So you want to start your own company? There are thousands of business ideas ready and waiting for you to get started.
Want to ensure your business will always be in demand? Want to be in a highly-profitable industry, that allows you to work on revolutionary projects?
Software development may be the perfect type of business for you to start. Why?
Our society is becoming increasingly dependent on technology, specifically software used on our computers, phones, tablets, and even in our cars or on our watches.
Starting a software development business allows you to get in on a multibillion-dollar industry, where there is more than enough work to go around.
Wondering how to start a software development business? Keep reading to discover how you can get started today.
Develop Your Skills
The first step to start a software company is to get really good at programming and creating functional software. Go figure, huh?
But you’d be surprised at how many people try starting a company, in any industry, without enough experience. They try faking it until you make it, which doesn’t work when it comes to technical industries.
There are many different ways you can develop your skills. If you aren’t already working in the software industry, step one would be to take an entry-level position for a software company.
Sure, your dream is to start your own business, but you need a solid foundation. Get in where you can and learn everything there is to know about two things; building software and the business of software. Those are two very different things that you need intimate knowledge of.
Other ways you can fast-track your way through the skills development process are to take online courses. Some are free, many are paid. Consider it your tuition.
You can join local programming groups to meet other like-minded people who may or may not also be looking to start a new company. Attend relevant events, listen to the right podcasts, and learn as much as possible every chance you get.
Choose Your Niche
Okay, so you are ready to start taking steps towards your own software development company. The next thing you need to do is narrow down your niche.
You can’t do it all. If you’d like to stand out from your competitors, you need to specialize. What type of companies do you want to work with?
What type of software do you want to focus on? Do you want to build consumer apps for smartphones?
Do you want to build software for the service industry? How about healthcare?
Narrow down your focus as much as possible. When you get really, really good at serving a specific type of client, you’ll have something valuable that clients will seek out.
Assemble Your Team
Because you are building a software company, you need more than just one person on the team. A one-person operation is considered a freelance business.
There’s nothing wrong with freelancing. Often, that’s the start of building a successful project.
But if you’d like to build a company, you need a team. Arguably the most important members of your team are going to be your core programmers.
Who are the people who will be writing code day in and day out, crafting the actual piece of software? You’ll need backend developers, frontend developers, and a product designer.
As you build, you are going to need to QA your project. Quality assurance is the process of ensuring your project is progressing, ensures functionality, and tests the product over and over.
The best way to handle this for your new company is with QA outsourcing.
On top of that, you are going to eventually need a sales team, managers and team leaders, an accountant, and more as your company grows.
Remember that local programmers group you started attending? Maybe some of the people you need are hanging around there.
Build Your Portfolio
So you’ve got a team, you’ve selected your focus, and you are ready to start making magic. Now what?
Well now, you’ve got to start building your portfolio so that you can start attracting clients. The truth is, nobody wants to hire a brand new software company. There is no track record and too much risk.
You need to get some projects under your belt. This could mean taking easier, lower-paid work at the beginning, just to get some satisfied customers and positive reviews.
It could also mean building an internal project. Maybe someone on your team has wanted to build a piece of software for a personal project or hobby. Make it happen, so you have something to show potential clients.
Build out your company website and ensure you have a page on your site where you showcase past clients and projects, along with reviews.
Network Like Crazy
So you’ve managed a few projects, and maybe even put some money into the bank. You’re feeling good.
You’ve worked out the kinks of team dynamics and you are ready for bigger, better projects, right? Now it’s all about networking.
As they say, your network is your net worth. The more people you know, and have positive relationships with, the better.
Attend networking events. Hang out at events where other business owners and executives spend time.
Get a golf membership and get to know as many people at the club as possible. Make sure everyone in town knows who you are and what you do. When they need something, you want to be top of mind.
On top of direct networking, you also want to market your company like crazy. Get the word out, locally and nationally, that your company is ready to serve and taking new clients.
Train yourself to be a great presenter and public speaker. Do your best to get interviewed on as many relevant podcasts as possible.
Develop an SEO, content marketing, and social media strategy for attracting new clients. There’s no limit on what you can do to market your company and earn new clients.
Software Development as a Career
Software developers are highly sought out in today’s society. There’s far more opportunity than there are people to meet the need.
Becoming a software developer, and starting your own software development company, is an incredible idea. It takes years of hard work to enjoy success. But the opportunity and reward are very real.
Looking for other tech and business tips? Be sure to check out additional articles on our blog today.