[geeklog-devel] Geeklog Service offering

Tom Willett tomw at pigstye.net
Fri Jan 10 08:16:44 EST 2003

First I am all for making money, else I would still be in bed.

Some observations from a business perspective, some hard earned.

I own my own software company and I charge all my customers $50 a month for 
support and updates.  They are all small businesses and do not object as 
long as I am quick to answer their concerns.  I have gotten several 
customers from a rival because the rival would not respond to support 
requests in a timely manner, even though I charge more for support.  So I 
say if you are going after small and medium size businesses, you need 
someone, somewhere to answer the phone!  The average small businessman is 
impatient and will go insane if he/she cannot get in touch with someone now!

You need a clearly defined cost structure.  It should not be that Tony 
charges different than Dirk for the same service.

You also need a shell company set up to collect payments and handle 
bookwork, scheduling and contracts.  And you object, but this is just a 
little consulting project.  The small to medium businessman needs to know 
that she can always conctact someone, if the person whom they dealt with 
before is not available.  There needs to be some accountability, they will 
not deal with an amorphous cloud of independents.  And for a job of any size 
they will require a contract.

Good fences make good neighbors.  There needs to be some ground rules -- 
even contracts among participating developers to avoid conflict.  Who gets 
paid if Tony makes the initial contact (and effectively seals the deal) and 
I do the work?  Who gets first shot at a job?  How much of the income goes 
back to the shell company and toward development of gl?

Be carefull about whom you crawl in business with.  All the contracts and 
agreements will not work if there is not a basic trust among the 

Some food for thought from an old fat man, still pursuing his dreams.

Tom Willett
tomw at pigstye.net

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