Panel: Best Practices for Running a Drupal-based Business

Borrowing from a well received Drupalcon SF session, this panel discussion will be centered around building a successful Drupal agency. The discussion will be moderated by Ron Huber of Achieve Internet and the panel will consist of agency owners Ben Finklea of Volacci, Dave Terry of Mediacurrent, Jeff Walpole of Phase 2, Michael Caccavano of TreeHouse, Drew Gorton of Gorton Studios and Glen Hilton of ImageX Media.

Are you currently a sole practitioner providing Drupal services and would one day like to run your own firm?

Are you a partner at an existing multi-developer firm looking for fresh ideas and suggestions? Are you interested in networking with other owners, who have a like-minded interest in building a practice around Drupal?

In this session, we will look beyond the technology side of Drupal and dig into the business end of what it takes to run a successful Drupal agency. We’ll touch on critical subject matter topics in areas like sales, recruiting, accounting, human resources, and how to effectively market your services. We’ll address questions like:

  1. How much operating capital will I need and where do I get it in this economy?
  2. Does a partial or all telecommute arrangement work? What are the best practices?
  3. How do I find (and keep) customers without going through competitive bidding?
  4. Where and how do I recruit good people?
  5. What are the best practices for contracting for work?
  6. How can I find out what I should charge for my services?
  7. How do I effectively balance community and billable time?
  8. Should I combine forces with other firms and how can I pick good partners?

We will explore answers to questions like this and take questions from you for our expert panel of owner/operators that are in the Drupal trenches. They will share their own firm’s experiences and give an insider’s view of how they handle common challenges. There will be a moderator to facilitate the discussion and keep things moving along in an