Bob Christenson of @Mustardseedinc joins me to talk about making a living doing Drupal.

Here's what we discussed

Your general background

  • What did you do before you started Mustardseed?
  • What makes mustardseed different than most Drupal shops?
    • Single employee + freelancers
    • no desire to grow larger...I think this is an old concept
    • VERY niche market
  • What made you decide it was a good time/idea?

Freelance vs. Drupal shop

  • Before we jump in, let’s take a minute to define freelance vs. running a Drupal shop.

Freelance Drupal Work

  • What suggestions would you give to someone who is just starting to do freelance Drupal work?
    • Keep your day job
    • Specialize / Niche
    • Start small and get some work under your belt
    • Be prepared to work cheap (really cheap!)
    • Get a reputation through contributions (d.o, cons/camps, social media)
    • Go where you’re led (instead of determining where you’ll end up)
    • Grow slowly based on your body of work
    • Dont try and be a rock star...just do good work.

Suggestions for small shops/beginners

  • more control over clientele
  • more pressure to find work
  • employees?
  • lots more project/client management
  • bookkeeping, etc, is more extensive
  • ...but you run the show.

Questions from Twitter

  • Brock Boland (@Brock): I’d be curious to hear about handling the overhead: client management, taxes, that run-your-own-business kind of stuff.
    • Dont neglect the business but dont let it consume you
    • Start simple (DBA or LLC)
    • Hire an accountant for year-end books
    • Use established client /project management system (basecamp!)
  • Michael Potter: We just launched our Drupal web design company a few months ago. So far business has been good but our workload is getting to be too much. We decided that we need to hire at least one other developer we just haven't been able to find any applicants that have Drupal experience.
    • How does a Drupal firm efficiently staff its employees. Wait for the perfect candidate to come along or hire developers and train them on Drupal?
      • This is really a question of growth
      • I’m not interested in training new employees, my dev time is too valuable.
      • Employees mean 10x the accounting, management and stress...