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2004 May 10 15:59

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Re: [vox] Does this sound...totemo baka?
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Re: [vox] Does this sound...totemo baka?

On Mon, May 10, 2004 at 02:31:27PM -0800, Edward Elliott wrote:
> 1) Focus - since you have other committments (e.g. school), take a look
> at your skill set and pick out those items that are not mission critical,
> where a client can schedule service time with you. That way, there will

I've done that; I can reasonably offer custom server builds, system
set-up, some basic training, and email support, with a small amount of
optional phone support and/or pre-scheduled service calls.  On top of
that, I intend to offer remote automated monitoring which will page me
if it detects a problem (hard drive failure, virus on the network trying
to break out of the firewall, power outage, etc.).  Fortunately, my work
hours can be pretty flexible, as long as I don't have to do anything
like showing up 9-5 for a month. *grin*

> be little to no disadvantage to being committed to a school schedule.
> (PS If you're a good presenter, don't forget training as an income
> source.)

I've thought about that as well, and have experience as an educator
(vocational credential, have taught programming before); the only
problems I can forsee relate to venue -- most small businesses don't
have the space to do training in anything other than a one-on-one
manner.  I do, however, intend to look into things.

> 2) Join a success group to help with your resume and marketing package,
> I can recommend several excellent ones in the bay area.

Please do; I've also got a brother-in-law who is a professional
marketing consultant, and I've learned quite a bit from him.

> 3) Join the key online network groups and set up a web page so you have
> the standard professional material.

Of course; I'll also be printing business cards, maybe printing up a
small 'informational' booklets, definitely going for community-based
advertising (donating time to schools and a few businesses in exchange
for ad placement and bragging rights).

> 4) If you know independent consultants you respect, offer to subcontract
> as a way to learn the trade. Mentoring and apprenticeship are a valuable 
> learning path.

Don't know any in the area I'm planning on working, although I'm working
on tracking down some old friends that might be able to use my services.

> 5) Study the market to see what groups are contracting and what services
> they require. Education has tremendous needs, but very little money. So
> I'd be cautious about looking to education as a strong revenue source.

I agree, but they're a good place to build a rep with clients, and I
like the idea of helping out schools; my monetary needs are very small
(I can live comfortably on $15K a year), so I'm more than happy to get
paid less if I can help schools save money by not funneling it to
Redmond needlessly.

> 6) Phone support - it may be possible to do part time technical help desk
> work for one of the Open Source companies from your home office. I know
> someone who does tech help for Dell from their home office in the Walnut
> Creek area. Having Red Hat, or Suse, or IBM on your resume would be
> attractive later on when you are pursuing clients as an independent.

Not a bad idea; what do they pay on average?

> Good luck, please feel free to call if you want to discuss
> any of these ideas.

I just might; thanks!

Don Werve <donw@examen.com> (Unix System Administrator)

Yorn desh born, der ritt de gitt der gue,
Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!
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