We’ve all seen this.
I've heard it multiple times before, from consultant to consultant, from company to company, and employee to manager.
When customers ask me to build a website for them, I do my homework, find out what they want, who their target audience is, and start reviewing all of the details to design a web site. After talking to the customer about everything I've documented, I mention that it will take x number of months to complete this project.
At this point, I receive the "Look of Disbelief."
All designers and developers know what I'm talking about. You know, when someone looks at you as if to say, "why is it going to take you x months to make a web site?"
Every developer has their own style of doing things whether its building a small web site or developing a 3-tier client-server application.
I've always been looking for the complete Laws of Software Development, but I've found a site that seems like a logical place to put them: Tucows Developers Blog.
The post called the Laws of Software Development (as stated in the post) was inspired by another site called Haacked, who posted the 19 Eponymous Laws of Software Development
A week ago, we decided to sign up with a lawn care service. The service seemed reasonable and we wanted a nicer lawn so the timing was perfect. I was getting sick of mowing dirt.
Fifteen minutes after the company's representatives left, we received a phone call from the company asking if tomorrow was acceptable for the first scheduled application. We were also told that they need to have access to the yard if its locked up. We do have a gated backyard that's locked up 99% of the time.
We thought this was great. If this is the type of prompt service we'll receive throughout the year, then we made the right choice.
As you create your startup, everyone will give you advice (whether you want it or not) on how to handle certain aspects of your small business.
How many employees are too much? Should I outsource? Should I make the company go public?
Those are all valid questions, but as a budding entrepreneur, I want you to ask yourself a personal question. This question will affect how you run your business in the future and set yourself up for your company's goals. This question may even contribute to your company's corporate culture. This question will provide a new outlook on how you look at life and people in general.
As you mold your business and provide services to clients, your company will grow larger. That is a fact of life. At one point, you'll need to hire people in helping you achieve your companies goal. But hire the right people.
In some ways, a family is definitely like a business. Let me explain.
My son had a recent experience (translation: argument) with some of his friends and the parents of the one child were brought into the mix. As we were discussing what happened, I noticed a lot of similar behaviors between the parent and their child. The child was almost copying the same actions of the parents and yelling when it was their cue. In the end, the entire situation was blown out of proportion and wound up being a complete misunderstanding.
For those who are interested in learning more about Real Estate through Donald Trump, his university web site and personal blog are incredible resources of information.
In addition to the courses he has available, he is now offering the Real Estate Wealth Builder. If you are deeply involved with real estate, this software helps you look deals over "like the big boys" in the real estate industry with expert advice.
With the price at $1,499, I imagine, if you sell one house, this will have paid for itself many times over. The software has a 30-day guarantee as well.
I've been programming since I was 11 and I've loved technology and programming every since. There are some hard and easy lessons I've learned over time. As a fellow programmer, you may not have experienced these, but I'm offering them to individuals who are interested in learning more from my experiences.
I'll be updating this as time goes on. I may have more, but in my 20 year period, I don't think there are any additional rules that this list doesn't include. :-)
Here are my most memorable lessons so far.
I was driving home the other night and called one of my clients and briefly talked to them. It seems I caught them at a bad time. They were moving that day. I asked the person on the phone if everything was going ok, and he said things were a little hectic because of the move. I was going to drop by, but decided not to. Instead, I offered some assistance with the move, ya know, servers and all. He said it wasn't necessary, but we needed to setup a meeting sometime next week instead of this week.
The point of this is even if you aren't talking to your clients every single day, make sure you are in their thoughts. Get in front of them, in a matter of speaking. They'll always know your there for them.
When you initially start talking to a potential client and land the contract or job, you will naturally be more involved with them as much as possible. After being in high gear for a while during the meat of the project, eventually, things will slow down a bit. The project slows down, people will be taking vacations, whatever the situation, things will slow down.
Many of us give thanks to our Fathers today and Entrepreneur.com posted a good article on business lessons from Dad.
My father always gave me one piece of advice that has stuck with me throughout my life.
Use your head instead of your back and you'll go farther in life.
I've read and heard it multiple times before, from consultant to consultant, from company to company that when pricing your work, you should not back down from the price you gave for your proposal to your client. There are two sides to this particular issue and its a fine line to walk.
Quit cutting your hours...
Now, I'm not talking about cutting a couple hours here and there, like two or three hours. I'm talking about taking a 400-hour project and cutting 100 hours off the project just to get the client.