This is also called market research. Very simply, you need to figure out what the demand for IT services is in your area.
So get out and about. Walk around. Drive around. Search for services in your area on foot and online. Browse directories, since they’ll list businesses and services you might not think of. Try looking around from the sky via Google Maps: you’re likely to find businesses and clusters of businesses in areas you don’t know and wouldn’t expect, and business that might not be listed elsewhere or that don’t advertise.
Then, you need to find out which of these businesses pays or would be willing to pay for IT services, a feat that needs to be accomplished by talking to your IT competition, talking to businesses themselves, and getting to know people in various industries. You’re likely to find out the bad news for yourself, but I’ll tell you anyway: the number of businesses who need IT services is a lot larger than the number of businesses willing to pay for them.
Plenty of businesses hobble along, leaning on the one person in the office who knows more about technology than the rest of the bunch to take care of things, however badly. Some businesses do this out of desperation because they can’t find good IT help, but many just won’t pony up the money.
So out of all the available businesses, you’ll have to estimate:
- Who has or wants IT services,
- What those services are or might be, and
- What price clients are willing to pay.
It’s a tall order, and one that can’t be completed perfectly or definitively. At some point among your market researching you’ll have to take a calculated risk as to whether you think you’ll be able to get enough clients to make your business financially viable.