Small Business Ideas For Software Engineers

The global software engineering market was valued at $82.2billion in 2012 and ever since then, it has been growing at a steady speed of 14%-24% every year. Yet, only a fragment of engineers is becoming successful entrepreneurs as opposed to working for a tech company.

Does this mean that software engineers generally suck at business management? Well, here’s the thing, generally speaking, software developers are;

  • Mostly introverted.
  • Lacking leadership and business management skills.
  • Indifferent to selling and marketing.
  • Concerned about solving ONLY technical problems.
  • Not good at raising capital.
  • Afraid of failing like most other engineer entrepreneurs.

If you think this describes you, then you’re about to discover the 4 unique main and side business ideas for software engineers like you. Let’s get started.

1; Start A Tech Support Business

In 2020, businesses across the globe were estimated to have spent 2.6% of their revenue on gadget/IT budgets. A lot of which went into outsourced tech support. As a tech support provider, your services include; software installation and maintenance, troubleshooting and repair, program auditing, and more. 

The number of tech support services you’ll render is limited to the number of tech skills you have. And as you already know, more services rendered = more money earned. Anyway, below is the complete roadmap to starting a successful tech support business.

  1. Plan Your Business To Start A Legal Entity

Planning your tech support business is all about doing the work to know your market, the required startup capital size, running costs, what to name your business, and how much to charge your clients. Now, considering the purchase of general liability business insurance, software and hardware costs, high-speed internet acquisition, website building, and your running costs, you should be ready to spend up to $10, 000-$25, 000. With your budget in place, forming a legal entity and choosing a business structure protects your personal finances, should your business be sued.

  1. Register For Taxation To Open A Business Account

The acquisition of both federal and states taxes is a prerequisite for business registration. However, to register for taxations, you need to apply for an EID (Employer Identification Number) first. Anyway, after getting registered for taxation comes the creation of a business account. Now, not only does a business bank account simplify your tax filing and accounting but it also prevents the piercing of your corporate veil.

  1. Get Licensing/Permits And Obtain Insurance

Operating in some states without certain permits and licenses can lead to foreclosure. For a tech support business run at home or in a rented office, one of the important licenses that you must acquire is the certificate of occupancy. To get the complete list of the must-have permits and licenses, reach out to the clerk office of your town, city, or county. After this, obtain general liability insurance or the more specific business insurance for tech support businesses to protect your finances in the case of a covered loss.

  1. Create Business Positions And Market Your Way To 6-Figures

At this stage, you’re to create multiple mediums through which your potential clients can reach you. These can be your business phone numbers and your official websites or blogs. On top of that comes promotions on newspapers and magazines, community centers, community periodicals, and computer stores.

See a related post on the best businesses for accountants.

2; Build A Mobile Phone Games Business

The mobile game sector of the gaming industry is just at its early stage but has already generated $77.2 billion in 2020 alone. These numbers are backed by the fact that more than 73% of mobile phone users are active mobile games players. In order words, the mobile games industry is presently less competitive but has a lot of revenue potentials for startups. If you’re interested in getting in now, follow the steps below to start a successful mobile games development company.

  1. Carry Out Market Research And Evaluate Your Skills/Expertise

A carefully conducted market research gives insight into the growth potential of your business. It reveals the demographics of your audience and uncovers the genres of games that are the most profitable. For an Indie game developer, some of the best resources to conduct your market research are; Steamspy, NewZoo, Indie Game Girl, and SuperData. Once you have a list of markets, you should then access your skills to understand the genres and markets that you can deliver to the most.

  1. Understand And Possess The Requirements For Establishment

The first part of all these is knowing how to go about raising funds for your startup. Would you be crowdfunding or obtaining publisher funding or securing donations through collaborations in an open-source environment? Also, you should start networking with publishers and communities, depending on the types of mobile phones you intend to target your games at. You should also understand the legal requirements for mobile games such as copyrights protection, trademarks, privacy and policy, and end-user license agreements.

  1. Prepare Documentation And Get Branded

This documentation becomes your business plan that, in turn, forms the backbones of your brand. Some of the documentation activities to be executed are the determination of your corporate structure, conduction of SWOT analysis, cash flow forecast calculation, and the statement of your vision/mission. Follow these up with a business name, an online presence, and incorporation tactics for your marketing strategies.

  1. Start Production And Marketing

Having done the legal bits in step 2 and forming a brand in step 3, the final steps are about developing games in your chosen markets and genre while marketing your productions to attract customers. Your marketing strategies should include appearing on video games podcasts, promoting on app stores, reaching out to columnists and video game journalists, and working with influencers.

See this similar post on the best business ideas for introverts.

3; Start A Cybersecurity Consult

Do you know that over 80, 000 cyberattacks happen every day and an estimated global data breach cost of $3.9 million was recorded for small and medium businesses alone? Well, this is bound to happen in a world that’s advancing technologically at high speed. As a cybersecurity consultant, you protect your client’s IT from breaches, phishing scams, cyber-attacks, and malware through the development of security protocols, policies, measures, and plans. To become a profitable cybersecurity consultant, follow the guide below.

  1. Obtain Professional Certificates And Analyze Your Markets

A degree in computer science or any other related course is not enough to stand out as the professional that your potential clients can trust. Some of the widely recognized cybersecurity professional certificates you can obtain are Certified Cloud Security Professional, Certified Information Security Manager, and Certified Ethical Hacker Certification. Considering your certificates and skillset, analyze the markets to choose the focus of your business, understand your competitors, and define your audience.

  1. Secure Funding And Choose A Business Name

Even when you have personal startup capital, exploring funding options, loans, or grants from companies like Cyber Capital Partners, Intel Capital, Forge Point Capital, or TenEleven Ventures helps to set money aside for emergencies. With your capital in place, proceed to choose a creative business name that describes your offers and represents your brand.

  1. Choose A Business Structure And Perform The Legal Bits

Remember that your business structure affects your taxes, finance, and operations. So, instead of picking at random, talk to an attorney or a business counselor to decide whether an LLC, sole proprietorship, corporation or partnership will be the best for you. After that, go on to obtain business licenses, company credit cards, and a business bank account. You should also acquire cyber liability insurance or a technology errors and ommissions insurance for your business protection.

  1. Hire Employees And Secure A Business Location

Unlike most business ideas for software engineers, it’s almost impossible to singlehandedly take charge of a cybersecurity business. Therefore, you must employ talents and purchase fidelity bonds to protect your business from employee fraud, illegal activities, and data theft. Now, for your business location, you can decide to work remotely from home or lease office space or a co-working space depending on the size of your team and your budget.

  1. Draft Client Contracts And Market Your Services

Most cybersecurity startups had to deal with a lot of lawsuits that could have been avoided if they had let their customers sign a client agreement contract before starting a project. You can get an attorney to create a client contract for you or do it yourself then let the attorney review it. This contract will protect you from getting sued by a client over an operation mistake. Finally, market your services on Security magazines, cybersecurity conferences, social media platforms, and bootcamps.

4; Become A Technical Writer

Writers with tech backgrounds are sought after by businesses, B2B companies, C2C startups, SaaS businesses, entrepreneurs, and bloggers. As a tech writer, you earn an average of $50 per hour. That means working 40hours every week earns you $2000 per week. Here’s how to kickstart your path as a technical writer.

  1. Choose A Niche And Define Your Audience

The tech industry is a gigantic one with several sub-niches. For a software developer who wants to earn 6-figures writing tech content, you need to consider your skills to choose a sub-niche that you have the highest authority in. You can choose to write for SaaS companies or create crypto mining content for bloggers or write about web development for entrepreneurs.

  1. Define Yourself And Create Your Portfolio

Before reaching out to people who need your services, you need to create a portfolio that showcases your writing samples, achievements, and experience. If you are a complete newbie, you can offer free guest posting to popular tech websites in your domain to build your sample works that you can show to your potential clients.

  1. Join Freelance Platforms

These platforms connect you with an open pool of job opportunities. Some great Freelance Platforms for writers are Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. To get even better exposure, join popular job boards and networks like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, and Mediabistro.

  1. Set Your Rates And Start Working

Previously, I mentioned that you can earn an average of $50 per hour as a tech writer. Now, this isn’t a fixed rate. The best way to choose how much you should charge your clients is to find out the rate most tech writers in your domain are charging and then charge a few cents or dollars less than that. That way, you can attract more customers and increase your rate later on.

See this A-list of 10 exciting technology businesses.

5; Start A Web Development Agency

Today, there are over 1.5 billion existing active websites, a large part of which is owned by businesses and entrepreneurs. And as 100s of businesses are created every day, 100s of websites and blogs are developed to give them a presence online. If web development is a part of your skill set as a software engineer, the guide below shows you exactly how to start your own web development agency from scratch.

  1. Be Specific About Your Business Approach

Very important. Having a business approach gives direction and meaning to your ventures. Instead of taking every offer that comes your way, choose a specific Niche of web development where you have the most strength in terms of skills and resources. For instance, if your web development-related skill as a software developer is UI/UX, you want to make that the focus of your business.

  1. Create And Register Your Business Model

Your business model defines your clients, your operation strategies, your marketing plan, your brand, and your day-to-day. You can research existing firms to get business ideas for software engineers. After creating a business model, apply for business insurance and licenses either through an attorney or the SBA website.

  1. Get A Team And Build Your Online Presence

Based off of your business model, you can decide to operate in an office or build a team of remote workers.

In Conclusion

As a software developer, you have multiple business ideas for software engineers available to you. Unfortunately, some of these businesses are extremely competitive and can be hard for a beginner to establish in. That’s why I have done the work to handpick the 5 unique best business ideas for software engineers that are profitable and are not as saturated.

Check also: Ultimate Guide To Small Business Ideas