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In Part 1, you met Neil Venketramen, and learned how he overcame the obstacles holding him back. Today you’ll meet another businessman and learn how he solved his biggest challenges.
Web Development and Online Marketing: Growing Pains, Bottlenecks and Endless Work
“Sunday is meant to be your day off, when are you going to see your kids, the last time you saw them properly was three weeks ago?”
Your spouse has caught you red-handed hiding in the home office, hunched over your laptop like a kid with stolen candy. The face of thunder scares you but you NEED to get this done or you’re going to lose the contract.
You: “I’m sorry honey, I have to do this or we’ll be back to square one. The kids will understand when they’re jumping in the massive swimming pool we’re going to buy and pulling up to school in their parents pristine Porsche 911 Turbo.”
Increasingly angry spouse: “If this is how hard you have to work to afford that second hand scrap of a car you’ll be dead from exhaustion before we own a Porsche. Sort. It. Out!”
Thunder face storms out after slamming the door leaving you feeling deflated and defeated. Still, you have to keep pushing, right?
You decided to begin this self-inflicted torture three years ago when, after an argument with your boss, you quit your job as a web developer and went freelance.
Despite the fact you had practically no money, the first year was the best. You’d work around four hours a day and spend the rest with your family. Unfortunately / fortunately…
Roughly, a year and a bit after you started, clients began to refer you and the whole thing exploded like a hydrogen bomb.
Turning down business was never your strong point, no matter how busy you were. The result has been you having more clients than you can manage, getting zero sleep and never seeing your kids.
There’s only so long someone can work that hard without burning out, and you’re slowly reaching the point where you’re either going to become ill or make a monumental, business destroying mistake.
- Solo entrepreneurs building a service business, particularly one around web development or online marketing, very quickly reach a ceiling in their earning potential.
- There is only so much room to increase your prices before your value proposition becomes less-than-enticing, no matter how good you are.
- Without the ability to scale, many of these businesses end up with a small crop of clients. If one drops out, revenue drops dramatically. In short, there is little redundancy.
- Anyone is these businesses is acutely aware of the time-money trap; in order to earn more money, you have to work proportionately more hours.
- Finding good business partners is notoriously difficult because it is usually YOU your clients have hired and trust.
The only way to make a web development or online marketing company work is to STOP doing the work by yourself.
You have to expand; you have to find people to do the day-to-day tasks for you so you can focus on managing quality and expanding the business. Of course, this isn’t easy.
Without investors, you probably won’t have the cash to hire a traditional employee and even if you do, this creates yet another issue with redundancy. If you’re new hire has the gall to become ill or needs a holiday, you’re in hot water.
Outsourcing can be a good way to mitigate this problem and reliably expand your business. The following are the reasons it could work for you:
Outsourcing to a professional, fully staffed team provides a real level of redundancy in your organization. If you or a developer becomes ill or indisposed, your clients will still get what they’re paying for.
Your costs will be reliable and manageable; you can outsource either by the task or by the client, and either way you’ll know in advance what the cost is.
You can hire in NEW skills and provide new services without spending weeks teaching yourself or paying through the nose for a full time employee.
You can take on as many new clients as you like, as quickly as you like.
You can stop doing everything yourself so you can focus on growing your business and living your life.
In The Real World
Tyler Archer was a perfect example of the situation described above. By anyone’s standards, he was doing well, running his internet marketing company, making around $30,000.00 to $40,000.00 completely by himself. Yet…
He was working 60 hours a week, at least. Mostly on tasks he hated. In particular, web design and coding was his biggest pet peeve. What’s more, the lack of stability and scalability was a big worry for him. Here’s the story in Tyler’s own words:
“It was basically just me doing everything. And by everything I mean, graphics, writing, design and unfortunately coding. And I hate coding! I’d rather have a root canal without anesthesia than have to code another site. So, I realized at that point I was really stuck.
I was probably working 60 hours a week and there was absolutely no scale. I wanted to grow, but couldn’t. I had clients, I had projects coming in, and I was turning work down because I could only do so much.
Writing, designing and branding is my thing. I can do all that. It probably takes me 20% of the total time on the website, the coding takes me 80% to 90%.
So, I started looking for somebody to help me turn my designs into working websites and do all the coding. Whatever it took, whether it was WordPress or HTML, whether it was CSS or PHP or just all of it. A one stop shop that could do it all for me…”
Initially Tyler was skeptical of outsourcing abroad so he decided to hire some freelance engineers from the US. However, he quickly discovered things wouldn’t be as simple as he’d hoped…
“I hired a few local people and it was a joke all the way round. It was way too expensive and it was a complete waste of time.
And frankly, it saddens me to say, but when you hire Americans for Internet Development jobs, they seem to think they’ll get to sit on the beach and be a millionaire. It’s really hard to find anyone with the work ethic to actually work for 8 hours a day.
So, what you end up finding is it’s very expensive, very unresponsive, and there’s no reliability. You just never know if something will get done or not, whether you’ll be able to go home on time or you’ll end up fixing their mess because they decided to take the afternoon off. I just could not find an effective solution. It was extremely frustrating.”
Obviously, this solution wasn’t going to provide the safety and scalability Tyler needed. So, he began to look elsewhere. He knew that if he could find a way to outsource the most time-consuming parts of his work, he would be able to grow the business quickly AND work less.
What he needed was real reliability and predictable costs so he could offload work without worrying about letting clients down or having to micromanage.
It was then that Tyler came to Dedicated Developers for help. We are of course, proud to have been able to help him, but please don’t think we’re telling you this as an exercise in bragging. Just take note of the reasons our service worked for Tyler so you can see if they apply to you.
“I was attracted to Dedicated Developers for a number of reasons. Price was definitely a consideration, but over and above that, I was very impressed with the management structure. The people at Dedicated Developers work 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, barring holidays. So I know what I’m going to get. I know they’re going to show up for work and I know there’ll be communication about my projects and I know they’ll get done.
That’s a HUGE benefit for me – I no longer have to worry.
Coding makes me want to put a bullet in my head. I don’t have to do it anymore and that is invaluable.
Nobody can be good at everything, and nobody can enjoy everything, and coding is the one thing I really hated. So, Dedicated Developers lets me get completely rid of the 50% of stuff I hate, the 50% of stuff that makes me less efficient, the stuff that made my days long and made my business not fun. I get to take that 50% and hand it off. Brilliant.”
If you’re running a service business like Tyler, then as we’ve already discussed, your biggest roadblock is going to be scalability. When Tyler came to us we knew the most important thing was to make it possible for him to hand us work and KNOW it was going to get done on time, every time, so he get on with growing his business. If you’re in a similar situation, make sure your vendor does the same, because if they do it right, your results should be at least a little like these…
“I would say for sure using Dedicated Developers allowed my income to grow from $30,000.00 to $40,000.00 USD a year to $120,000.00 a year. And that’s very, very, very true. So far, my guys (the Dedicated Developer team) in India in 3 years, have made me $140,000.00. That’s how valuable they are. So, my return on investment, if I just do it per month, if I spend roughly $2,000.00 with them, and I get back roughly $8,000.00 in revenue. That’s my monthly, that’s how it works in my head.
It lets me structure my business in a way that it is incredibly efficient and is highly leveraged. My 1 hour becomes 4 hours. Both in Time and in Money. I would say that I wouldn’t have been able to tackle the projects and the clients that I took on at all if I didn’t have this support. Would these projects be done without them? No. Without them I could never have achieved what I have.”
As you can see, this gives Tyler a very powerful advantage because he’s been able to completely break out of the time-money trap. What’s more, this isn’t just about money…
“I would say that working with Dedicated Developers has led quite definitely to a massive reduction of stress. Quite simply, because they are handling those things that I don’t like to do, and I am not good at. To be able to have a team like theirs, who I can trust to handle those things, is an incredible stress relief.”
Finding this kind of leverage is really the only way for a web development or Internet marketing company to grow these days. Without it, the work is too labor intensive for one person to create a sustainable, profitable business without sacrificing their quality of life and sanity.
If you run this sort of business, make it your top priority to find a vendor that can provide you with true scalability.
In Part 3, you’ll meet another Businessman, and learn how he overcame his challenges.