Here's a quick update on how my business is developing since I evacuated after the hurricane.
- I've developed a decent set of marketing collateral. A resume/skillset document, business cards, a few white papers, and I'm currently working on a new portfolio Web site.
- I'm continuing to network and meet new people in the Raleigh area. I try to hand out at least one business card a day. Today I gave one to the woman who owns the local printing/shipping shop. Tomorrow I'm bringing a whole stack to leave at the gym I just joined. I've also given a handful of cards to one person who seems like a good referral source.
- I'm keeping in touch with my clients from New Orleans so that once business picks up again I will still be in the picture. This could take months to pay off, so I'm not counting on the business, but at least I have an established relationship with them.
- I closed one deal last week which is a perfect fit for my target market and amounts to about half of my previous monthly income (and about half of my time). Any additional work I receive will be subcontracted out.
Here is a breakdown of how I'm trying to spend my time:
20 hrs/week - new project that I just mentioned
10 hrs/week - marketing and related tasks
10 hrs/week - EmployApp development
10 hrs/week - managing subcontractors and writing proposals
This is of course just an estimate, but if I can stick to this business will pick up very quickly. My advice to anyone trying to start their own business is continue marketing constantly. If you have so much work that you don't have time for marketing, hire someone else. It's worth the investment.