Steps for a software startup?


I hope i will not get downvote,because my question is a very basic question,But still it can be made as wiki in this site and will be useful for other fellow members,

My dream is to start a software company..

Idea, same- company with employees developing the softwares and delivers

How can I attract clients as a startup? Why I am asking is, the client needs to trust the company first, How can I build such a trust? How the giants build such a trust when they were startup?

What are the steps? How can I know about the clients and requirements? How to setup the environment?

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asked Apr 9 '11 at 03:18
131 points
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5 Answers


One relationship at a time.
One successful project at a time.
One referral at a time.

Dream big-- and start with a baby step. Start with one client that you earn though past and existing work. Do a great job. Go above and beyond. And earn a referral.

answered Apr 9 '11 at 03:57
Joseph Barisonzi
12,141 points
  • +1, You may also work on a probono project for a non-profit organization. This is a big plus. Not only will you gain trust, but also be seen as a contributor to the community. – Laith 13 years ago


It's a perfectly reasonable question. The thing with software is there are tens of thousands of companies/people offering software engineering services on providers such as ODesk. The general quality level is very poor. You need to be very good at what you do. If you are not, you need to get that expertise, either in your job, or by just practicing in your own time, maybe on an open source project.

To provide software engineering services you need to have particular domain of expertise (not just "we write in every language/technology") and you need to understand the process of engineering software for a third party. My number 1 hint in that regard is the specification of the work is absolutely critical. It must be detailed, thorough, complete, mutual and agreed.

Start with a weak specification and you will both finish the project very unhappy.

Trust is built by doing a good job, on time. Good luck,

answered Apr 9 '11 at 04:09
David Benson
2,166 points


Trust them first. Listen to their problems and make a product/solution you hope they will buy.

answered Apr 9 '11 at 04:10
Jeff O
6,169 points


The client needs to trust you over and above the company, so when first starting out use your network. Seek clients from people you already know. Under promise and over deliver. Given software timescale and budget over runs, this is almost unheard of. Impress them with what you deliver and you have your first testimonial and possible referral.

Develop a system to ask for both testimonials and referrals at the time the client is most receptive.

answered Apr 9 '11 at 04:09
2,552 points


The steps are:

1) Start where you are already trusted. That means you must start with people who know you, either personally or professionally. So start talking to likely prospects you already know, past employers, professors who taught you, people you went to school with.

2) Start with a speciality. It does not work to say, "We specialize in everything!" You know what you are really good at. Don't try to be all things to all people.

3) If you don't have a specialty, get one. If you want to be a Ruby on Rails expert, develop an app with it and make it freely available. Webkit, iOS, Android, something else, just pick one and get into it.

4) Don't get greedy. Start with a reasonable rate. Do the work. Overdeliver.

5) Rinse and repeat. Go back to your past clients and ask for more work. Suggest what you might do for them.

answered Apr 9 '11 at 07:22
Kenneth Vogt
2,917 points

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