From Freelancer to Drupal Shop: The things they forgot to tell you


Starting a Drupal shop isn't just about getting talented resources, wonderful clients and making stellar websites. Being a business owner comes with a massive amount of legal and logistic obligations that need to be addressed - but no one tells you! This session includes important "hidden" business and legal topics both prospective entrepreneurs and existing business owners must be aware of.

Hook 42 started a Drupal shop in 2012 and grew from 2 owners to 6 employees plus multiple contractors in a 1 month window. This session will cover many topics we had to address to support such quick growth in a legal and sane manner.

  • Make THE decision
    • Going Solo vs. Team - the Pros & Cons of each.
    • Choosing your business partner(s).
    • Have a vision for the business size and culture.
    • Identifying and adapting to opportunity and growth.
  • Get Started
    • Naming your business.
    • Creating the business entity.
    • Your support system.
    • Identify risks & mitigation to your business type.
  • Make it Legal
    • Know when and how to find professional help. :)
    • Legalese for client, contractors and employees.
    • Hiring 1099s and employees.
    • Outsourcing HR.
  • Keep it Running
    • Invoicing and getting paid.
    • Accounting, budgeting and cash cushions.
    • Reoccurring obligations to your team, partner and legal folks.
    • Company management tools.
  • Leveraging the Community
    • Other Drupal CXOs.
    • Blogs, articles, and tweets, oh my!
    • Drupal user groups!

Speaker's Certifications & Education:

  • Certified Project Management Professional, - 2006
  • Stanford Certified Project Manager / Advanced Project Management - 2006
  • Certified Scrum Master
  • Certified Scrum Product Owner
  • Certified Microsoft Technical Specialist - MS Project (and a bunch of other old MS tech)
  • Business Analyst Education -
  • Business Process Improvement - Performance Design Labs / Rummler Process (pre Six Sigma).
  • University: Kinesiology / Physiotherapy, Psychology. ;)

Beyond the Certs - Real World Experience:

  • CEO & Co-founder of an 11┬áperson Drupal shop in San Francisco, Hook 42. A small team with big enterprise experience.
  • Ran own freelance company working with large enterprise clients.
  • Worked at and with full service agencies as a vendor manager, Managing Architect, and partner.
  • Large enterprise applications architect, project, program, and portfolio manager at a bunch of big name companies.
  • Specialized in large enterprise collaboration applications, knowledge management, process automation, and web technologies since 1997.
  • Industries include: Agencies, Entertainment Software, Healthcare, Retail/E-Commerce, Security, Industrial / Commercial Software

Session Track

Business and Strategy

Experience Level


Drupal Version