I’ve allowed my client list to dwindle down to just one but now I need to look for more freelance work. Pennsylvania has not passed a budget for the 2010 fiscal year and instead of issuing IOUs like California, they are not paying state employees, vendors, suppliers, and non-profit agencies. This has caused an emergency for many businesses that are dependent upon state funding. It has caused me to lose my major source of income although this may be only temporary, just until Pennsylvania passes a budget.
In any event, this is a wake up call to find additional sources of income. I have not been looking for freelance work because many of my clients have been deadbeats and I got tied off being taken advantage of. It seemed like a better idea to just concentrate on my best client who always pays on time. But you really can’t put all your eggs in one basket in this economy. I doubt that Pennsylvania will be able to pass a budget next year so this will occur again. They may also slash the budget so deeply that they eliminate the programs my employer is servicing.
In the past most of my freelance work has been customizing LaGarde’s Storefront shopping cart software. I see that another company has bought Storefront and their forum has been taken down. Therefore it is hard to tell if that business has dried up or there are many desperate e-commerce sites that need somebody to support this web application. I’ll probably have to find another shopping cart to specialize in. Or maybe I should put more effort in Elgg because there are a few companies looking for developers to install and customize that web application. I have already put considerable effort into understanding Elgg. Some other possibilities are Joomla and Drupal but they are mainly used as content management systems. Web Development companies that are too biased towards design use content management systems to create basic web sites which the client can manage. I think there is more money in e-commerce. A company that sells an actual product is more likely to want an e-commerce site which will actually generate revenue. These businesses tend to be pretty good about paying their bills. However, I would avoid the entrepreneur who is burning through his savings and credit trying to start a web business because he lost his job.