Business Foundations: Scaling a Small WordPress Shop

Lately, there seem to be more and more articles published online that try to cover reasons for why companies should let their employees work from home. Case in point.

On the flipside, there are other articles that are talking about more intensive and more frequently performance reviews. They’re also being called “The Neverending Performance Review.” Case in point.

As a disclaimer, having worked in the corporate world I understand both sides of this.

  • I had the freedom to work from home as needed, though not every day,
  • Performance reviews were done quarterly.

But in the last six and a half years, I’ve been working exclusively from home and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And it terms of performance reviews, I don’t have any real employees (though I do have some great contractors, for what it’s worth) for which I’d administer a performance review.

So I think those articles make for some good reading. I also thought that as I continue to try to write about running my own business within the WordPress space, it might be worth sharing my personal experience on slowly laying business foundations.

Maybe it’ll just be informative; maybe it’ll help others in a similar situation.

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WordPress Developer Bootcamp via Know The Code

Some time ago, I talked a bit about the WordPress Developer’s Club (which is still alive and kicking). But since that post, Tonya Mork and others have been working on something called Know The Code for the last few months.

There’s an active community, a ton of educational content, assignments, labs, explanations, examples, and so on. If you’re a budding WordPress developer or someone who’s looking to get into professional WordPress development, I recommend it.

But in an attempt to go to 11, Tonya and Know the Code is looking at offering a WordPress developer bootcamp specifically for those who are looking to take it a step beyond the code itself.

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Separating the Vital Few From the Trivial Many

I’ve talked in earlier posts about my reading Essentialism and a lot of the information I’ve been gleaning from it. Granted, it’s slow going, but there’s a lot happening outside of reading at the moment.

The Vital Few: Discerning the vital few from the trivial many.

But I’ll share the point I’m going to be working towards regarding the rest of this post right now. One of the most timely quotes from the book is a bit long, but I think it’s worth sharing especially for those working on their business, their side projects, or even their day-to-day work wherever that may be.

Instead of making choices reactively, the Essentialist deliberately distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many, eliminates the nonessentials, and then removes obstacles so the essential things have clear, smooth passage.

In other words, Essentialism is a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless.

Like I said, it’s a bit of a long quote, but if I could distil them for the sake of the things I’d like to share, I’d hit the following points:

  • distinguish the vital few from the trivial many,
  • remove obstacles that prevent that,
  • determining the highest point of contribution.

For some, this reads like a big snore-fest so you can either check out now or keep reading, but I found this timely, and I think it’s something that many people struggle with (at least post on those who I chat with) so maybe it’ll be helpful.

So here’s my take on these points.

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Hiring New People (And How I Try To Do It)

If you’re running your own business – be it a small business, a freelance business, or anything you’ve started and built from the ground-up – one of the scariest things can be hiring new people to help you with the volume of work that comes in as your business grows.

Don’t get me wrong: I think some of this can also come whenever you’re hiring for an internal team or some other scenarios I’m not considering, but this is all in the context of my experience.

It’s one thing to know when to hire, but it’s another thing to know who to hire, and then how to bring a person on board to begin working on projects once they are contracted to do so.

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Avoiding Project Scams (Through a Documented, Personal Experience)

In all of the years that I’ve been writing content for this blog, I don’t think I’ve ever detailed – let alone briefly covered – identifying or avoiding project scams that small business owners and freelancers can deal with when it comes to the emails we get.

This isn’t to say larger businesses don’t – because they do – but they also tend to have greater resources to fight that kind of stuff when it happens. Plus, smaller businesses are likely more of the target of petty crimes.

Even still.

Over the last few days, I’ve been corresponding with someone who had looked to hire Pressware for some work. It seemed like a scam from the beginning, but I opted to take the bait and to see how far it would go.

Ultimately, the point was to help others in our business with identifying and avoiding project scams (not to waste time).

I have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now

Usually, these things will converge to a point where they need some type of help with money, credit card charges, or the infamous use of Western Union (which I’ll cover later).

So for the sake of having this documented for others, I’m sharing all of this – and similar posts I found around the same type of scam – in this post.

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