“You can take on projects that you normally wouldn’t have staff for.”

Web developer Alexander Schell on the possibility of scaling your own business with Vicoland

Alexander, you have been self-employed for 15 years now. What do you like about it? What motivated you to choose self-employment over a secure job?

I was unexpectedly laid off back then. That made me realize that I don’t want to depend on someone else for something as important as a stable income and the influence it has on my life. I want a self-determined life.

What is the focus of your service offering? What expertise do you offer with your Vico?

I am a member of several Vicos, that’s the cool thing about the platform. The main focus is on web development. On the one hand, we build web applications using the programming languages PHP, Node.js, Angular, vue.js and react. On the other hand, we develop with store and CMS systems like Shopify, Shopware, Drupal and WordPress.

You may not be able to mention client names, but to what extent are you currently involved in Vicoland projects? What are they about?

Currently we are involved in several projects. The first one is mainly about support, further development and ensuring the ongoing operation of a project in a complex software landscape. The second project is in pure Drupal development.

Vicoland not only provides you with project opportunities but also enables you to handle them through the platform. What does the platform offer for your Vicos?

The platform allows us to present a team as a Vico. It doesn’t matter whether they are our own employees, employees from other companies, or self-employed individuals. Everything from creating offers, contract drafting, invoicing, to money transfers is handled through the platform. It may be unusual at first, but it becomes very convenient and time-saving as you go along.

What is the biggest advantage of working with Vicoland?

The biggest advantage is that as a manager, you can take on projects for which you wouldn’t normally have the personnel. I can only execute projects if I have the right personnel with the appropriate expertise and skills available. This is often not the case. With Vicoland, I can bring together my own team with external individuals and efficiently meet all project requirements.

What prospects do you see in the cooperation with Vicoland?

Vicoland offers the chance to implement large projects and gathers the necessary experts for this on the platform. This offers many opportunities, both for agencies with project experience and for experienced freelancers. Currently, both the candidates and the projects are at a very professional level. If Vicoland manages to maintain this level, the platform will remain an important strategic partner for us.

What tips do you have for professionals who want to become self-employed? What were your most important learnings?

Starting a business in Germany is very labor-intensive and time-consuming. You have to master a lot of tasks outside your actual expertise – legal and tax issues are particularly critical in Germany and drive many startups to ruin. Therefore, it is advisable to get a good tax advisor and a competent lawyer on board right at the beginning.

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