Selling Products Online

If you want to create your own ISV (independent software vendor) business I wanted to encourage you to do so (from my experience since 2004 when I started DlhSoft and until now).
  • A good idea regarding what software tools you want to build and sell (find a niche area if possible, and focus on that, creating more than one product, related with that nieche field)
  • Some money, to create the company in your country, pay initial taxes, etc. Make sure you stick to every law of your country (may need some juridic consultancy)
  • A plan for project development and a good project manager – you can create the plan and be the project manager if you have the time and right abilities
  • Some good developers (or only one, depending on your product) – or you can be the developer yourself also, but then you may need a lot of time
  • Don’t forget QA – testing – you can do it too, but better to pay someone else to do it; but make sure he or she is really dedicated to find your program’s bugs
  • Build a simple Web site for presenting your product; show general information, screenshots, sample usage guidelines, and if possible, video and/or interactive demos
  • Also provide full-featured trial versions, that expired after 15 days for example; if you’re building development tools, you can have the trial unlimited in time, but make sure you show a message box from time to time telling that the user is running an unlicensed version
  • Promote your site and product(s) online, on other sites, where you want and can
  • Finally, partner with a company like 2CheckOut (I vote AGAINST PayPal as they don’t support payments to a lot of countries, including UE countries like Romania, for example! – BAD for them) that enable customers to purchase licenses for your product, online, and start selling your product. Make sure you integrate your Web site with the new payment tool
  • Then you need wait some time to see your product being downloaded and adopted. Then your first customers will buy. Then others. And after a few time (the exact frame isdepending on many factors), you’ll get all your investments back and start some winning. If your product is good, of course 🙂
  • Everytime make quality your first and most important priority. These are NOT JUST WORDS
  • Offer free unlimited support for your product, even when in trial version mod, without any limitations, even though in the license agreement you put in a fixed value, such as 90 days. Pay hours to answer your customers’ questions. Then add FAQs on your site to avoid being asked again (although it WILL happen). Never ever wait more than 24h before answering a question or comment. Never have holidays without your laptop and Internet connection. It may sound tough, but if software is your passion, like mine, it’s not going to be hard for you to do so
  • And make sure your wife/husband or girlfriend/boyfriend understands you! Never marry someone you know won’t be able to support your tough life.

I hope it helps you gain some courrage (or not 😉 and start your company up. Who knows, maybe in the future, we’ll be partners. However, I hope you don’t select the same nieche market as DlhSoft’s (although anyway now that’s not a niece anymore, since we started in 2004 our competition grown a lot). 🙂

Have fun!


About Sorin Dolha

My passion is software development, but I also like physics.
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