You've chugged eggnog, rocked around the Christmas tree, and lit the menorah. Now it's time to put the holidays behind you (along with that fruitcake from your Aunt Edna) and focus on growing your tech business in 2017. But how?
If you're stumped for ideas, don't worry – we've got you covered. These resources can help you figure out how to attract more clients, develop your professional skills, hire employees, raise capital, and manage your money.
Dazzle Current and Future Clients
Cross-sell: One of the easiest ways to generate more revenue is by selling to the clients you've already landed. If you need some pointers on how to capitalize on existing customer relationships, check out "Make Every Client Happier: The Helpful Way to Cross-Sell and Upsell."
Attract new clients: If your goal is to bring in more clients, there are a lot of ways you can go about it, from networking to building relationships to making sure your online marketing is up to snuff. "Want More IT Consulting Jobs? 4 Tips for Impressing Potential Clients" explains how to highlight your results and IT cred if you're not used to selling yourself.
Speak their language: Let's say you're better at coding than talking to people. "Do You Speak Client? 3 Tips to Close the Communication Gap & Close the Sale" can help you connect better with potential customers who don't grok geek. "Master the Art of the Buzzword & Get More Projects You Love" can also give you some pointers on communicating with customers.
Hit the Books
Continue your ed: If it's knowledge you seek, then "3 Ways Continuing Education Classes Offer Real-World Benefits for IT Business Owners" is full of suggestions on how you can broaden your business knowledge either by taking a class or working with a mentor.
Go back to school: Already in school or planning a return? "The 6 Most Useful Classes to Take to Jumpstart Your IT Career" can help you figure out what to add to your course load.
Get off the fence: If you're not sure whether school or real-world experience is the better choice for you, "College or Trenches? Choose the Path to IT Domination that Matches Your Personality and Goals" can help you decide on the best path for you and your business.
Build Your Team
Find the right folks: Whether it's employees or contractors, adding workers is one surefire way to allow you to take on more projects and grow your business. But make sure you find the right people by first writing a killer job description and grooming new hires so they'll integrate seamlessly with your team. "5 Secrets to Writing a Job Description that Attracts Top Talent" can help.
Look for warning signs: When interviewing potential employees or freelancers, be on the lookout for red flags so you don't give the job to someone who later turns out to be a bad fit. Even one wrong contractor hire can be disastrous for a small business. Read "Tech Business Hiring Horror Stories (and How to Avoid Them)" for more details.
Get started: You've got a great idea, but no money to launch your business or to take it to the next level. Read "3 Things IT Businesses Should Do before Raising Capital" for a primer on what to do first.
Choose a source: Once you're ready to pass the hat, "Angel Investors vs. Venture Capitalists: A Primer for Tech Businesses" gives you an overview on these two major sources of funding for tech startups and explains the differences between the two.
If you aren't sure how to get noticed or the best way to approach potential investors, "5 Surprising Techniques that Work When Pitching to VCs, Angels, and Other Investors" is a must-read.
Manage Your Cash Flow
Get paid on time: If you're more concerned with convincing clients to pay those past-due invoices than raising capital, "Offer These 4 Payment Plans & Watch On-Time Payments Skyrocket" has some useful suggestions for you.
Avoid money mistakes: You might also want to check out our eBook "3 Common Habits That Bite into Startup Profits" to help navigate some common financial pitfalls that small IT business owners face.
Get a Fresh Start
If you think a change of location can really take your IT business to the next level, check out "Best Places to Live for Tech Entrepreneurs." It can give you some ideas on which up-and-coming tech city might be the place to put down roots.