"The road is not always to the swift . . . but to those who keep on running."
So you've gone to school for Web design. Or maybe you're looking to expand your advertising business to include an interactive division. You've heard all of the acronyms-ASP, HTML, and VB. You know that if a potential client says that he wants Java, he's not talking about a cup of coffee. You may know how to program in ten different Web languages, make eye-popping graphics, and build the Web server. However, undertaking the responsibility of someone else's company image and understanding their needs is a whole different arena. Doing so in a way that you don't end up losing your shirt could be considered an art.
Being a super Web developer does not immediately give insight into doing business as a Web developer. There's so much to learn the hard way. In this part of the book, you will investigate how to avoid some of these hard knocks, helping your firm to create a better product and build an excellent reputation. Hopefully, this will allow you to sleep better at night!
First, let me introduce myself. I'm Kim, and I own a Web firm in North Andover, Massachusetts. We probably have a lot in common because one day, after trying a course in Web site design, I decided that I liked it so much that I wanted to design Web sites for hire. Little did I know that learning the technology would be second to understanding how to address the client fairly, communicate the message successfully, and hire effective people to assist with production. My business grew organically, as many people picture their freelance business might do. No influx of venture capital for me. So when I was learning how to manage projects for the Web, my mistakes directly affected my wallet and my ability to grow my business. It didn't take long before I realized that a systematic approach to running Web projects was the only way to stay in the business. Every time since that I have been a little bit casual about this point, it costs the firm money.
In Part II of Exploring Web Marketing and Project Management,it is my pleasure to share my ideas about the successful management of Web site production. If you're thinking about starting a Web firm, are presently a Web design firm owner, wish to increase job stability because you manage Web projects for someone else, or are just curious about the business side of Web site development, I hope these concepts are helpful. The development process is always changing. It's a dynamic and exciting environment and a chance for people with an entrepreneurial spirit to try out new ideas. There are a lot of negative experiences that await a Web developer, but there are so many more to broaden the Web developer's personal and professional horizons.
In this chapter, we'll talk about the generalized concepts behind project management and how these concepts can be applied to the Web environment. Let's get started toward running more satisfying Web projects.