Have you contacted local companies?
Do you have a website?
I don't do work on my own, anymore, just because of personal preference,
but that's probably the two big things I'd start with. If you have a
website, you can call/write local companies do BRIEFLY introduce
yourself and direct them to your website for more information.
.....just my $0.02. (Keep in mind that I've never relied on that type
of work to feed my family. I've always worked full-time, for companies,
which I prefer.)
you'd pretty much have to be "married" to at least one solid customer to get
an full-time independent business going IMO.
I know several independent guys & they all have an engineer or architect
that "feed" them all the work they handle, along with whatever they can drum
up on their own. good luck
That ain't necessarily so Rob, and you're better off it ain't. I would
recommend against making any one client too important, no matter how nice
If you are a known quantity in some market I would start there with my
contacts-ALL OF THEM. I use people now and again, but only ones who's skill
and character are known to me. The thought of pinning my reputation on the
work of some virtual person at a distance would be too much to bear.
I agree, not too long ago a client of mine asked me to start doing a bigger
part of his projects and I tactfully turned him down. About 20% of my
workload currently comes from him and if I took on the additional work it
would more than double, which means I'd be getting a lot of my work from one
client (which also means less time with other clients).
It's OK to have some clients that are a bigger part of your workload than
others, but IMO it's not a good idea to let any one client get too big.
When first starting out it would be more acceptable, because in the
beginning you might have to take any work you can get, but as you establish
yourself you'll need to be much more selective of which projects you will
and won't take.
When I quit my job to start my business I had no clients (I had one project
to finish up for my previous firm but once those 2 weeks were done that was
it). I started by letting telling everyone I knew that I was going
freelance. I got a couple of jobs here and there from people I know in the
industry (architects, builders, other drafting company). Fromt there my
name was passed around and I started having clients who I didn't know call
me saying "so & so recommended you". One of my best clients got my name
from an architect firm that to this day nobody can figure out how they'd
heard of me. I'd never met anyone at that firm, I'd never had any contact
with anyone with that firm. The builder had been using them for years to
draw up his jobs and one time that couldn't meet his turnaround timeframe.
They told him to call me to see if I could do it in time. He called, I did
it, he never went back. I get ~20 jobs/year from that builder plus he's
referred me to 2 other builders (which combined = ~30 jobs/year). So I get
~50 jobs/year and don't even know how it started!!!!
Anyway, back to the topic....
Some more information would help give you more specific advice:
1. What field are you looking for work in? What types of projects?
2. What field do you have experience in?
3. Do you know many people in your field?
4. What services are you prepared to offer? Which ones won't you offer?
5. Why would someone hire you versus doing it the way they currently do?
(this question doesn't need to be answered to get advice, but it's VERY
important to know the answer to help steer your marketing)
Isn't it funny how it happens?
I can trace most jobs I've had back to one referral of a mechanical engineer
who knew me to another guy who didn't and never ended up using me, but
referred me to someone else and from there...like a chain letter.
If you stand it on end it looks like a tree, not a bush. (the question marks
_ A****** <------- ?
/ __? /
---Gene----D*******-----R*****< ----I*****----<-----? \
(my hero) \
There are other shoots in the whole picture, but I would still be in
business with just the above network.
To the OP, always do your best, be patient, and watch what happens.
Hehe...It's like that old cartoon about the swing someone wanted and all the
different versions of it....
This wouldn't surprise me as a suggestion from some of my "colleagues"
for a tree. These days, to get press you have to be outrageous.
Never underestimate the time and effort needed to win clients.
What too many people forget is that most companies already have somebody
doing the work you are after, the work is not just sitting there waiting for
So you have get out there and sell yourself.
But don't go crazy straight off. If you make a mess of your first approach
because of inexperience .. and you made that pitch to every prospective
client... you will be stacking shelves in the local store in no time.
Here in the UK most guys go freelance through an agency first.. then expand
to become a drafting company later.
What kind of annual money can be made from a freelance CADD company in
terms of US dollars these days? I'm gainfully employed in the ailing
Telecommunications industry, and believe it or not, I have current
financial commitments and a family with obligations. So I'm not just
farting around, I'm serious in my investigations.
I'm considering getting back into CADD after a 6 year break from it,
I've worked with Intergraph/Microstation and AutoCAD for 14 years
starting professionally in '83. I am now starting to looking into
hardware, software and other misc. prices to start a one man shop,
that will offer more than one discipline, perhaps Civil and
Structural, maybe in addition, Facilities Management. I'd like to
specialize in working with CADD and a Database designed in the
backend. A web interface to boot would be nice, but I think that
tends to suggest a GIS type thing, but there could be other DB backend
and CADD input fields.
Any insight, advice, stern words of warning, etc... is most
On Wed, 10 Dec 2003 23:26:40 -0600, "C. G. Haley"
IMO, you'd be dreaming to think you could support your family off free lance
at first. I think you'd need to start it part time for a few years , pick up
contacts & customers , ect... if you would come across someone that could
guarantee like 20 hours worth of work a week, you might be able to swing it
If you take a step back, you'll realize that, at best, this is a very naive
If you are the top gun in your market and everybody knows it, that's one
If you are a unknown, unconnected and dim bulb, that's another.
I think that most everyones outlook out here is is bleak on this
subject as based on their own fears and perhaps personal failures.
I'm not trying to flame, but gez guys, come on.
Now on a positive note, ever hear about having a business that hires
those top guns? There are all types of CAD needs out there, and when
I say CAD, I mean everything that CAD can be applied to, like GIS and
FM & taking that info to the web via such products as Mapguide....
just to name a few biggies.
How about some realistic creativity here. I'm getting the impression
that everyone wants a corporate American blanket wrapped around them
and the thought of being without it spells failure.
On Sat, 13 Dec 2003 09:09:30 -0500, "Michael Bulatovich"
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