Semi-Local Business

A while ago I wrote that I was thinking how to change my business. Since then I have been reading lots of blogs on what to do, and how to do. On of them is called Firepole Marketing.

I have mixed feelings about that site. It is a bit flashy and a bit too "marketingish" for me but I think there is some substance in what they are talking about.

The funny thing is that one of the owners, Danny Iny, lived in Israel for a few years while the other one, Peter Vogopoulos, was actually a Unix sysadmin and has been using Perl in his previous life. Interesting overlaps with my life.

The fact that Peter changed his sysadmin job to be a self-employed entrepreneur, running an on-line business means that maybe I too, can learn from them how to improve my small business. In other words, how to get paid for my work.

One of the ideas I mentioned was reusing my Perl training materials and making some money from that. From that idea I reached the conclusion that I'll need to split up my blog. Leave all the meta writings here in my personal blog and move all the Perl-related content to a separate site. That will focus on helping people using Perl.

I am working on it and will let you know once I have something to show but it takes more time than I expected.

In any case, the aim is to take my "business" (which is just a fancy word for contract work and training) that was mostly local, and turn it into more of a on-line and international thing. The on-line part will be that site I mentioned but you can think of the Perl Weekly Newsletter as part of the story.

Even though, I set it up without thinking at all of its "business value".

The international part will be more Perl training courses offered overseas. Mostly in Europe and North America. I already gave a few Perl training classes in some cities but those wore mostly by luck and by the kindness of the local organizers.

I need to find a way to ensure a regular flow of training classes in those places.

The Perl Testing training class at the London Perl Workshop is a small step in that direction.

Anyway, the guys at Firepole Marketing are running a survey to try to understand how such moves worked for other people. They call it the Semi-Local Business Survey indicating that part of the income is from local customers and part from, well, non-local ones.

If you are running such business or thinking about it (e.g Perl consulting? Perl contract work? Web-site development?) you might want to head over and fill that survey. It takes about 10 minutes.

Including a 5 minute tea break.

Published on 2011-10-11 by Gabor Szabo
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