From Online Idea to Offline Store

If you have been following along, you know I’ve been busy setting up an online store selling handmade goods. Sadly, I don’t have the time or skill to fill an online store to my liking. The good news is there’s a bigger, better plan right around the corner. Literally RIGHT around the corner from my house, about 2 blocks away.

The Opportunity

I’m no stranger to my community. I live in a very small town where it’s almost impossible not to know half the people if you live here for any length of time, which I have. I’ve also been involved with a business in town before, so I have a pretty good feel for the people and their interests. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what they will and will not spend their money on. Computer repair and crafts are for sure something that will sell around here.

Knowing the people isn’t good enough, though. Product or service have to be needed in the area. Fortunately for us, we’ve got that part covered, too. There are no computer repair shop or craft stores in town, nor are there any in two surrounding towns less than 10 miles away. That’s a total population of about 5,000 without computer repair services, crafting centers, or cheap entertainment for kids. It may not seem like a whole lot, but since we have very little competition that number is going to seem a lot bigger than it really is.

The Store

Most businesses around here don’t have much of a chance due to the low population and lack of interest in certain specialty stores. However, we’re bringing a need to the town that (we hope) will be well received as detailed above. Now that we have that established, we can start working on the plans for the store itself.

1. Costs
I’ve spent a few weeks working on a spreadsheet of every cost I could think of. Everything from building repairs to products have been entered and added up. Total cost? About $60,000. Not too terrible, but not completely cheap either. The majority of that is going to be building repairs, which I hope will end up being much less. I think we will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of supplies we already have once we actually dig in. From what I can see from the outside window of what I hope will be our building, there is already a halfway decent store set up. It’s sat empty for a good 5 years making cleaning a pain in the rear, but at least the items are there. Hopefully it all comes with the building.

2. Repairs
As mentioned, there’s going to be a lot of updates needed to the building before we can open. It’s going to take a month or two I imagine for all the repairs and updates to be finished. Some tasks, like basement repairs, may have to wait a year or two. It could be worse…it could be the building next door with a back outside wall partially crumbled. From what I’ve been told, though, our building is in pretty good shape for being nearly 150 years old, so basic repairs and getting everything up to code shouldn’t be that large of a task.

3. Services – Computer Repair
I’m handing the reigns over to my significant other for this part of the store. A perfect loft, easily seen when you first walk in the door, will be his computer repair shop. We’ve alloted $10,000 for this section, which will include all the equiptment needed to fix your basic computer. We will end up having to order parts from time to time, but simple tasks can be done in the store while our customers waite (if they prefer, that is). Cost will be a basic $40/hour, with discounts for quick jobs taking a half hour or less.

4. Products – Crafts
In my corner of the store I plan to have a craft table. Each week will be a different craft all adults and teens are welcome to do for free, with all the supplies available. The cost comes after the project is completed. To keep the craft, there is a supply fee, or they can choose to sell the item in store for a profit (minus supply fee). Alternatively, the item can be tossed in our scrap bin at no cost.

5. Products – Merchandise
Aside from computer repair and crafts, the store plans to offer an open market for local talent and direct sales reps. Think craft show that is constantly changing with new vendors and products each day. There is no “table fee”, but instead a 15% charge of total sales for the day to be paid to the store as a fee. That’s $15 per $100 sold, which is relatively low compared to some craft show table fees.

6. Products – Retail & Coffee
In addition to the crafts made in store, there will be a section for coffee and other merchandise. This includes candles my mom makes, soap my daughter makes, and school-related items. Beverages will also be available, such as cans of soda or bottled water.

Business Plan and Loan

Here’s the part that terrifies me. In my head is a beautiful layout of the store, the people, and produts. What I don’t have is a solid idea of how to go about looking for the loan or grants, nor do I have a lot of experience in writing business plans. Luckily for us we had a chat with my local bank who directed us to a government funded program in town that would help us get started. Setting an appointment with them is our next step, and we won’t be going any farther without advice.

Overall, we are super excited to get this business started. I don’t feel bad at all abandoning my original project, because it is nothing more than an extention and bigger plan. :)

Guest Posting and Goals

It’s been a long time since I’ve set any real goals for myself, and it’s about time I jump back into the game. Sadly I’ve coasted for so long I’ve been having a hard time even knowing where to start.

Fortunately I ran into a fantastic post today titled 1,000 Visitors Per Day. Keyword research, commenting, and creating content are already things I do. Guest posting, on the other hand, I’ve been slacking on.

Back in the day article databases were the way to go if you wanted to build quality incoming links to your site. Although with the latest Google shake down, article sites have become mostly useless.

Why Guest Articles Work

1. Control
Instead of tossing an article down a virtual well, writting guest articles allow you to pick and choose where your article will be seen. Your information won’t be used for a junky site if you don’t want it to.

2. Higher Quality
Unlike article databases, having the ability to control when and where your article will appear provides much higher quality inbound links.

3. Gain Readers
Should the guest article be posted on a larger website such as ProBlogger, the chances of you obtaining more readers are pretty high.

Setting Article Goals

One of the things I’ve struggled with over the last several months is having the time to write. I love writing and creating blog posts, but there are always hundreds of tasks running through my head begging to be finished. School work, kitchen remodeling, soccer practice…all take away precious time and energy from writing.

Since I can’t create more time in my day to complete everything I want to do, the only option is to make time for certain tasks. Last week I posted about time management and how I’ve done some editing to my weekly schedule. I’m not exactly ready to start rearranging tasks already, but I do see room for writing.

Right now I have myself only working on articles on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. That leaves 2 days a week for additional writing, but more importantly writing for additional blogs. To do this, I’m going to use a nifty little book called Room to Write. I love this book because it’s not a “read cover to cover” type of thing. It’s more of a book of prompts, using different techniques to get your creative juices flowing on the fly.

So basically my goal is to write two additional articles a week on top of what I already write for my blogs. That’s not too large of an addition to my schedule, nor is it some huge goal like “write 1,000 articles”. It’s a small, easy insertion to my daily tasks that has big potential for driving visitors to my site.

Time Management Take Two

Yet again I have found myself completely overwhelmed. I don’t know how I do it, but once in a while I find myself buried in a to-do list a mile long with a dozen different projects on the burner. It’s time to take a closer look at all the things I have going on again in attempts to de-stress myself.

The Main Projects

1. Idea Queen
IQ is my baby. My one golden project that I could never walk away from. There is so much that needs to be done, and ONE post a week is about all I can handle right now. Sometimes I steal a few minutes to read other blogs, posting comments with IQ attached. But for the most part, I’m not getting what I want done on this site.

2. Winning Creativity
This site is still a baby as far as I’m concerned. I can’t walk away from it because it’s still in the beginning stages and I don’t feel like it’s had a chance to grow to its full potential. Like IQ, so much needs to be done on the promotion and I flat-out don’t have the time for it.

3. School Work
I should be use to doing school work by now since I’ve been doing it a full year, but I still find myself rushing to get assignments done each week. I’m only required to log in four days out of the week which will probably be useful information as I reorganize myself.

4. IQ Creations
One of the newer projects I’ve taken on and also something I don’t want to let go of. Actually, this project hasn’t even gotten off the ground officially. I still need to make business cards, finish setting up the storefront, and work on pictures. While I do have a starting promotion plan mapped out, I haven’t even begun to think about additional promotion. I haven’t even finished all the sewing I wanted to have done for this project!

5. Soy Wax Candles
Thankfully my mother does most of the work for this site, so it’s not much hassle for me. Newsletters, taxes, and website maintenance is about all I do for this business. Luckily I can usually work in things that need to be done once or twice a month.

6. Remodeling the Kitchen
Oh yes, as if my workload wasn’t large enough, we’ve begun remodeling the kitchen ourselves. Right now the cupboard doors and drawers are sitting in the garage waiting for me to finish painting them. Kitchen gadgets are in boxes in the livingroom and we’ve still got a trim to paint and a floor to fix. Big, big project I should have never started. It’s got to be finished though, regardless how much other stuff I have to do.

Task List

What a huge project list! And those are just the projects I MUST finish or work on. I have to find a way to organize everything or I’m most likely going to have a mental breakdown. To do this, I need to first make a list of everything that needs to be accomplished based on the projects listed above. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

1. Two blog posts a week (Winning Creativity and Idea Queen)
2. Sewing for IQ Creations
3. Store promotion and set up for IQ Creations
4. Painting kitchen
5. Random work on candle site
6. Promotion for blogs/stores
7. School work minimum 4 days a week

I’ve taken a good, hard look at all these tasks and decided we need to separate the business work into certain days again. School work must be done almost daily and the kitchen is going to be an ongoing task that needs to be worked on almost daily as well. Same goes for candle site work – it will be done when it needs to be done.

The Schedule

My other half made a good point about how we need to get up earlier. I am not a morning person, nor do I have an easy time sleeping at night. However, getting up at 9 or 10am I can do. This is going to be an important step in getting my schedule organized because I tend to get more done in the morning while the kids are at school.

Monday – Idea Queen
I had already assigned this site to this day, so I’m going to keep it there. This will also be my day to finish up school work I didn’t get done over the weekend, or to organize the school week ahead of me. Since my school week starts on Tuesdays, this is a good “buffer” day where school is concerned. Otherwise I can focus on the post of the day.

Tuesday – Winning Creativity
Again, this site was already assigned to this day, so no changes here. I’ll also be working on my school outline if I don’t do it the day before, or reading what needs to be read for the week also so my week is better organized.

Wednesday – IQ Creations
Here’s where I’ve made some changes in my original schedule. Previously this was a day I did some writing for various sites, but I’ve since let go of those projects. The last few weeks I’ve found myself rushing to get posts done on this day and getting a little homework done. Hopefully if I stick to the schedule this will no longer be “catch up day”, but rather the day I can focus on my sewing and adding finished products to the store. This will also be a school work day, where I’ll get discussion questions completed.

Thursday – Promotion Day
Originally this was a day for the candle site, but I’ve been slacking. Instead of setting the whole day aside for just candles, it’s going to be an overall promotion day. I’ll read blog posts, reply to what I find interesting, and maybe even get back into forum posting. By setting the entire day aside for this I can bounce around from site to site, promoting only what I think needs promoting. This includes the candle site, so it’s not “falling by the wayside” in any way.

Friday – Personal Day
Our Fridays always seem to be pure chaos. Kids always seem to need to go somewhere and I hardly have time to breathe let alone sit at the computer long enough to get anything major accomplished. Since I have a personal website I like to add to sometimes, I’ll reserve this day for it should I have the time. At the very least, it’s a day set aside for homework, family, friends, and fun.

Weekends – School & Family
If I was good all week, I shouldn’t have much homework to do. But I”m awesome at saying “I’ll do it tomorrow”. So it’s good to leave my weekends wide open for playing catch-up or spending time with my family.

You may notice I didn’t mention anything about the kitchen remodeling. There’s a reason for that. I’m tossing this in the “housework” file to do after work and school are finished. If that day’s tasks run over into evening, oh well! The kitchen isn’t going anywhere, and neither is my gigantic laundry pile. ;)

Recap

My method of finding organization and staying on track has been a long time coming. I’ve tried various ways of getting organized and nothing worked until I set assigned certain tasks to certain days. Even though I continue to “work out the kinks”, overall I’ve been getting more accomplished than I have in a very long time. When I get up on Monday, I think “oh it’s Monday, that’s Idea Queen posting day”. My brain needs that instant trigger on what to do, else I’ll wander aimlessly on Facebook for hours, or waste time trying to decide what to work on, before I ever get a single task finished.

If you have any organization suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment!

Case Study: Mailing List Round Two

Last week I made the big announcement of the new craft store on Idea Queen. There was no link to the store and no “information” page. Only a few pictures and the sign up to the mailing list.

Despite offering 10% off the first week of opening, I only had one lonely subscriber from the announcement. Of course I was slightly bummed there wasn’t more, but I have an idea of how to make the next announcement better.

 

Where I Went Wrong

First off, I didn’t have my information page finished on Idea Queen, so I have a feeling that narrowed down the likely hood of people subscribing. I’ve been working on it off and on, but it’s no where near finished. Before the next announcement, I want that information page finished.

Second, there was no link to the store. There was also very little information about what would be sold at the store, and what was described was a little on the boring side. Purses, pillows, and cat toys. Who cares? Obviously only one person.

Finally, the focus was on what I had been making and why. I’m sure this appeals to the crafty-types looking for inspiration, but not so much to the buyers. Completely understandable.

Round Two Plan

I’m not going to give up. I have plenty of projects finished and in progress, so it would be silly to give up at this point. Plus, the store hasn’t even officially opened, so it’s not a complete failure just yet. I have a few ideas in mind to redeem myself and hopefully stuff that mailing list full of potential buyers.

So here’s the plan before I make a second announcement:

1. Finish the Page on Idea Queen
The keyword phrases are picked out, so now it’s just a matter of finishing up this page. Hopefully, with some effort, the page alone will bring in a few subscribers, just from well placed search engine listings.

2. Plan a Date
The first announcement didn’t specify a “grand opening” date, which I probably should have had in place before announcing it. I’m leaning towards November 1st to grab the Christmas shoppers, although haven’t decided for sure. It may be earlier, depending on how fast I get things finished up.

3. Write a Better Announcement
Obviously the first one fell flat and targeted the wrong market. In the next announcement, I’ll have to lean it more the buyers market instead of crafters. I will eventually give back to the crafters by giving them patterns and instructions for some of the items I’ll be selling, but for the most part the next announcement needs to focus on buyers.

It doesn’t matter I failed. All that matters is learning from what doesn’t work, and trying again. ;)

Sponsored Posts Are Trashy

I’ve been noticing a new trend on blogs lately – sponsored posts.

I’m not talking about guest posts, which are completely different and I believe a huge asset to the blogging world. No, I mean the spammy-looking posts that make it appear the blog was hacked by someone selling car insurance.

Sponsored posts that have nothing to do with the content of the blog look trashy. I’m sure they paid the blog owner loads to post these, but it’s the fastest way to have your followers hunting down the unsubscribe button.

Sure it may make you some fast cash, but think about the long-term effects. Less reading your blog means less advertising opportunities later on. Is a one time payment worth the risk of loss income in the future? Not in my book!

To be a successful blogger there has to be a certain level of trust. Once you start chosing money over respect, your readers aren’t going to trust one word of what you have to say.

So unless the sponsored posts have everything to do with the topic of your blog, I highly recommend you pass.

 

 

 

Learning New Skills

If you’ve been reading along, you know I’ve been quite busy on a pretty large project. All of my marketing skills aquired over the years are being rolled up tight for a fantastic launch, although it appears other skills are lacking at the moment.

Part of the master plan of all this was to post patterns and instructions on Idea Queen. This is where we hit a bit of a snag, since I absolutely suck at making patterns (or following them for that matter … I’m a bit of a free spirit when it comes to sewing). So is the solution saying “nevermind” because there’s part of this job I can’t do?

Heck no! It would be silly of me to throw out this massive idea just because I don’t currently have the skills for only one small part of the master plan.

The way I see it, I have two options:

1. Learn

Don’t we all have to continue learning to do our jobs? Don’t many big companies have training periods? Of course! Maybe there aren’t classes for pattern-making, but I’m sure with a little practice it’s something I could be good at.

2. Outsource

Should I decide not to learn, I could always outsource the job. Although it seems to me like this option would be about as much work, unless it turns out I’m just flat out no good at creating clear instructions. Either way, this option is at least there.

 

I’m sure this won’t be the only hurdle I’ll encounter on the road to success. Just like in the past, I’ll have to either learn the task at hand, or pass it along to someone who can do it better. The important thing is to keep moving forward.

 

 

Curing Writers Block for Store Description

If you couldn’t tell, I’ve been focused on getting my craft store set up. I’m nearly finished with the products, but still working on the store front design.

Here’s a sneak preview of IQ Creations:

Looks pretty bare right now, doesn’t it?

Etsy has it’s limitations, so I’m planning to create a page direction on Idea-Queen.com to send visitors to the shop. Links, pictures, and extra content are super important when it comes to search engine optimization and gaining visitors trust. The only problem is I’m stumped on what to add.

I was going to jumpstart my creativity with the book Room to Write, but I’ve come up with a better idea first. I’m turning to Wordtracker, a keyword research tool, to come up with ideas for my store introduction page.

This tool is going to serve two purposes. For one, I’m going to find the best keyword phrases to use on the page, and thus boosting my search engine traffic. Second, I’m hoping it will spark some ideas as to what I want to focus on.

I’m going to cheat a bit and use a FireFox add-on that I’ve had for quite some time. I love it so much I refuse to update my FireFox because it only works with the lower versions. I typed in “handmade” to start, but obviously we need to refine it.

I don’t make jewelry, cards, or accessories of any kind. Soap will be in the store, but not a main feature (I smell black cherry coming from the kitchen right now … my daughter is currently a busy soap-making bee!).

Since none of these phrases look all that interesting to me, I’ll have to come up with some other keywords that describe my store. To do this, I’ll make a list of all the words I feel are relevant, not worrying about if I’ll eventually use them ore not. For now, it’s all about writing down every word that comes to mind.

After creating the list, I use combinations of the words in my browser tool to come up with some different phrases. What I found was two phrases I’d like to use as the page title:

Unique Handmade Gifts – Special Gifts for Friends

It may be a smidge long, but it serves its purpose. I believe I can pull rank for these terms, and it’s given me a focus for the store…gifts!

This works out perfectly, since I planned to make small gift bags to go with my daughter’s soap and my mom’s candles. There’s no limits to my creativity, either, since the focus will now be on elaborate or special gifts.

Now that I have a clear idea of what my focus is, I can begin actually writing. I’ve decided to use two different books for this purpose.

The first book mentioned before, Room to Write, will be used to get some words on paper. For the other book, I’m revisiting an old favorite – The Copywriter’s Handbook – which will be used to refine the copy. I haven’t peeked at this book in years, but I remember it being a HUGE asset to me in my internet marketing days.

 

What methods do you use to overcome writer’s block? Do you have books to recommend?

 

 

 

Price Check! (Setting Prices Part 2)

 

 

Last week I talked about setting prices for some items I already have made. This week I’ve got a few more items to figure up prices on that may be a bit more tricky. The formula of cost times three isn’t going to work here at all, so I’ll have to average what current items are being sold for.

 

New Items

1. Jean Purses

I love making these. My mom got my very first one years ago, and has requested a new one too. She’s had loads of compliments on the old one over the years, so I feel these are something I can make to sell.

For the price on this one, I can’t use the formula cost times three. The jeans aren’t brand new, nor do I plan to really buy any (unless I find some cute ones at Goodwill, and even then they’re only about $5). There isn’t much fabric used here either, maybe half a yard including the belt and strap. However, the time involved in making these needs to be compensated, if just a little.

Poking around Etsy I see I can’t really market these for more than $40. Even though I put a lot of time and effort into these, I’m going to have to accept the price. At least the cost to make them is low enough that my time is the main thing being charged for.

Unfinished Jean Purse

 

2. Wallets

I hate my new checkbook that I purchased. It holds the checks just fine, but credit cards not so much. Unfortunately I’ve done away with checks, so it’s been completely useless to me. I decided to design myself a wallet of sorts that holds what I want it to hold.

While I’m still in the “perfecting the pattern” stage, I did price checking on Etsy to see what I could possibly charge for these. I found some beautiful ones for nearly $40, so I feel like setting the price at $15 or $20 is fair. I don’t believe these will take all that much time, but it will depend on how much detail I add to them. It may be I’ll be charging $25, which would be alright too I think.

 

Still To Come

The total number of different items is now up to 5. Pillows, hair scrunchies, jean purses, pocket books, and cat toys. In order to properly launch my new store, I need 2 more items. I’m thinking along the lines of pet beds, since my cats abolutely love the bed I made for them. In fact, they fight over it sometimes. I’m also thinking of some different types of purses, if not just for personal use. I’ve been wanting a perfect purse and have yet to find it, so I figure it’s almost time to make one.

We’re getting close to opening! There is so much work still to do though, including designing labels, a type of packaging for the cat toys, and setting up the mailing list. It’s been agonizing forcing myself to take it slow and build it right, but I believe it will be worth it in the end. ;)

Craft Store Case Study: Setting Prices

While the majorty of my spare time has gone to actually sewing, what prices to set have been rolling around in my head and I feel like it needs to be discussed to get my focus back to sewing. I just can’t seem to focus correctly without an income goal in mind, no matter how small it may be.

Part of my problem is an incomplete list of items I’d like to sell. Since my “grand opening” is a week long, I’m going to need a minimum of 7 items. I’d like these items to be different, although currently only have a few items locked in. I’m trying to avoid children’s items, which is no easy task. I may end up with a day or two of similar items (such as different designed pillows), which would be alright.

For now, though, I’d like to focus on setting prices for the items I know I’ll be selling, and go from there. My biggest problem is setting a price that’s fair to consumers, about the market’s average, and compensation of my time. Since I don’t use a sewing machine, that last one is a bit tricky. I can’t be charging $10/hr to make these items, because I do it so slowly right now it would cost way too much. I do know that once I get comfortable making them, it won’t take near as much time. So I’ll be using the other two factors, average market cost for similar items and what’s a fair cost to consumers.

Our kitten playing with an unfinished cat toy

The Items

1. Cat Toys
I seem to have a knack for making small patterns. Years ago I made doll clothes for my daughter that were pretty damn cute, so I gave cat toys a shot. I’ve come up with some adorable toys that the cats absolutely love. Our kitten loved the toys so much he hardly lets me finish sewing before he’s ready to play.

Looking around on Etsy, I’ve determinded that $6.50 is about the average cost of well made cat toys. Since my toys have some “extra benefits” (cat nip, ribbon, and a bendable tail) I think this is a fair price. The toys take me an hour or two to make, but I can’t really charge more, so it will have to do for now until I can make them faster or find a new sewing machine.

2. Hair Scrunchies
I love scrunchies. It’s the only thing I can wear in my hair because it’s so thick. So I started experimenting with lengths and styles, finding just the scrunchy for my hair. All set! I know what I’ll be selling and how. So now comes the price…

The market average is a bit different with this one. The cost of scrunchies is anywhere from $1.50 up to $8 each. I’ve also seen sets on Etsy being sold for less per scrunchie. For the specific type of scrunchie I’m making, though, I’ve decided $5 each is about right. It’s in the middle of the cost, and it’s about the price I feel is right for this item.

3. Pillows
Here’s where it begins to get complicated and a bit fuzzy setting prices. There is no set pattern, size, material, or style with my pillows. I come up with a pattern or shape, then sew it all together. I don’t believe I’ve ever made the exact same pillow twice. Which is part of their charm and what makes them unique.

So how am I going to set the prices on the pillows if they’re always different?

Again I turn to Etsy to poke around, and see what the average costs are. I see covers are anywhere from $5 to $20, but these aren’t just covers. A cute and unique pillow on Etsy measuring 12×12 is $22, but mine are usually a bit larger. Another designer pillow costs $50, although mine aren’t really “designer”.

To figure the pricing for these, I’ll turn to actual costs first. I’ll spare you the math and just say each pillow costs me around $6 in materials. It also takes me about 4 hours or less to make each pillow. That means I can resonably charge $20 or more per pillow, depending on the sides.

The only problem here is I still don’t have a set price. Although I do have an idea as to how to set each price fairly and accurately, which is using a formula for price per inch. After finishing a pillow, I’ll need to measure two sides and add them together. The easiest way figure is by setting it at $1 per inch. So if I had a 12×12 pillow and add the sides, that equals 24 inches. If I set it for $1 per inch, the cost would be $24. Looking at the listings on Etsy, I can see this is a very fair and average price. It also makes up for the time spent on the pillow.

What’s Next?

Now that I have my costs set for the items I have at least, I can turn my attention back to sewing and planning more products. My favorite part of any project is estimating the earning potential, but it’s going to take awhile before I can do that completely with this case study. There has to be products first, and a clear plan as to what’s going to be released in that first week, as well as the weeks following. As much as I want to know how much I could earn, it’s just not time yet.

Off I go to sew!

Finally Outsourcing

Outsourcing has always been a tricky subject for me. I’ve always felt that the idea of paying someone to do my work was just a waste of money. Although after completely overwhelming myself with various projects, I’ve decided it’s time to pass on the grunt work to someone else.

You see, I want to create a cookbook out of blog posts from Idea-Queen.com. The content is there, and I’ve even got the outline finished. But massive amounts of editing needs to be done to convert posts into recipe form, and I fear I just don’t have the time to do it.

I’ve had loads of projects in the past that have never been completed just because I had too much on my plate at the time, and I don’t want this to end up in the project graveyard.

The pay will be slightly different than a freelance job. Instead of a set rate, I’m offering $20 plus a whole lot of promotion when the ebook is finished. Not only does this put my mind as ease because I won’t be spending a whole lot up front, but it’s a win-win situation for both of us. They’ll continue to benefit from the project long after it’s finished, and so will I.

This may not be your traditional freelance job, but it works for me. Maybe now I’ll get over my fear of outsourcing, and go forth to offer more. Maybe I’ll expand my business to the point outsourcing will become the norm. All I can do is give it a try to find out.