How-to to run a software consulting business

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Managing project flow

by shabda on October 16, 2011

If you are not proactively managing your projects you risk them going awry. # Talk to clients at least one every week # Talk to your team at least once every two days to ensure that progress is being made. # Have clear guidelines on what is progress. This needs to be clarified by you, [...]

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Estimating Software Costs

by shabda on October 16, 2011

Software cost estimation is huge topic (and a very complex one). Here is the basic premise for all of them. You have a large specification, it is impossible to estimate the work required for all of it. Break the specification into smaller tasks. Classify the tasks into complexity and risk. (Es things which need to [...]

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Wireframing

by shabda on October 16, 2011

If you have a project you are going to be working on, but you dont have the wireframes, creating a wireframe should be one of your first action items. A wireframe can be a high fidelity(Design close to final) or a low fidelity wireframe (Uses a simple design). I recommend creating a low fidelity wireframe. [...]

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Getting specifications from Clients

by shabda on October 16, 2011

Once you have client who wants to work with you, the first this you need to do is to get a specification of what they want you to build. This is particularly important if you are working with a fixed price quote. It might surprise you, but some clients do not know the specifications themselves. [...]

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How to choose a name for your business?

by shabda on October 10, 2011

Answer these questions before you choose a name for your business. Is there an existing trademark for this name? Is the domain name available or you can buy the domain? Is the name brand-able? Does the name convey emotions you want to convey? Can you open a legal entity (For example a Private Limited Company [...]

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Invest in Ongoing Learning

by shabda on October 10, 2011

Technology and especially software change very fast. As a software consultant you are expected to be on the cutting edge of everything. Ongoing learning and skill improvement is a critical area which you need to include both the budget and time for in your projections. * Go to (and when possible speak at) industry events [...]

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Blog Strategy for Software Companies

by shabda on October 10, 2011

Blogging should be an important part of any startups marketing strategy. For a software services business it is indispensable. What should you blog about? About your technology Interesting new work you are doing Case studies showing how you solved challenging problems for a client. New open source work you have done Interview prominent people from [...]

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How to hire a great team?

by shabda on October 10, 2011

So you have decided to hire. There is only one problem, eveyone good is already employed. Why should they leave their brand name jobs to join your small (and new and risky) company. Ensure you are paying a fair salary. Lets face it, there is no substitute for money, everything else is a topping. Ensure [...]

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Fixed vs Hourly Pricing

by shabda on October 10, 2011

You already know what your right hourly price is. However many clients are going to request a fixed price. Some may request this even before they have a specification. You can give a fixed price if The specifications are well defined. You know how to handle change requests. You are good with estimating time You [...]

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Setup instant messaging system

by shabda on October 10, 2011

There is a good chance you may be working in a remote environment from your client. You need to setup channels so you and your clients can communicate in real time. There are lot of instant messaging tools you can use, but we have two which we use, and recommend. GTalk Skype If you created [...]

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Turning customers to repeat customers

The best way to get business is by getting more work from an existing customer. New customers cost money to acquire. They need to be nurtured before they will get trust with you to let you work on the most... »

Turning customers to repeat customers

Moving up the value chain

  If you want to grow the business without growing headcount the only way is the provide higher end services or to sell products. Do you sell services which can be productized? Do you have technology which can be sold... »

Moving up the value chain

Keeping costs low

As you start to scale the business, the overhead costs start increasing. Eg. When you are self employed you maybe doing billable work 90% of the time. As your business grows, you will have to add admin staff, accountants and... »

Keeping costs low

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