search engine – Where do new companies in IT Business developing softwares, websites and databases find work from? – Education Career Blog

i am a qualified software engineer who has experience working on designing softwares, databases and websites but I don’t understand how do companies find work for software database adn website development? Any advice will be much appreciated.. I do realise it may make me look dumb and may attract negative feedback but all through out my 15 years of experience, I have only worked for someone so I am a novice when it comes to working for own self… Thanks in advance..

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Work can be found through all the obvious methods i.e. networking via personal/business/relationships, sponsorship, advertising, marketing, trade shows and events etc.

A significant amount of work can also be found via the tendering process. Many companies, and almost all government departments, will outsource their contracts through the tendering process. If you go to the website of medium to large sized companies and many government departments, you can find a contracts and tenders page with all the work that is currently available for tender.

Many of these companies in turn will also list with either a national or industry specific contracts and tendering website/mailing list, which you can subscribe to. They will also advertise their contracts in newspapers and trade magazines. As an aside, if you have never seen it before, I think you may be surprised just how much work the government needs doing. Also note that my use of government does not refer only to central government, but councils and state governance as well.

All of this has a cost of course. It can quite expensive to tender for a contract. You don’t just send a business card and do a 10 minute stand-up presentation. Many of the contracts have to be seen to be transparent so there can be several rounds to the process all requiring specific forms of supporting documentation etc.

So basically if you ever end up outsourcing a contract yourself, you’ll end up paying a proportion of the cost of all the failed tenders that your selected supplier has incurred before meeting you. But that’s business…. better get yourself a suit. 😉

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I started out by having an oportunity and building a business on top of that. From the initial opportunity i spent time getting ready for the next opportunity so when it came i was ready. These opportunities came through me pro-actively networking (user groups, cold calling etc) or via a contact, and just random chance.

It’s a bit of a chicken and egg dilemma. You need the work to justify spending the resources in setting things up, and you need to set things up so you can get the work.

I would look at your business assets (your website, canned presentations, accounting etc) and ask yourself if you are ready. If not, you should consider doing some subcontracting while you ready those assets, that way you are earning money and learning something while you do your preparation.

Your minimum list of assets may look like;

  1. Honest and applicable website (no flashing bits, and no promises of work in other states or guarantees unless you really can back it up. KISS rules here, you are a small business, it’s OK to have a simple site)

  2. Business cards

  3. Canned presentation of what you can do for your target market

  4. A method for your target. I’m not really sure what call this, but it may be “roll out Sitefinity CMS for extenal web site”. You want a set of tools you can build on. If you are just a programmer for hire and start from scratch each time you should really consider sub-contracting.

  5. Accounting and legal people and set up work

  6. A plan of what to do if your business fails (ie: what’s your income stream)

  7. A plan of what to do if your business is a wild success (ie: do you have other resources you can bring on board quickly)

This doesn’t have to be complicated, just write out a checklist and tick things off or add to it as you go on.

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It is mostly from the contacts one have in other companies (which get software and web development services) or by biding for the projects on sites like Odesk and elance etc.
If you have limited team and resources then first route is good. Once you have some work from a big company or department in your kitty you can get future projects from there and on the basis of the quality of your current work.

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Alot of it is networking and getting good relationships with people so they will refer you to the next person they talk to. I’ve found www.craigslist.com to be a place to start. You do have to be careful as it’s full of scams and people just looking to get something for nothing. I’ve found a couple good opportunities on there and knows that have also. Another place is freelancing websites but again your going to find people looking to get high end/quality work done for a cheap price. The best way I’ve found is to develop or buy a product that people want and build off of that. All in all it takes patience, in this field people are always looking for an easy way out so you need to be persistent with your skillset and don’t sell yourself short, if your good at what you do it will show and people will pay for it. that being said I’m not saying go out and charge top dollar for your work but you don’t want to undersell yourself either. see what market you want to get into can handle and focus on that. good luck with it.

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