After reading several books by the brilliant Skellie I am now in the midst of moving from a traditional freelance “business” to an actual Freelance Business.
That means that instead of thinking of myself as the sole person in the business I now think of “GrandadEvans” as a business in itself.
Now that I have a new frame of mind I can now stop thinking about my own small bubble and start looking for work that may not be in my area of expertise. It also means that I am steadily creating systems that can handle things that before just got handled as they cropped up.
Now, when certain actions happen I have a set of SOPs to deal with them. For instance if I send an invoice off I bring up the relevant SOP and make sure that each item on the list is completed in turn. Following these SOPs I am now able to save valuable time. It may not be much per task, but several tasks per day times several days per week times several weeks per month times several months per year equals…well…it equals a lot time that I am now able to devote to the things I enjoy the most like developing clients projects.
Once my SOPs are more complete I shall be releasing them as a free downloadable zip file.
What else does it mean?
Well, it means that I no longer have to put up with doing many of the tasks that I neither good at nor enjoy. For instance before when I would have struggled to do some design work I now have a set of SOPs to deal with this situation. They involve outsourcing the work to a suitable person who does enjoy that kind of work. The results of such actions are many:
- I get to spend even more time doing the actual development work I enjoy
- My clients no longer have to cope with my attempts at design. Although I have always made clients aware that I am not a designer I am now able to offer them an all round service
- My reputation gets better
- The possibility arises for not only cross-sourcing but for exchanges of skills with like minded freelancers who do not possess the skills that I do and visa versa.
Currently my blog is a mixture of personal and professional posts. This will likely change and my personal posts will more than likely move back to a dedicated site. That means that I will be free to create a blog that reaches out to a more targeted audience; it will also be an SEO boost for the site (I would say don’t quote me on that but you have it here in print).
Will I still be making my views known on social media etc? Damn right I will. Part of the “GrandadEvans” brans will be just that. I make no bones about that fact that I am very opinionated about many subjects be they political; social or even military. I would hope however that this will be seen as it is intended: an opinion. I would not want to work with people who see my opinions and think this is a reflection on my work, or even worse, let this get in the way of a good working relationship.
point and case
One of (if not my best) client, Matt Bradley from Invent Partners is also a very opinionated person who also has many views on many subjects. When it comes to our opinions we couldn’t disagree more on a whole rafter of subjects. However; we have a brilliant working relationship. Our opinions are confined to social media where we often publicly disagree with each other and it has never interfered with my work.
Since I am now outsourcing some work out it does mean that I am also able to take more work in. There is though, so much of me to go around and I can only take on a certain amount of work. For this reason I anticipate having to actually turn down work for the first time this week.
The “GrandadEvans” brand USP
What on earth could I use as a USP. Well let’s think about this for a minute shall we? What makes me stand out from other web developers:
- Ex British Army
- I live and breath the “Vales and Standards” which the British Army instils into it’s soldiers even as a civilian
- I more or less refuse to use the phone unless I am already comfortable talking to somebody (this means that I enjoy personal meetings)
- I am totally honest. I know that others will say that but anybody who has worked with me before will know that I am completely honest when it is not in my best interests and I stand to lose face; a contract or whatever it may be.
- I am loyal. I am the sort of person who would rather stay with the same car insurer even if they just didn’t put my price up. I hold loyalty to be amongst one of my best qualities.
- Clients can trust me: What the last two points above mean could well be expanded on by opening up the “Guide to British Army’s Values and Standards” book and choosing any page. What all this boils down to is that my clients can trust me, and after all, isn’t that what a client ultimately wants?
As a sign of my system of transparency and honesty I bet there aren’t many Freelancers out there who not only list their prices but give you a list of their bad points (as well as the good points of course). Does this make me a fool? Maybe: but that’s part of the package you get…take it or leave it.
What’s next in the blog?
Well from the blog side of things I shall next outlining a test series I plan to run on converting from procedural code to OOP in PHP. This not inly includes “Idiot’s guides” and examples but also examples of how to fit OOP techniques into procedural projects and how to convert entire projects.
Can you help? I need freelancers
I need frelancers I can trust
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