Category Archives: Business

How I Made $3.63 Per Hour Doing Web Design

This is a guest post from Kevin at DigitalMediaDIY.com where you can learn to DIY professional web design and digital media for your business.

There is no money in small business web design. I mean none. I learned that lesson the hard way. I tried started a small business web design company on the side back in 2014. I wanted to use my web design skills to help small businesses and make extra money. My plan was to charge a minimum of $2,000 for a simple website and up to $5,000 for a complex site. This comes to about $50 per hour for my labor according to my estimates. My first client was a local barbershop who just opened his store and needed a website. I sat with the owner (let’s call him Fred) and proposed to build his site for $2,050. We talked for over an hour and we agreed on exactly what I would build for him. I got a 25% non-refundable deposit of $512.50 and left the meeting ready to work. I got started right away and built exactly what we had discussed within about 2 weeks. It took about 40 hours to do the work and I spent about $150 in software and images to make it look great. I don’t want to brag, but this site was awesome! I met with the Fred to turn over the site and get paid. Honestly I was expecting gratuitous amounts of praise. Maybe even a little bonus for doing so well.

Swing and a Miss

Ooooooo boy was I wrong. He didn’t say “Thanks!” and pay me. He was upset his website didn’t do the following things:

  • He wanted the site to more tightly integrate with his POS system, and asked me to figure out how to do that OR find him a new POS system that would work better with his appointments.
  • He wanted more pictures of his barbershop on the site and expected me to be his photographer.
  • He wanted numerous changes to the design, none of which were agreed upon in our initial meeting and all of which made his site look worse.
  • He wanted a fully functioning mobile app.

Wow. Okay, um… I told Fred I’d work on the first 3 items but at least stood my ground on saying I can’t build him a mobile app. I went back and got to work on these changes. I would send him updates and he would change his mind again, each time making his site look worse. By the time I was done I had spent another 60 hours on this project and his site was so ugly I had pulled my branding off it because I was embarrassed by it. I thought we had finally agreed everything was done so I met with Fred to deliver the site and get paid. He says it looks good and I feel like I’m finally about to be done with this nightmare client.

Another Curveball

Then he says, “You know my other barbershop needs a website also.” I didn’t even know he had another barbershop. “Okay, that will be another $2,100.” “Oh. Well I talked to a guy who said he would do both of my stores for the same price you’re charging me. Can you just do it for free?” At this point I was completely fed up with this guy. I had already worked 100 hours, been paid only $512.50 – $150 in expenses, and now he’s asking me to do double the work? No sir. You know the saying, “Don’t throw good money after bad,”? Well don’t throw good time after bad either. There was no way I was doing another minute of work for this guy without getting paid up front. “Good luck with your new web designer. If you want to make the site I built live, you can pay your remaining balance.” I haven’t heard from him since and last I checked neither of his stores has a website. I made $3.63 per hour working with that client.

Small Businesses Need to DIY Their Websites

The major error I made in trying to create this business was over-estimating how much small business owners could pay for a website, and underestimating how much they wanted their web designer to do. After working with Fred and many other small business owners, I am convinced the only way for a small business to have a great website is to DIY. Margins on small businesses are so small they just can’t afford professional web design services. That’s why I created Digital Media DIY. I just launched a free online course for small business web design. This course teaches business owners how to create their own professional website, step-by-step. My training allows small business owners to get a professional website without paying professional web design prices, and it ensures I never have to deal with another terrible client again. Kevin is the owner of DigitalMediaDIY.com and is passionate about helping small business owners DIY their website and digital media.

VIP escort service – Big cash for a little passion?

The discussion revolving around the topic of buyable love is just as old, as this line of business itself. In many countries, prostitution is illegal; in others it is strictly regulated, and in some places it has become a normal and accepted part of society. Many people connect prostitution to human trafficking; to failed existences and great suffering. Others see a respectable service branch, which is a fixed part of human culture. As a legit way to live out sexual fantasies, to reduce anxiety, or simply to have some fun. All opinions are valid, since this profession has many features from dark and repulsing to beautiful and positive.

A view into the history of VIP escorts

Already hundreds of years ago, so-called courtesans took care of the sensual desires of wealthy merchants, royals and kings. These ladies were not only of exquisite beauty, but also well-educated and knowledgeable about the court’s etiquette, and thus very well paid. In Rome, during the 16th century – in the time of the renaissance – courtesans were part of the high society; they were invited to sumptuous banquets, were companions of bishops, bankers and monarchs. The most famous of all courtesans of this time was a lady called Tullia d’Aragona, who pampered her suiters not only with her feminine charms, but also intellectually with philosophical discussions in different languages and – as a well-known, prolific author her impressive skills in poetry.

The major difference …

… between a professional escort service and a normal brothel is quite obvious. The courtesans of ancient times are today called VIP escort models whose service well exceeds the sensual side of the business. Eloquent and stunningly beautiful, they are self-confident companions for any sort of events and a trustworthy, intellectually stimulating temporary girlfriend. Great examples are the models of one of the most renowned escort agencies in Europe. This company exclusively works with ladies, who choose this line of work as a lucrative and enjoyable side business. The models can freely choose if they want do date the gentleman in question and how far they want to go.

A brothel on the other hand is exclusively designed to give the clients what they are looking for in the most efficient and straight forward manner: physical satisfaction.

A lucrative side job: escort model

It is a fact that women can earn quite a bit of money when working in the escort business. The most expensive escort – a lady in New York – is known to make up to $50,000 USD per date! In average, girls in this line of business earn between $200 and $400 USD for two hours. Agencies or independent escorts offering dates below this time frame are not considered professional. Ladies who work together with an agency pay a certain percentage to the company. The escort agency on the other hand takes care of all arrangements, the marketing and the financial part, which in return saves the escort time and money.

Side Business and New Investment Opportunities

Side Business and New Investment OpportunitiesMany state and local governments revised their laws in the aftermath of the recession to encourage new businesses. The reasons are clear.

Additionally, technological and cultural changes result in new opportunities. Consider the following side/main businesses:

Home Baking

If you make a fantastic specialty bread or muffin, you are in luck. Many states revised their cottage food laws, and now people can sell goods baked in their own kitchens through a variety of venues. California’s new law began in 2013, and home bakers can sell directly to consumers through farmer’s markets, roadside stands, and even online. Bakers there can even apply for a “Class B” license and sell their goods to indirect sellers such as restaurants.

Cottage food laws come with several restrictions. Selling foods that have meat or dairy are pretty much prohibited. Some states cap what you can earn from a cottage food operation. In California, cottage food operations could have annual gross sales of $45,000 in 2014 before the operator had to rent commercial kitchen space.

Tutoring

Did your friends turn to you for help with English and Math classes? Are you a teacher looking to make extra money? You should consider tutoring.

Tutoring is big business in America with revenues of $4 billion annually. Parents want to address academic concerns. In response, some areas deregulated zoning laws to allow individuals to tutor more than one person at a time. These changes permit people to tutor a group of three students as opposed to just one student at a time. Skype allows someone to tutor students from the comfort of his or her home.

Marijuana

Marijuana for recreational use is legal in 4 states. Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in Nevada in 2016, and advocates hope to have ballot initiatives in states such as California and Massachusetts for that election. With these changes, you might wonder if investing in a marijuana business is for you.

Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. There is a risk that a new administration will crack down on marijuana businesses. You also have to be conscientious of how state laws are written. In Florida, only 21 of the 7,001 nurseries in the state are eligible for licenses to grow medical marijuana.

Factors to Consider

Make sure to check that you have the appropriate permits and insurance if you start a home-based business. Talk to a lawyer so you have a legal structure (i.e. sole proprietorship, LLC) that is right for you. Examine investments carefully to avoid fraud and limit difficulties.

Media discussions about regulations frequently concern federal agencies such as the EPA. However, state and local laws often have a strong impact on business opportunities. As a citizen, make sure you hold politicians pass regulations based on public health and safety, not fear and favoritism.