Consulting - 02-24-2004 , 03:55 PM
Hello...I am a FileMaker developer looking to branch out on my own (leave my
current job!) and start my own consulting business. I already have one
client on the side, with a little bit of work. I have a few other potential
clients lined up. If I leave my current job, they most definitely will need
my help - if they'll take it...
Anyway, I was wondering if anybody had any advice to help get me started. I
am not a member of the FileMaker alliance, although I am seriously
considering applying. I have 7 years of experience developing solely
FileMaker databases and I am almost completely self-taught. I attended a
MacAcademy course back in 2001 to help learn some more advanced techniques.
A couple drawbacks is that I am limited to desktop databases. I have
tinkered with Developer, but I have never used Unlimited, nor have I
developed a website and accessed a FMP db through a website. I do have web
development experience and I'm about to start playing with website access to
the databases, along with Java access of the databases.
Well, that's my background...any advice for brancing out on my own would be
PowerMac G4 DP 867MHz OS 10.2.8
Dell Dimension 8200 XP Home
Re: Consulting - 02-24-2004 , 04:34 PM
Hi Edward. First off, you write that you have 'tinkered' with Developer and
never used Unlimited. No need to concern yourself with either. Developer has
a debugger built into its version of FileMaker but that's the only
difference between it and a standard version of FileMaker. As far as
Unlimited, it is nothing but FileMaker with no limits placed on the number
of users that can access a shared database over the internet.
I don't know if I really have any advice as far as how to get started on
your own. If you have talent then you should be able to pick up clients.
Just don't expect to be swamped with them immediately. It takes time to
build a client base. I don't know where you're located. Location, I think,
has a great deal to do with whether or not you'll be able to get clients
that use FileMaker. You may benefit from becoming a member of the FileMaker
Solutions Alliance. If you're located in an area where there is a large
FileMaker user base then you may pick up business from your listing in their
database. But then, I have a friend in San Antonio that joined and has never
received any business from his listing. I personally never worked with
FileMaker until I had a customer that used FileMaker and they lost their in
house person who was maintaining their database. That was back before
FileMaker was relational and getting information from one file to another
required another field and a lookup. I don't do just FileMaker work, either.
I do network administration for NT, Linux and Mac OS X so over the years I
have found other businesses that use FileMaker and have taken on maintaining
and updating their databases. When I've been approached by prospective
clients to develop a new database, I don't automatically recommend
FileMaker. I take a look at their needs and then make suggestions on how
they can achieve their goals. At any rate, don't expect everything to be
great in the beginning. When you're working on your own and running your own
business, you should expect to put in long hours. I'm sure that you'll work
more hours than you do being employed.
"Edward W. McPike, Jr." <emcpike (AT) emcpike (DOT) com> wrote