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Scaling and Automating Specialized IT Consulting

roguehillbilly

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Hey Everyone,

I currently work full-time as a Network Engineer and have begun to pickup some side work (usually for an hourly rate). The work that I do is often technical configuration of network devices (routers, switches, etc). I'm usually able to do this work remotely.

I've had an LLC for about a year and for a while wanted to be a 'MSP'. MSP's usually cover company pc's and do maintenance monthly for a fee. This is a great model, but something I don't like all that much and isn't really in line with my skills.

Recently, I decided I'd rather do the more technical work and specialize in Network Engineering and cloud services. However, I am starting to see problems with scaling this up. With the MSP model, recurring revenue comes in and is sort of justified. With Networking, the network is either up or down. It is often seen as a cost. I am thinking I need some sort of maintenance or retainer agreement. Selling support hours can be tricky because customers will think it's a waste if they aren't using their support hours.

I want to also host cloud applications for companies. Things like quickbooks can be hosted by my company and maintained for a monthly fee.

I guess I'm sort of lost and ranting a bit. Maybe someone has experience in this industry and can help out? My main issues are scaling this up, bringing in new business and defining what services I offer.
 
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valuegiver

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I still don't understand your problems. Are you saying the customers are not willing to pay since they see your work as a cost center?

Also Quickbooks already has its own cloud offering, there is little to no incentive for companies to be hosted by you. Going direct with Intuit makes more sense from that point of view.
 

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