Launching this business - learning a lesson or two
Quite unlike me, I built up to launching Bloom Lettering in a very ordered and pretty structured way. Usually, and what I've done in the past, is to rush head long into launching a website with no real plan. This time it has had to be different - yes, I could have published a website three months ago but it would have been completely empty! I literally had nothing ready. As a consequence I've realised a few things and accepting them has made the whole process much less painful.
What I now know:
1. It will take much longer than you think
Whatever timeframe you have in your mind, add a few weeks on. Originally I thought I might be ready to launch the business in early July but it just didn't happen. Mainly because life just gets in the way and with the start of the summer holidays my productivity nosedived! But also as I was working away on the website design lots of glitches came up which all take time to work through and sort out - some are really quite time consuming.
And don't underestimate the amount of tweaking and fiddling around that there is to do with the website. I love doing it but even I have found the process a bit laborious. When you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel it's a real boost!
So that was the website design, let alone the content! I had no products at all to upload so even when I had made good progress with the website I still had a long way to go.
2. I had a lot to learn
This obviously won't apply to everyone but for my particular new business I had a huge amount to learn. This was essential before I could move forward. So really any thoughts of getting the website ready had to be put on hold until I had cracked a few things.
Apart from working on my lettering (which will be a work in progress for ever more!) I had to learn to digitise my designs. I had never done this before at all so it was a massive learning curve. But I've done it and although I only know a tiny percentage of what Adobe Illustrator can do, I know what I need for my designs. I absolutely love the process! I am a real geek deep down and luckily the computer based part of the process comes quite naturally to me.
Once the learning process was well underway I understood what I had to do (in theory at least). Of course I then had to put it all into action to actually digitise my designs for my brand new products. That in itself was another learning curve - and still is - because I have to actually commit to a design/layout/colour which ultimately will be printed. For someone who's pretty indecisive at the best of times that can be one of the biggest challenges.
3. Relax - it will get done
My to do list was always very long and detailed as I built up to the launch of the website - so many little bits to sort out. With everything else to keep up with in life I just had to accept that it will get done in the end. The same goes for my designs - it takes time to work it through from an original pencil sketch to the final printed article. But I had to keep telling myself it's not a race and the only one putting pressure on me to get it done was me!