6 Ways to Scale and Grow Your IT Consulting Business
IT consulting after COVID-19
The covid-19 pandemic has rapidly transformed the IT consulting business landscape and how consultants work. As an IT consultant working on behalf of clients, a considerable part of the role is thoroughly evaluating technology vendors against the business’s unique needs. This collaborative process is the key to successful digital transformation. However, evaluating technology vendors is a long and challenging process, made even more difficult by the ongoing pandemic and the permanent changes to our way of working that it has caused. For example, shadowing teams and stakeholders to gather and rank software requirements was burdensome before March 2020, but doing that all online, remotely across a surfeit of software, has proven to be nightmarish.
With more IT consultants than ever, it’s essential for IT consulting businesses to stand out and offer a clear competitive differentiator. How exactly can your IT consulting business stand out from the competition and scale and grow effectively? To be successful in an increasingly competitive environment, it is essential to leverage the benefits of digital transformation, expand your offering, be a thought leader, use the right tools and technologies to your advantage, and ultimately streamline and automate your process.
6 Ways to Scale and Grow your IT Consulting Business
1. Establish thought leadership
Consulting businesses face an increasingly complex macro-environment in which they must continue to provide the best advice despite fierce competition. In this increasingly complex and competitive environment, establishing thought leadership will help your IT consulting business stand out from the crowd. Thought leaders inspire other like-minded consultants with innovative ideas and create a dedicated community of loyal fans and followers to help them create sustainable change. As a trusted thought leader, you can establish brand positioning, expand lead generation, and ultimately increase revenue.
To establish thought leadership in your industry, leverage your communication platforms, and use your IT knowledge to capture the attention of your target audience. Use the power of social media to your advantage: share webinars, podcasts, articles, and resources to showcase your IT expertise. To increase your business’s visibility and credibility, seek out public speaking events to share your knowledge and expertise. Establishing a distinctive and authentic brand voice while also showcasing your tech expertise will guide you along the right trajectory to becoming an expert thought leader within the IT consulting business landscape.
2. Leverage strategic partnerships
A fundamental aspect of consultancy is relationship building. According to McKinsey, the more complex the business environment becomes—for instance, as new technologies emerge or as innovation cycles get faster—the more relationship-building makes sense. This is undoubtedly the case with IT businesses, as innovative technologies are emerging and evolving at rapid speeds. As a result, new players are entering the IT consulting market space more than ever. To ensure effective management of complex business partnerships takes place, adhere to four fundamental principles: Establish a clear foundation, nurture the relationship, emphasize accountability and metrics, and build a dynamic partnership.
Leverage your professional relationships to build upon strategic partnerships; network and connect with other IT business consultants, develop and foster connections with IT companies, and use the latest technologies to the best of your advantage. The right partnerships lead to fruitful results, which will ultimately aid in the long-term growth of your IT consulting business.
3. Eliminate tedious tasks with better processes and technologies
Improving and streamlining your processes and technologies is crucial to your IT consulting business’s success and long-term growth. Practical productivity tools have long been implemented to help professionals automate their processes and improve work efficacy and efficiency. For example, marketers advantageously employ the use of CRM and CMS technologies to automate tedious tasks. However, IT consultants are too often dealt a lousy hand of tedious tasks: a frustratingly long technology evaluation process, countless spreadsheets and Word documents for gathering requirements, SurveyMonkey, and long meetings to rank and gain consensus on these requirements. Rinse and repeat.
At Olive, we automate the tedium of evaluating enterprise software, providing the right tools for IT consultants to implement. Olive is the only tool that manages the entire software evaluation process in a collaborative way. Our Software selection platform can help IT consultants, CIOs, and Enterprise Technology buyers streamline their processes and collaborate with their clients and key stakeholders in a pain-free way that delivers business value and directly contributes to business scalability and long-term growth.
Speaking of the need to streamline processes, we recently heard the following feedback after a demo: “Where were you guys three months ago when I paid one of the ‘big 5’ consulting agencies to drag my key stakeholders through three-hour meetings and spreadsheets just to recommend two vendors, not to mention that we can’t get the best out of these stakeholders in these meetings”.
This statement alone encapsulates the business need for effective software automation. It truly is time for IT consultants to step away from painstaking repetition and step into the advantages of software automation. Choosing a digital transformation platform that helps you navigate the process, and avoid the risks and obstacles that hinder innovation, could be the key to success.
4. Leverage technologies to streamline your processes
It’s no secret that consultants, CIOs, and IT leaders use out-of-date tools for digital transformation initiatives. As a result, a staggering 70% of digital transformations fail. This failure rate can be attributed mainly to the difficulty in choosing the right software and getting businesses to agree on the needs upfront. Getting consensus is difficult to do with spreadsheets and meetings. Quite frankly, the current technology evaluation process is a complete mess. As a result, digital transformation leaders, CIOs, and digital consultants are cobbling together old-school tools to solve entirely new problems.
Without the right tools, your business may lag behind the competition, and you will spend too much time on repetitive tasks while overlooking the efficiency of streamlining your processes. On the other hand, successful digital transformation is about gaining consensus to find the right technology and streamlining your business processes for optimal results.
Olive helps IT consultants and CIOs shorten the technology evaluation process and get buy-in from key stakeholders in the organization by automating the activities in the process. IT consultants and CIOs can seamlessly gather, rank, and get feedback on requirements in Olive without exhausting spreadsheets, RFI RFQ templates, or meetings. Once consensus is reached amongst key stakeholders with requirements and criteria list, Olive filters responding vendors based on individual needs. To ensure credibility and eliminate bias, Olive does not take money from any vendor. In addition, Olive timestamps all communication through our platform, which has shown greater due diligence than RFI RFQ templates or vendor management tools. Olive also helps to reduce risk exposure by providing an expert helping hand through automation. Our platform is set up to help save time, effort, and cost of technology evaluations.
5. Expand your service by offering end-to-end digital transformation services to your clients
Digital transformation has undoubtedly become an overused buzzword; however, it’s necessary to add it to your service offering to remain competitive. The pandemic has certainly accelerated digital transformation. According to a McKinsey Global Survey of executives, during the pandemic, companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and their internal operations by three to four years. The significance and acceleration of digital transformation can no longer be denied: Either you successfully accelerate your digital transformation, or your competitors will.
Olive’s digital transformation platform can help you walk your clients through leading, scoping, and scaling the organization’s digital initiatives, allowing for your services to remain competitive in an increasingly digitized world.
6. Redirect time and resources saved on tedious work to strategically grow your business
After streamlining your processes, you can redirect your time, and resources, engaging in activities that will grow your business strategically, to remain competitive. Take time to focus on marketing and advertising efforts, and carve out time to network with like-minded professionals within your industry. From a marketing, advertising, and networking perspective, you can implement the following strategies:
As a consultant, you are your own personal brand. Remember that your online actions represent your business, so take time to assess your brand voice and tone online and adapt or adjust if required.
To reach those who will benefit from your services, spend time researching and determining your target audience, finding out where they spend their time online, and the best ways to communicate with them.
Maintain a professional website
A credible website is fundamental to your business’s success. Therefore, your website should be well written, up-to-date, and professional. The quality of your website often speaks to the quality of your work, so be sure to employ professional design and copywriting if required.
Invest in social media marketing
For consultant professionals, social media is an incredibly valuable tool for both networking and marketing. Harness the power of social media to position yourself as an expert, expand your network, engage followers with your content, and connect with existing and prospective clients.
Develop a strong network
It’s no secret that developing a strong network is one of the key factors to consulting success. Forbes credits networking with attracting and retaining high-paying clients. To use networking to your advantage, attend industry-relevant conferences and promotional events to connect and foster new relationships. Then, online, use the power of your social media channels to connect with people in your industry virtually. Creating a diverse online and offline network will help you spark innovation, collaboration, and creativity.
3 Things You Can Do Today to Kickoff Your Growth
Feeling overwhelmed with the thought of growing your IT consulting business? Don’t be - we have summarized five things you can easily do right now to help grow your business:
Streamlining processes allows IT consultants to take on more clients and do more, with fewer resources required.
Finding the right software for digital transformation is essential: it cuts down on administration time, manages all clients in one tool, and establishes project templates that you can reuse for future clients.
IT consultants need to stand out among the competition, and using the right digital transformation platform - provides a competitive edge. Your expertise plus cutting-edge technology can do just that.
Grow Your IT Consulting Business with Olive
The problems that both IT consultants and CIOs face when attempting to streamline their processes are vast and often complex, with pain-staking technology evaluation processes only serving to further complicate and elongate matters. Olive swoops in to save the day with our end-to-end digital transformation platform, allowing IT consultants and businesses alike to manage and shorten the process of technology evaluations. Olive facilitates agile collaboration with key stakeholders, gives you an easy and agile way to collect data, feedback, and requirements from stakeholders, and provides vendor engagement and management to source relevant vendors to add to your project. By adopting Olive’s technology, you can find the solutions that accelerate business transformation and redirect time and resources into scaling and growing your IT consulting business effectively.
Consultants use many tools today, but Olive is the first single platform built specifically to help consultants manage their processes. We streamline your business processes, speed up your work, seamlessly find your vendors, and allow you to allocate time and resources to find clients. Olive helps you scale up your offerings and specialties and establish your IT consulting business as the best among competitors. Your specialized expertise, coupled with cutting-edge software designed to streamline your process, gives you an edge over the competition.
It’s time to automate your process and step away from spreadsheets, long meetings, and cross-referencing your work in multiple tools.