I think the hardest part of setting up a business — especially if you’ve never done if before, and have no friends in higher places — is that you can’t just sit back and let the clients come to you.
I liken myself, these past few months, to a spider on a web. I spun the web, and I’m sitting on it, but I’m starving while I wait for flies.
It’s not a good analogy, because I’m not preying on anyone, but I’m not sure there’s an animal that spins a web and greets anything it catches with a warm and heartfelt manner.
So, solutions: If you’ve made the business, you need clients. If you’ve done the work, and you made your business plan, you’ll know your target market. It’s just a matter of getting out personally and talking to people from that market.
You see, there are three ways of getting out there. You could be introduced to everyone by a friend, and have all the contacts handed to you; you could choose a great location and optimize your site for search-engines, so people can find you easily; or you can meet everyone personally and become well-known in the community.
I don’t know anyone in the web field, so the first option is right out.
I’ve built a nice little site, and I’m putting my words on a ton of blogs, but I’ve so far been almost completely unsuccessful at getting anyone to even notice I’m here. I’ve fiddled with things on both sites, but Cozy Cabbage Web Design & Development, my Winnipeg Web Design firm, is nowhere near the top of the lists. (I think this site is more well-known, because I use it everywhere on the web to represent me, so I’ll do the self-linking this once). This blog, too has never had any subscribers (possibly because I only write trash and musings). Furthermore, I could become well-known in the web community, but that means nothing to some random person walking down the street. If I stopped and asked someone, they would’t know who Doug Bowman is, or Jeffery Zeldman, or Dave Shea, or any of the rest.
And that leaves ‘getting out there’. I’m doing a bunch of research on local businesses, and I’ll have to get in touch with everyone to see if there are new businesses starting up around me. I can also talk to established web design companies in the city, so see what they have to say.
It’s time for a whole lot of work.