The 100 Mile Client Roster

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In small-town Canada we have seen an increase in the "cottage industry" as retirees cash out of urban centres and move to the country. These micro-enterprise businesses often have only the owner (and their partner) as staff. Although the businesses offer a huge range of services, they have one thing in common--very small budgets. Individually these businesses can rarely afford expert technical support and services and as a result they often end up experiencing vendor lock-in in the worst possible ways.

By combining the idea of a LUG and a Chamber of Commerce, it is possible to subvert the proprietary economic model and gain new clients in the process. In this presentation Emma Jane Hogbin you show you how to convert businesses to FOSS by creating a sustainable, technology focused, business network. Pulling from experiences with her own client user group, Hogbin will show you how to: create self-sufficient clients that still pay you money; manage expectations (client budgets and contractor time); attract new clients by distinguishing yourself from your competitors; define and achieve success; and spread the ethos of free and open source software into the business world.

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The 100 Mile Client Roster

  1. 1. The 100 Mile Client Roster Emma Jane Hogbin emma@hicktech.com www.100mileclientroster.com @emmajanedotnet
  2. 2. This talk is a How To... ● define and achieve success ● create self-sufficient clients who still pay you money ● manage expectations ● attract new clients by distinguishing yourself from your competitors ● spread the ethos of free and open source software into the business world.
  3. 3. You need to define success
  4. 4. my definition of success: communities of all kinds are enabled to maintain vibrant and productive interaction using FOSS tools and open business practices
  5. 5. A lesson from Nancy
  6. 6. A lesson from FOSS
  7. 7. Give your best service away: For Free.
  8. 8. FAIL
  9. 9. jack o’ lantern: 2040 feet
  10. 10. The 100 Mile Client Roster photo credit: melissamaples
  11. 11. Client User Groups Linux User Group + Chamber of Commerce
  12. 12. Free Help Nights ● B2B tech support ● Co-opetition ● Fewer small invoices (for you) ● Bigger picture thinking (for them)
  13. 13. Businesses in the Client User Group
  14. 14. www.memorygardenretreats.com
  15. 15. www.gingerpress.com
  16. 16. www.trilliumhealingarts.ca
  17. 17. www.endabusenow.ca
  18. 18. www.the100milemarket.com
  19. 19. www.marketside.ca
  20. 20. www.shanejolley.com
  21. 21. www.riversideyarns.com
  22. 22. www.aroundthesoundfood.com
  23. 23. community.everus.ca
  24. 24. Manage Expectations
  25. 25. Charge Appropriately
  26. 26. Promote Self-Sufficiency
  27. 27. Awesome.
  28. 28. Things that can go wrong: ● Clients stop coming (they are now self-sufficient). ● Clients stop needing new work (they are now self- sufficient).
  29. 29. Solution: The 18-Month Plan ● Create a business plan. ● Always know the next service or product your clients will buy. Ask, ask, ask! ● Have a marketing plan and actively market your services.
  30. 30. The 100 Mile Client Roster ● Over 3000 views on slideshare.net ● DrupalCon, FOSDEM, FSOSS, LCA miniconf ● www.the100mileclientroster.com
  31. 31. The Kits ● Identity kit: brochures, business cards and postcards ● Marketing kit: planning calendars ● Web hosting kit: Drupal multisite ● Proposal writing kit: to get new clients ● Money kit: budgeting, planning your work, gnucash, bookkeeping ● Workshop kit: plan and deliver an outcome based workshop ● Web site kit: templates to use with clients (based on my Web site action plan) ● Newsletter kit: based on effective email campaign content ● Desktop publishing kit: OOo templates for nice looking handouts/short books ● Conference kit: plan and run your own conference ● Membership kit: uses open atrium + includes membership model (business guide)
  32. 32. my definition of success: communities of all kinds are enabled to maintain vibrant and productive interaction using FOSS tools and open business practices
  33. 33. New Definition of Success Businesses of all kinds are enabled to maintain vibrant and productive client relationships using FOSS tools and open business practices
  34. 34. www.the100mileclientroster.com The first kit will be published at the end of January.

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