Businesses to start as a software developer

March 04, 2024 •

Software development is a career with many ways to expand, which includes business. These are my top five businesses to run as a software developer, so let’s discuss them.

1. Freelancing

Freelancing is an excellent business to begin. You are the boss and take on clients according to your availability. Freelancing frees you to choose your clients, work hours, and the projects you are interested in.

These jobs build your reputation and client base, which brings in more clients. Create a freelancing profile and build your portfolio of completed tasks and projects. You can create a freelancer profile on UpWork, Fiverr, or Freelancer.

Freelancing offers the best growth potential that can branch out to different software development disciplines, such as consultancy. Building a phenomenal portfolio earns you respect and command of the market, allowing you to branch into consultancy. You can then run your consultancy as you continue freelancing.

Freelancing also frees you to be contacted by various firms or organizations, allowing you to work on multiple projects simultaneously. The room to diversify is endless and limited by how much you can handle.

Freelancing has its pros and cons. The pros are no upfront costs to start the business, and you can start immediately. You'll trade time and experience for monetary compensation. This makes it a worthwhile venture.

The cons associated with freelancing is the difficulty of scaling it up. Gaining new clients may force you to expand your venture. You’ll need to hire people to work for you. You’ll have to learn how to handle an establishment, the legalities of an enterprise, and how to run it. Luckily, I have written everything you need to know about this. Read First Employee - Solopreneur to Entrepreneur to learn how to transition to an establishment.

2. Independent Projects

You can take part in independent projects that interest you. These projects can be as simple as a consultation to being the full-stack developer on a project. A good reputation in software development will make you an attractive asset for many independent projects.

You can team up with previous colleagues or clients and become part of their independent projects. This collaborative approach is an alternative to freelancing. You still maintain the freedom to choose which independent projects to participate in, which people to work with, and which discipline to pursue.

You gain valuable experience and widen your network, which puts you in a prime position to land more lucrative roles in other projects.

Independent projects have their pros and cons. The pros are that you’ll be well-embedded in the project. You’ll be an integral part of the team, and your name will gain recognition within the independent project ecosystem.

The cons of independent projects are similar to those of freelancing. You’ll have to scale up and take on other developers to form an organization. Scaling up is difficult. You’ll need to learn everything about creating an organization, the legalities, and how to run it.

3. App Development and SaaS

Software as a service (SaaS) and App development are good business opportunities to pursue. SaaS is a popular method of delivering software to clients over the Internet. You can create any software and make it available as a service over the Internet.

These software range from project management tools like Goleko to excellent document creation software like ElegantDoc that I created.

Clients subscribe to use this software, which earns you income. You are free to improve your software, improving the user experience(UX).

App development is another lucrative business idea. Mobile devices, tabs, and computers use applications. You can create any application or work on applications by independent developers. You can work as a full-stack developer or a dedicated tester in the app development process.

Working on applications and SaaS gives you a great avenue to monetize your skill set.

App development and SaaS have pros and cons. The pros are that you’ll make money even in your sleep. The apps and SaaS will continue generating income through subscriptions, in-app purchases, or both. This makes it a lucrative option to pursue.

The cons of app development and SaaS are the need for investment. You must invest your time and resources into these projects. These investments do not pan out, most times. This is a risk associated with app development and SaaS. The risks are just as significant as the potential rewards.

4. Plugins

You can create a business centered around creating plugins for software development companies. Plugins are a niche and unsaturated market in software development.

Plugins work as a simple way of improving software or adding functionality to it to improve the software and enhance user experience (UX).

Create a portfolio consisting of successful plugin projects done for various software. You can create plugins that work well with generic software and monetize them to generate income. This service will improve the software's reputation and increase the money generated.

Plugins have pros and cons. The pros of plugins are that they require less marketing. The marketing is handled by the platform that houses your plugin. You earn money even in your sleep when your plugins are used on these platforms. This makes plugins lucrative to pursue.

The cons of plugins are that your income depends on the platform that houses your plugin. You stand to lose everything if you get banned from the website or the platform changes its terms of service. Any of these changes may result in you losing millions overnight and going down to zero.

5. Cybersecurity

You can branch into cybersecurity as your business of choice. You can specialize in this field and work on improving the security of the software.

Cybersecurity is a crucial aspect of many organizations, and preventing attacks that can lead to data loss or catastrophic consequences is pivotal. You can work in cybersecurity as a consultant or actively involve yourself in the coding process to enhance the security of the software.

Cybersecurity is a high-demand venture, which makes it a lucrative business plan.

Cybersecurity has pros and cons. The pros of cybersecurity depend on the branch of software development you’ve chosen. It is easier to transition into cybersecurity as a programmer, as the two disciplines are similar.

The con of cybersecurity involves having a lot to learn. This is the case for anyone who is not a programmer. The learning process is heavy and requires time and commitment to accomplish.


Software development is a phenomenal career path. It is not restricted to plain software development. These are some of the many business options available to you as a software developer. No one business is better than the other. They all have pros and cons. The best venture is the one that you love and fits your interests.

Many opportunities are available for you to pursue. You can make a lot of money and widen your client base. These business opportunities serve to update your portfolio, giving you the best platform to diversify your skill set.

Expanding your business of choice will have you need talented and expert workers to help you. Contact Testing Helper to get the best testers to help you test the software you create. These testers are ideal for app and game development and even SaaS.

Read First Employee - Solopreneur to Entrepreneur to learn about the intricacies associated with expanding your business to a multi-person organization.