No matter if you are a one man shop that offers web development or a fortune 500, you want to learn the concepts behind DRY or Don’t Repeat Yourself. This concept has been taught to myself from various preachers of the Ruby Community. This idea of Don’t Repeat Yourself should be where small businesses excel. No one wants to do tedious tasks, so why not automate these task and keep it DRY. Start to think of every task that you do or have to accomplish with a client or even during your day to day.
Just to give you an example of what a freelance should work on automating would be the following: Invoicing Clients, Marketing Services, and even the occasional reading of news. A way to keep it DRY is to automate the process of creating invoices and building a system to market your services such as a way to post your services on Criagslist with little to no work. If you are a large company, then you really have to focus on keeping it DRY or you end up losing a lot of money on each of those new hires. Every time someone teaches a specific tasks, you should automate or outline what is involved with the task in the form of a document or a wiki. A wiki would allow both the teacher and hire to add to the task and improve the level of detail for the next hire.
Taking the DRY attitude the next step further
Once you understand how DRY works within your business focus on Setting Expectation, Outline deliverable, and pitching your leads. Before you jump into any business, you should look at what YOU can offer! For starters, just write up some of the things you can offer:
If you are a designer, here are some ideas:
- PSD to HTML/CSS (Skinning)
- Logo Creation
- Brand Identity
- Business Cards
- Email Newsletters Design
Leverage what you do and work on automating it every day. I would like to introduce some concepts and ideas from Robert T. Kiyosaki book, Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant. The image below shows 4 different ways you generate income. E – You have a Job, B – You own a system and people work for you, I – Money works for you, and S – You own a job. Most people fall into the E or S category where they either have a job or own a business, but the job is still trading time for money (ie. a consultant). The B and I category are the passive income side where you make money WHILE sleeping.