What do Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk have in common? Besides being world-famous billionaires, they all share a programming background. They leveraged their coding skills into building massive tech-based businesses – a feat countless other programmers are trying to replicate, to varying degrees of success.
If you love technology, have some coding chops, and would love to be your own boss, then you have what it takes to be a “codepreneur”. All you need to do is take the plunge. Below, WPRiddle explains how your programming skills could help you build a successful business.
Understand why every business needs a coder
Before you start brainstorming business ideas, you must understand why every business needs a coder. This understanding is key to knowing how, where, and why your budding business could provide value to future clients.
As Eleven Fifty Academy puts it, coding is important because it makes computers work. It drives servers, systems, apps, programs, smartphones, and other devices companies use for day-to-day operations. Further, it’s the backbone of various tech trends revolutionizing the business world, from Industry 4.0 to quantum computing.
Essentially, as a coder, you could provide value in one of several ways:
- Maintain core infrastructure.
- Build apps, programs, and websites.
- Troubleshoot tech problems.
- Consult on technology trends.
Starter Story offers a comprehensive list of suggestions that are worth a look-see.
If you need to beef up your coding skills, and your IT skills in general, consider taking online classes to help boost your knowledge. You may even decide to take it further and add a new degree to your belt. The beauty of online programs is that they are specifically designed for those who juggle full-time work and can’t attend in-person classes.
Consider your business model
Would you like to build a traditional business or are you more comfortable running a one-man operation? Below is a list of common business models:
- Consulting: If you have massive tech experience, you can advise other companies on strategizing, designing, developing, and implementing their software.
- Freelance: As a solo coder, you could work for companies big and small from around the world from home – or as a country-hopping digital nomad.
- Product: You could build software and market it, targeting other businesses or the general market.
- Service: Finally, you could build a development company, managing a team of developers to assist businesses with their tech needs.
Consider the logistics
Planning is critical to success. Create a business plan for best results – it’s a formal document that you can use as a guideline to achieving your goals. Figure out the logistics before moving forward:
- What are the costs involved?
- Who’s your target audience?
- How will you make money?
- What rate can you expect?
- How will you grow?
- How will you fund your business?
Set up your business
It’s time to set up your business. This can be a long-drawn-out process. Here’s a brief checklist for you to follow:
- Register your legal entity.
- Register for taxes.
- Open a business account.
- Make accounting arrangements.
- Get licenses and permits.
- Apply for insurance.
- Set up your office.
Market your business
Market research is critical to success. It shows you where the demand is, how saturated the market is, and the direction the industry is headed. Without market research and marketing, your business is but another face in the crowd. As the founder, you will be responsible for the majority of the marketing, at least at the very beginning. A business site, a phone system, and an offline presence are some bare-minimum marketing prerequisites. For the best results, come up with a powerful marketing strategy.
How to bring in your first client
Unless you have serious experience and connections in the industry, finding clients will be a challenge. Here are some possible avenues:
- Looking on freelance platforms.
- Working for free.
- Networking online and offline.
- Checking social media and forums.
- Running advertising campaigns.
- Send cold emails.
- Partner up with other businesses.
The IT industry is booming, meaning there has never been a better time to launch a tech business. According to the IDC, it’s expected to surpass $5 trillion by 2021, and grow at a 5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) thereafter. Of course, running a business is never easy, so be prepared for challenges. Learn everything you can about being an entrepreneur and focus on constant improvement for maximum business success.