Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thoughts about Web Development Partnership

My business has been registered for about a year-and-a-half during which I have had some customers, a year of other full time employment, a wife recovering from cancer, guitar students and a busy life. Now I'm setting a goal and a deadline for business development and have invited a friend to join me.

Original motives
The freedom to live anywhere and earn a living, even in old age.
Freedom from an employer's vacation schedule means the freedom to take trips throughout the year.
We can satisfy our values for living by helping folks to get online with a cost effective and pleasing presence, whether a free web site hosted by Google or our inexpensive hosting. There are lots of fine people who would be grateful to us as some already are.
Any business owner has a dream to make a LOT of money.
Looking for a job consumes a lot of time and anxiety, this is another freedom.

The target market is new businesses that don't have a web site.

I found in the past that there's always a need for home repair and that my business thrived by word of mouth. Likewise I believe for web development, somebody's going to be building a lot of web sites for new companies. The challenge is to get our message to them.
find them on Craigslist and

new businesses at a training-and-support program I belong to, trains about 30 new business owners every 3 months, with at least 10 of them carrying on with their dreams.

Non-profits. We might qualify for more contracts if my wife becomes a principal in the company, as a woman and an immigrant.

eCommerce, of course. I need to develop the sample eCommerce site I have.

monthly revenue from ongoing marketing -- search engine optimization.
My friend pays monthly for this service for his artist's web site. I'll follow up researching the business model.

business services such as bill pay and phone pay and click to call

helping new businesses to set up their books -- the idea of offering this service comes from recently updating my books using a good, free system. I wish to purchase Quicken, which simplifies things, especially taxes.

use templates, e.g. the ones on peteschulte.info -- we could just assemble a bunch of CSS, DreamWeaver and Joomlaofferings that are already online or build some in DreamWeaver.

I don't know how we would structure the compensation or ownership of the company. In past years I've hired 4 or more guys from CL to help with remodeling jobs and each was happy to work for me again. So I have confidence that we are capable of working out something fair and effective.

Once that is in place, I really like the management strategies in a small book called The E-Myth by Michael Gerber.

Within the last year a new coffee house started in my neighborhood. I'm skeptical about it surviving and feel the same about a web development company. The economy is depressed and there's a lack of surplus cash and enthusiasm for new companies that would need web sites.
For me this means that getting a full time job may soon become priority one.

Between now and then, June 15th, against my expectations, I want to see if I can earn $20.00 for 40 hours a week at my business, $800 net. This means gross revenues about $1100.00 per week to cover taxes. We would want to achieve double that for two of us.

Some years ago I did market research and found that charging $40.00 / hour is standard.

Recent Motivations
The reason I proposed working together is that my friend and I created a lot of synergy doing his remodeling project for 5 days. Replacing two 8-foot door frames with one slider door and a separate side light window was half. This involved some new deck floor, which we had to seal against rain and wind on the Oregon coast and replacing the adjacent siding. The other half was replacing the ceiling in the room below.

What I liked was the freedom to take a chunk of work and do it until it was done, without really thinking about all of the other chunks. Also, working together, we corrected and improved each others approach to doing things that came up unexpectedly.

It's so difficult for me to use a schedule for web work, with the conflicting priorities and interruptions from my life.
Now my wife is finished with the most demanding cancer survivor treatments and has recovered her can-do attitude. My day is punctuated by driving her to-and-from work and medical appointments, in addition to several hours a week shopping. The new schedule has me returning home about 8:15 and picking her up at 3:30.
It's a pleasure to have this high quality of life with her, but also aggravating and frustrating trying to remodel the basement, maintain the weekly chores, the vehicles and build my business. During the day I need to prep vegetables for dinner and/or cook rice and go to the gym. You might think the gym would be an evening activity -- wish that it were.

Scheduled times for web work as a team would really help!