Home – New Forums Find the help you need Co-operative of web specialists wanted

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  • #966198
    TheTrish
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    I am looking to put together a group of web specialist sole traders living in Sydney wanting to deliver a more comprehensive solution to their clients.

    I often get frustrated in only being able to offer a limited service to my clients and then having third parties not working together as they are all different companies and the client is not getting a holistic solution to their online and marketing.

    Skills needed include, but not limited to the following:

    • SEO specialist
    • Web and Business Strategy
    • Project Manager
    • Marketing, both online and offline
    • Copywriter
    • Designers, both online and offline, to work closely with SEO specialist
    • Suggestions welcome

    I would love to hear from anyone who is interested in this idea and who has had experience with this type of thing previously, successful or not what kind of problems they have encountered.

    I would like this to be a true Cooperative where there is no boss or leader but we all work together for a common goal, creating the best most comprehensive solution for our clients.

    Let me know your thoughts and if you have ideas.

    thanks
    trish

    #1016660
    peppie
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    Hi Trish

    I confess that I cannot aspire completely to the role definitions on your list, but I am a provisional licence holder in web site design. My specialty though is more in All Things Multimedia, audio, video, photos etc. and I work with the Adobe Master suite which is all things multimedia, print and web.

    You can see from my website where I mainly fit and I am presently forging ahead into multimedia on the web in general. I would be happy to discuss working together with others in afore said fields. I am particularly in need of such links myself at present.

    #1016661
    Chris Bates
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    This is certainly an interesting concept! I shall keep an eye on this to see how it develops.

    All the best,
    Chris

    #1016662
    TheTrish
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    I just wanted to clarify the above a bit more.

    I am not looking for sub contractors, out sourcing or contacts that I can farm work out too.

    I guess my vision (and it is not totally formed) is to get a group of specialists together and provide corporate clients with a full service agency. Each specialist will be responsible for their own sales, marketing and accounts just like they are now in their solo venture, but together we can provide full service agency solutions to clients.

    If successful, I also see maybe moving into shared office space and working under an umbrella company of some description so I would prefer people who want to grow their business but still stay solo.

    #1016663
    Warren Cottis
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    Hi Trish

    I’ll meet with you any time to move this concept forward.

    I’ll give you a call.

    #1016664
    JohnSheppard
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    It’s an interesting idea, one I have been thinking about also.

    In my opinion the problem you have is that you really do need a single someone in control directing things. Pure co-operatives don’t work because it is usually a case of everyone who is good at what they do wants/needs to be the one in control.

    So say you put the specialists in control of their own area you then create issues with the weakest link and people not getting along and people disagreeing on what is construed equal effort. (Same issues traditional businesses models face I’d imagine)

    Also everyone has their own ideas of what is best for the client…

    The other issues are efficiencies. You need an information system. Without a leader there is no incentive for people to put in extra work/shares to create an efficient system…

    Ever watch Survivor? They never get along!!! lol…

    In my opinion the best model is leader dictating which freelancers get which work allowing them to come and leave if they don’t dig it……but that model is really no different to how many currently operate….

    Anyway I would be interested in the possibilities (except that I live in Cairns and I’m more of a programmer than any of the things listed)…. just putting it out there…

    #1016665
    Warren Cottis
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    Hi John

    My feelings are… whoever the client trusts “holds the power” and for long term relationships to survive everyone on the team needs to respect that. On the other side of the fence, the team leader would be crazy to reject valuable ideas from the team.

    At the end of the day the client needs to see the “whites of your eyes” and I have chatted to Trish about this.

    I am currently close to losing a project in Adelaide because I don’t have a colleague there and this is a problem because I receive enquiries from all over Australia.

    So may I suggest that if you would like to grow you take a look at my business opportunity page because collaboration is definitely the way to go.

    PS. I am not highjacking Trish’s post as I mentioned to her that I was going to respond to you

    #1016666
    peppie
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    TheTrish, post: 18910 wrote:
    If successful, I also see maybe moving into shared office space and working under an umbrella company of some description so I would prefer people who want to grow their business but still stay solo.

    Trish, I can understand your vision, but for myself I would not be in a position to take up “shared office space” – for one think it would be a mammoth task to move even a small part of my equipment. But I think, like has been alluded to hear above, you would have to think VERY carfully about how such a co-op would be set up because the dangers would lie in the fact that each would effectively be an independent. Sort of like too many cooks and it is the same sort of reason many associations fail.

    I was envisaging something more of a loose arrangement or group members that might use each other as a known specialist. Just my thought.

    #1016667
    JohnSheppard
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    warrenc, post: 18925 wrote:
    Hi John

    Heya Warren and everyone, sorry sometimes I forget forums aren’t my personal idea playpen and forget to say Hi to people. I’m a typical computer programmer :/

    warrenc, post: 18925 wrote:
    My feelings are… whoever the client trusts “holds the power” and for long term relationships to survive everyone on the team needs to respect that. On the other side of the fence, the team leader would be crazy to reject valuable ideas from the team.

    I guess I see that as a cause for troubles. It’s fine for the person with power as they aren’t risking anything, but for the person doing working along side without the power its an uncomfortable place to be in.

    I mean it would work perfectly and very well if everyone did respect and trust each other. In my experience with life people rarely do. :( (I’m 32 and have never been in a partnership so take that with a grain of salt).

    For it to work partners would have to be chosen VERY carefully. It’s not an easy thing to achieve and takes considerable time and energy. It’s very hard even just between two people.

    I mean consider it against say regular capitalism in an instance where a leader farms out work. The marketplace takes care of all those problems with little to no effort (with other advantages). What are the advantages of a pure co-operative?

    warrenc, post: 18925 wrote:
    So may I suggest that if you would like to grow you take a look at my business opportunity page because collaboration is definitely the way to go.

    Oh I agree collaboration is good, it is just the structure of collaboration that should be discussed, certain kinds of collaboration fail or are inefficient. We would need more information from Trish on the nitty gritty of how it would work.

    Pretty much all successful businesses are tax/incentive based, our whole economy is tax/incentive based. It’s been proven to work extremely well and when it doesn’t it is because the tax/incentive is badly directed.

    I think it important not to remove the tax/incentive from the equation and to successfully collaborate, you don’t have to.

    #1016668
    Warren Cottis
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    john.sheppard, post: 18937 wrote:
    Pretty much all successful businesses are tax/incentive based, our whole economy is tax/incentive based. It’s been proven to work extremely well and when it doesn’t it is because the tax/incentive is badly directed.

    I think it important not to remove the tax/incentive from the equation and to successfully collaborate, you don’t have to.

    Hey John,

    I just cannot agree… capitalist economies are not driven by tax/incentive but more by entrepreneurs… call me insane but if the government increased the tax rate to 80% I would still go out there and work… 5,000,000 x $1 transactions stills leaves $1,000,000 in my pocket and that is the power of the internet

    #1016669
    JohnSheppard
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    warrenc, post: 18952 wrote:
    Hey John,

    I just cannot agree… capitalist economies are not driven by tax/incentive but more by entrepreneurs… call me insane but if the government increased the tax rate to 80% I would still go out there and work… 5,000,000 x $1 transactions stills leaves $1,000,000 in my pocket and that is the power of the internet

    Incentive is what drives you to be an entrepreneur? correct? like you just said there :) That’s how you get people to work, and work willingly….

    Tax is a way for government to control its populace in a direction that benefits all (or at least should be) :)…for example; If we have an energy crisis…the government would do well to incentivise energy research and tax web development (or other undesirable industry lol) to cover it. What would then happen is that instead of working on web dev, the entrepreneurs would move over to energy research.

    The result is harnessing selfish motives for the benefit of society as a whole and this is why capitalism has worked so well…

    So in a macro business as the one we would be talking about, it is helpful to apply the same principles.

    So for example you have to pay more for jobs people don’t want to do but need to be done and tax those jobs that people want to do…In a cooperative there are no system in place for this, it ends up being a “yep, we’re all gonna work together and do what needs to be done *handshake*”….Then 6 months later…. ;)

    It’s the same reason why people don’t pick up litter or scrape gum off the ground, even though it benefits everyone there is no individual gain. So people don’t tend to do it (except the mad ones :))

    Bare in mind I’m a complete amateur economist and I could be entirely wrong about everything!

    #1016670
    Burgo
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    I think you lot should join us on the 9th @ james squires.

    I think Trish the dish has a great idea. I see the merit in having a group of individual specialists, each being totally responcible for their part, but being part of a complete package.

    Trish this aint easy to organise, individuals are individuals and often dont want to be part of a team, thats why they became soloists in the first place, but if it generates a good return for theirinvestments then anyone will become part of a team for a financial gain.

    Develop it a bit more, and come along to James Squires on the 9th

    #1016671
    TheTrish
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    Hi Burgo,

    Thanks for the invite, I will attend on the 9th. It will be good to chat with others in the forum.

    Regarding this topic, I haven’t decided on all the fine details, I was hoping that others interested in the Co-op idea would contribute their expertise and iron out any quibbles.

    It was just an idea that I have had floating around for a while and thought it would be enjoyable working with others. Just because we are working solo doesn’t mean we all like working solo. I know I crave water cooler talk and interacting with colleagues.

    Thanks for all your opinions so far, it has definitely highlighted things I didn’t think about.

    #1016672
    Chris Bates
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    I could see it working more as an alliance. If your client requires graphic design, and you only do web development, you refer them to XYZ. And vice versa.

    #1016673
    JohnSheppard
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    Chris Bates, post: 19026 wrote:
    I could see it working more as an alliance. If your client requires graphic design, and you only do web development, you refer them to XYZ. And vice versa.

    That’s what I think would be most effective (and be more interested in myself).

    I’m only really just starting out on my own and I’m really only in research mode at the moment but the way I see it, I will allocate a portion of all my sales to marketing&sales. My best estimate at this stage is its going to be about 40% of charge out rate.

    That 40% would be up for a salesperson in the co-operative. (note this is a hypothetical value)

    Same again for graphics design. Say it’s worth 30% of my charge out, that goes to who ever does the graphics design. (Note also that the %’s would likely be different for every job)

    You would then be able to offer your specialist services to the co-op at whatever you can agree on is a fair value. The customer would get the benefit of specialists in every role as well as incentives to produce brilliant results.

    Thing is though that this is no different to how things operate in a regular business or even on outsourcing sites. The difference you would want to aim for is to hope everyone would look out for each other and not let the co-op get too big.

    That in itself has other issues and areas for head clashing and disagreements that would need to be explored.

    Myself, what I would look for in a co-op would be;
    a) Someone to get me the kind of work I specialise in (programming work and Joomla based websites) for a fee
    b) Someone to give sites to I don’t specialise in (for a fee)
    c) Several choices of people to do graphics design and create joomla templates (for a fee)

    Everyone is different….so…just making suggestions :)

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