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Subject:  Re: Open-source consultant? Date:  7/29/2003  1:26 AM
Author:  womanontheverge Number:  7899 of 15031

I've seen advice from others that you find out what companies that are using open source currently are doing for support and see how you can offer a better solution.

I say, that your intended market are those companies that are poised at implementation, about to make a decision between big cost (Sun/Oracle) and big risk (Linux/mySQL). Your pitch, "I can help you save the money by reducing the 'big risk' factor enough for you to choose open source software." However, as you are a single person who could, perhaps, be hit by a truck tomorrow, your services would probably not be seen as reducing the potential risk by much. I think that you would need to be a larger firm of at least 5 - 10 people before you could make that sale.

Another hitch - how are you going to identify those companies that are about to make this implementation decision? You can't rely on advertizing alone and hope the IT manager decides to give you a call. You will have to be building relationships and a reputation. Your idea of contributing to one or more open source projects is a good one. But you will need some greater visability than just that. Plan on speaking at technology shows and user group meetings - or hosting seminars on open source that you present yourself, inviting relevent IT Managers. Also ask anyone you know for any introduction to any IT person at firms that might contract with you, so as to have that person say "I know someone we sould be speaking to about this. Lets call Marcos ..." while the project is still in it's planning stages. Having a team working together can make all of this easier - as you can spread the marketing load.

There may not be a lot of work involved in providing server support to your potential clients. But there will be a great deal of work involved in selling those clients. At least at the beginning. Plan for that before you begin.

Good luck!


PS. Another choice would be to find an existing consultancy that has a decent track record and reputation in the area, and then try to join that organization with a pitch about you enabling them to have an open source server support product offering.
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