So I am pleased to report that the plan to import my range of soft toys is coming along nicely. I am still waiting for my trial order to be finished and shipped over and in the mean time I am getting to grips with some of the intricacies of becoming an on-line retailer. Aside from the name (which I have to report is still not resolved but is making significantly better progress due to have roped in some very creative advertising type friends who are a million times better than this than me – you know who you are so thank you!), I have started to look at how I get myself a logo and website.
There seem to be a few options out there for the logo, the most interesting of which is to employ ‘crowd sourcing’ (whereby you put your request out onto the web via a crowd sourcing website and get lots of clever people to have a go on your behalf, with you choosing and paying for the best end result). I suspect this will be a lesson itself so as and when I get to it I will dedicate a blog to my experience
On the website it is possible to follow a similar route to the logo, but my preferred option was to go on an internet hunt (bizarrely whilst doing this I find myself humming ‘we’re going on a bear hunt’ every time – my son would love it!) to find pages which have a style / look that I like. I then attempt to find out who created them and reach out to them for costs, design times etc. Last week I thought I had hit the bulls eye as I spoke to a lovely guy in the Midlands (no names mentioned – I’m not entirely sure how libel works on blogs!) who was incredibly helpful and who’s portfolio was right up my street. I was very tempted to sign him up there and then, but decided on reflection that I should endeavour to carry out a bit more research. My next step was to contact one of the companies who he proudly displays on his website. Now I am not completely naive so I went into the conversation fully expecting to take it with a large pinch of salt, on the assumption that if the site was displayed as a shining example of his work, I was about to hear a glowing report (very possibly from his best mate!). Imagine my surprise therefore when the lady I contacted spent 15 minutes telling me her saga of woes from broken promises, poor design to simple total lack of functionality. Clearly that company is now off my list and my determination to carry out extensive research on any future companies is firmly cemented! It is still fascinating to me however that this website designer is ether so clueless that he doesn’t know that this is what she thinks, or that he is so arrogant as to assume that won’t put people off using him. Bizarre!
Apologies to those who read this as friends of mine for a little light entertainment – I am afraid that now the real work is getting underway I may now be about to become very dull indeed in these blogs. I feel a need to stick to my guns and use them to record the good, the bad and the ugly of my mumtrepreneur life so my compromise is going to be to add a ‘very boring but possible very useful’ section to the bottom of things that others following me may well want to know, but that those who have made it this far through my rant will be free to ignore!
Today’s very boring but possible very useful…………..
I have come across a set of blogs by a legal expert who has written on those setting up on-line retail businesses. They are pretty tough going but well worth a read –