Who do I sell to? Fortunately the skills and experience involved are reasonably transferable between industries; however it makes sense to start where I know the milieu best – the wine industry. This is where I’m already known and where my most recent experience lies, and is where my initial efforts will be directed. Ultimately I would like a range of clients, including other industries – here in Adelaide that probably means wine, mining and government. However – I have a freshly-renewed passport and the kids are adults … so (within reason) I am not geographically constrained. If somebody wants to get me there (and back!) I’m able to travel – cultural fit is the only uncertainty (I’m English-speaking and Caucasian, but don’t hold that against me) – and anybody who knows me knows that online and virtual is where I live, so we can save the earth while collaborating if that’s what you’re comfortable with.
Essentially – words. Discussion, advice, presentations, reports, blog posts, tweets … I talk, I write, I draw diagrams with boxes and lines. Behind the words is a smart mind, a bunch of experience and knowledge of business – all the better to help you figure out what, if any, technology you can put to good use, and how.
Where I’d like to get to is to have clients pay me a portion of the value I generate, rather than charge some periodic rate, because this moves the discussion from cost to value, which I think is a better model. At this stage there are a couple of things that prevent that:
- as a new business it is difficult to forecast how much value will be generated for clients – like task estimation in projects, a track record makes it easier for both parties, and it’s not there yet
- I suspect there are plenty of prospective clients who are still uncomfortable with the idea of an unknown commitment, even if the judgment around how much value is generated is with them
- there is uncertainty about the timeframes over which value will be realised and quantified, so it can be a little open-ended for both parties (and there is a certain revenue imperative at my end!)
So, while keeping that goal in mind I have decided to start out with a time and materials model … and right now the rate is $AU125/hour (or $AU1000/day) plus taxes and expenses.
As always, comments and questions welcome …