Article for conference booklet:
In this session I will show you how to create a small business network on a multi-site Drupal installation. I will be using the small business network within my own community as an example.
In small-town Canada we have seen an increase in the "cottage industry" as people in their 50s cash out of urban centres and move to the country. These micro-enterprise businesses often have only the owner (and their partner) as staff. Although the businesses offer a huge range of services, they have one thing in common--very small budgets. Individually these businesses can rarely afford expert technical support, sophisticated Web sites and beautiful Web design--but with a Drupal-based business network, small businesses can now afford to look like pros on-line.
(1) The Clients
* developing your client roster (my network includes: farmers, a gourmet restaurant, a bookshop, a naturopathic doctor and a retreat centre)
* creating self-sufficient clients: training materials; Drupal help nights (my group has nicknamed themselves "The Drupesters")
* managing expectations (their budget and your time)
(2) The Business Model
* you are now a business coach, congratulations!
* how and how much to charge: tips on appropriate prices
* reduce, reuse, recycle: you must become efficient
(3) Technical (Drupal) Information
* Drupal modules your clients will want
* using template designs
* tips on creating and using a multi-site Drupal installation
By the end of this session I hope that Drupal enthusiasts will see how they can turn too-small-for-me clients into a potential source of income. Please come with your stories about how you've used Drupal in your (small business) community.
Bios for conference booklet:
Emma Jane Hogbin lives and works in a small town in Canada. As the founder of a community consultancy, HICK Tech, Emma gets people excited about using open source software. She is also an avid crafter and chronicles her adventures at emmajane.net.