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I am the owner of a small company, self-employed and working with freelancers every now and then. Working in a high-tech area (IT), selling a software packet and delivering development services.

I have opportunities to address bigger companies. These have concerns regarding stability and durability of my company, and they are right. The main issues to be addressed for the long run are 1) availability of the product; 2) technical support; 3) continued evolution; 4) preservation of the know-how.

I am open to many options, including partial buy-out of the company, but this is not my preferred one.

Are there known solutions to handle such situations ?

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I don't really see any options other than target a different market. Start selling to smaller companies. Build your business. Once you do that, the concerns of the large corporations will be reduced.

They want to protect their ass. You're not going to trick them. Build a business, then grow into the enterprise market.

  • I don't want to trick them. I do want to take measures such that they can rely on my product in the long term. I need such companies to make my business sustainable. – Harry Cover Jul 31 '14 at 7:39
  • Then you'll need to build trust. Unfortunately, there isn't a quick fix. – Paul Dessert Jul 31 '14 at 7:45
  • As I understand for now, I'd need extra human resources to keep the know-how safe, such that they could be put at disposal of these customers in case of need. But currently I cannot afford to hire guys. – Harry Cover Jul 31 '14 at 7:52
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As @Paul said in his answer above, you can change your market.

Another option other than the buyout (or partial buyout) from the large corporations would be to attempt to form a consortium of buyers for your product + support.

If you could get a few different companies to agree to pay for product support for some number of years, then that would mitigate much of the stability issue.

This is sort of how CVS and SVN (versioning systems) were funded I believe. It can be done, but is likely not easy.

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