Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Famine or feast - confirmed

So, for the middle two weeks of this month, the tumbleweed tumbled, the moths turned slowly in the air and static filled the air. Two nicely chunky projects had come to completion and those factored in to kick-off had all gone quiet.

It happens: it's the nature of running a micro-business. And there are two ways to deal with it. You either have a break, put your feet up and wait for the next round of regular work to start, or get on the networking round again to pump up some business.

Now, in the first four years of Leapfrog I'd have taken the former route. Work came to me, and I never really had to market my skills and experience. But it all went a bit pear shaped in 2005 when I made three bad project choices. The client lost its nerve on one project; and I pulled out of two - one because the project was about to be pulled anyway and the other simply because I was the wrong person for the job. The result was a gaping hole in my finances with no quick fix.

In fact it has taken me 18 months to get the business back on an even keel - thank God for Jac's ongoing contract, it really bailed us out for a while last year.

Just last month we finally got a bit ahead - debt-free on the business, all taxes paid and actually banking some money. And then, of course, the phone stopped ringing.

This time I couldn't afford to sit back through a whole month and wait for the next magazine round to start. Thankfully, the emails and phone calls have paid off. Now we're full to capacity for the summer.

In the last fortnight I've picked up two new projects for an existing client and one for a new client - albeit through an existing consultancy relationship. I've also got back on the radar of another client, and have been given two new very worthwhile contacts as an extension of existing relationships.

My diary's completely full for May and most of June, with regular, profitable work mapped in for the following two months as well - on top of the regular commitments.

Mr. McCawber's definitely a very wise man!

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