Sometimes we plan deeply and then take concerted action to build a computer consulting career. At other times, good fortune just seems to fall into our laps. That said, it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn something from my good, if somewhat accidental, fortune.
It is a natural part of any consulting business that you often make clients of people who once worked for you. In my case, a contractor who remodeled part of our house has hired me several times over the last few years to maintain his office and home computers. When he launched a new endeavor, running a high-end photo studio, he called me in once again.
As it happened, this studio was connected to a property management company that owns both residential and office properties. In fact, they were remodeling part of the photo studio building into office suites which were rapidly filling up. Before I really knew what had happened, I became the de facto computer consultant not only for the photo studio and the property management company, but everyone who rented from them. Through this one connection, I have added 3 new clients in the last 2 months. Even better, they are all at one location, so I can make one visit to handle a number of problems. Sweet!
Of course, while I really wasn’t trying to gather up a flock of new clients, I see now that anyone can actively pursue this particular method. In past Career Opportunities columns, I have written about the possibility of becoming the on-site computer consultant for local resort hotels. Connecting with property management companies is very similar. The goal in both is to maximize your client relationships so that they start working for you. Imagine the possibilities — Can you set up a meeting with the owners of that high-rise office building on the corner? How about the small set of office suites above the dry cleaners? How about that 5-star resort in Beverly Hills, Sedona or Las Vegas?
Be aware of the possibilities when dealing with your clients and their clients might just be your clients, someday.