I have a small company (only me, and hire developers on a project to project basis) and I will have soon completed a software product that will help a lot of oil companies (FYI: doing this on request from oil company employees, not just guesswork). I want my tiny company to be the supplier for the big corps, but I am afraid that the structure of my company, size, etc., will be an issue for bigger companies as they've got rules and regulations when doing deals, but with cloud technology I imagine there is an opportunity here. How do I go about this? Am I destined to sell my software to a huge IT corp and just get royalties?

Here's what I don't see so far: executive (buyer) INVOLVEMENT by your target customers.

Go to them. Show them what you've got. Get the testimonials from your employee-level advisors to show them the need is legit. (Use these same employees to start going up the chain and finding out who are the decision makers you need to talk to.) Find out if they are interested.

If they are, say that you want their help with compliance issues (they already employ highly experienced experts in this department, believe me; and you can leverage this). In return you'll give them a deal in licensing the use of the software.

I want you to understand something: User Adoption is key here. Right now, you have nothing. But get ONE user, one client, one recognizable name in your target market using the software, and now you have something.

So be prepared to basically give that initial license away--at least for the first year--if you must. That's your Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement (time for you to read up on negotiation, I think). Because after that, you can go to the next whale and say, "Yeah, ABC Oil is using our product and they sure like it."

If Customer #1 wants a guarantee of exclusivity, like this software is going to give the user a competitive advantage, then guess what, the price goes up.

You cannot protect your idea from being stolen. So quit worrying about that (if you are.) Frankly, most firms and their staff are too darn busy with their own daily firefighting and are only too happy to outsource something like this to someone they can delegate out to.

If you want further detailed strategy help like this, wording for conversations, and more, book a call.

Answered 7 years ago

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