Monday, November 01, 2004

Treading water

Despite my intentions to do as little actual paying work as possible, I seem to be every week drawn closer and closer to becoming a full time technical support consultant to local small businesses.

Word is getting around to both old clients and new that I am available again and for the past month I've done little else but service those businesses. It's been a great month for the bottom line but a terrible month for Sydney. My business cash reserves are healthy and could cover my expenses until late February, but I'm more than a month behind on my development schedule.

The time has really come when I have to make a decision about whether I'm an independent software developer or a freelance tech support guy.

I'm an independent software developer.

That was easy.

Frivolity aside, the past month has only reinforced my feelings on this. While I'm happy to do a limited amount of support for another year or two, I don't want to still be doing this years from now. There's quite a few reasons for that but the main reason is that I don't find it very fulfilling. I quite like going around helping people but I'd much rather be building the dam instead of just plugging holes in it.

The one good thing about this past month is that I've had time to do some planning and research for Sydney. I'll talk more about that tomorrow but the short version is that I'm hoping to have something ready in a few months time. Since I've built up a few months of living expenses I'm going to try and dedicate myself almost fully to Sydney until the money runs out. I'll still have to support existing clients but aside from emergencies I'll be limiting myself to 1 maybe 2 days per week for support work and only on days that fit in with my schedule not theirs.

That's the new plan, although it's remarkably similar to the original plan. This time though I'm going to add a new word to the vocabulary, "No!"


At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you could find some one else locally that does support work and would be willing to take any of your 'overflow'. Of course that would require that you are confident that their level of service is as good or better than yours.

From a customer service point of view I think it is much better to offer an alternative rather than just saying 'No'. ;)

(didn't feel like registering)

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Count 1 vote for just saying "no". The time that managing the relationship with the "subcontractors" could also suck time away from focusing on Sydney. If the decision is to focus 90% on Sydney then just do it.

- Leah

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know the feeling. I've just taken a three-month contract after five months working on my own project. It's a good reminder of why I'm doing my own thing though :-) and should see me through cash-wise to launch.


At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read this on another blog about a guy who had a great idea and didnt give up on it....

After reading it, i thought of Sydney and your project - You'll enjoy the read!

Good luck!!


At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are finding it relatively easy to feel your time fully with consultanting work, could you not step up your rates until the work levels out.

In your situation it would appear, fewer more lucrative clients would be ideal.


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