Being self-employed is hard work!
Naive person that I am, I thought it would be easy enough – I get to work on my own ideas all day long, occasionally selling something to customers who are happy every time.
Of course, that’s not true.
I spend a lot of my time working on jobs for my previous employer, and some other clients that have known me for years. The large pool of new clients that I expected would magically appear, never magically appeared.
Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom.
Being out on my own has taught me quite a lot, and in a very short time.
- Cash is king – there’s no point having a huge job which may potentially pay you thousands of euro in two months, when you need the money right now to go buy food for the house.
- Advertising is not easy! I hate to pester, so advertising is not a natural thing for me, but it’s tricky to get new people to come in and buy from me if they don’t know where I am. Especially if they don’t know whether to trust my work! Conveying trust in ads is not a very easy thing to do.
- Word-of-mouth is a brilliant thing. It is much easier to sell to someone if they’ve already been half-sold by their friends.
- Low prices don’t always pull people in. Even though I charge about a fifth of other local web designers, I think I must also be getting only a fifth of the customers 😉
- Salary is a wonderful thing, when it’s someone else’s job to make sure it gets paid.
Of course, there are also the upsides.
I get to work on my own projects without worrying that they my conflict with the company’s plans. Basically, I am the company, so anything I want to work on is the company plan.
To that end, I’ve created 20eurowebsites.com, a site-creator which is built on my kvWebME CMS (open source, PHP – download it yourself if you’re techie!). €20 to buy a website (including the domain name), and €10 per month hosting after that.
I have other plans in the works as well, such as a local odd-jobs finder which has a pretty good twist, and a free face-book-like chat application which people will be able to add to their own websites with just a few keystrokes.