With a computer networking business, you can use your software skills to help people connect their devices and communication channels. This industry is in high demand now as people value interconnectivity

By developing this kind of business, you could help people store and share data, and communicate across different devices. 

But you may wonder how to take advantage of this market and excel in it. In fact, starting a small business can be challenging, especially when you enter a market with larger competitors. 

But a small-range computer networking company can help local communities and organisations simplify their lives. So, if you’re wondering how to start a computer networking business, we can help. 

This guide will cover how to start a computer networking business, including:

  • Planning
  • Setting up
  • Organising
  • Marketing

Planning for your computer networking business 

Part of knowing how to start a computer networking business is setting yourself up on the right trajectory.

Market research 

To start forming a plan, you’ll need to conduct market research. This type of research can show you essential information about the climate you plan to enter. 

Market research can teach you about:

  • The market demand.
  • Relevant competitors. 
  • Popular products and services.
  • Industry statistics. 
  • Market trends. 
  • Your target audience. 

As a result, you can develop your business idea further to make it sturdy and profitable

Specialisation

With your market research in mind, consider how you’ll make your computer networking business unique. Having a specialisation or unique selling point will help you convince customers to choose your company.

For example, you might focus on a specific sector within computer networking, like connecting small business communications. Or you could market yourself as a better, more personable option to larger companies. 

From there, you can outline what services or products you’ll sell. Planning and developing this is essential to creating a professional finished product. You might build your own computer networking software, for example.

Computer engineering skills 

Having a unique approach will help you stand out. But, you’ll also need to have the right skills, such as computer engineering and IT. If you don’t have qualifications, you might pursue a course or diploma. 

You might seek a course or university degree in computer engineering, computer science, or software development. 

Having formal credentials and experience will help you look prepared and professional. It will also allow you to set up and develop a flourishing business. 

Search for courses here

Equipment and software

You’ll need the right tools to create your computer networking services. With software development tools, you can build a computer network to sell (Such as Linx or DbSchema). 

Then, you’ll need a sturdy computer and a strong internet connection. 

If you’d prefer, you could outsource some of your service development or use already developed software. In this case, the overhead costs will likely be higher because you outsourced some of the work or brought in a third party. 

Budget and funding

You’ll also need to consider the necessary money to get started. Outline the startup costs, or the money you’ll need to cover the essentials from the beginning. 

Then, outline what it’ll cost to run your business, considering regular expenses and operating costs. 

Funding

Knowing your business spending will help you understand what funding you might need. If the starting costs are lower, you could save up and invest your own money. 

If you need external funding, you might seek an investor or apply for a loan. These approaches lead to debt or less control in your business. But they are easy ways to get money now and pay it back over time. 

Budget

You’ll also need to create a starting budget for your business. This budget outlines what you plan to spend and hope to earn. 

Understanding your regular expenses will help you create realistic and profitable pricing for your services. With this in place, you can track and control your finances better. 

See also: How to budget for starting a business

Business plan 

Once you develop your idea and approach, put this information into a business plan. The business plan will outline your:

  • Purpose
  • Products and services 
  • Goals and objectives 
  • Operations 
  • Finances 

Your business plan will guide you through setup and growth. But it will also help you secure funding if you need to. 

Most funding applications require a well-developed business plan. The success of your application depends on how well you sell your idea and prove it’s low financial risk. 

Without a written business plan, you’ll be walking through the dark from the start. This document connects everything and makes it happen. 

Setting up your computer networking business

Once you have a plan together, knowing how to start a computer networking business requires a bit of setup. Establishing the legalities of your new business will help you build a successful foundation. 

Register your business

To set your business up legally, you’ll need to register with the UK government. You can choose two routes for registration:

  • Sole trader– you’re personally and financially responsible for your business. But, there are fewer taxes and fewer record-keeping and regulations. 
  • Limited company– the business is a separate legal entity from you, meaning you only risk what you put into it. As a result, you’ll pay more taxes and abide by greater regulations. 

When choosing the right legal structure for your computer networking business, consider the size of the operation and overall production costs. If you plan to start small, a sole tradership might be the right pick to start. 

See also: How to set up your business: Sole trader or limited company

Manage your taxes 

You’ll need to pay taxes based on what you earn for your business. 

Small businesses will likely pay:

  • Income or dividend tax
  • National Insurance 
  • Corporation tax– limited companies only 
  • Value Added Tax (VAT)– VAT registered businesses, which expect to earn over £85,000 annually 

People with variable annual income must submit a Self Assessment tax return to determine what they owe. 

Plus, you may want to read up on Making Tax Digital (MTD), which is a government initiative to digitise and simplify the tax process. 

Key tip: Keeping clear and updated financial records will help you report accurate statements. See the financial organisation section to learn more. 

Defend yourself with insurance 

Insurance is crucial to protecting your business, and it’s finances. For example, you’ll likely want to get data protection or cyber insurance for your computer networking business. 

You can find options for cyber insurance at Superscript

Organising your computer networking business 

The key to success is organisation. So, part of how to start a computer networking business is structuring it well. 

Daily operations

If you know how to maintain smooth operations and manage client needs, people will be more willing to work with you. 

Organised calendars, clear to-do lists, and strong communication will help you stay on top of the demands of your business. 

Plus, your services may be confusing or complicated to the untrained eye. So, it’s essential to focus on strong customer service. 

Since your operations are entirely online, online organisation tools will be lifesavers.

Here’s a few tools that can simplify your day-to-day organisation: 

See also: What is operations management? 

Payment management 

Managing your daily operations will help you satisfy clients. But, the right payment method will make it much simpler to bring cash into your business

Computer networking services are something clients will likely need continuously. So, you could charge a monthly subscription for your software to earn a continuous profit from customers. 

On the other hand, selling your software outright could translate to larger one-time earnings. Then, if you want to sell products, you might develop tech to pair with your software (think video cameras or smart locks). 

But how will customers pay you? For a tech-based digital business, you might focus on accepting card payments online. For example, you could design a website with a secure payment system. 

You’ll need to choose software and open a merchant account to accept credit cards. 

Here are some secure online payment method options:

Financial management

Once you have a way to accept money from clients, consider how you’ll manage that money. Businesses need to track what they spend and earn to understand their position and make strong decisions. 

Financial accounting is more than just essential to success, it’s a requirement for small businesses. The HMRC expects you to keep accurate financial records and keep them for about six years. 

See also: How to understand financial accounting 

Business current account

To get organised, you’ll want to separate your business finances from your personal ones. To do this, open a business current account

You’re required to open a business current account with a limited company. But, sole traders can also benefit from a unique bank account for their business. 

By putting your business transaction in one place, you won’t have to search through bank statements to find business expenses. It’ll be much easier to keep everything in order. 

Accounting software 

Accounting software is another essential tool to financial management, like Countingup. A business account with built-in accounting software, this app helps you stay on top of your finances. 

The Countingup app offers cash flow insights to help you understand the money that comes in and out of your business. With this updated information, you can make better decisions and track your budget. 

Plus, the app will simplify your tax process by arming you with year-round tax estimates. Countingup is also MTD-compliant, allowing you to instantly share your financial data with your accounting without worrying about errors. 

Marketing your computer networking business 

Once you plan, set up, and organise, it’s time to draw in some customers. Marketing is essential to starting a computer networking business. It lets you grow an audience and win over a client base. 

Brand your business 

Branding is the first step to any strong marketing strategy. Developing a unique identity for your business will help your audience notice and remember you. 

Start by considering which colours and tone might represent you. For example, you could make an effort to simplify the complicated IT language to appeal to your target audience. 

Then, create a business logo and marketing materials that use your brand identity and work well together. You might use a tool like Canva to design these for free. 

Key tip: Your brand is your business’s identity. Make sure it represents you well. 

Lean into digital marketing 

Next, create a website for your computer networking business. This website will explain what your business is and the services it offers. Make sure you include a contact page, so it’s easy for people to reach you. 

Here are some popular website business platforms (that you can do yourself):

  • Squarespace – offers cool modern features 
  • WordPress– most extensive option, but might take a bit of practice 
  • Wix– really easy to use

Apart from a website, you can market yourself using social media platforms. Using these platforms will give you access to their nearly 4 billion worldwide audience

For computer networking, you might target organisations and businesses on LinkedIn. 

You can also use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to share tips and share your unique selling point.

Network your computer network 

Networking is another great way to learn more about your industry and access relevant groups or potential customers. You can network your business on LinkedIn, or find relevant groups within the industry (like Tech Nation). 

You can also find events on sites like: 

Computer networking towards success 

So, now you know how to start a computer networking business. With the right plan, setup, organisation, and marketing, you can’t go wrong. Though it’ll take some time and determination, it’ll allow you to help people connect. 

Organise your finances with this time-saving financial app

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK. 

Save yourself hours of accounting admin so you can focus on growing your business. 

Start your three-month free trial today.

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