I need some kind of immunobooster

•March 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Seriously, what is it with me and sickness? It’s been one thing after another for weeks now. Now, it’s a chest cold. Due to the shape my lungs are in, any chest cold is bad for me, but at least it isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

Anyway, the point of this is to say I was going to call the service providers today but I have absolutely no voice from coughing. I’m going to give it one more day, but if I have no voice again tomorrow, I’ll send it by email. (That was my original plan, but I thought it’d be better to talk to them directly.)

ODSP Employment Support

•March 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

My meeting was Thursday, so sorry that I didn’t blog about this sooner. I wanted to take a good look at the information packets before I talked about it.

Now, I won’t bore with too many details, (though feel free to comment and ask questions), but the meeting was mainly to get information from me on what I planned to do, and explain how ODSP can help and how running a business will effect my Income Support payments. (In general, they deduct half of what I make, minus approved expenses, from my monthly cheque. The example in the info packet I was given was someone who made $350/month from her business, and got deducted $75/month from her cheque. There’s also a $100/month bonus if you make a positive net income.)

My next step is to review the two service providers they gave me to decide which I want to work with. I’m supposed to call or email both but I’ve already almost made up my mind just by looking at their web sites. One is dedicated to ODSP clients, the other just offers disability employment supports as one very small fraction of their overall business (which serves 160000 clients a year, most of whom would be paying clients). Personally, I’d rather deal with the one who specializes in dealing with those like me, and have far fewer clients to deal with so they can put more of their time and effort into helping me. There’s other factors too, but that’s mainly what it comes down to. Still, I’ll email both and see what they have to say.

Rescheduled…

•March 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Had to reschedule the appointment to next Thursday due to mega asthma attack. I didn’t post this sooner as Friday and today my cousin and her kids were visiting, and it was just plan hectic around the apartment. I’ve barely gotten any studying done the last few days either. Now, however, I’m free again so hopefully I can get caught up the rest of the weekend!

Finally some progress!

•February 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

A little, anyway. Besides the studying, of course. First of all, ODSP finally got back to me and I have an appointment to meet with them next Thursday. I’m very happy this happened so fast, as the form letter I got from ODSP after I sent in my application said it could take weeks before they responded. Still not positive on all that’s going to happen there, but hopefully it’ll be of some help.

In other news, I finally decided on a web hosting solution. I’m going with an American company rather than Canadian, but I’ll make that clear to my clients in case they want to go another route. It’s just that I couldn’t find a Canadian source with a good enough reputation and all the features I need. Some had great customer support, but when visiting their sites it went slow as molasses. Others had great web service, but had reputations for cheating clients or massive downtimes. So, I’m going with Innohosting.com They have great reputations, they’re affordable, and have great customer service. And they have all the features I want.

Well, that’s it for now. More news as I have something to report!

Finished my first course!

•February 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Finished my first course at Lynda.com. It shouldn’t have taken me nearly this long to finish a ten hour course, except that I got sick for a week right after I’d taken a few days off to focus on other things. But, anyway, that’s done now and I’ll be on to the next starting tomorrow. Going to move to a two and a half hour web design fundamentals course they just put up, and an hour and a half web site planning course, before diving back into a CSS Essentials training. That one is 12 hours, so will probably take me a little while.  Hopefully not as long as this did, however, as I still have a few more things I want to learn before I get this business going.

Made my first business purchase

•February 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

No, I didn’t get funding yet. I just called Rogers today and upgraded my phone to a Blackberry Bold 9700, which I should be receiving in 3 to 5 business days. I was wanting a smartphone even before I decided to start the business, but I chose the Blackberry specifically because of the business. Not so much because of the email, since I’ll be using Google Apps for email and other phones offer push from Gmail just fine. No, the reason is the browser. Yes, that browser everybody complains about.

Locally at least, Blackberries seem to be the most common smartphones in use. So, if I’m designing web sites and someone wants a mobile version of their site as well, I want to make sure it looks good on the Blackberry browser. I already have my iPod Touch to check out how it looks on a webkit browser, after all. (Though I hear Blackberries might be getting a webkit browser anyway, but even if they do, it’ll give me a different screen size to check web pages on anyway.)

The other reason is Rogers. I can’t afford to buy a phone outright and the 9700 has all the other features I’d want anyway, and while there’s other phones out there that I might prefer for personal use (the N900, the HD2, the Nexus One, among others), Rogers doesn’t at present carry those anyway. If it was just my personal use alone, I’d probably have ended up buying myself an LG Eve, or waited until they brought back the HTC Magic, but this way I get a phone that will be of help, and I’ll also have access to Blackberry Messenger if I get any clients who want to communicate that way.

Progress

On the progress front, the application for the ODSP Employment Support should be in the mail as I write this, so hopefully I’ll hear back on that soon. Still not exactly positive what they’ll be able to offer in the way of help, but I want to see what my options are, and in the mean time I can keep studying. Learning this stuff is taking a little longer than I thought.

Slowing down

•February 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Yeah, surprising after my last post, but I’ve decided I need to slow things down. I was in so much of a rush to get this going I didn’t think a lot of things through. For example, I kept putting off signing up for the ODSP Employment Support as I knew it would slow me down, I wanted to get the money and get started right away. But the Employment Support program has what I need to make it more likely that I’ll get money in the first place.  They might even know of grants I don’t know how to find, or help me decide things I don’t really know how to answer yet. (For example, whether I should incorporate or go as a sole proprietor. Web development is expensive, so it’s possible I could get sued.)

So, even though I did get my quotes from Encode, I’m going to slow things down. I’m going to try to take my time, get into that program, and find whatever other resources I can. I’m also going to continue studying. It’s taking me longer than I thought (though my expectations were way too unrealistic), which is also part of why I’ve decided to slow down. I don’t want to get a loan and have to keep paying back out of my tiny pension for 3 or 4 months until I get my skills to where I want to. If it takes me less than that, all the better, but I don’t want to start having another bill to pay before I’m able to start advertising and trying to get clients. (It’ll probably take me a month or two after I start before I get much business anyway.)

If I don’t post every day, don’t think I’m giving up. I’m just slowing down, taking my time and making sure I get this right.