The good old days of making a pile of money for swapping hard drives, or setting up routers is long over. Whatever value there remains is being eaten away by LTE connected devices, and cloud storage solutions that simply require someone to log into an account to be able to access their data and services. Time consuming migrations and recovery are generally no longer needed.
The IT Consultants I talk to who are making good money now actually make their real money through broker fees and residual income. With the rise of cloud services, and the proliferation of data and other managed resources the real money is now in simply selling those products. A client comes to you and says they need a new data connection, you see what offers are available and the if the client signs up you receive an upfront commission and then an ongoing monthly recurring revenue stream. As the need for maintenance of systems has gone down the need to sell systems and services have gone up. Many companies prefer to outsource sales to consultants who already have a client list, and will spend their own time and money to sell a companies products.
In this model your essentially a glorified sales person. You need to know what Latency and Static IP addresses are, but you are not actually responsible for configuring or maintaining equipment. You sell the product, and then generally the vendor is responsible from there. This is a golden age for this model because businesses are transitioning to the cloud, and the number of services offered now is larger than any time before. More or less any business needs to upgrade, you just have to find them and offer what they need.
For Telecom and Datacom sales do a Google search for what is available in your area and make sure to do your research before picking who to go with. Beyond that for other services you can simply Google vendors you trust and look for their “partner” programs. Companies like Nextiva list the programs on their website: https://www.nextiva.com/company/partners.html so you can just see what they have to offer and decide whether they are appropriate for you.
I’ve spoken with a number of IT Consultants who sell these products as their main income, and the revenue can be shockingly high. We’re not talking about $25 commissions, rather a few hundred dollars per month for up to a decade! This is an example of where I say there are a lot of opportunities in tech to be successful and make money IF you are willing to take them. Too many A+ certified geeks think selling is “below” them and will starve for it…
Hi Eli. Not sure if there is a better way to contact you directly or if there is some kind of member forum (looked around but couldn’t find anything, sorry if I missed)… How do you think subscription models will impact the VAR channel? I’m not sure how to think about the tradeoff between foregone maintenance streams / fewer reasons to be in front of business customers and the increasing burden of choice / higher margin residual earnings on subscription payments over time. Any thoughts?
… I think it’s the only way to go. You NEED a form of recurring revenue or your entire business is living month to month. This is what killed me back in ’09. I made a bad call and focused on Time and Material. When the financial crisis happened people overnight just stopped coming. Recurring allows you to keep money coming day in and day out. You may end up failing, but you’ll have a glide path not a cliffs edge.
Also businesses like a known monthly fee. That’s why many still lease fax machines and printers long after it’s made financial sense. $200 a month and that’s it, even though for $2000 they could buy something better than they need outright…
Nice piece, there is definitely some good information in here that we all can use to make some residual income.