Friday, May 21, 2004

Beer and movie money

With just a few short weeks to go before I'm effectively unemployed I'm trying to decide what I'm going to do to keep some money coming in to pay my weekly living expenses.

I have savings that will last me about 3-4 months but I want to avoid using those except for emergencies. I visit a local business for a few hours each week fixing their computer problems and doing a little MS Access work which pays for about a third of my expenses. Apart from that, since I unwisely dedicated so much time to the major client who I am now leaving, I get only the odd call from older customers to help them out with their IT systems.

I'll keep running my business consultancy in the background but too many business customers and I won't have time to work on Sydney.

The plan has always been to get some casual work, preferably doing something that isn't IT related so there's no danger of it becoming my primary focus. Something that leaves me free during business hours to work on my new venture and to respond to those calls from old customers when they come in.

Bar work is the obvious choice and although I've never done it it could be fun for a year or two.

Recently though I've been considering starting up my home computer help service again. Helping home users with their computer problems was what I did during my Uni years for beer and movie money. It was quite successful, my Dad just took a call last week from someone last week who still had a copy of leaflet I dropped in their letterbox 9 years ago.

That was when I was living with my parents in an area with a lot of families. Now I live in the city and I'm not sure the demographics would be as favourable to that sort of a business. Also I used to charge a paltry amount, I would have to charge a fair bit more to make it worth my while (though less than my current business rate).

Travelling to home jobs would be an important factor too. I sold my car earlier this year, so I could only really service areas that were well serviced by public transport or were close enough to ride my mountain bike to. Excessive travel time could bring my hourly earnings down to the same level as something like bar work, so I'd really have to watch that.

It could be fun though too, returning to where it all began some 10 odd years ago. I helped a lot of people in those 2-3 years while I was at Uni, and it was the contacts and experience I gained while doing it that helped me move to the next level and launch my software development and technical support consultancy business.

So they're the two options I'm currently considering, bar work or back to home computer help. If anyone has any other suggestions for me let me know.


At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cool Lachie, your html is certainly coming along...

good luck,


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