Putting Your Skills to Work

Turning Your Computer Knowledge into a Lucrative Business

A decade or two ago, the use of computers was nowhere near where it is today. In today’s technologically-savvy world it would be odd to walk into a home that didn’t have at least one computer—desktop, laptop, tablet, etc.—dwelling within its walls. Computer-based technology has come a long way from its humble beginnings, growing significantly more efficient as well as affordable.

This progress doesn’t come without a price though. With any evolving technology, the amount of knowledge needed to maintain modern computer systems is vast, and growing larger by the day. For some, this might seem daunting since one minor problem can quickly snowball into a disaster. However, this intricate and complex piece of technology has created a plethora of lucrative career opportunities.

Whether you’re a programming guru, an IT (information technology) specialist, a cybersecurity expert, or some other type of computer prodigy, there are opportunities to capitalize on these skills and turn your modest knowledge into a prosperous business. This is no easy endeavor though. So before you start, allow me to outline the basics for you…

Choose a Specialty

As I mentioned previously, there are several aspects that go into the successful and safe functioning of a computer. Therefore, you need to determine what you’re best at. If you have mastered the art of cybersecurity and cryptography, then perhaps you should become a security consultant. Other areas might include web design and programming which includes HTML, CSS, and so much more. If you’re a natural teacher with a firm grasp on how a computer operates, then teaching kids, adults, and senior citizens the basics of operating a computer would be another potentially-lucrative specialty.

You may have more than one area of expertise which can open several doors for you. However, I would recommend choosing one specialty to get yourself established. From there you can branch out to cover more areas, further expanding your existing business.

The Business Itself

What type of business are you interested in? In other words, do you want to set up a physical brick-and-mortar establishment or just a virtual shop? A physical business gives you an actual workspace away from your residence, allowing for face-to-face contact with clients. The biggest setback associated with a physical shop is the capital needed to purchase or lease the property, as well as the utilities, taxes, and overhead necessary to function properly. A virtual shop is just that—an online business. This means you can work from home, communicating with clients through a website or blog. This is oftentimes significantly cheaper, especially for new startups.

Another option would be to work as an independent contractor, otherwise known as a freelancer. This type of work means you are contracted by certain clients or companies, but are not actually employed by them. As a freelancer you have much more freedom regarding who you work for, the hours you work, and the compensation you receive.

Growth and Expansion

As with most new startups, the first few years can yield little to no profit which is why so many small businesses end up closing. However, this period provides the foundation for your business to prosper or fail. Prosperity is oftentimes found in the ability to attract new and repeat customers, which of course is much easier said than done. One of the best things a business owner can do is to establish some sort or marketing campaign while the business is still fresh and new.

These days, the world of marketing has grown substantially. Many large companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year just on marketing. Obviously that is out of the question for a small business owner. Many startups are finding success in more budget-friendly marketing such as social media and blogging, as well as promotional products like refrigerator magnets, t-shirts, and mouse pads. Believe it or not, these simple tactics can actually work wonders as far as promoting your services.

Some Parting Words

Overnight success is always something to hope for, but very rarely does it actually happen. Most successful startups almost always have an ambitious, creative, and hard-working entrepreneur standing behind it. Long hours and late nights are usually a guarantee, especially since you’re playing the role of employee, manager, and accountant. This post was definitely not meant to scare you off the idea, but it is meant to provide a realistic outlook. However, if you’re willing to put your blood, sweat and tears into the business, then the rate of success increases exponentially. Good Luck!

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