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Issue 10.2 ('Assumption Approach')
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Starting off the New Year Right

Reflecting on the old and new year

Issue: 10.2 (January/February 2012)
Author: Bob Keeney
Author Bio: Bob is the owner of BKeeney Software that provides Real Studio and iOS consulting for clients all over the world. In addition to providing consulting, BKeeney Software provides REAL Studio training videos (currently over 30 hours worth) and sells software to consumers and developers alike. He is a founder and former President of the Association of REALbasic Professionals.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 4,689
Starting Page Number: 61
Article Number: 10211
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Excerpt of article text...

The first of the year is always a good time to reflect on the previous year and count your blessings and forgive yourself for your past mistakes. It's also the time where we make our resolutions for the new year. Most of us make personal resolutions but I think doing some as a business owner is good too. As a business owner, let's look back at the previous year and then make plans for the new year.

Were you profitable last year? If you were not, what do you think were the causes? Certainly many were caught up in a bad economy but some of us probably weren't pricing our services high enough to survive when we didn't have work. The price you charge just isn't an hourly rate for a job, it's also a price that you can live on when you don't have a project to work on.

Perhaps it's time to look at increasing your rates. I know that some are real hesitant, but when I've done so in the past I have not had many complaints from clients. Sure, no one wants to pay more than they need to but, honestly, if they balk at your hourly rate they probably couldn't afford anyone else either. Some clients just aren't worth having.

Were you busy last year? I've heard from consultants who had a tough time finding work last year. Nothing seemed to go their way and finding work was difficult. On the other hand, I know some Real Studio consultants who were extremely busy last year and they complained (half heartedly) that it was tough to find time to relax because they had so much work.

Look around at those who are successful and I think you'll see some fairly obvious trends. The consultants who are busy are well known in the community for a variety of reasons. Some answer questions on the NUG email list, the Real Software forums, on Stack Overflow and other places. Some write tutorials on their websites. Some write articles for Real Studio Developer Magazine. Some volunteer for the Association of REALbasic Professionals (ARBP). The point is that in such a small community, name recognition counts for a lot. If you are answering questions, people KNOW that you understand the language and the ins and outs of using it. I know a few consultants who get a lot of business leads this way.

I've said this before but I think one of the most highly underrated means of finding new clients is the Real Software Consultanting Referral Program (http://www.realsoftware.com/store/consulting.php). It's a very inexpensive way, in my opinion, to get project leads. Often landing one project pays for the program. I'm part of the program and I can't tell you how many times I hear from prospective clients that I was one of the few consultants to contact them. This indicates that the Referrals Program isn't chock full of developers.

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