I am a software developer looking to build a software services startup. What is the best way to go about it? And how do I get new projects?


Begin by creating a portfolio of your work and highlighting it on your LinkedIn profile. If you don't have a portfolio of work to point to, you need to get on that ASAP. Take on interesting paid projects via elance, guru, etc. or via a local placement agency, bidding aggressively if necessary to build a portfolio of work that will become the single most important reference point of your capabilities.

Determine a technology or platform focus. It's much easier to get work (and charge more) if you've got a reputation vs. being a jack of all trades developer. Yes there's tremendous value -- once you land a project -- to a broad set of experiences, but in the sales process it creates confusion. Pick what you love and can talk passionately about. If you're on the fence between 3 technologies, pick the ones that corporations view as most in demand.

Understand your target individual (the person who signs your contract). If you can understand and communicate directly with CEOs and CFOs in terms of business outcomes you will make 2-3x more money than if you are selling technology expertise to a CTO / head of IT. Technical managers are accustomed to looking for talent they generally view programmers as higher or lower skilled replaceable components. With a CEO, you can become a trusted partner - that's often not the case with an IT manager.

Once you've done all that, begin networking. You can find projects online, you find long-term clients via relationships.

Answered 8 years ago

Setting up a software services business comes at a hefty expense of time, energy, effort, patience, and perseverance. It's advisable to have a solutions around your set of services. If you don't have any such solution credentials then building one should be your top priority.

As far as new projects is concerned, it's good to seek projects through freelancing websites as long as you don't make that your habit. Because, you are out there to establish a business venture and not end up being a freelancer. Also, it's easier to bag projects as freelancer, due to obvious cost advantage, but the scenario is exactly opposite for agencies. So, make sure you invest enough time to think and plan around your business model, growth strategy, and log-short term planning.

Looking for anything specific? Feel free to reach out. Would love to share my more than a decade of experience with startup and entrepreneurs.

Answered 8 years ago

Find a niche. Establish your expertise / authority in that niche by writing about it, giving talks on it, consider things like a drip-email campaign.

Without a niche, you're competing with every other software development firm out there, and it's hard to differentiate. With a niche, you can establish your authority.

The niche can be a platform, particularly a new platform where it's easier to establish authority, or it can be solving a particular class of problem (e.g. customer on-boarding, A/B testing, migrating subversion to git, etc.).

Answered 8 years ago

No business is bigger than its clients and partners. As a nearshore outsourcing software development company, our clients come from different countries and sometimes even different continents. That is why we have built partnerships with software development companies in various countries, including the UK, Switzerland, Germany, and the USA. If you deliver the high-quality software, you will soon become the number one option for them. Being a technology company at a time when technology focus shifts every five years means you need to be constantly on the move, adapting to these changes. When we started eleven years ago, the RIA technologies were widely spread. Nowadays, we are migrating Flex applications to Angular. Eventually one of our core expertise became JavaScript frontend using AngularJS & Angular, because several of our key developers started experimenting with it, way before it became a common trend.
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Answered 2 years ago

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