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    7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 26, 2008 12:49 AM by aimen111

    Launching a Technical Consulting Company

    TekConStartup Newbie
      Greetings,

      I, along with two partners, are tentatively planning to start a technical consulting company. We are all three experienced consultants and two of us are well credentialed in the community. We work with Microsoft products, SharePoint in particular and are also trained and skilled in in a product called FAST ESP, acquired by Microsoft about a year ago. This is an unusual mix of skills and should give us a solid year or more of being far from commodity programmers.

      As I say, we are experienced in the technology as well as good consulting basis period. In other words, we're not straight-forward techies, although we are far more comfortable on the technical side than, say, the sales side (we do have a plan to solve that problem). As for community credentials, two of us are Microsoft MVP's. That may not be well understood outside of the Microsoft online world, but it carries some weight.

      We're looking to launch the business formally in 04/2009. We won't launch until we have some worked lined up. We're estimating that our expenses will be in the area of $45k per month (which includes salary) and that we should build up an A/R of $180k in the first 90 days. We have enough capital to start and launch the business and get through the first month (probably) but it's going to be a very tough 2nd and 3rd month while we wait for checks to come in the mail if we don't have a credit line, or other financial backing, to smooth things out.

      We recognize that even if the A/R is $250k in 90 days, we'll still be cash poor to begin.

      We each have individual resources we can draw upon to get us through the initial hump. However, we'd much rather get a line of credit to help with the initial cash flow problem. Is that at all realistic? If not, what other avenues should we consider?

      I've just started to follow these forums today and spent an hour or so scanning through them. Great stuff!

      TIA.
        • Re: Launching a Technical Consulting Company
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Launching a Technical Consulting Company, Welcome Paul

          Sounds interesting. Have you developed a Business and Marketing Plan that I can read?

          Good luck, LUCKIEST
          • Re: Launching a Technical Consulting Company
            DomainDiva Ranger
            I started my aircraft technical consulting company with 40.00 in stamps, resumes and mailing envelopes (1995). I do not understand why you are not trying to get business and some cash flow started NOW instead of a 'formal launch' in April of 2009.

            Get to work, get the cash flow started. I guess I am not understanding why no one is working. At least two of you need to be generating revenue while the other lines up the work. The sooner you get your names out there the sooner you can get work and get paid. You say you have a plan to solve the sales side. Scrap the 'plan' and get started with some action.

            What kind of A/R time are you anticipating? It sounds like you plan on giving your customers until the next millenium to pay. Put a 10 business day payment clause in the contract. If its long term and you have a specific goal, use billing milestones, that is when X point is reached you get Y dollars for the work completed and then when the project is done you get paid immediately.

            While you are wasting time...someone else is taking your work.
            • Re: Launching a Technical Consulting Company
              Ent2000 Newbie
              Good luck! I had the same vision 8 years ago. We are doing well. I think you have a good plan.
              Would you be open to joining a small company (20 employees) with a similar vision. We also focus on sharepoint solutions and MS Search Technology (MS Search, FAST ESP). We started building our FAST ESP practice soon after the aquisition.
              We have spent the last 6 months building a business relationship and pipline with the MS/FAST field. We have 6 certified FAST consultants. In a great position to execute in 2009. We need skilled individuals like yourself. We are aligned with the field in the South East and West Districts. We have large cash reserves. I would be willing to look at equity positions if our visions align.

              Ent2000
              • Re: Launching a Technical Consulting Company
                JulianaNKcpa Wayfarer
                Congratulation

                Please listen to Domain Diva about the accounts receivable issue.

                I offer CPA services both online and to local clients in Chicago.

                One of the best advice I can give you is to focus on your accounts receivable .
                I don't know if you have selected an accounting system yet, if not look into one ASAP.

                Every business needs to have their accounting system in place before they make the first sale.
                A program like QuickBooks will allow you to create proposals or estimates and turn them into invoices when they accepted by the client.

                 

                About your sales terms, I am not sure of the type of client size you are dealing with, but I wall say make sure your terms are as short as possible.

                Some of these very large comapnies turn not to pay the little guys fast enough. From experience with some my clients.

                Domain Diva is also right about not waiting around to start. Get Business cards from www.Vistaprint.com at a reasonable price and your website going , I did not see a site listed so get that up and running as well.

                 

                I will be happy to offer you consultation if you wish.
                Contact me at http://www.TrainingQuickBooks.com

                Good Luck
                Juliana