If you are just starting out your business as an IT consultant, here are three tips that will help you succeed at your new business and occupation.

Don't Offer Rates Until You Understand the Job

Don't just offer the rates that you charge over the phone. Talk to potential clients and really get a feeling for what they need. Set up a meeting so that you can go over the details of what they want and what they can expect to pay. If their price point is below your minimum starting wages, make sure that you show the value and experience that you could bring the client. Use the information that you gather to sell yourself so that the client can see the value in your rates.

If the client's pay expectations are way higher than your rates, consider what else you can offer the client. Make your bid somewhere between your standard rate and what the client expects to pay; show how you are a good deal but how you also offer the expertise that the client needs. If your rate is too low for their expectations, they may question your qualifications; show them that your work is worth the money they will spend and that you can provide them with what they need.

Keep in mind that you are selling yourself and your services; the better you know your potential client's needs, the better chance you have of persuading them to use your services.

Make Sure You Understand the Client's Expectations

Make sure that you understand client's expectations before you finalize a contract. Make sure that you first understand and know what the client's end goal is and how they will determine if they have met that goal. Next, find out what work has already been done and what roadblocks or challenges have been encountered. If you know upfront what challenges they have encountered on this project already, you'll be able to better determine if you have the skills to help them. Finally, know what the deliverables they expect from you are. Knowing this information will help you better determine which clients to pass over and which clients to pursue and how to properly assist those you do choose to work with.

Offer Fair and Competitive Bids

Finally, when writing up bids, make sure that your bids are fair and competitive. Make sure that whatever rate you quote in your bid is profitable for you; you don't want to lower your rates just to win a contract that will ultimately cost you money. You should also make sure that your rates are not too high; no one wants to hire someone who just seems like they are out for money. Make sure that your rates falls within the market range for your area.

By offering fair and competitive bids, you'll help yourself and your potential future clients. Check out what companies like Precise Computer Inc. are doing for more ideas.