Where does all the time go? It’s been a couple of weeks since the misses and I started trying to do something for our selves. And like most people who go out and try to do their own thing, there isn’t enough time to get everything we need to do done. It’s a shame too.
We’ve been spending a lot of time surfing the internet and trying to find freelance database application programming and development work. There are a few websites built to facilitate people who need work done with people to do the work. But because these sites are on the internet, we’re having to compete with people in other countries where the cost of living is a fraction of what it is here. Five American dollars goes a long way in some countries. Five bucks will barely buy me lunch at a Subway shop, let alone what the misses will eat.
But that’s okay. We’ve gotten my database design and development time down to just eight hours for a relatively small and simple database design with a user interface for the data entry and maintenance of each of the underlying tables. Each interface gives our customers complete access to their information so that he or she can manipulate their data in any way they can see fit. And if the database doesn’t do everything they need, it comes with the most reasonable rates for future modifications and enhancements.
People elsewhere might be cheaper as far as rate goes. But with a plethora of experience, templates that make building a new and fresh database a piece of cake, the ability to see database designs in my head the way Rain Man sees the number of toothpicks on the floor, all combined with the ability to understand and speak English as my mother tongue, I think we have the ability to give my potential customers the best value for their money. The problem is that we have to convince our potential customers that we are the best despite the fact that we’re not the lowest.
A few weeks ago the misses and I went to talk with a guy about starting a business. He’s the guy that convinced us to do our database work with internet customers. One of the most profound things this guy told us was that we needed to develop an edge so that we could steal customers from our competitors. What can we do that the other guys can’t?
Our edge is that our proposals include a fully functioning database for the client to play with and to demonstrate our skills. We review a request for bids from each potential client and if we think we can do the job, we don’t wait to be selected, we will go ahead and start working on a database for them with all the bells and whistles and any other database feature we can imagine. Although they’re delivered fully functioning, each database has an expiration date. Our databases might be useful for about a week or so. But after that, these databases are about as useful as a copy of Space Invaders written for DOS 2.0.
And with each proposal we submit, we have a complete write up that takes about as much time to write as it takes to write a database. We have to do a lot of research to see exactly what might be available from a competitor whether it be Joe Blow from around the corner or some Microsoft wannabe in a third world country, we need to make sure our proposals come across as clean and as professional as they come. This takes a lot of time and a lot of work. But we are truly enjoying our selves at the moment.
Consequently, writing proposals and databases and getting them submitted to a client before their deadline takes a serious commitment that leaves little time for anything else. Unfortunately, I really haven’t had the time to devote to my website. I want to apologize for that. But trust me, my sites neglect is for a worthy cause.
It’s been about a week since we’ve started submitting proposals for jobs. We’ve gotten a few nibbles but nothing that’ll help keep the lights on. Today, I had to take a couple of hours just to let you know we’re still alive. I hope to get a real article together tomorrow. One thing I did find out is that when it comes to writing databases and writing internet articles, I find writing database code so much easier to do. Even though an article takes a relatively short two or three hours, it feels like forever. And although it takes about three times that amount of time to write a database, it’s like a breath of fresh air. I like to write articles. But I love writing databases and the proposals that introduce them.