Can you compete in crowded area?
Below you will find two sample projects announced on guru.com. First: is hardware-related work, 2nd is a plain database:
Notice the difference in proposals counters. 1st project has no bids as it's:
- complicated: real time compression probably will require hardware support thus it requires pretty complicated embedding of H264 encoder on FPGA chip
- unpopular: I bet hardware guys are outnumbered by PHP programmers with ratio 1 to 1000
- risky: you cannot work on high level of abstraction leaving all the ugly details (OS services, memory management, …) for lower layers
2nd project has many proposals and I bet there are many talented Hindi specialists that will do the job for 20% of offer you expect to earn. So you will loose with your bid (make no money).
The general idea is to find a niche that is not easy to reach by other software development companies to be able to compete in smaller market. Even if you have brilliant PHP programmers you have to limit your project budget expectations according to 100s others PHP-related companies around, the one with highest quality / cost will win.