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AdMarketing Summary: Going Solo (last updated August 21, 2002)  

During the week of August 5-9, 2002, members of Netpreneur's AdMarketing list had a discussion about practical tasks and issues involved in starting your own home-based or consulting business. Guest moderator for the discussion, Jeanne Jennings, organized and streamlined the posts from that conversation into this Discussion Summary for easy use and navigation. Your additions, feedback, resources, and comments are welcome. Please send them to Jeanne.

1. Marketing
a. General
b. Invest in Your Own Domain and Website (includes resources)
c. Networking and Referrals are Critical (includes resources)
d. Position Yourself as an Expert
e. Be Selective in Who You Work With
f.  Search Engines – A Mixed Response (includes resources)
g. Additional Marketing Suggestions (includes resources)

2. Operations
a. Create a Formal Business Structure (includes resources)
b. Cash Reserves / Minimize Expenses
c. Insurance
d. Contracts, Billing, Books, Taxes, etc. (includes resources)
e. Advisors / Support Network
f.  Additional Hiring Information

3. General Advice/Thoughts

4. Answers to 'What prompted you to 'take the leap' into the solo consulting world?


from the original note posted by guest moderator Jeanne Jennings:

In some areas, I've added additional resources that didn't appear in the original thread. All comments have been annotated and include the contributor's e-mail address. My impression is that this is an area of ongoing interest, so if you read this summary and feel there's something else that could be discussed (there are many topics we didn't cover), please bring it up on AdMarketing. It would be great if this was a living document that grew as all of our experiences in solo consulting grew!

Cheers to all!
JeanneJeanne S. Jennings http://www.JeanneJennings.com
E-mail Marketing Consultant Jeanne@JeanneJennings.com
ClickZ columnist: http://www.clickz.com/author/index.php/26953
Publisher, The Jennings Report: http://www.JenningsReport.com


  1. Marketing
    1. General

Paul A. Broni, pbroni@MERCURYPARTNERS.COM
With respect to advice that I would give other thinking about doing their own thing... wow, that would really take an entire book. A few key tidbits, though, would be

  • know what problem you're solving

  • know specifically for whom you're solving it (you can not be all things to all people)

  • know how to reach that market

  • be able to communicate to a prospect why s/he should do business with you

  • always be in business-development mode

  • structure your business to generate repeat business, not a one-time sale

Lois Carter Fay, sbp@VISI.NET
Spend 30-50% of your time marketing yourself.  If you aren't selling, pretty soon you won't have any income.

Rob Frankel, rob@robfrankel.com
Allocate 75% of your time to generating new business.  

Seth Grimes, grimes@ALTAPLANA.COM
Be prepared to market and sell continuously.  It's important as part of that to build a professional profile. But I'll add that it's important to find some differentiating factor – a selling point -- something you can do or provide that others can't.

    1. Invest in Your own Domain and Website

Paul A. Broni, pbroni@MERCURYPARTNERS.COM
In this day and age, a Web site -- complete with your own domain name -- is an absolute must. Your e-mail address should also reflect this proprietary domain name.

Dale Gardner, dale_gardner@EARTHLINK.NET
I think you need a website - same as you need business cards, a phone number, and so on. It's one of the trappings of a business. It might only be a single page, but it should be there.

Seth Grimes, grimes@altaplana.com
Get your own URL. You need it for credibility and also to establish an

e-mail address that won't change. It's easy to set up e-mail forwarding to the account you really use, or better <you can> use the POP mail boxes the hosters supply.

Gary Honig, ghonig@CCASSOCIATES.COM 
Getting up on the web is a comparatively inexpensive way to hang out your shingle. Getting up on the web, and making a presence on the web are two entirely different activities.

Jeanne S. Jennings, Jeanne@JeanneJennings.COM
I don't have a print brochure, and I haven't done any ads, but I do have a website (two if you count the website for my e-mail newsletter). I use it as a supporting document for people to learn more about me and how I can help them. I did buy my own domains for the same reasons presented by others on the list.  

Marilyn T. Keyes, mkeyes@KEYESCOM.COM
I don't think there's one answer for everyone on this, but IMHO if you are marketing yourself in the technology arena, you need a website. Some other industries might not require it. If you do have a website, however, I think you need to get your own domain name rather than use one sponsored by another company.

Resources – Domains and Hosting

Seth Grimes, grimes@altaplan.com
You can get cheap Web hosting for basic pages -- I know a couple of places that charge $9.95 a month including Hurricane Electric, which I use for several sites -- or "domain forwarding" if you don't want to bother. 

Jeanne S. Jennings, Jeanne@JeanneJennings.com
I use Yahoo to host my websites – it's about $15 a month and I've been happy so far (it's been a year). They have online tools you can use to build the site yourself without knowing HTML. It's pretty simple.

You can also find deals on domain registrations. I've used Stargate – their current price is just under $14 a year.  I also got a few domains a few years back for just under $10 a year, but I believe that firm has gone out of business (but the domains I bought are still fine, the registration has just been moved). Shop around.   

Marilyn T. Keyes, mkeyes@KEYESCOM.COM
I find having my own web site highly useful, because I can direct prospects to  it -- and keep it up-to-date easily. You can find several inexpensive hosting/design options for this, such as Verisign.

    1. Networking and Referrals are Critical

Dale Gardner, dale_gardner@EARTHLINK.NET
Like many of the others who've responded on this thread, I've found referrals to be the primary source of business. Your situation may well be different though.

Jeanne S. Jennings, Jeanne@JEANNEJENNINGS.COM
Networking: I regularly contact people I've worked with in the past and try to learn about what they are doing and tell them what I'm up to. I've gotten a lot of business this way, either by my colleagues hiring me or by their recommending me to people they know who need my services. I also attend industry events and make an effort to meet people in the industry who I don't already know. These types of personal contacts and referrals have been key to my success to date.

Marilyn T. Keyes, mkeyes@KEYESCOM.COM 
To the question of what marketing methods work best, I've found there is just no substitute for networking. The trick is to network where your customers are. At least for business-to-business marketing, find out what organizations your customers belong to and get involved, join a committee, try to get on panels, write articles, follow the good advice that's been presented here.

Resources – Networking and Referrals

Lois Carter Fay, sbp@VISI.NET
I have been actively involved as a leader in the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) for many years.

Jeanne S. Jennings, Jeanne@JeanneJennings.com
Also remember that you don't necessarily have to join an organization to attend their events (although there's usually a price break for members). I'm a member of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington and attend their events. Other organizations with good events:

The Capital Cabal
The Creative Network
The National Press Club 
Netpreneur
The New Media Society 
The Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association

I'm sure I've missed a bunch of great organizations – please forgive me! These are the ones that came to mind!

Dirk Johnson, djohnson@roiwebsites.com
I've spent a lot of time with home-business network groups and the local Chamber (Loudoun County, VA), as well as having close relationships with a lot of small businesses in my industries.

Marilyn T. Keyes, mkeyes@KEYESCOM.COM 
I belong to the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), and to the Independent's SIG within the Washington Chapter. It's also important to network with your colleagues and buddies, like here with Netpreneur, because you not only learn from them but they can provide references or even subcontracting opportunities.  

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    1. Position Yourself as an Expert

Lois Carter Fay, sbp@VISI.NET
You generally have to give away a LITTLE of your expertise to get business...but you can be selective.  Share your expertise by writing an article that can be published in a trade publication or local business publication that your prospects read. You might get a client or two from your efforts.  Don't let prospects take all your ideas for free.

Jeanne S. Jennings, Jeanne@JeanneJennings.COM
Expert: Right around the time I went solo I began writing a column on e-mail marketing for ClickZ. This has been another good source of leads. It gets my name out there and positions me as an expert in the field. It pays a little, but the primary reason I do it is for exposure.

I've also started my own e-mail newsletter, which is free. Many of the people who read my articles on ClickZ click-through and sign up for my e-mail newsletter. The e-mail newsletter provides value to readers, but it's another way for me to build a relationship with people who have read and like my articles, and a way for me to remind them that if they need a consultant, I'm here.

    1. Be Selective in Who You Work With

Clifford S. Barney, cbarney@GOSSAMER-WEB.COM
I have walked away from clients who wanted me to set up porn sites. I wasn't interested in associating with that industry. I also walked away from a project to set up a highly encrypted VPN because I suspected it was going to be used for illegal activity. I've experienced the usual problems with people not wanting to sign contracts or put up deposits. My advice is: When in doubt, get the hell out.

Lois Carter Fay, sbp@VISI.NET
Be selective in what you accept, both in clients and in projects.  If the potential client gives you an odd feeling, trust it.  When I have ignored my "gut reaction," it has caused me grief.  Likewise, if it would be a struggle for you to do the project; if it's not your core competency or it will put your current business in jeopardy (too many eggs in one basket), take a pass.

Jeanne S. Jennings, Jeanne@JeanneJennings.COM
I'm walked away from work because prospects wouldn't sign a written agreement as to the scope of the work and the fees to be paid. I've also walked away from clients who shifted to strategies which were, in my opinion, the equivalent of spam.

f.  Search Engines – A Mixed Response

Colin Delany, cpd@EPOLITICS.COM
My site gets a lot of traffic from search engines (mostly Google), but the inquiries that have come in through the web never seem to pan out – usually it's the folks looking to pay next to nothing, or who are just testing the waters.  Virtually all of my business comes from referrals or other personal contacts.  For reference, I've been independent for 5 years, doing design and consulting.

Rob Frankel, rob@ROBFRANKEL.COM
Because I make it a point to show how branding alone is strong enough to lift any business, I never have spent a dime on search engine promotion.  I have optimized my pages and have a generous link/reprint policy.  As a result, a search for "branding" on Google usually lands me in the top ten, #1 on Yahoo, within the top 20 on AOL and even within the top 30 on the "pay per rank" engines. Even with that, I find that almost all my business comes from web-based referrals.

Seth Grimes, grimes@ALTAPLANA.COM
I'll turn that question about search engines around a bit: My company does competitive intelligence research using search engines. For the software we resell, we look for organizations using our competitors' products.  Be careful what you put on-line.

Meg Walker, mwalker@websurveyor.com
Search engine marketing is vital, especially if you have a registration or e-commerce element to the site. I'm just jumping into the conversation, so I'm not certain what you've talked about so far. Site submission is pretty complex, and you should optimize the site before submitting.

Resources – Search Engines

Meg Walker, mwalker@websurveyor.com
Some good tools / sites are:

Search Engine Watch
Spider Food

JIMTOOLS.com

NetMechanic

And there are tons of other places to look, too. Site submission is not necessarily free, but be picky about where you pay. Search Engine Watch can tell you which are the most important search engines and directories. For B2B, they are Google, Yahoo, MSN, Altavista, Netscape and Ask Jeeves.

I absolutely SWEAR by WebPositions. Their software helps you optimize your site, has great recommendations and will test where you rank for the keywords you have chosen. Step 1: Pick the right keywords - WordTracker can help you with that. They've got a free trial and very inexpensive one or two day subscriptions.

Jeanne S. Jennings, Jeanne@JeanneJennings.com
Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Results is a great place to start learning about Search Engine Optimization. The February and March issues of Wordbiz Report also talk about using search engine optimization.

g.  Additional Marketing Suggestions

Sue Duris-McMurdy, jeffsue2@ATTBI.COM

  • Submit your press release.

  • Link to targeted business directories (I got a lot of leads from it)

  • Sign up for targeted discussion lists.

  • Get business cards

Resources – Additional Marketing Suggestions

Sue Duris-McMurdy, jeffsue2@ATTBI.COM
Re: business cards (I used VistaPrint)

Jeanne S. Jennings, Jeanne@JeanneJennings.com
I agree that business cards are key. I print my own using Microsoft Word and Avery blank business cards. Sounds silly, but I like the 'Ink Jet Clean Edge Business Cards,' Avery 8871; they are heavier paper than the regular Avery business cards, and they aren't perforated so the edges are cleaner. An alternative to ordering online; I like that I can make more at will (no advance ordering needed).  

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2. Operations

a. Create a Formal Business Structure

Paul A. Broni, pbroni@MERCURYPARTNERS.COM
More times than not, I'm strongly in favor of incorporating. First, you decrease your personal exposure to liability. Second, I think you "look" more like a business with an "Inc." or a "Co." after your name (or an "LLC" if you go that route). Third, there are meaningful tax advantages to running your business as an S-corporation compared to a sole proprietorship; specifically, you can considerably reduce your self-employment/FICA tax (assuming that you're profitable, of course).

Seth Grimes, grimes@altaplan.com
My company is an S corporation and I'm very happy with that set up. Corporate income tax returns are trivial since it's a "pass through" whose income isn't taxed at the corporate level.  LLC gives you that also.  A point here, however, is that being incorporated gives you a certain amount of credibility with prospects and some even require that their contractors be incorporated…Regardless, separate your personal from your business finances.

Gary Honig, ghonig@CCASSOCIATES.COM
Depending on your location these days you can incorporate by yourself for again very little expense. Each state (and colony) have great government sites that have the forms to download to get yourself incorporated. But don't stop there, you have to get an IRS tax id, file as a Sub-Chapter S, and figure out how you are going to deal with 941 payroll taxes (better pay them, interest & penalties add up!)  Creating a company has a myriad of positives, everything from tax advantages to increasing your personal credit rating by not being self-employed, but most importantly it instills a confidence that you are now the proud owner of an emerging business.

Marilyn T. Keyes, mkeyes@KEYESCOM.COM
Be sure to look into the LLC option -- it gives you some protection (LLC stands for Limited Liability Company) at a cheaper cost than incorporating. Plus if you are a one-person firm you can report your taxes on a Schedule C of your 1040, just like a Sole Proprietorship. You can get information on the various kinds of business organization several places on the web, and you should check with your state's regulations.

Resources – Formal Business Structure

Dale Gardner, dale_gardner@EARTHLINK.NET
If you go to Nolo, you'll find they have a variety of books and materials that will help you determine what legal structure is most appropriate for your circumstances and create/file the papers. This is one of those times when a quick chat with a lawyer is useful as well.

Jeanne S. Jennings, Jeanne@JeanneJennings.com
There are lots of good online resources about incorporating, and online firms that you can pay (usually a one-time fee of $500 to $1,000) to handle it for you. Search 'incorporate' on google or any other search engine for a long list. 

In addition, look into any laws your jurisdiction has with regard to businesses. I live in DC, and there is a controversial 'Business License' that all business must get. I say controversial because it's being reconsidered by the DC Council. Full info on DC Business Regulations is available here; the DC government also offers free seminars on business regulations; check the URL above for details.

Marilyn T. Keyes, mkeyes@KEYESCOM.COM
You can get information on the various kinds of business organization several places on the web, and you should check with your state's regulations.

    1. Cash Reserves / Minimize Expenses

Alice Andors, andorsali@HOTMAIL.COM
Several people have noted the need to have cash reserves.  I couldn't agree more!  Nothing is more discouraging than wondering whether you should start combing the want ads when you don't have enough freelance work (or when your clients aren't paying as promptly as you'd like). 

Another important factor is lowering your monthly cash outflow as much as possible.  For example, we paid off both cars before I stopped working full-time, and that made a huge difference in cashflow. 

Lois Carter Fay, sbp@VISI.NET
Wait to go into your own business until you have some cash in the bank. You have to eat, pay your rent or mortgage, and all those other expenses, whether you have income or not.  Minimize your expenses before you start.

Stephen Love, slove@VERVOS.COM
Be ready to weather some storms financially.  No matter how much early success that you have, storms will come.  I found that with some very good discipline and cash flow management, the financial storms can be weathered.

    1. Insurance

Alice Andors, andorsali@HOTMAIL.COM
Another critical factor -- especially if you have kids -- is insurance.  It is very expensive to buy good family health insurance on your own.  You can keep premiums lower with higher deductibles, but either way you end up putting quite a lot out of pocket.  I'm reaching the end of my COBRA period and am looking at plans. 

Seth Grimes, grimes@altaplan.com
You should be able to continue your health insurance through HIPAA once the COBRA period expires.  Talk to your insurer.

    1. Contracts, Billing, Books, Taxes, Etc.

Lois Carter Fay, sbp@VISI.NET
Make your clients sign proposals that spell out what you will do, what you won't do, what the client will do, the timing, and the pricing.

Get your money up front, if at all possible.  In my business it is not unusual to get 50% down, 25% when the first draft is delivered, and 25% when the final draft is delivered.  That makes it much less likely that someone will stiff you, and if they do, you have only lost 25% (because you won't finish the project if they don't pay that second payment)!

Norman Rich, norman@LIGHTHOUSESTRATEGICGROUP.COM
Set some rules for your business and follow them religiously.  When something goes wrong because you broke one of your own rules (things like up front deposit payments from unproven customers, requiring customers to complete credit applications, conducting reference checks, halting work in progress when the client fails to uphold the terms of the contract), you'll have no one else to blame.

Resources – Contracts, Billing, Books, Taxes, etc.

Seth Grimes, grimes@altaplan.com
As for payroll and payroll taxes: use a service.  I use Paychex and pay about $60/month.  They do all the withholding computations and the payroll & unemployment tax filings and also issue W-2 wage statements.

Jeanne S. Jennings, Jeanne@JeanneJennings.com
My tax guy recommended Quicken's Quick Books. It was a bit daunting to learn (even though I've used regular Quicken for my home finances for years), but I like it now that I have the hang of it. In addition to handling billing, invoices, accounts, etc. you can track and bill against your time, which I find very helpful.

    1. Advisors/Support Network

Lois Carter Fay, sbp@VISI.NET
Make sure that your family and friends are supportive and understand the commitment you are undertaking.  It is time-consuming to be in your own business.

Stephen Love, slove@VERVOS.COM
Be ready to battle through the toll that can and will hit psychologically.  While it can be extremely rewarding to determine your destiny, it can often get lonely.  My answer was to build a strong network of advisors that have been through this. 

Norman Rich, norman@LIGHTHOUSESTRATEGICGROUP.COM
Seek out advisors that will be brutally honest with you…Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs.  People who work nine-to-five jobs might make great clients, but they tend to be lousy business development advisors for self-employed folks…

Form a structured Advisory Committee with guidelines and requirements for membership.  Advisors will help you develop business leads, grow your network of contacts and provide you with expert counsel in areas where your knowledge is limited.

    1. Hiring Additional Help – Mixed Reviews

Paul A. Broni, pbroni@MERCURYPARTNERS.COM
think twice -- make that three times! -- before growing and hiring additional people.

Lois Carter Fay, sbp@VISI.NET
Hire additional help as soon as you can do so.  Take advantage of other sole practitioners or freelancers.  They need the business, and you need the help.  Maybe you can trade services (don't forget it's taxable) and save that precious cash. 

Stephen Love, slove@VERVOS.COM
I left in early 2001 to create my firm which has now a core group of 5 after spending much of last year on my own.  

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3. General Advice / Thoughts

Alice Andors, andorsali@HOTMAIL.COM
There's a lot to be said for going solo, but there's also a lot to be said for twice-monthly direct deposit, paid vacation and sick leave, and company-sponsored insurance and matched 401K plans. If you're good, you can find work.  Whether you can replace or exceed your corporate income is another story.

Lois Carter Fay, sbp@VISI.NET
Always do your best, but remember...that might be doing your best in the time allotted. Don't be a perfectionist.

Seth Grimes, grimes@ALTAPLANA.COM
Consulting is great if you want to choose your own assignments and direct your own work.  In addition, I about doubled my pay by consulting.

Dirk Johnson, djohnson@roiwebsites.com
I've noticed that some people who make the leap get their initial clients or customers straight way, and never look back. They might even ignore the best practices for marketing that we all espouse. Others seem to struggle, no matter how much they appear to do it right with respect to marketing. Like it or not, being in the right place at the right time, and knowing the right people, does make a huge difference. The most important factor [to have], I think, is confidence, which encompasses all aspects of doing this kind of work. If you know your subject, and it has marketable value and/or provides a tangible return on investment, then you can eventually find the most effective way to convey that confidence to the people who can use it.

Stephen Love, slove@VERVOS.COM
It is vital that you understand this is an investment in you.  Like any investment, it might take some time before seeing any major returns, so get going, but temper that with some patience.

Norman Rich, norman@LIGHTHOUSESTRATEGICGROUP.COM
I believe that many enter into a business with a few strikes against them from the start. There is a huge difference between owning a successful business and managing a successful business. I think that the saying goes something like, "The difference between running a business and ruining a business is 'I'."  If you're considering going solo, or if you've already made the leap there are a few things that are essential to success:

Take the time to conduct an objective assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. You might think that you can run a business that will grow large enough to provide you with financial security, but you just might not be cut out for managing your own business.  The best and brightest business minds tend to have a natural affinity for the tasks at hand.  If you're one of these folks, great!  If you're not, it's better to face up to this reality as soon as possible and make the appropriate decisions. Rome wasn't built in a day, but it wasn't burnt in a night either. You've got a long road ahead of you and (as with anything else in life) as time goes by, you'll be able to accomplish a lot more with technique than you can do today through dogged determination.  Try to limit your mistakes, but try harder to learn from them and try even harder to learn from the mistakes of others.

Ethics. Ethics. Ethics. There are so many unethical business people in the world that honesty, courtesy, and high standards for quality will serve to differentiate you from the competition even when your product or service is a "me too" commodity.  

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  1. Answers to 'What prompted you to 'take the leap' into the solo consulting world?

Alice Andors, andorsali@HOTMAIL.COM
Great topic!  I've been solo for almost a year and a half.  The move was prompted by a combination of factors: the company where I was director of PR was being bought by WorldCom and I didn't want to work for a large company (again); my kids were approaching adolescence and were needing more of my time and energy; and I'd been on the corporate and agency treadmill for more than half my life and really needed a change!

Now I mostly write and edit for a variety of clients, which I find very interesting and stimulating.  I get the flexibility I need, and my clients get senior-level experience they'd pay a fortune for at an agency.  So far it's working out great, but it helps to have another family income to pay the mortgage!

Paul A. Broni, pbroni@MERCURYPARTNERS.COM
This is an interesting topic, particularly in these times when the words "job security" have taken residence in the Smithsonian along with the manual typewriter. I started my current business in 1998 after having been in commercial banking for about ten years. I knew all along that I would eventually work for myself, but after failing miserably in two ventures by the time I was 21 years old, I accepted that I would need to gain more experience. Youthful energy and optimism are great, but a little real-world knowledge and practical experience go a long way.

As for the catalyst behind my leaving the bank and doing my own thing, I simply woke up one day and said, "That's it." I had "punched out" from my job months ago -- showing up late, taking long lunches, and going home early. <Insert joke about "banker's hours" here.> I was burned out, and I finally hated -- I mean really "hated" -- what I was doing. Now that I've been on my own for over four years, I really can not see myself ever going back.

Lois Carter Fay, sbp@VISI.NET
I was downsized, but it happened to me in two consecutive jobs. While working full time, I had been doing some freelance public relations/marketing/writing for a small financial services company and when I lost my job, this client sent me two potential clients. I got the projects and decided, hesitantly, "I guess I can do this."  I wasn't confident; I had no money; and it was a very difficult struggle for several years.  I've now been in business for 12 years as a freelance writer and public relations specialist with my company Strategic Business Partners.  Four years ago, I joined three others to form Technology Marketing Group and the process has been MUCH easier with this company.

Rob Frankel, rob@robfrankel.com
Honestly?  It wasn't lack of job offers.  In my first 8 years I worked for 8 different agencies; hired away by six and fired from 2. The last one was my own agency, which still is active today.

The reason why I went on my own was:

  • I'm just not a corporate soldier.

  • Other businesses were too slow to react and perform.

  • Other businesses were unproductive.  I wanted to make a difference.

  • I really believed I had a better way of doing things.

  • There was no point working to make everyone else rich.

  • I finally realized that there's no such thing as job security, so why not take the risk?  

Philippa Gamse, pgamse@CYBERSPEAKER.COM
Apart from the wonderful incentive of not having to get properly dressed every day, and deal with commuting and the same old routine . . .

I had a succession of bosses in the corporate world who I felt either didn't understand me, or didn't understand what I was trying to do - and I don't suffer fools gladly when they are in authority over me (don't worry, I don't bite my clients!)  And every time I chose a great boss, something seemed to happen and they were replaced with another incompetent.

So, I determined that I'd prefer to be evaluated by the people who really do understand their own needs, and whether I'm meeting them - my clients.  It's simple - if I get repeat business and referrals, I must be doing something right.

And, I'm glad to say that my business is now in its 7th year, which a lot of folks say is a milestone . . . and a good indicator of potential survival  ;-)

Jeanne S. Jennings, Jeanne@jeannejennings.com
I'm approaching the first anniversary of my 'going solo' as an e-mail marketing consultant. The economy had a lot to do with my decision; I had been laid off from a 'large, stable company,' and with the economy the way it is, I felt I would rather try to make it on my own than tie my fate to another organization.…I never really thought about working for myself until I was out of work and a bit shell-shocked from being laid off.

Dirk Johnson, djohnson@roiwebsites.com:
I think that everyone's reasons for going solo are unique to their
situation. Some are forced, some are nudged, and others insist. However, the reasons seem to have only a marginal relationship with success in many cases, which is a much more complex interplay of skill, talent, drive, positioning, and, yes, plain old luck.

Stephen Love, slove@VERVOS.COM
A:  Opportunity to work with interesting clients big and small in both the commercial and nonprofit sectors.  Previous employers pushed out smaller clients.
B:  Opportunity to surround myself with people and partnering companies that I feel are talented, ethical, and fun.

Daniel Smucker, rssdas@CWBUSINESS.COM
I too, have been downsized, and this has, in part, led me to develop a business plan for a marketing consulting/retail business.  I have always talked about starting a business, but haven't really had the push until now. 


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