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Old 05-15-2013, 01:44 AM   #1
GBalcom
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Ideas for side work

I'm an access veteran, versed in VBA. I'd like to start earning some side income utilizing one of my skills. I've considered creating applications for people, but don't know where to find clientle. Any Ideas? I'm already on Guru.com (just started), but I'd prefer to look at local businesses....What is the ideal Target business / market for what I need?

Thanks,
Gary

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Old 05-30-2013, 12:53 PM   #2
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Re: Ideas for side work

Hi Gary,

I can suggest you to start building a website to promote yourself and your service/product. Second step is to promote it by a Web Marketing Plan. In few month you could discover if your service is interesting or not. Your work will be safe because your first goal is promote yourself!
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:53 PM   #3
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Re: Ideas for side work

If you are starting new without existing clients, I agree with Christian. Not sure of the benefits of Guru and similar sites - a lot of competition from the Far East with very low prices.

I work for myself and now get most of my work through referrals and recommendations. But in the early days (about 15 years ago) I was in the same position as you. If you want local then attend networking meetings and other business events, look to see who is advertising in the local paper/webs/yellow pages. Look at what you have done in the past - is there something there with which you can target local companies because you know the industry or have a in depth knowledge of a particular functionality which would be of benefit to them e.g. appointment making, CRM, POS, health & safety, HR.

Basically it is a numbers game, people need to know you are there. Not sure what the figures are these days with the web etc, but it used to be roughly for every 1500 prospects (i.e. they are aware of you) you would get one bit of business. This improves over time.

What constitutes an ideal target market is very much up to you. It depends on your personal skills and experience and what is available locally. Whatever company it is it needs to justify any expenditure on software which will save them money and/or improve their own sales opportunities so I would avoid solutions which can be easily replicated in Excel or easily solved by a competetively priced turnkey system - unless you want to do it as part of your strategy.

Ensure you offer a professional service, provide a properly specified quote which can be discounted if you want (at least if you don't make enough money it is because you have either not specified correctly or have discounted too much - either way, your fault and a learning point for the future!).

You also need to decide your strategy, are you offering to develop an open source solution which the customer then takes on the maintenance themselves using their own resources or do you provide a locked down system with a mainenance agreement, or something in between.

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Old 08-21-2013, 11:26 PM   #4
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Re: Ideas for side work

You also need to decide your strategy, are you offering to develop an open source solution which the customer then takes on the maintenance themselves using their own resources.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:53 PM   #5
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Re: Ideas for side work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian1977 View Post
Hi Gary,

I can suggest you to start building a website to promote yourself and your service/product. Second step is to promote it by a Web Marketing Plan. In few month you could discover if your service is interesting or not. Your work will be safe because your first goal is promote yourself!
Yeah Definitely By creating a business website design service site can actually help him out in building a complete brand name for his business.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:49 AM   #6
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Talking Re: Ideas for side work

I prefer to go through brokers. Some people are really irked that a broker takes an extra $20 USD off the top just for having established a network of clients and calling the clients 8 hours a day to find work. Then of course for all the rest they do.

It comes down to what is it you want to do? Do you want to spend your time to answer ten R.F.Q. a week in the hope of maybe obtaining one? While your working for one client, do you want to work longer finding the next client?

I have averaged over 2,000 billing hours a year since 1999. There was four months where I only averaged 32 hours a week. If I have extra time, instead of working on a web page, I take another on-line course or read a book in SQL Server related technology or XML, or Oil/gas, or automated laboratory testing, or Regulations for (fill in the blank) or.... and put that on my resume.

My approach is not to be an "Access" or "Excel" or "SQL Server" or "oracle" or "GIS" person. I have several different resumes designed to each present me as a SME (Subject-Matter-Expert) .
Bad programs abound. Someone who can solve the company's problem is more rare.

You can spend hours putting together web pages and social media pages. My suggestion is to get your business solving skills as key words out there. Very often, they look at the key words and never actually read much more.

Yes, I was even hired at Coors Brewery for a Special Case.

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