I told Brooke earlier this month: "This year is the year I'm going to start making the big bucks." She laughed. It's ok. Knowing me, it's kinda funny.
For years I've had this business doing websites. iCaspar Web Development. It started out as Town Fool Web Design, but Town Fool didn't exactly inspire confidence in potential customers. (It's not as bad as it could have been. I once met another guy who was also in the website business who had somehow named his business Trailer Trash Media.)
I've done many kinds of website work. Always more or less part time. Sometimes behind the scenes for other design businesses, a lot for my sister-in-law's Digital Canvas. In 2016-17 I did nearly a year as a "real employee" with Awesome Motive, the company behind Optin Monster and a few other softare projects, mainly (but not exclusively) for WordPress websites.
Last year, after leaving Awesome Motive, I started taking my own business more seriously again. I joined the local Chamber of Commerce, started showing up at business events in the area. I built a few new sites in 2017 with Digital Canvas, and I built a new site for a local law firm. Then, last fall, the Chamber asked me to build them a new website.
The new Chamber of Commerce site is scheduled to launch in March, and I spent most of this week writing code to run their on-line business directory. Between things, I arranged a deal to start hosting websites myself, which means that with future customers I can offer ongoing services that will provide a more steady income, rather than just waiting for the next project to come along.
With that new possibility, I put together some details for a new "Small Business Website Plan" this week, and the first new customer -- a local dentist office -- signed a contract for the plan on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, I went to a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony for the new waffle shop, Soul Waffle that opened here in town, and found a connection with the people at the UPS store. They get asked about web sites quite often, but they don't want to get into the web business, so they took a stack of business cards to make referals to me.
All this is a change for me. I'm used to just keeping my head down, buried in the code. I've never been any good at -- or been inclined toward -- marketing. All this "getting out and meeting people" meant that I only spent half my work time this week writing code. (I'll still get the projects done on schedule.)
It's not "big bucks" -- yet. There's no getting rich with small business websites unless you're doing hundreds of them. But you've got to start somewhere.