Ok, so this might be the most boring question you got this year.. but I will ask anyways. I have been working on building my software development company for past one year and things have been relatively good in 2011 however, I constantly find myself either under quoting the price or not being able to close the projects on time. For 2012 I want to focus on mobile development, any suggestions for us on how to capture clients?
I know exactly what you’re saying, and it’s hard. There have been several times in my career when I’ve been in exactly the same boat. The competing issues here are landing projects and making profit. It’s very easy to get projects if you lower your prices, but you’ll go nuts with stress when you realize how little you’re actually making for the work. But the flip side here is if you stick to your guns on pricing it’s possible you’ll find yourself without any clients and that’s not a good position either.
From my experience, in times like the ones you’re describing, I lived and died by referrals. But to get referrals, you need to have good friends and a good portfolio. A lot of Karbon’s initial business came from referrals and from the public response to Ego. So one way to get in the door is to build or sell a product people like. You’d be surprised how varying our initial clients were, most of whom kept mentioning they liked Ego. Sometimes work you never thought would have as large of an impact turns out to be a great asset. Building your own mobile products for example purposes is relatively easy so it might be a good idea to try to put something out there you’re proud of.
At the end of the day, you need to charge the appropriate amount for your work—don’t undercut yourself too much. But you may find that occasionally you need to meet a client halfway on pricing. That’s not unacceptable, just be careful not to sell yourself short.