Originally Posted by mjdemaris
Steve, how did you go about establishing such a beneficial relationship with a professional company? I would like to do the same, but am unsure about who to approach and how.
Sorry about the late reply. In my case, about 60% of my job is developing and maintaining a database for our operations. I built it from scratch as a rank novice, and built up my skills as I went. At a certain point it began to go from an accessory application for minor tasks to the backbone of our operations across several locations with a growing list of users.
At my suggestion to my employer, we engaged a company to review and assess the database for any structural problems or security issues, and make recommendations and adjustments as they saw fit.
As we were working through this process, I was happy that the overall assessment was that they were quite impressed with the quality of my work considering my novice level on commencing the build. After a discussion around how marketable my skillset would be in the marketplace, this has now led to the formation of an arrangement as described above.
I have yet to see this come to fruition from this company, but I have since taken the bold step of starting to make known to friends and family etc. that I am available to assist with database development projects. Having the in-principle arrangement in place with this company I am much more confident about stepping out in this way.
So far I have one completed project outside of my work under my belt, which I was paid a reasonable amount for, and I am looking forward to more work from referrals as the word gets out.
I think that one area of potential business is helping small businesses who are struggling with managing their business using spreadsheets, to convert to Access instead. This will mean taking on fairly basic projects that will deliver high productivity gains for the customer, and make me look better than what I am
My suggestion is to open up a dialog with a few professional companies around your area to explore such potential arrangements. My understanding is that many professional database developers would appreciate having someone they could utilize for intermittent assistance on large projects or to have someone available to refer small projects that they don't really want to take on.