heh, we are pretty much in the same business. With the encouragement of my Aussie buddie, I started my own S-Corp incorporated in Hawaii in '06 (we had this dream of living there with him doing leasing at the now defunct Aloha Capital and me doing equipment/service. Never panned out). But six years in I'm still going on and it was the best decision ever.
Why? Mainly the freedom and everything associated with it. The problem with standard IT service is you're never going to make any serious money, because everything is so hands on. Even with managed service contracts [(exp: 15 PCs, couple servers, firewall going onsite monthly or remotely (We use Kaseya)] I know individual consulting companies who struggle. And if you try to invest too much right away you go out of business (see 'Make it Work' who had red Mini-Coopers for their engineers. WTF?).
I would do it, because working for other people generally sucks a mean dick, but don't expect more than $100k a year unless you have some kind of specialty where you can charge $200 an hour (exp: MS SharePoint or custom software). My company has been making pretty the same money every single year, which I guess isn’t bad in a down-turned economy. But, wanting more, I am diversifying into automated income options via selling tour tickets online where it's not necessary to touch every single deal and invoice. The money just hits the bank account.
Let me know if you need hardware/software quotes as we are a reseller and get next day delivery to OC/LA on standard Fedex Ground rates from Ingram/Tech Data’s Riverside-area warehouse. Some IT consultants don’t want to mess with hardware, but that is my specialty. 15% referral of the margin and it helps close deals going in as a team with a full solution quote.
P.S. Don’t be afraid to charge a lot or go in high. Got one regular client in Vegas who gets a $150 an hour bill and had them for four years. If you always go in low you’ll never make any money.
P.S.S. Post an ad on Craigs for part time engineer, interview them, and subcontract at a rate of $25-$40 an hour. I have a server genius working for me at $40 and charge at least $100 an hour to the client. Pure margin.