Building a Business Around WordPress: The Consultant
Today you get to meet Vladimir Prelovac. Vladimir runs Prelovac media and was the first person to publish a book on WordPress plugin development, and has founded a number of different internet companies. When it comes to WordPress he has released a number of plugins, both free and commercial, and you can employ him for consulting and SEO purposes. You’d be in good company if you did as Vladimir has worked for high profile companies such as Mashable.
Here he is:
1. What did you do before working with WordPress?
I started as a freelance developer, then worked as a project manager in a software development company for four years.
2. At what time did you realise “Hey, I can make money out of this!”
I was exploring the possibilities of online vs offline software development, and it occurred to me that online is much like Wild West now in terms of business opportunities, only better and more accessible. As I was looking for ways how to start an online business, I found out about WordPress and I was determined to give it a shot.
3. When did you take the big step from your day job to working for yourself? Was it a difficult decision to make? How did it feel?
About three years ago I was given the opportunity to write the first book on WordPress plugin development and I accepted it. The book turned out to be a big success and project offers started pouring in and never stopped to this day. That gave me the confidence that I needed to first start as a WordPress consultant and then later to grow a company offering WordPress services.
4. What is your typical work day like?
When I’m working in the office it is about 10 hours a day of work. It usually consists of reviewing current projects, managing offers for new clients and coming up with ideas for new projects. We started selling WordPress plugins recently so I also manage the support when I am needed.
Working on your own also enables you to decide when you are working and when you do other things like traveling. I am often away, managing everything I need on the go, with just a laptop.
5. How has working for yourself changed your life?
In many ways it was really opening new horizons. If you are ambitious about business, I am convinced that there is really no other way to go.
6. What are the downsides to working for yourself?
I realized it’s not for everyone. You end up working more than you’re used to, especially in the beginning, and unless you are ready to make that sacrifice you are going to almost certainly fail.
You also need to learn new skills like time and resource management.
And of course, at the end of the month the only money that you are going to see in your pocket is the money coming directly from your efforts.
7. What are your favourite apps and tools for running your WordPress business?
Running an online related business is very fun as all you need is a laptop, an Internet browser and a text editor most of the time. Thanks to variety of online tools everything else is does not have to be on your computer.
Concretely I use Google Docs to manage our documents, Google Reader to stay up to date with news, Chrome and Firefox browser (with Firebug and SEO Doctor extensions) for development and a Linux based laptop.
8. What’s the best advice you could give to someone who wants to start their own WordPress business?
The competition nowadays is much bigger than when I started so it is tough to get known. If I was starting today I would pick a specialized niche like psd to wordpress or wordpress installation services.
9. Five years from now, where do you think you’ll be?
If I am lucky, I’ll be still leading my company into new and interesting projects :)
Tomorrow: The Writer and Designer