In 2015, Claudia Franke started her IT consulting business in her spare time while still working in an office-based role.
After two years of building her business, she resigned from her IT day job to focus on providing IT consulting, support and training services for small businesses. The move to create her own business, Fraulein Tech, allowed Claudia to build relationships with other business owners as the person they turn to for IT advice and support.
“As a business owner, I really enjoy being in close contact with other business owners and their staff, knowing their needs, their challenges and helping them to run a successful business,” says Claudia.
Here are three of the key lessons Claudia has shared for anybody starting a small business.
Get help with your IT early
As an IT consultant, Claudia recommends getting professional help with the complexities of IT early in your business set up.
“Sort your IT early. It’s worth asking for advice as it’s often a case of ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ and sometimes errors made at the start of the business can be costly later.”
Claudia advises it’s worth staying in charge of your access to your own systems.
“You should always know your login information to your domain host and your website, even if somebody is setting this up for you.”
“It’s also important to have a plan for your business around cyber security, backup protocols, password management, access control and other elements of IT.”
Be prepared for highs and lows
Claudia has learned to deal with the challenges of having an unpredictable workflow by understanding that this is typical in her industry.
“Sometimes it seems clients will all contact me at once or not at all. After set up, consulting, and training, my clients only need me if something goes seriously wrong or a new project appears.”
“Finding the first right client was a challenge - but after finding a good match, the rest was word of mouth and much easier.”
Connect with others for support
Claudia joined the SBDC Facebook group I’m a small business owner in Western Australia and has enjoyed connecting with others and learning more about different aspects of running a business.
“There’s no marketing, no spam, professional advice and it’s very well monitored. There’s a good sense of community, especially as it is all local business owners. I have even reviewed my insurance set up after reading about it in the group.”
If Claudia’s small business journey has interested you, you may wish to read:
You can also read about other WA small business owners’ small business stories.