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Coming up with a Business Plan

    • Chris L's Avatar
    • Chris L
    • Sr. Rocketeer
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    Coming up with a Business Plan

    Posted 2 years 11 months ago
    • Can any successful entrepreneurs help me come up with a business plan? How about resources online?
      What steps did you take to become a successful entrepeneur?

      • What is your ratio for designing a client’s website using a Rockettheme template verses designing a website hard coding?
      • Is there a large markdown (reduced fee), for designing with a template website for a client?
      • Does the client have to know it’s a template website? I realize there are many skills that go into editing the template websites and these include graphics and coding.
      • What other skills do you offer your clients in addition to web design?

      I know I will have more questions.

      Thank you for your help.
    • Last Edit: 2 years 11 months ago by Chris L.
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    • David Goode's Avatar
    • David Goode
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    Re: Coming up with a Business Plan

    Posted 2 years 11 months ago
    • Hi Chris,

      1. 90% RocketTheme - the other 10% are sites that don't need a dynamic CMS.
      2. Not sure what you mean by markdown? If you mean "Does a coded site demand a higher fee than a template?" then in my opnion the answer is 'No'. Mainly because I price my jobs based on expected time that will be taken and my hourly rate is the same for coding as it is templating.
      3. In my opinion the answer is 'Yes!'. Don't 'pretend' you've done something you haven't. Your client will find out sooner or later and the only person that will come out bad is you, for lying. I happily tell my clients that I use RocketTheme templates as a starting point because they are so good. I also point out that if I get knowcked over by a bus, get eaten by a lion, or any other method of demise, they will be able to find someone to take over where I left off.
      4. That will depend on the skills you have. I offer hosting, business sanity check of their content, ongoing updates (for a retainer fee plus costs). You can add what you want so long as you can deliver.

      The real trick is to find a niche market and be good at it.

      Hope this helps 8)
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    • David

      Forum Guide
      Please search forums before posting. Please include the Joomla version you are using and a link to the problem.
    • Chris L's Avatar
    • Chris L
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    Re: Coming up with a Business Plan

    Posted 2 years 11 months ago
    • Thanks David. Great advice.

      Might you elaborate a little on how you found your clients (or they found you), and how much you offer for this retainer fee? Basically, you are available 24/7 for your clients under this agreement? Or do you have an allotted time written up in your contract?

      Thank you.
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    • David Goode's Avatar
    • David Goode
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    Re: Coming up with a Business Plan

    Posted 2 years 11 months ago
    • Hi Chris,

      Finding clients is rather like fishing. First you need to know what sort of client you want in order to bait the hook. Then you need one to bite and you do a great job EVEN IF IT COSTS YOU A SMALLER PROFIT! They will tell others. You then negotiate your price towards a compromise.

      Once you have a niche you will get more work via word of mouth.

      I offer web hosting so my phone is with me night and day. In 5 years I have only had 2 calls at silly o'clock. Answering out of hours makes clients feel safe.

      Retainers - I give an agreement based on anticipated number of updates that will be required per month. Some sites will be as low as 1 hour per month so they just pay me £50 per month and I will give them one hour of support, night or day. Above 1 hour is chargeable. They get a discount if they pay 1 year in advance etc. Carry over of hours is for 3 months only. Any accrued hours not used in 3 months are forfeited.

      The golden rule - don't be afraid to say 'No' - some clients want the Earth for very little money. They will steal your time and kill your business. Always explain why you are saying 'No' so they can see that you are being fair. If they still won't budge then you don't want them as a client.

      Hope this helps 8)
    • The following users have thanked you: Chris L

    • David

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    • Chris L's Avatar
    • Chris L
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    Re: Coming up with a Business Plan

    Posted 2 years 10 months ago
    • How about charging for my Joomla services? Is it best to charge per job or charge per hour? I have read it's best to charge per job. And how can I find out the best fee to charge?
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    • David Goode's Avatar
    • David Goode
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    Re: Coming up with a Business Plan

    Posted 2 years 10 months ago
    • Hi Chris,

      Freelancing is like any other service based business. Your garage charges a fixed labour rate of so much per hour. The average job will have a fixed time to complete so garages can quote a price for the job. Then they find a problem and phone you to explain it is now going to cost more. What most people forget is that the garage has high overhead costs so their hourly rate has to be calculated to be able to absorb a high level of those costs. The service manager is responsible for ensuring his mechanics are utilised all day everyday, although in reality it is 95% to 98% because they waste time moving cars.

      Now look at your own business. Yes, we can calculate the average 5 page website with a few temnplate changes will take around 3 hours subject to how many extensions are involved. But we get a feel for which extensions are trouble free and can be installed quickly. Now most of us can say how long we expect to take and then add 15% time as a safety net. Based on your hourly rate you now quote a price.

      Please remember that in many small businesses your time is spent looking for new clients as well as actual work on a job. Your hourly rate needs to reflect a protion of income to cover that down time, as well as any software costs such as Adobe, club memberships etc. Otherwise you fall into the trap of charging an hourly rate that doesn't give enough profit for taxes, liability insurance, new hardware every couple of years, ongoing costs etc.

      If you want to survive go and read a few books on starting a business in the service sector. You will then have three choices - do the job properly and likely survive. Change your mind entirely and do something else. Or, like a lot of people, ignore solid advice, price jobs to undercut everyone else then get the biggest bunch of loser clients ever until they hound you into bankruptcy or the grave, whichever comes first.

      May sound harsh but it is reality. Most new businesses fail in the first 12 months. A tiny proportion last 3 years, which is considered the safety line for a new business.

      Hope this helps 8)
    • David

      Forum Guide
      Please search forums before posting. Please include the Joomla version you are using and a link to the problem.

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