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June 28th, 2007, 11:39 AM #1Growing Beyond Being A Solo Affiliate
Just talking out loud here...
Too many planned sites, ppc consulting projects, overhaul of two older sites of mine, plus lots of smaller projects, plus mentoring, plus other stuff that'll come up...
I'm going to have to eventually decide if and how to best grow my business - too much to do, too few hours to do it. I hate the thought of having an employee, I'm sooo about pay for performance, not salary, entitlement or babysitting.
I've met a couple of folks who have formed 2-man partnerships, leveraging each others talents and time, into a single effective money making machine. I'm jealous of those people - each person in those partnerships seems to focus on what they love and do best - and they have a close, trusted relationship with the other. Complimentary skills, each enjoying their role. Synergy is so very obvious in talking to them together or apart - they ooze synergy - and it's clearly been productive for them.
I know of another that hired, not partnered, but the relationship worked so well that it appears from the outside to not be an employer-employee relationship, but a true partnership. I totally dig that too.
I prefer to work with individuals, not teams... so perhaps a partnership does make the mose sense to me personally (not outsourcing). Besides, there's so much desired confidentiality on my part, I can't see outsourcing going well for me.
I have one web developer in mind, have for years. He's someone that I know and trust and respect. He happens to not be involved in affiliate marketing. And he has a full-time job (that's a negative in several ways).
Hmmmm... I think I'll treat him to lunch sometime soon...
Anyhow, have others here grown beyond solo and want to share? Met someone by chance and grew into it? Partnership or hired someone or outsourced? Tried a partnership and failed (and learned what from that)? Tried a hiring and failed (and learned what from that)?
June 28th, 2007, 12:07 PM #2
I know the feeling! I've owned a few businesses of my own over the years and if successful, you reach a point where you need to either hire help, cut back or sell the business. Several OPM's here have reached that point and most have done well hiring helpers. I'm not so sure it is as easy on the affiliate side. The person hired or partnered with would have to be one you trusted not to steal your ideas and/or clients. Many years ago, when I started my first business I hired a someone to take over a big part of the business and spent much time training him. A year later he left and became my biggest competitor.
Now, I only outsource work that does not give a way the business secrets. My college son has become more active helping me lately and my wife is a constant source of suggestions and inspiration. Daughter, high school senior, is looking for some summer work and I have some web researching I'm considering hiring her.
Good luck in your quest. Let us know how it comes out.Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
7 Days A Week Marketing
June 28th, 2007, 12:31 PM #3
Although I've been in a position where I could have hired a slew of employees for many years, I've avoided it like the plague. I've never been interested in management, even when I was in the corporate world. I make more than enough money by myself, so the potential of making more money really isn't a motivator. I enjoy what I do.
Others do hire employees, and that's great for them. It's just not for me.
I've contemplated partnerships, but that can be just as bad as employees if you pick the wrong people.
June 28th, 2007, 01:13 PM #4
As an OPM I have had my wife work on some projects and paid my daughter to build links. This has been for after hours work as I have a full time, day job as an OPM.
I could take on more outside work by employing assistants but the problem has been how do you bill for the managment, bookkeeping and training time. That is one thing I greatly dislike about contract or consulting. Having to account for every minute you bill for. Sorry Donuts didn't mean to get off subject.
June 28th, 2007, 01:34 PM #5Originally Posted by Donuts
Originally Posted by Donuts
Whichever you do, best of luck to you in this, Donuts! Onward and upward!!
Geno Prussakov AM Navigator LLC Twitter.com/ePrussakov We Manage: These affiliate programs My Services: Affiliate program management, audit, consulting, speaking
June 28th, 2007, 03:14 PM #6
I actually posted looking to see if others do this or are open to it today. Maybe I posted in the wrong section; Webmasters Barter / Trade / Buy or Sell
June 28th, 2007, 05:48 PM #7
Donuts: I found one person to run the business end (i.e. no real input on how we manage programs, sites, etc), and one person to be my Very Techy person.
To make it work though, we had to essentially hold shares, and I'm actually paid a salary on top, since I'm the only full timer. So far, it's worked great, and we don't step on each other's toes.
I'm getting to the point where I might need another programmer, full time... And that's going to get hairy and interesting...
So I feel you.
June 28th, 2007, 06:03 PM #8
I brought a buddy along with some of my previous affiliate sites to provide a boost of capital, and it was a mess. Two guys with egos who are never wrong can have a great time on the back 9, but it doesn't always look pretty at work.
I'm working with a company right now who wants to offer me ownership instead of cash for some work. I've had three businesses fail because of partnership issues, and while I relish the thought of finding that person who compliments my work talents, I'm moving very slowly in figuring out exactly how I want to handle their offer.
In the end, I've had solid business plans that were making money go belly-up because I thought friends would be good business partners. I like the thought of not having to do everything myself. Maybe I could even go hit a bucket of balls. But don't bring someone along on your next egg until / unless you can be assured that 1) s/he won't stiff you; 2) they're actually bringing something to the table in exchange for mooching off of your years of work; 3) you don't mind holding hands (figuratively, of course) for awhile.
As an online marketer, I feel the strange pull of wanting to work for myself and feeling incapable of doing everything that needs to get done. I usually give into those feelings and catch up on missed posts on ABW...Chris Sturgill
"All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson
June 28th, 2007, 06:12 PM #9
Very techie programmer is what I need I think, someone who loves building sites so much that even the thought of being a marketer makes them ill... then i could trust them to be a synergistic partner or partner-like employee. Someone who can build sites much better than me, so I need them as a partner as well. But like Coley, I'm severely allergic to managing people - I expect a lot, both talent and effort, which i'm willing to reward very well - but i'm self-motivated and, fair or not, i expect it in others. When it's not there, we can be friends (or family, hehehe), but we can't be partners or really work together in any joint capacity.
The person above that I mentioned that has a partner-like employee, probably worked it out best - got an employee and then that person performed and decided on their own to grow into being a partner-like aspect of the business, from their dedication, merits and time invested.
Anyhow, I appreciate each post above. Like Coley, I don't need to grow. But I had an event happen in my life recently and I got to thinking about what else, besides my professional passions, do I want to focus on in the coming years. I think to maximize my success (my definition of success is achieving your goals and enjoying them), that I may need a little more manpower - not to rule the affiliate world, but to increase my freedom further. I have some personal ambitions that require even more freedom that I have right now. The recent event has them tugging at my mind. My plan now is to sit on them for a long while and see if it'll pass somewhat. But in 6 months or a year or so, if it hasn't passed enough, I don't think I can let them sit as unfulfilled dreams.
We'll see what comes...
June 28th, 2007, 06:18 PM #10
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
- Small Town in Tennessee
When I first met Tim of FatWallet - 3 Summits ago, I saw that he went from making links like us, to becoming a "company" - I knew where I had to go.
I tested the partnership waters for a year, then started firming things up at ThinkTank.
I know what my limits are. I'll never understand mysql or php enough to make a site comparision site. I'll never master PPC. But I know what I can do that others can't
I think Donuts, that just like the real world, the only way up is to merge, expand, then sell of the non-performing parts... (like MGM now owns half the casinos and Harrahs owns the other half)... and then...
when you arrive to where you reached your pinnacle, sell off and move to Tahiti.
That's as "coded" and "specific" as I can publiclly say
June 28th, 2007, 06:22 PM #11
Very techie programmer is what I need I think
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
- Small Town in Tennessee
They just code. Could care less about affiliate marketing. Could be what you're looking for.
June 28th, 2007, 06:33 PM #12
Thanks Billy, I will check them out tomorrow. Tonight's beer night, so I'm off for now.
And Billy, I miss you. I look forward to seeing you. You bring fun to everything we've ever done together dude.
Shit, getting all sappy. Tug, tug.
June 28th, 2007, 07:08 PM #13Originally Posted by Donuts
I have noticed that good programmers are artists in their own way. They want challenging projects, they want to put their own stamp on a new creation, they don't necessarily want to do maintenance (verify links, update creative, create additional landing pages). So how do you keep them interested? I would suggest finding a long term programming partner who will help create/develop your projects then passing off the "maintenance" elements to third party from a place like GetACoder.
I so rarely get to give you advice I almost giddy, grin.
June 29th, 2007, 12:21 AM #14
I know the feeling. 2 years ago I got to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and everything was done EXACTLY how I wanted it...because I did it!
Granted there were 3 of us running the show, but when it came to the site, marketing, etc. I did it all.
As we grew this became less and less of reality. I hate managing people. I like thinking and doing. Delegating is something that is very much a learned process and a difficult one at that. Any entrepreneur-type will find it tough by nature.
Tonight we just hired our 6th programmer; our 22nd (?) employee overall. We have people doing stuff I used to do and people doing stuff I never imagined we would be doing. We have created entirely new departments and for the first time I find myself going entire days without talking to certain people. It's kind of cool and kind of stinks at the same time.
Back to you... LOL
We have quite a few affiliates who are 2,3, and 4 person shops. Like you said, they all have their unique talents. Usually someone is the visionary, someone is the money guy/statistician, someone is the marketing guru, and someone can make the sites.
I am sure that sometimes it does not work, but all of the stories I have heard reveal great partnerships, friendships, and incredibly profitable deals.
My last piece of advice...
2 heads are generally not twice as good as one...they are 2 1/2 times better!
June 29th, 2007, 12:55 AM #15
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
I have the same dilema. I have had some help in the past but am solo now. I outsource quite a bit.
A hardcore programmer type would be the only partner or employee I would consider. One day I might need someone to keep up with the money, but until then I would like to find a programmer.
June 29th, 2007, 02:08 AM #16
I can't imagine a partnership set up where I don't have the last word. So, that's technically not a "partnership".
Fortunately, I like managing people.
I come up with ideas and the blueprint, the programmer codes, the editor updates. Perfect!
Oh, I can count my own money, thank you very much.
June 29th, 2007, 05:15 AM #17Originally Posted by cbsturg
Be specific to your potential employee or partner about your needs and expectations and what it is he/she can expect from you. I was recruited out of a clinic I was very happy in to become the practice manager at a rival clinic for a much nicer wage and profit sharing. I did my job, brought the clinic to code with the DEA and OSHA, increased pharmaceutical and surgical sales by 400% and increased the client base by 30% all in 4 months. Long story short, the owner's business partner, whom had never worked in vet med before, started coming in (once the place was making money) and micro-managed me to the point that I soon hated my job. When I went to the owner for help I was told that it was her policy to stay out of it. Had I known in advance that this Dr. was going to allow a partner to walk in and run the show once I had fixed all the problems and disable me from working in the area for the next 4 years because of a do not compete clause, I would have never gone aboard. Ok, rant over sorry, JMHOBe the change you want to see in the world ~ Gandhi
June 29th, 2007, 10:26 AM #18
Truthfully Donuts, the way it happened for me was simple. I didn't go out seeking partners, or looking to outsource. I simply kept my eye on the prize and listened to what those around me were saying about their own needs.
When those needs were parallel to mine, I asked questions and narrowed the field. Worked out great.
June 29th, 2007, 11:24 AM #19
June 29th, 2007, 11:30 AM #20Originally Posted by Angel Djambazov
June 29th, 2007, 11:31 AM #21
My experience with partnerships is not in the online world, but I can tell you that there is nothing better than a partner in crime who you can bounce ideas off of and work with. I tend to distrust the word synergy when applied to huge corporations, but it can really work with a small group of people. I don't really have any advice, only to say that good people are hard to find, but once you find them they are worth their weight in gold.Jason Rosenbaum
June 29th, 2007, 11:35 AM #22
Good thinking, but I have someone brilliant and trusted (Uncle Scooter) that I can bounce ideas off of. I need someone unlike me (and him), someone complimentary. Someone that's less affiliate and more web developer / programmer.
But in no hurry, so more contemplative now - not really action planning.
Thanks all for your input. :-)
June 30th, 2007, 08:53 PM #23
Could try outsourcing a few shorter projects to 3 or 4 different programmers thru rentacoder, scriptlance or guru.com. You may discover a programmer on one of those sites who you end up developing a relationship with.
June 30th, 2007, 09:16 PM #24
I love building web sites. *cough cough* Been doing that for 12-13 years.
I'm better at that than being an affiliate by far. Marketing/traffic to the actual sites I build is my downfall. I'm no "expert" coder but I've managed everything I've needed to do since I've been building websites.
Ok, I had to put that out there.
June 30th, 2007, 10:36 PM #25
Originally Posted by Donuts
- Join Date
- May 31st, 2006
- Houston TX
I think finding a partner who can compliment your skills will work best and have a good T&C.
have you tried looking on eLance.com
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