WordPress as a Business: What Your Mother Never Taught You
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WordPress as a Business: What Your Mother Never Taught You

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Anca Mosoiu, Josh Visick, and Sonja London discussed their experience running WordPress businesses at the February 2014 East Bay WordPress Meetup. These slides formed the background to a discussion ...

Anca Mosoiu, Josh Visick, and Sonja London discussed their experience running WordPress businesses at the February 2014 East Bay WordPress Meetup. These slides formed the background to a discussion that ranged from Scott Berkun's The Year Without Pants (about working at Automattic) to basics of any business (entity choice, taxes, insurance, contracts), to the varying ways to make money from an open-source product (hosting, sales of plugins, sales of themes, training, development, and design). The presenters all have services businesses.

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WordPress as a Business: What Your Mother Never Taught You WordPress as a Business: What Your Mother Never Taught You Presentation Transcript

  • What your mother never taught you ??? WordPress as a Business
  • ● Many years of data driven efforts ● Got fired (I mean fired, not laid off - everyone should try this) ○ started my first of many businesses in the Valley ○ Currently have 3 ■ WP for small/medium biz & orgs ■ Business Intelligence, Analytics & Data Mining ■ Bonsai ● Wrote my first CMS before WordPress in 2002 ● Chair 2 Silicon Valley groups ○ Tech Women (1,300+ members) ○ Business Intelligence (4,000+ members) ● Started doing WP sites pro bono around 2.7-2.9 ○ word spread ○ people wanted to give me money A little Background - Sonja
  • About Anca Software Engineering and Consulting in the enterprise. Built Web Apps, custom Content Management Systems Large and small organizations / projects - Cisco, Sony, Nike, Disney, several .com’s you’ve never heard of Now building custom apps with WordPress Coaching & Training Weekly groups at Tech Liminal
  • About Josh Visick ● Freelance graphic & web designer. ● Started coding static sites in ‘98. ● WP bridge to becoming my “own developer”. ● Developing with WP for the last 4 yrs. ● Currently build sites and provide hosting/maintenance for small businesses. josh@visickdesign.com @JoshVisick
  • Making money with WordPress ● Building Websites ● Writing content for blogs, ads, affiliates ● Custom Design / Programming ● Support ● Selling themes and plugins ● Selling hosting/maintenance ● Training and coaching
  • WordPress is different ● It is FREE! ● It has a massive, growing market ● It moves fast and you MUST keep up! ● From small business to corporations ● Nothing is completely custom ○ We all use the same ~14MB from the mothership ● Very user-friendly, easy to use
  • WordPress is different... ● 5+ languages ● Solutions for all, from pre-built themes to highly custom “iceberg” sites ● Updates happen, for better or for worse ● Pants are not required (some of the time) ○ Teams and work have a new virtual model ● Uniquely accessible community
  • What this means for my Business ● Offer high value product ● Price point that more customers can afford ● I can build sites faster and be more profitable ● Reputation - WP is a household term ● Scale business easier - pool of developers ● Stability in business model - marketshare
  • Business 101 ● Business form ● Licenses ● Contract ● Don’t forget to ask for money (invoicing) ● Scheduling (time lines and cash flow) ● When to say no ● Insurance
  • What is your value proposition? ● websites vs success-what are you selling? ● Vertical market value? ● golden triangle ○ Good, Fast, Cheap (pick 2) ● 14mb foundation (did I mention free!)
  • Revenue vs income? ● Website creation/updates/conversions ● recurring revenue: ● Sales of themes, plugins, API services ● maintenance ● hosting ● other added value (SEM) ● Training
  • Pricing? ● hourly ○ WordPress mean/median ● fixed price ○ WordPress mean/median ● retainer/contract ● value vs market ● the right price for your clients vs the right income for you ○ A) What do you need to make to survive ○ B) What value do you provide ○ If A>B, not sustainable - new business plan ● calculator - (share a google spreadsheet?)
  • Estimating a Project ● Do they know what they want? ● Do they have their content? ● Do they want a custom design? ● Is there a plugin? Are there tons of plugins? ● Custom code/ front + backend ● Are there interactive elements (storefront, forums, forms, games, etc) ● Talking to third parties (FB, custom API’s, CRM’s,maps) ● Custom Admin Workflow?
  • We are at the Epicenter Are you leveraging the Bay Area? ● Automattic ● EBWP ● SFWP ● WordCamp SF ● Zurb ● Twitter ● FaceBook
  • protecting yourself ● contract: ■ website (new vs conversion/upgrade) ■ enhancement, change orders, kill fees ■ maintenance/hosting/support/added value ● change orders ● site turnover/golive (after payment) ● Risk of developing on account you do not control ● Client mistakes
  • expenses ● open source model ● time ● tools - cost vs savings ● sub-contractors
  • Marketing ● What is your target market ● How do reach your target market ● Cost of acquisition ○ Initial consultation - free or billable ○ RFP’s ● Word of mouth ● The 20 word pitch have it ready at ALL times
  • Appearing Being Bigger than you are ● Collaboration ○ Resources who can help with a quick tip ○ GIVE BACK ● Virtual Teams - ○ follow the lead of the mothership (Automattic) ○ A Year Without Pants ● Referrals ● Business form
  • Resources ● WordPress.org - Codex, blogs, docs ● Tech Liminal - classes, workspace ● WordPress survey ● Remote managers ○ InfiniteWP, manageWP ● WAMP / MAMP stacks ○ http://serverpress.com/products/desktopserver/ ● Version control ○ Git, Github (interfaces to WordPress SVN, Probably easier)
  • Resources pg 2 ● Pricing - ○ http://allindiewriters.com/freelance-hourly-rate-calculator/ ○ http://chrislema.com/changing-the-pricing-conversation-with-clients/ ● Freemium Business services ● Project management ○ ● accounting/time tracking ● chrislema.com/books ● www.workformoneydesignforlove.com/