Wow. I am mean.
Keeping in mind that I have a full time day job that really wipes me out (last night I went to bed at 8:45 pm), as well as a weekly night class, I think I am doing pretty well.
So here's a SOtB (State Of the Business) Report. What I've been doing and working on.
- I have finally come up with a name I like. This involved a whole lot of jumping through hoops, because I need something that can also be a domain name and most of the ones I thought up and friends suggested were taken. I am lucky enough to know people who work in branding who helped me think about things, and then my mom suggested an idea that was really fantastic, with some tweaking.
- I not only have a name, I have a whole concept. It's quirky and fun and ME. Some people keep saying "I don't know what that word means." Hm, do I need to know what a business name means? Like WorldCom? What is that? I know what a World is, but it doesn't help. How about Adobe? 3M? Acer? Canon? Epson? Kodak? Geico? I picked a word that I liked the sound of a LOT, and I also like the meaning of it too. You don't need to understand the meaning of the word but the story behind it is cool. :-)
- I am currently asking around for opinions on my 2 domain name ideas, both are available.
- I have researched the competition. This is also how I found out most of my first name ideas were taken. I have been reading websites, getting ideas, and seeing things I really disagree with. I have also written up some rough marketing copy.
- I have worked out the hardest part - pricing. I have a tentative pricing model for new clients and a standard rate.
- I have a friend in my target market willing to be my guinea pig and with her I'll be doing a test run to see how much product/service I can fit into my pricing.
- I am researching equipment now, costs, weight, features, etc. I am down to 2 choices.
- I have been looking into web design templates and hosting services.
My plans right now are
- Once my tax refund is deposited I will purchase my first equipment. I could purchase some cheap equipment now, but I prefer to spend a lot more money and get better quality and speed, both of which are important.
- I will make arrangements with my friend to make an appointment and go to her house and try my idea out, keeping mental notes about what works and what doesn't.
- Finish writing up marketing copy and put together some ads and flyers. Putting ads on Craigslist is free. I will have to approach some businesses in my target areas to hang up some flyers. I am thinking local libraries, grocery stores, and coffee shops.
- Get my logo designed - I have an eager art student looking to to do it for me. This involves picking colors and type, which I have been looking at online. Whatever he designs is going to expand to be branding for everything else I make.
- I have made some contacts already with local archives and museums that might also be interested too.
I've also spoken (in person) about my idea to several people and even my night class. So I am getting more comfortable and fine tuning my elevator speech (30 second pitch). I have a party of all librarians to attend in a couple weeks, and I'd love to have something to hand out there or at least my website started.
it helps that I am so passionate about this idea and I really believe in it. I would hate to spend so much time and effort and energy (and soon, money) on something if I didn't believe in it. But when you believe in it, it's not a chore. It's creative and exciting.