In my recent article on some sentiments by Strive Masiyiwa on artificial intelligence (AI). One of the vital issues raised by Strive is the importance for people to know or have an appreciation of coding. According to him and as true as it actually is, coding is a key ingredient in our strategic positioning to embrace and harness the power of AI. I was introduced to computers at the age of 12 and coded my first software application at the age of 15 (a library management system). So I have an intimate appreciation of how coding can open certain doors for you. Today I’m discussing some business ideas coders can pursue locally.
The creation and propagation of content is now a big business initiative these days. If you’re a coder you niche can span from software-related issues to tech topics in general. You have the room to choose which channel to use i.e. blogging, vlogging or podcasting. You have the advantage of leveraging on social media to redirect your audience to landing pages that can be in the form of a website, a podcast or video content sites such as YouTube. The idea is to create content that engages and lures more and more visitors to your sites. You can do this by producing periodic articles or videos on coding and tech-related issues. If you execute this well you’ll end up getting advertisers approaching you for ad placement. The other advantage also is that you’ll even now have a huge reach of people who you can advertise your own products or services to.
For coders, the most obvious business approach is the development of software. I’ll touch on 3 angles to take this business idea from because you must do your research to see which one is best for you. The pricing regimes and revenue mechanisms differ for all 3 and that can guide you in making decisions.
Software As A Service (SaaS)
SaaS is when you develop software that can be accessed by many different clients for their respective needs. In a sense, this is software that’ll be off-the-shelf i.e. it’s generally developed to cater for a certain service several clients might need. For instance, payroll software can be developed as SaaS for adoption by various types of clients. Developing SaaS is less tasking because you only develop once and sell to many different types of clients. This is unlike when you develop software from scratch for each and every client. For SaaS you can even make it accessible online so that appending updates becomes easy. So the crux of SaaS is to research and identify a commonly-used service and develop off-the-shelf software which clients can buy outright or subscribe to use.
This entails offering software development services where you develop software based on specific client needs. Suppose a client runs a truck business and has been managing the fleet’s records manually. This person might wish to have computer software (maybe in the form of a DBMS – database management system) for fleet management. This is an example of how the expertise of a coder can be harnessed and monetized.
Mobile App Development
I’ve pointed out many times before that we still have a huge gap in mobile app development locally. I’m glad though to see some innovative mobile apps being introduced; quick examples are the Batsira Mobile App (available on Google Play and App Stores) and Accoleisure (available on Google Play and App Stores). Batsira is a mobile app that exclusively lists Zimbabwean businesses that provide the best service. Accoleisure is a mobile app that serves as an accommodation and leisure tour guide that provides full contact details of local tourism operators or service providers. There are many ways to make money from mobile apps e.g. subscriptions, ad placements, amongst others.
The idea here is to come up with courses either to be done online or physically. I’m a product of such initiatives actually because when I was 12 years of age I underwent a 4-week physical classroom computer literacy course that opened me up to my passion for computer science and software engineering. You can even adopt the approach of video tutorials (if you go on YouTube this is quite commonplace). The other approach can be to offer closed-circuit tutorials only accessible through subscribing on your exclusive website. The easiest one is to identify a strategic venue or even your home to offer coding or other related courses, lessons or tutorials.
If you’re someone who codes chances are usually high that you wield a diversity of skills or expertise in the field of IT. This means you are of assistance to many different clients regarding many possible scenarios. This is akin to offering freelance services e.g. tech support, system analysis or reviews, amongst others.
So these are 5 business ideas that you can explore if you can code. Coding is one of the most valuable skillsets one can ever have these days. Digitization is one of the most high-priority goals for the local government; besides, we’re now living in an ever-growing digital age. So position yourself strategically as a coder and make lots of money.