1 2 3 Previous Next 42 Replies Latest reply on Jan 18, 2017 10:12 AM by rbradley0427

    Business opportunity?

    rbradley0427

      Hi all....I've been out of FMP development for some time, but when I was active, I felt I became pretty proficient.  There hasn't been much need for me to re-enter, however I've always enjoyed it, and now I am looking at a new direction.  I've long thought there is a vacuum in DB development for small to mis0sized companies, so I'm thinking this might be the direction I would like to go.  My question is, are there any members here that are doing that sort of thing, and if so, what advise would you have for someone trying to get into it?  I realize, I'll have to brush up on my skills and the latest technology, but I don't feel that will be a big issue for me.

        • 1. Re: Business opportunity?
          PeterDoern

          Most, if not all, of my clients are small- to mid-sized companies so, yes, I agree that there is a market for it. My typical client is one which has started building their own FileMaker system (being sold on the off-the-shelf, DIY database features), but which has either run out of expertise or time to complete the project. I come in and build or rebuild.

           

          Since you're coming into this somewhat fresh, may I suggest that you check out http://hourlybillingisnuts.com? Pay particular attention to the idea of a laser-focused target audience. That is, instead of telling people that you are a "FileMaker Pro developer for small to medium sized businesses", you tell people that you "build docket systems for boutique ad agencies".

           

          I made that up, of course... what I'm suggesting is that you parlay whatever experience you've gained in whatever industry you've been involved in since you last touched FileMaker Pro to kickstart your career.

           

          Just my two cents. All the best!

           

          Peter

          • 2. Re: Business opportunity?
            rbradley0427

            Thanks for the tips Peter.  I'm sure telling people I'm an FMP dev won't open many doors, but I haven't decided on an introduction, and I imagine that might vary depending on the audience.  I'll take a look at the link you provided.

            • 3. Re: Business opportunity?
              Jade

              Also, be aware that FMI has significantly increased pricing that impacts small sized company sales.  All the more reason to position your product/service offerings as Peter outlined.

              • 4. Re: Business opportunity?
                rbradley0427

                Good point Jade.  I'll add that to the list of factors to weigh.

                • 5. Re: Business opportunity?
                  bigtom

                  I tend to often leave the FileMaker name out of the discussion as it confuses people who don't know the product and requires coaching those that knew it in fmp7 era that is is much evolved now. Tightly focused custom app descriptions are the way to go.

                  • 6. Re: Business opportunity?
                    rbradley0427

                    Thanks bigtom.  Oddly, FMP7 was where I left off, although I have played in a few later versions.

                     

                    On a similar vein, is there a need for a brick and mortar?  I assume there isn't, but if so, it would make a big difference in whether I could make it viable.

                    • 7. Re: Business opportunity?
                      bigtom

                      Really depends on your situation. I have always had at least a small office for business even if I'm not there all the time.

                       

                      Offers a place to show up on time every morning and focus on work without distractions. Also provides a more professional image to clients. Remember your clients are business owners and having an office goes a long way with them.

                       

                      If you can afford even a tiny office I recommend it.

                      • 8. Re: Business opportunity?
                        srzuch

                        Regarding the small office, you may want to take a look at some of the temporary/virtual office companies   You can just start off with a mailing address and phone answering services, to renting conference rooms to meet clients,  to using an office part time, and to actually renting a small pre-furnished office with full communications support.  There are many variation of plans and prices. 

                         

                        Steve

                        • 9. Re: Business opportunity?
                          rbradley0427

                          Thanks for the insight bigtom.

                           

                          On another matter, what business segments have been the best opportunities?  I'd like to get a feel for who I would be marketing to.

                          • 10. Re: Business opportunity?
                            rbradley0427

                            Mmmm....I hadn't considered that srzuch.  Sounds like that could be a good approach.  Thanks!

                            • 11. Re: Business opportunity?
                              beverly

                              And there is always: meet-at-their-office/place. Sometimes it helps if they don't have to travel, but you do. You may gain insight on current practices that cannot be gotten from meeting in your office or even remote login.

                               

                              not a barrier for me to have no "office".

                              beverly

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                              • 12. Re: Business opportunity?
                                wimdecorte

                                rbradley0427 wrote:

                                 

                                Thanks for the insight bigtom.

                                 

                                On another matter, what business segments have been the best opportunities? I'd like to get a feel for who I would be marketing to.

                                Start with businesses whose business model you know best.  Because you'll be a consultant not just a developer.  You'll need to be able to 'speak their language', understand their business and what problems they are trying to solve.

                                • 13. Re: Business opportunity?
                                  PeterDoern

                                  Exactly. The temptation is to throw a wide net for fear of not catching a fish, but you'll actually get a better catch if you use a harpoon.

                                  • 14. Re: Business opportunity?
                                    PeterDoern

                                    Likewise, and by working from home I have also had the privilege of being present for my kids. It just requires a different kind of discipline.

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