Seriously, if you know your stuff, it's a sucker play.
If you can hack, learn to hack the system, man.
Build a network of customers slowly, deliver what you say you will, on time, and your dance card will be filled in no time. Dividends are paid out at substantially lower tax rates than salary in every part of the western world I'm aware of.
This is an answer. It's not the answer a lot of people want to hear, but it certainly addresses most of the challenges.
Ultimately, the companies can't be doing so bad with their model, because stuff gets done, and they make money. If they don't, they go away, and new players step in.
Rinse, lather, repeat.