I have been thinking about this for a long time and did not find the right answer - Is my approach of running a web design & development company based on freelancing sites a sensible option?
Before going to the details, let me give you some information about our background.
Me and my partner returned back from US a few years back and started a website design & development venture in India. When we started this venture, we were hoping that our technical domain knowledge coupled with our project management experience that we gained in US will help us in establishing a successful web design firm. Unfortunately, things did not work as we had expected.
When we were at the start-up stage, we worked patiently towards building a good technical team and we worked hard to get website projects. We did manage to find some projects through getafreelancer.com by bidding aggressively and we could build up a decent portfolio over a period of time. Since the Indian market hasn't matured enough in terms of website demand, we are still relying on the international market. Though we are still managing to win projects now and then at getafreelancer.com by bidding heavily, we haven't been successful in finding a long term client with regular projects to outsource to us till now. Unfortunately, all the projects that we won at getafreelancer.com were one time assignments (personal projects) with little or no scope for continuous work.
So, despite the fact that our prices are highly competitive for the quality and customer support we offer (our 25+ one time customers can vouch for us), we are still in a situation where we have to bid at freelancing sites to get some projects.
The fact that we aren't able to attract long term clients after putting so much efforts in our venture is frustrating at times. We even thought of making a trip to US or Europe to find long term website projects, but dropped this idea based on some expert suggestions.
As we have to bid very aggressively in getafreelancer.com for winning projects, we either make no money or end up making negative margin when we work on those projects. We are pretty sure that this cannot continue for ever, as our recurring costs of running a company is slowly killing us.
As I had already explained, we now have a decent project portfolio and a team of highly skilled resources. Though I know that the long term business relationship is not an easy thing to happen, I want to understand if we need to adopt a different business strategy to garner a good client base instead of just relying on the freelancing sites.
I look forward to your inputs.
Thanks & Best regards,