The biggest challenge for me is to get a balanced lifestyle. After spending 8-10 hours (traveling included) at a regular job which as a systems developer can be quite intense sometimes, it takes some serious self-encouragement to get to the desk, that is after a couple of chores (which includes bull terrier labour) that has to be managed as well. My experience in "after-hours" web development, to be productive you need 4-5 hours at least 3-4 days a week, that gives 20 hours a week. Unfortunately, if your "head are in a piece of code", the after hours spent can become very skewed, that is in the eye of the rest of the family.
Yes, one day at retirement of my regular job, I'd like to have a steady income from web development, but I feel to get there, it is a balancing act between the love of what I do and the love for my family. Customers, well I do a bit of soliciting on a one-to-one basis, and from time to time I get some interest and a website to produce, but the scenario as mentioned above still reigns.
And of course, the MySite.com is not completed yet! And I love Flight Simulator as well! And I love wood working, and iron mongary and so the list goes on....
The model we're using in the current course and the new version does rely on a 20 hour per week commitment ... at first. However the service we demonstrate provides recurring revenue, so once you have some customers, you can take your foot off the gas pedal. There is still work involved, but much less than the work required in the start-up phase.
And of course you don't have to be aiming for the 4K mark. For some people an extra $500 a month would be awesome and this is achievable with fewer hours/customers.
I would become a part time Joomla developer to earn good money. To be able to develop effective Joomla
E-commerce sites , to what level do I need to be skilled in the following :
- Photoshop ?
Great question Gordon...sorry for the delayed response to it.
The more in depth knowledge you have of these technologies, the better off you will be. The reasons are that you will be able to modify any templates or extensions much more easily, and if you're having someone else do the work you will know exactly what to expect from them in terms of quality, time and cost.
But remember that it's very possible to get started with limited knowledge of these. Don't let the fact that you can't produce a template or extension from scratch stop you from getting something off the ground.
Joomla is a great business tool if you know it well. You can offer small businesses great services if you start by understanding Joomla really well. That's one reason why we're here.
The comments from Pierre above, are nearly identical to my own present obstacles. I am also working my way thru understanding and using Joomla for my own website before I can begin looking for customers. Basically I have a lot of work ahead of me and not a lot of time to do it in. Having said that I am still determined to make this work… hopefully sooner than later!
I wish I could wave a magic wand and give you more time. I also wish I could clone myself, although my wife isn't so sure of this one.
I have received 2 helpful pieces of advice about time. 1- block out time each week and commit to this no matter what. That's kind of obvious and not so easy when working from home. 2 - work in 'chunks'. Break tasks into chunks of 45 minutes and push as hard as you can to get each task finished in that time. Then switch to a small task like commenting on your blog, answering an email or paying a bill. I even read that jumping on a trampoline each hour helps which I have tried, but when the kids are home they just think that's a great game which stops me getting back to work! Then at the top of the next hour, attack the next 45 minute task. When I get a decent night's sleep, this approach works WONDERS for me.
I am surprised there aren't more comments about becoming joomla! developers. I am responsible for creating and maintaining five joomla sites and now that all are in need of upgrade to 2.5, all of my time is spent on their migration issues. I'm looking forward to your finishing the "becoming a developer" series.
Response from your support forum has been a great help. Thank you.
It's great that the forum has been so helpful for you. We hear quite often that our forum is worth the price of Joomla Pro membership in itself, so thanks for the feedback.
We definitely have some great stuff coming soon regarding using Joomla for your own business. Keep an eye out for it.
For me time is also an issue - see how long it took to respond! It has taken me a while to get comfortable with Joomla, and there always something more to learn. Minor problems can take hours to solve and then some extensions work like a dream in minutes.
I would like to know about business insurance - it has been suggested to me that I would need some sort of indemnity insurance. If I write a website for someone and it goes pear-shaped at some stage - as in their business suffers because of the website - what protection do I need & what can I get? I know this is nothing to do with Joomla, and more about starting a business but I'm sure lots of people would be interested.
We've been discussing whether or not to include some specific training on two issues; legal and accounting. I don't know yet if we will, but I can offer the following in regards to your question. But please understand that this is general advice. I am not a lawyer or insurance broker and as such, you should seek professional advice. And of course laws vary between countries.
Here in Australia there are two main types of insurance to consider. Public Liability and Professional Indemnity. The former protects you if you damage something in the course of your business. For example if you visit a client and knock over the 500 year old vase in their foyer, Public Liability will probably cover you. I say probably because there is a limit (e.g. 10 million dollars) and there might be exclusions for things such as being drunk at the time. Yes the client probably has their own insurance, but their insurance company is likely to sue you, which is again where your public liability comes in.
You're asking about the latter - Professional Indemnity. If you provide professional advice and a client acts on that advice and it turns out that advice was wrong, they could sue you for damages. I don't think it is for a project that goes bad as such. That's more of a contractual dispute where you argue that you did the work as promised and they argue that you didn't. No, I think indemnity insurance is more for your advice. I can't think of a good example in this case. Heath comes to mind. If a doctor tells you that your headaches are the result of a brain condition and you go ahead and have brain surgery based on their advice which leaves you with a permanent hearing loss, but it turns out that all you needed was a two-week holiday away from your children, then you'd sue. And the doctor would be covered by their professional indemnity insurance.
The solution we're recommending is for small businesses and at the low end of the price scale. I suspect that a lot of people do not bother insuring at all. Of the two I've mentioned, it is more likely that you would need Public Liability.