I’m always interested in other people’s jobs. I think that’s partly due to the fact that I sort of fell into a job and I happened to create my own job. We’ve had a few threads that cover “what do you do?” or “what is your job?” and I’ve really enjoyed them.
Lately I’ve been thinking about my business and am becoming more intrigued with other people’s business start-up stories, especially with the current economic climate talking more and more about small businesses.
So, tell me about your business. How did you start? What did you need to do to get started? Was a success? Did you get bought out by someone bigger? Did you grow to ten times your original size? Did you need special financing? A VC? Did you have a business plan? Do you sell a product? Do you have inventory?
I’ll start I guess, although my story isn’t very exciting. A friend of my brother’s was doing some Web work and needed some help. I was decent with HTML and he was and technical mind, so we hooked up and did some projects together. This was while I was still in college (my partner is 10 years older).
In my senior-and-a-half year of college we got some bigger work as consultants to a media company that was expanding into Web sites. So basically they did all the work with the customers and paid us. My partner’s house was right next to my college so I’d work there in my free time. He had a bank account set up for his DBA business so money went to that and occasionally I’d get paid.
When I graduated (with a degree in journalism) I told myself if i made $20k in the first year, I’d stick with the business. We also set up an LLC and got a real bank account and stuff, so I got paid for real. That was in 2000 and I made $21k that year, so I stuck with it.
For a few years I made something like $12k. It wasn’t until 2007 that we actually got a loan (a line of credit actually) and didn’t have to worry about going absolutely broke anymore. Now we both get paid well and have a third employee, as well as hire contractors from time to time. Business is going good and we’re in our 9th year!
We still don’t have much overhead - mostly phone and server costs. Still have the line of credit and stuff. We all work at home (in fact, my partner works from Georgia now and I’m in Ohio) which drastically reduces our costs.
Funny thing about working from home is that the concept is completely foreign to most people I know. To me, it’s how it has always been. To everyone else, it’s like this weird pseudo-business situation. But it’s been my way of life for 9 years now so I hope people start to take me seriously soon.
So, what’s your story?