IT clients onboarding

Hello,

I'm trying to learn about IT consulting and how to approach the onboarding of new clients. Can anybody give me some advice or guide me to some helpful links where I can read about this process? Checklists, assessment tools, best practices, anything you can think of that would make the process as efficient and thorough as possible.

I appreciate the help.

Thank you,
Alan DalaITAsked:
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Jim HornMicrosoft SQL Server Developer, Architect, and AuthorCommented:
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Sir LearnalotCommented:
Make a list of the subjects you are knowledgeable about, add to it as you learn new things
Have a book to record all of the time and work you put in
Create a company name and image
Create an online presence
Learn ITIL
Develop a marketing strategy

Some to start :)
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Alan DalaITAuthor Commented:
I appreciate your quick responses. I'm sorry if I mislead you with my question. I'm actually looking for some specific tools for onboarding actual clients. When you get for the first time with a client, how do you go about assessing their environment, needs, projects, etc? Do you follow a standard procedure? Do you have specific software to assess the network? Follow a specific check list when gathering information?

I know how to make an assessment by deploying IP scanners, software auditing tool, etc. I just wanted to see what experienced consultant out there use and how they approach new customers.

Again, thank you for you help!
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Jim HornMicrosoft SQL Server Developer, Architect, and AuthorCommented:
>I'm actually looking for some specific tools for onboarding actual clients
It would really help if you told us what you do for a living specific to Networking (guessing that from the zones), as this will wildly affect the definition of 'onboarding'.

Since my response was only because this question was in the Consulting zone, and I'm not a networking person, I'll gracefully withdraw from the question.
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Alan DalaITAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your response. I apologize if my question wasn't clear enough. I'm looking for ideas on how to approach a new client's environment when onboarding. Yes, it would be mostly infrastructure/network but also anything that would be helpful to make the onboarding and ongoing relationship with the new customer successful.

thank you!
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
This question has been asked several times on national consultant mailing lists such as SBS2K and SMBManagedServices (google them - I suggest you sign up) - as well as amongst my own local consultant group here in NY.  In general, everybody does their own thing and there is no good answer.  There are tools like Network detective that are EXPENSIVE but can provide a very comprehensive review.  The problem is the product REQUIRES you have admin credentials on all devices to do an accurate and thorough job.  And even then, some firewalled devices may simply never be detected.  Nothing beats a hands on analysis.  Automation is great but the condition of the network can SERIOUSLY affect the reliability and accuracy of the gathered data.  That's one reason I don't use a product specifically for this.  I do try to gather what I can with individual tools that are not crazy expensive like System Information for Windows and SpiceWorks.

I would also suggest, if you're just starting out, you might want to review my articles on setting your rates and choosing a business model.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Other/Consulting/A_1905-How-Do-I-Know-What-to-Charge-as-an-IT-Consultant.html
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Other/Consulting/A_6633-Becoming-A-Small-Business-IT-Consultant-Choosing-a-Business-Model.html
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