View Full Version : Has Anyone Here Set Up A SUCCESSFULL IT business

30th September 2002, 09:57
With the contract market going the way it is, I'm sure a lot of people are toying with the idea of setting up an IT business or website.

So far, I've only read negative comments on this bulletin board.

Has anyone sucessfully set up a venture that is making money and if so, as an inspiration to us all, what was it?

roger rabbit
30th September 2002, 10:25
I read here that a company called Webtastic was doing particularly well. ;)

30th September 2002, 12:07
I am aware of quite a few in the Cambridge Science Park and similar places.
The Public sector is booming with a huge potential, particularly with the provision of products.
The Third sector ( Charities etc.) also is doing well. This is a multi-billion pounds p.a. sector.

I am currently very keen to hear from companies willing to operate under a common umbrella company (funded by myself) and owned by the individual contractors. The objectives being to leverage the individual contacts ( each contractor must know at least 4/5 companies ) and also competencies.

In my opinion, the difficulties experienced in the market currently are structural and highly unlikely to disappear with time. It would not be wise to wait for better times to return!!!!

As usual on these board, one is likely to attract various types of interests.
Those which have no constructive comment to make, please refrain from doing so.
The others could mail me on fbpmc@aol.com


30th September 2002, 18:57
I've heard a bloke named Bill Gates has done quite well also...

I would guess starting an IT business now would be pretty damned hard. Noone is spending any money, everything is being shipped to India and staff are losing their jobs by the 1000's.

I'd rather startup a plumbing business or sell novelty gnomes at garden fetes. Both would be more profitable than IT.

30th September 2002, 22:53
www.crickett.co.uk, while I'm still mostly contracting we're gained a customer base of around 20 customers at the moment and growing. We've also just built a new portal website which should go live in a few days, and are in dicussions about a joint venture to develop a internet business with a local businessman.

Our hosting side www.cricketthosting.co.uk is making a small profit too.

Regards, S

1st October 2002, 09:25
Glad to hear it.

I'm toying with an idea for a website at the moment, but I need to get up to speed on Web technologies first as I'm a VC++ developer.

2nd October 2002, 08:34
I think the fundamental problem is the corporates are reducing spending and look likely to continue to do so for some time.

Whilst, admittedly, there is alot of money in the public sector, (Increasingly senior managers are jumping ship to the public sector which is annoying career public sector workers big-time.), sadly alot of that work is 'jobs for the boys'.

It really is amazing how, although by law such work has to be advertised and tendered, alot of the work goes to people who know people. I know a guy who, although no IT experience, has just supposedly 'won' a million pound contract - I understand he has close family contacts with the awarding body.

Similarly, I know many self-employed people who swear they will never waste time tendering for public sector contracts again.

Lastly, yesterday I heard of a business - providing long-term health care - which had to go bankrupt. Although it has contracts with the social services departments from TWO Councils it simply could not get the invoices payed and the lack of cash-flow killed it.

I understand the owner went through a nightmare of constant promises that the invoices would be paid but, sadly, he found himself working with a permie mentality where people ALWAYS get their cheques at the end of the week no matter what happens and they just did not understand the urgency...

So, last night, the social services were in a panic wondering who was going to care for about 120 infirm and elderly people, the 70 odd workers had just lost their jobs and, as much as they wanted to work, dared not work any more hours as they had not been paid for a week... Makes you question the whole concept of being self-employed.

6th October 2002, 09:43
We've also just helped launch www.findmeabnb.co.uk which I hope will be of us to some members here.

Regards, S

20th October 2002, 16:13
Do you have an affiliate feed from the BNB site?

I am building a portal. I currently have hotels on it, and am looking for alternative accomodation as well.

A CSV or XML feed would come in useful.

20th October 2002, 17:41

Not as yet no, but we are looking to continually improve it, and if what you propose helps promote the site - or provides direct income we'll be happy to chat to you about what we can do.

Regards, S

22nd October 2002, 18:50
sorry , best of luck with it and all .. but man o man sort out that search page ffs .. the fact that there are 9 possible search fields in the BASIC search shows how little you have considered usability .. when I saw the button marked advanced search I just pissed meself .. you wanna maybe think about simplifying it huh?

22nd October 2002, 21:19

Really, we've had an aweful lot of people esp no it users test the usability and contribute to it, all of them managed to figure out the fields on the front page are each seperate simple searches.

Is (for example) "Find me a B'n'B in this county: " followed by a list of counties and a "go" button really that confusing.

All feedback both positive and negative welcome.

Regards, S

25th October 2002, 09:49
rofl .. all feedback that points out how badly designed it is will be ignored however ,,, lol

25th October 2002, 20:17
What? I wasn't ignored, I asked you (and anyone else reading) a further question.

You are one opinion v's 23 others, we're not going to rush and change it for you, if you've got something further to add it's most welcome.

As 7 of the others were non net users and our client base, whereas I assume you're familiar with the net and computers I have to admit I'm puzzled about your comment.

Do enlighen me.

Regards, S

31st October 2002, 15:24
Yea check out www.trainersoftware.com. We have finished programming it, quite an investment, and are already getting resellers and customers making pre-orders before our marketing has even started just by chancing across the website (not even submitted to search engines yet!)!

Also even better we've had meetings with Reebok, looks like they may be interested in buying the whole thing off us hook line and sinker and giving us a rolling contract for updates!

Not sure I'll go with this though as I think revenue from sales direct is gonna overtake the bottom line that Reebok were talking.


ps. On web-site I know it says '12 units available'. This is because we we're messing around with an auto-stock thingy and invented the number 12! I'll fix it soon! :)

3rd November 2002, 13:35
RAMMShack Motherboards (http://www.ramms.co.uk/motherboards.htm) was launched properly yesterday evening - and has made a couple of potential sales already - both in the dead of night. So hopefully that augers well for us.

3rd November 2002, 13:37
Sorry about the size of the signature. It used to be much more - errr - discrete - but EZBoard changed the posting method, and now there's no control over the size of a graphic.

3rd November 2002, 16:36
Would you mind telling me how you go about getting suppiers etc to set up such a business?

It's not our kind of thing but someone asked the other day and I didn't have a clue.

Cheers, S

17th November 2002, 22:20
Well RAMMS was originally set up with the help of my accountant and friend, as it was required to trade as a contractor. RAMMShack is an extension of that business.

20th November 2002, 19:39

You might want to use the following code for your sig:

{image width=138 height=43}
www.ramms.co.uk/images/rammshack.gif (http://www.ramms.co.uk/images/rammshack.gif){/image}

substituting curly braces {, } for square brackets [, ]


24th November 2002, 17:31
lets see

24th November 2002, 17:35

24th November 2002, 17:37

24th November 2002, 17:40
Humm you sure?

24th November 2002, 17:43
Right this should be it

24th November 2002, 17:46

curlies for squares:-


Being a hologram can be a real pain in the assymetric photons! - Vic Fontaine

{link=www.rammshack.co.uk}{image height=43 width=138 border=0}www.ramms.co.uk/images/rammshack.gif{/image}{/link}

This includes a link back to my website & removes that ugly blue border. I knew roughly how to do this - but I couldn't be *rs*d before now.

:lol :lol

24th November 2002, 17:52
For those that are interested in how signatures like this are done.

Simply post similar code in the box "use custom signature" in your account preferences in the EzBoard Control Centre of your account. Then make sure tht the smaller "use custom signature" tick box has a tick in it.

Beware, whenever you edit it the image link puts "http://" in front of the image name automatically - you must take it out otherwise you'll end up with http://http://, and the image won't work.

12th January 2003, 21:06
Since October I've really been pushing my company.
Here are the results..

1000 letters sent to solicitors etc (1 phone call) - lead to no business

1000 flyers stuck on car windscreens (2 phone calls) - lead to no business

10,000 visits to website scam - got the hits (Lead to no business)

Joined a local government business forum (Lead to no business (as yet (but bloody good piss ups)))

Joined another local government business venture (2 quotes given (1 lead for business)

Add in the Yellow Pages - Since Early January (15 phone calls (4 lead to business (1 really big money))

Still not answered the question but.. It will be YES soon


Get you add in the Yellow Pages..

12th January 2003, 21:10
Since October I've really been pushing my company.
Here are the results..

1000 letters sent to solicitors etc (1 phone call) - lead to no business

1000 flyers stuck on car windscreens (2 phone calls) - lead to no business

10,000 visits to website scam - got the hits (Lead to no business)

Joined a local government business forum (Lead to no business (as yet (but bloody good piss ups)))

Joined another local government business venture (2 quotes given (1 lead to business)

Add in the Yellow Pages - Since Early January (15 phone calls (4 lead to business (1 really big money))

Still not answered the question but.. It will be YES soon


Get you add in the Yellow Pages..

www.plantcomputing.co.uk (http://www.plantcomputing.co.uk)

12th March 2003, 04:10



Debbie ITAccounting Online
12th March 2003, 07:49
Tired of living out of a suitcase after six + years of contracting (SAP ABAP) and with the advent of IR35, combining previous career/experience as Accountant with hands-on contracting experience resulted in ITAccounting, internet based accountancy/taxation service.

Been in business now for 3 and half years, use of the internet to promote / provide and collect information clients made the difference for us.

Good luck to all of you.

ITAccounting Online - Truly Interactive Internet Accounting (http://www.itaccounting.co.uk)

18th March 2003, 18:44
Yes - I've set up two successful IT businesses - but of course it all depends on how you define 'success' and how you define 'IT business'.

The first company was set up in 1981, and is still going, though I left in 1993 (in a boardroom coup). It exploited a niche: developed technical software for the mining industry, and in 1989 and 1990 we got a couple of Queen's Awards, for export and technology. Started with 2 people and GBP100 capital. We had finance from bank, advance purchase by one customer, and a large grant under the Software Products Scheme (this was a very generous 'white heat of technology' initiative by Old Labour, finally axed by Maggie in the mid 80s). Staff grew to 30+ spread over offices in 5 continents. Turnover stabilised at around $5million/yr during the 1990s.

Reasons for success - identified a niche ripe for exploitation, developed a well-engineered product, and most important had 200% committed staff ("not so much a product, more a way of life"). Virtually zero staff turnover for the first 12 years.

Second company, started in 1993, still going (hence by definition successful). Started with 2 people, grew to 3, then back to a different 2. Build project teams of sub-contractors as and when necessary. IT consultancy services to the mining industry. Reasons for success - personal recommendations, word-of-mouth. Zero advertising budget, minimal overheads - even moved from London Docklands to rural Derbyshire to reduce costs as well as improve lifestyle. Loyal clients - developed and managing website for one client since 1996 (is this a record?); working with another on specialised database applications since 2000. Watchword again is niche - find it and stay with it !

Malingering BA
17th May 2003, 14:57
It isn't an IT business but I (not on my own, I hasten to add) successfully set up OneTip.Com (http://www.onetip.com) after a particularly unsatisfying stint at a large corporate as a contractor lead me to believe there had to be something better in life.

Advertising is the key - even if people don't make use of your business themselves, they may remember your name if a friend or relative mentions they are looking for someone who does 'x'.

It is also unfortunately true that sex sells. We went through a handing out leaflets exercise a couple of times. On the first occasion, one of our analysts (a man) was assigned the task and he struggled to shift them. On the second occasion, we hired a mini-skirted dolly bird and she was beating them off with a stick - we couldn't print the leaflets fast enough!

Just my two pen'orth!

Malingering BA.

OneTip.Com (http://www.onetip.com)
A Winning Combination

18th May 2003, 11:50
Shop business. Bugger all to do with IT but we sell Monkeys/
Big ones, small ones, furry ones oh and loads of furniture and gifts.

Just looking for a 2nd premises at the moment.

18th May 2003, 20:54

When you get a chance have a look at Beaconsfield or Amersham for premises. Suitable catchment area and last time I was past that way, there were a few options.

23rd June 2003, 14:05
Well, my business may not be a 'core' it business being primarily concerned with the areas of BS7799 and information security legislation, but now in our second tax year, and having just won an IR35 case, I would class us as a success. :hat


25th June 2003, 14:48
We now have a new opportunity: -

We are looking for Small Businesses (SME's) that would like to upgrade their 1, 2 or 3 PC or small peer to peer network and start looking proper Server & Client networking solutions.

We can also integrate practically any bespoke application that our customers might need.

More details HERE (http://www.ramms.co.uk/novell.htm)

By the way - Small Business Suite 6 for up to 5 users & 2 servers is free, but we make a small charge for the media, delivery and a deposit, which is refundable against upgrading or engaging our services within 3 months.

6th July 2003, 15:57
Shop, what are you advertising yourself as in the YP, etc?

Matrix IT Ltd
22nd July 2003, 09:39
We're in the process of setting up as an IT consultancy / support company... It's going well so far... Small businesses need a decent level of IT support.