I have been working remote for the same client for nearly 10 years. I was a full-time employee and someone I worked with previously presented me with the opportunity (Primarily C# Stack). Sadly the contract is scheduled to expire in December.

Does anyone have any experience with building a team and getting team based contracts vs. individuals in the IT field. I know there would need to be a single point of contact but leveraging talents from a pool of developers enables throttling as well as allocating tasks to the best suited resource. A 3 month contract could be the result of many people's contributions IMO.

I have worked with some extremely talented people and I want to continue to do so. I do receive a lot of job reqs for perm but I have been unable to convert to remote project/contract type work.

  • So you basically mean starting a company? – user3244085 May 18 '17 at 19:58
  • Sounds like you're more interested in a start-up than freelancing. Try the startups.stackexchange.com website instead. – user16080 May 19 '17 at 5:49
  • Not necessarily a company. Many freelancers starts offering services as a team without having a company. They take the work, outsource it and monitor its progress. – Peter MV May 19 '17 at 11:33
  • To be more precise, I have a few people that I currently work with and we all want to continue to work together. We have been consulting at the same client for a very long time and would like to continue to do consulting together as a "logical" company as we all have our own corps. Build up clients base interested in hiring consultants. – Spartan Jun 2 '17 at 2:44
  • The answer to "does anyone have any experience" is... probably. However, I'm not entirely sure this is a good fit for this site as-is; it's asking for a broad opinion/advice, without a specific, answerable question. For that reason, I'm closing this as too broad. – Amelia Jun 6 '17 at 16:40

Going from single freelancer that does all the work himself to a team leader is a totally different thing. I have done the same and ended up doing little to no coding and mainly working on monitoring, leading, issue resolving, etc. In short, doing boring stuff instead of things I like.

Since it is impossible to explain all issues you may face, I will point out the most important ones. All the rest will be learned on the fly: from good extra earning, to money loss, broken nerves,...

Important things when someone else is doing the work and you are the only point of contact:

  1. You must be familiar with ALL parts of the project. Just as you are coding it, but not using your hands.

  2. You must insist on your quality standards or the clients will quickly see that the output is not as good as when you worked on it

  3. Regardless of the fact that they are doing the work, you and your reputation are on the line. Just as you are doing the work. If something bad happens, you will not be able to blame the team. Protect your reputation.

  4. When estimating project, ask the team to do another estimation (aside of yours) and compare them. If you can finish something in 1d, it does not mean that they can as well.

  5. When calculating how much to charge the project, count time you may spend on the project (leading or fixing things) aside of the hours you spend on managing project and amount you want to earn on top of all costs.

  6. Try to NEVER tell your clients that you will do the work if the team will. Developer negotiating skills to sell your team which will be monitored by a guru (yourself). NOTE: Unless you are starving and have not penny aside, never lie your clients.

  7. When estimating projects costs and if you have guys on monthly salary, then calculate a buffer for salaries. It's the amount you take away from money your earned in the project and set aside for salaries in rainy days.

  8. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER think that all money you earned is for spending. If you are doing this as the primary job, set your salary and live with the salary. There will be millions of things that you will have to buy from the money you leave aside.

  9. Developer organisational skills as you will have to document everything. From a few answers a client told you about the project to list of questions the team sends you. You will drown in the papers (electronic ones of course), but never keep anything in your head.

  10. Do not be cheap not to afford the best paid tools to speed up your business. They are usually 10 or 20 dollars a month and will save you hours.

  11. Surround yourself with honest and trustworthy people. They must understand the project aims and to live for the project. MUST MUST MUST be easy to work on. I intentionally did not mention "find the best programmers around" because approx 90% of my projects are of average complexity. So 1 senior and 5 juniors of the above mentioned qualities will do more than 5 seniors with the opposite qualities.

After a few years, if this process is still working and you are still earning money, you can think of making a company as you will have a base of clients.


Does anyone have any experience with building a team and getting team based contracts vs. individuals in the IT field.

Yes I do. This is the reality IMHO. One person gets the contract and de-facto is the project lead. That person then uses their contacts to build a team to fulfill the contract, but takes full responsibility for the implementation and takes all the risks of failure.

You have connections that you can leverage. Use them and they will use you when they get contracts.

The dream, and I call it that on purpose, is that several non-committed people begin advertising under a single corporate banner, let us call it Sky-X for example. Sky-X wins a contract, but who is the boss? Who appoints roles? Who distributes profits, or pays for losses. Who invests what to start advertising? Sky-x is really a company, and needs to be one to succeed. The dream of a loosely coupled team of individuals running off doing their own things but working under one name just simply does not work in the real world.

The reality is that someone has to take the risk. If you own the brand Sky-X and you invest in the advertising and prep work, and you remain in control, leveraging your contacts, other freelances etc. then you might make it work. But forming a company is relatively quick, easy and cheap, that you might as well go the whole hog and do it properly.

Otherwise, you are just a freelancer using the services of other freelancers. Which is of course a perfectly normal and standard practice.

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