This sentiment is really resonating with me right now:
Not a great business
"You can’t really differentiate yourself for starters – I mean, you’ll think you can – but in reality you’ll always be one of a gazillion companies in a global marketplace. It’s not like software, where one company can literally own a market; no one web design company owns 0.01% of their market."
All business startup advice starts with "Explain how you are better/different from anyone else in your business." I've been struggling with that for many months, now. I've realized that I'm marketing a product and skill set that has become a commodity item - with a commodity item price tag.
At the recent WordPress WordCamp weekend in Tampa, one of the presenters said "build a team" because you cannot do it alone. (Amen!) I'm chewing on that concept while I write/market my Homeowners Association books.
Oliver also wrote:
The limits of size and location
"Web design companies tend to range from 1 to 10 people, with the vast majority having a couple of staff and a handful exceeding 100 or more. Like plumbers, they tend to focus on one geographic area: as far out as they can comfortably meet people face to face."
I had been using automobile mechanics for my analogy for this same concept, and plumbers are another great example.
I found the comments to be an equally compelling read. Most agreed, none really disagreed, and some told their own story.
I've reached no conclusions, yet, nor have I figured how to bring this into my own life. But I didn't want to lose the article.
Why we gave up web design after 10 successful years
(Written January, 2011) ~~ Read the article, but plan to spend time reading the comments, too!