this year represents a great opportunity for Australian tech entrepreneurs to back themselves and launch their own promising IT services business.
If you are tech savvy and entrepreneurial, you can launch your own remote IT business to help customers with their tech issues. If that sounds just like your cup of tea, then this guide for launching a tech start-up business will show you how to get started and how tech start-up insurance can reduce your exposure to business risks.
Business insurance for tech start-ups is important due the types of work tech start-ups specialise in. It is often risky business, so having a clear strategy for reducing your exposure to risk when things don’t go to plan may be something you consider for your tech start-up.
What skills, knowledge and requirements are needed to start an IT business?
As the owner of an IT business you will be able to offer remote PC support. You can work remotely and use remote connection tools to communicate with your clients, and if necessary, to remotely access their computers for a diagnosis. Your IT services may include:
- analysing computer systems to identify inefficiencies or faults;
- providing recommendations for optimal system functionality;
- developing software for clients; and
- IT maintenance and service support.
You will need to be familiar with computers, and electronic equipment such as circuit boards, processors and computer chips, in order to start your own IT business. You will also benefit from having a deep and broad understanding of technology systems. IT is such a vast industry that you can specialise in one of many areas, such as:
- software development and installation;
- tech support;
- design and installation of network;
- cloud services;
- cyber security;
- hosting and storage;
- IT budgeting and procurement decisions;
- hosted services and storage;
- risk assessments; and
- IT security strategy.
To help succeed with your new IT services business, focus on fine-tuning your skills in the following key areas:
- critical thinking;
- problem solving;
- systems evaluation;
- organisation; and
- customer service.
Also be open to regular training and learning continuously, as IT is a field that is constantly evolving.
Keep in mind that while it can be very tempting to offer remote IT business services outside of your core skill set in the hope that you will win more clients, taking on an IT project you have no experience with can backfire on you very quickly. And if that happens, your business may find itself on the receiving end of tech start-up insurance claim.
Research market competitors
After deciding on the IT service you will offer to clients, consider the types of clients that you want to attract and how you will secure budget. Your target market could be determined by the size of your business or industry. Ask your contacts for referrals to gain new clients.
In terms of customer base, competition and costs, some cities or states may be more difficult than others to open a new business in.
Market research is a great way to find out about the IT companies in your area. Start-ups often make the mistake of misjudging demand for their products or services.
What courses or qualifications am I required to complete?
Many IT professionals hold a bachelor’s degree in a field related to technology. You can then build on your knowledge by gaining practical experience on the job.
You may consider enrolling in additional vocational education by enroll in a degree at a university.
You can also learn programming by attending IT bootcamps or by taking short online courses. You can also continue to gain practical experience on the job after you complete your base studies and training.
You can be certified by an association, such as the Australian Computer Society and the Information Technology Professionals Association. These certifications are typically offered by Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and Cisco Systems. They are not mandatory for starting an IT company, but they will help you to distinguish yourself in the market.
Software and equipment needed to launch an IT company
Your start-up tech business will most likely have you working from home, especially in the early days of your IT services business. As such, you will require a competent computer with high specs and performance, as well as basic office equipment such as a large desk and a dedicated business phone number.
Two monitors will allow you to connect remotely with a client on one screen while working on your own computer on the other screen. Consider high-speed internet and remote connection software.
Choose your workspace
Self-employment allows you to choose where you want to work. You can choose between a traditional office or a coworking space. Or you can work from home. Consider how you will secure budget for fitting out your business premises or home office. Also take into account the possibility that you may hire employees and also have clients visiting your home office.
Which business structures should I consider before starting an IT remote business?
To comply with Australian law, you will be required to register with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Choose a name for your business and purchase its domain name. You can also trademark it.
Select the business structure of your choosing. Your business can be structured as one of the following:
- Sole proprietorship: You are the one and only owner of the business.
- Partnership: Together with one or more business partners, you run your business. You and your partners share the decision-making process, as well as the liability for business debts.
- Company: Register the company as a legal entity with its own identity and responsibility for its debts.
Once you have a technology business name and business structure for your IT solution company, you can register your business at register.business.gov.au. You will receive an Australian Business Number (ABN) after registration. Contact the state authority in your home state and purchase any tech start-up licences you may be required to hold.
It’s important to note that your business may need to hold several types of business tech start-up licences, especially if you intend to offer your services in several Australian states and territories.
Write a business plan for your IT support company
A business plan is an overview of the current state of your company and a roadmap for its growth in the future. Investors and banks may require a business plan if you are looking for funding. If you are looking to get funding for your business, investors and banks will probably want to see your detailed business plan.
Open a business bank account
A business bank account for your IT solution company will make it easier to keep your personal and business finances separate.
Separating business earnings and expenses from personal money makes bookkeeping and taxes less complicated. It’s easier to calculate your income and keep track of deductions by keeping separate accounts for personal and business use.
A business credit card also helps you to separate business expenses. These cards typically offer better terms and higher limits than personal cards. Plus, you can enjoy perks like rewards points and cash-back offers.
Most banks offer competitive small business accounts and credit card options. You may also want to consider talking with your accountant about banking options.
Grow your customer base
To grow your IT services, you will rely heavily on online marketing. You may consider hiring a digital marketing company to help optimise your website so that it ranks highly in online searches.
Ads promoting your start-up tech business can be purchased on search engine result pages, and you can also use social media to promote your business – through engaging content and through paid advertising. Consider creating business accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn and share helpful IT tips with businesses that you want to target.
Also consider listing your services on online marketplaces such as Airtasker and Upwork. You may also consider using online directories such as Yellow Pages and True Local.
Recommended reading: Six simple steps for getting new clients for your business
Do I require legal documents to be written before I launch my IT business?
In your IT support company, you may be required to use several legal documents. First, you may be required to create an IT service contract. This is a contract that you will sign with clients at the start of your engagement with them. The agreement outlines the scope of your work, the fees you will charge, the timeline for completion, and how you will resolve disputes.
Other import business documents may include your:
- disclaimer policy;
- intellectual property policy.
What should I charge customers?
Have a look at the prices of competitor technology businesses to get an idea of what you can charge for your professional IT services. Also, find out how much professionals in your local area are charging on average. Then, consider your qualifications, experience and business costs to determine an appropriate rate.
Choose BizCover and get covered online in 10 minutes
As you provide risk assessments for your clients, have you considered the risks to your own IT services business?
Customise your tech start-up insurance with BizCover and not only will you be free to mix and match the business insurance policies of your choosing, but you will also enjoy a fast, easy, and hassle-free business insurance experience.
When looking online for start-up tech insurance, check out your options with BizCover. Compare competitive quotes from leading Aussie insurers online and get covered in just 10 minutes. Give us a call on 1300 920 871 to hear more about how BizCover can help your business.
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