How It Works: Small Presence

Today, I spoke with Kyle Rehm from Ono Mojo, a Hawaiian web development studio. We had met through a craigslist posting I made requesting a contracted PHP developer to assist with Small Presence. What follows is some insight I gained today on my own goals for Small Presence, as well as future opportunities that can be incorporated into it. I have a clearer view of the internals of Small Presence and I and going to outline it in this post.

While talking to Kyle, we discussed the opportunity to partner up by exchanging resource and work overflow. He is trying to get a network of web development firms from across the US to work together. For example, if Ono Mojo won a client at $70 per hour and they didn’t have the resources to perform the work themselves, they would pass on the overflow to work to another company in the network for $60 per hour. Thus, Ono Mojo would still make $10 per hour. Interesting idea, indeed.

This reminded me of the planned inner workings of Small Presence. The original idea was to be the middle man that provided the oil between all the working cogs of the typical web development process. You would have a project manager that took the client requests and converted them to tasks that designers and developers could complete. The developer or designer would then be paid after the project manager billed the client. Once the work was done, the project manager and the client would review and verify the results to make sure they met the client’s needs.

The Process

I would be the wizard behind the curtain. I would maintain the brand, marketing, and backend interface to streamline the flow as much as possible. I would make sure everyone involved would get paid once every two weeks and that the client was given top notch support and feel in control of what they were paying for. No more hiring and firing of employees. No more anxiety in keeping a steady stream of work incoming for the team to keep busy with. Hassle free web presence for the small business owner and comfort knowing that real people that spoke real words were helping their presence grow and thrive.

The idea seems flawless. But then Kyle came knocking and introduced some interesting points. He wants to do the same thing in a more distributed fashion. Each web firm would be their own project manager with their own existing team of developers and designers. I really didn’t consider the chance to partner up with existing teams.

My only argument here is that most people who start their own business are very proud of what they’ve done. They don’t want to give up the name that they’ve made for themselves. Here is my plea to such minded ones: if you work together to establish a stronger brand with a known reputation for quality you will do more with less effort and thus you will have more time do do things you want(like live).

A great example of this is the FedEx and UPS retail mailing locations. They are much more successful than 3rd party mom and pop shops because they are more reliable, they have a long standing reputation, and they have a large brand behind them.

So, as a note to self, consider making it easy for existing teams to integrate into the backend system and work together. That allows project managers to know what their team is capable of and build off of good team dynamics.

I have much more to say about some things we discussed, but I don’t have enough time. I’ll try to get my notes together and make a decent post next week.

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