How to Make More Money as a Contractor
There are loads of ways to make more money as a contractor. Not many contractors take advantage of the opportunities though.
You have a great idea – or an area of business knowledge that would be very useful to major companies. You want to make more money as a contractor.
What IT folk normally do is:-
1) Spend ages developing the software for this great new idea
2) Go and speak to likely customers to sell the idea to them.
The first is normally a great mistake. There must be a huge number of unused lines of code across the world that came about this way.
What the major IT companies do is to try to sell the idea to a customer who might want to buy it first. This is called ‘proving the concept’. If they can‘t find someone who would want to buy it, then it is not worth building is the argument.
Of course, this first customer is given it at a cut price. They may even get it free, provided that they sign up for X number of years to pay for the running of it.
The second is better – but you don‘t have the marketing capability, or the credibility to pull it off. That’s especially if this is a major project.
So what do you do?
The steps are:-
1) Examine what you have to offer
2) Look around for major supplier companies that don’t have this capability
3) If no one has this capability, that’s good. However, if Bigco’s rivals have this capability and they don’t, that would work too – especially if you can convince them to get into that market.
I did this once before with CMG, and met them several times, but I couldn’t quite convince them that it was a lucrative enough market to get into.
It was very close though and I had several meetings with their senior people.
What I should have done was have a Marketing person on tow.
I can think of quite a few mistakes or omissions that I made then, which may have made a major difference in selling the idea.
For instance, I knew the market, and who wanted to buy this type of system, but I didn‘t even give them the names of these potential customers.
I didn‘t want to give such information away too early, but this might have made all the difference.
There was also another firm who were going to build this system in-house, but didn‘t have the business knowledge that I had, and who wanted to see me.
However, I had just been rejected by CMG and didn‘t have the confidence, so I cancelled the meeting thinking that there would be no point anyway.
Why the hell did I not think of telling CMG about them and then taking them along to the meeting? It was fear of being sidelined that I was worried about. However, it would have been difficult for them to have sidelined me.
Basically, I didn‘t know how to handle those situations, and so I screwed up.
If I had been able to do so, or had expert advice on how to do so, I might be living in the Carribean now.
Oh well! I don‘t want to dwell on that.
How to Make More Money as a Contractor – The Solution?
So, what‘s the solution?
I once went to meet a guy from a senior fixer company in IT. Having a drink with him after the talk, he said that if he had a database of IT guys with ideas, and a database of marketing people, then he would make a mint.
The marketing capability is one that pretty much all IT people lack.
However, if IT people were more organized, and had a trade association, then they might be able to have access to this sort of facility and advice centrally.
AS they haven‘t, then it might be worth investing a little bit of money in getting marketing advice, or even taking the marketing person in tow.
Free Marketing Expertise
There are also organisations who will give you free marketing expertise for a percentage of your company. That’s provided that you can convince them that you have a good idea.
There are, again, incubator companies that will give you a Marketing capability, as well as other facilities like phones and office space, who will want a percentage of your company too.
It‘s usually well worth it to do this. That’s because they are far less likely to screw up than you are, and they can lend you a lot more credibility than you have on your own.
And that‘s what it is all about at the higher levels that you aspire to – showing that you are credible.
That’s how to make more money as a contractor.
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