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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

IT outsourcing to Eastern Europe

Hi All,

we are small (10 developers with .NET, C#, PHP, JAVA skills) IT company from Minsk, Belarus.

After 7 years of the successful work only on national projects we have decided to try our strength in Europe or in the States, but have faced some difficulties. The main problem is the search for new customers.

 What measures must be undertaken? We have tried to use freelancer.com or alike sites, but without evident success. Any advice from you guys will be highly appreciated.  You also can write to me to info@it-hod.com

Thanks in advance.
Eugene S Send private email
Thursday, June 05, 2014
Forget about freelancer.com, it attracts too many cheapskates and incompetents.

If you are really good, try Elance. I know a company here in Novosibirsk, about the same size as yours, that climbed to the Top-10 in their category on Elance in about a year and was able to command healthy rates then.

I've also read some positive stories about ODesk, but do not have first-hand evidence.

Do some inbound marketing:

 - Start a blog in English (German if you are after that market), write useful posts about the technologies you are good at. Hire native speakers to proof read, e.g. on freelancer.com. ;) Do not push your services.

 - Release reusable, customer-agnostic pieces of your code as open-source components/libraries. You may need your clients' permission.

It all takes time, patience and hard work, and there is no guaranteed recipe for success. You've been warned.
Dmitry Leskov Send private email
Friday, June 06, 2014
I have seen people asking on sites likes freelancer.com for someone to clone my software (which I have been working on for 9 years and is well over 100k lines of code) for $500. So I would avoid cheap outsourcing sites, unless you want to spend your time dealing with cheapskates, idiots and charlatans.
Andy Brice Send private email
Friday, June 06, 2014
+1 to Andy for that.

Similarly, I've seen posts where people ask for Facebook clones for a few hundred dollars. I guess the software you see would be quite easy, but all the infrastructure stuff behind it is way expensive to replicate and non-trivial to the extreme.

As for the original question, as well as the good advice above, perhaps you could target companies in your country who have offices in Europe or the USA. If you do a good job at home, maybe the news will travel into your target markets, especially if you give the news a nudge by asking your local contacts to advocate for you overseas.
Scorpio Send private email
Friday, June 06, 2014
Thank you guys for all advices you have given to us.
We will definitely follow them.
Anyway, as we all know, "long way to Fuji starts with the first step".

The  topic is not closed, so if you have something to add, we will consider your opinion.
Eugene S Send private email
Friday, June 06, 2014
I have to disagree with Dmitry - you SHOULD push your services!

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Friday, June 06, 2014
@AC: not in an article that is supposed to be a vendor-neutral source of useful technical and/or business information. The idea is to establish yourself as an expert, not sell your services or product outright.

It really pisses me off when I encounter an article or blog post describing a problem I am facing, only to find, halfway to the bottom, that the author proposes their own commercial offering as the *only* solution.

By all means, display your logo prominently, have an About box in the sidebar telling the curious reader who you are and what you do, list, with a disclaimer, your solution among the alternatives, and so on. But do not do a long sales copy in disguise.

A good objective criterion for neutrality is whether people you don't know post and share links to your materials without you having to ask them for a favor.
Dmitry Leskov @Home Send private email
Saturday, June 07, 2014
Tell me more about sales copy, I'm curious?

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Saturday, June 07, 2014

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Monday, June 09, 2014
@AC: intonation gets lost when words are reduced to bits,  so you left me wondering which of the four meanings of "fanx" to pick:

Dmitry Leskov @Home Send private email
Monday, June 09, 2014
Whichever one is the most sarcastic.

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Thought so.
Dmitry Leskov Send private email
Monday, June 16, 2014
Usual sales crap follows:

Sell benefits, not features.

The autobiographical stuff should *only* support your message that you do "it" better and with greater value than other alternatives.

Your web site is about 2/3 - 80% of the way there. It's pretty decent.

One thing you should be clear about is that you have excellent communication skills - critical for outsourced projects. Bad communication usually kills offshored projects.

I hired someone from eastern Europe a few years ago through ODesk for a small project and the guy drove me nuts with immaturity, IM-speak and failing to grok the project goals... bad communication and not lack of technical skill is why I stopped using the person.
Profit and Loss Send private email
Monday, June 16, 2014

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