Did you know Dropbox started because its founder was tired of forgetting his flash drive at home? So many small businesses start with someone fixing a problem for themselves, then realizing they could get paid to fix it for other people.
My web presence consulting firm is one of these user innovation-driven businesses. I became the sort of specialist I wished I could call upon when I was an employee muddling through web design, development, and marketing on top of my formal responsibilities at a nonprofit.
Now that I know what I do, I know how much money can be saved by having someone step in and set things up right from the beginning. Too many software migrations happen (often at the last minute) because the solution your vendor promised would solve every problem ended up creating more new problems than it solved. I don’t focus on selling what I build – I focus on solving your problems. It turns out there’s good money in that!
I’m used to working on tight budgets.
I developed my expertise working for nonprofits where high administrative costs equate to having less resources to devote to fulfilling your mission statement. I’ve spent years finding the balance between finding affordable alternatives and knowing when the “name brand” will save you enough time and money in the long run to be worth it. Weighing several options and defending my choice to decision-makers is second nature at this point.
Expertise Without Employment
The average web developer salary is about $58,000 a year. If you want to employ someone who knows what they’re doing and will stick around for more than 1-2 years, you should expect to offer around that much.
Some businesses really do need web development as one of their core competencies, and I’m probably not the best fit for them. I think it’s more likely that your business is one that just needs a website that’s easy to use for both potential customers and your staff, and a digital marketing strategy to connect it with your social media presence.