What a week!
I didn't get a lot done on the site this week. However, since last week, I did accomplish a few things. First, the site is up now. You can see the splash page at http://www.iBuildThings.com. I know I don't need to capitalize the words in the domain. I just do it for the purpose of branding, in the obvious hope that the name sticks in peoples' heads.
I also overcame nearly all of my Magento issues. I probably should be documenting a lot of the obstacles, for future reference. I'm likely to do that moving forward. Boy were there a lot of them. I still have a few more obstacles (e.g. uploading a logo returns the error "invalid scope or scope id."), though I expect that I may be able to overcome those with a template. Even if not, the template I'm currently considering comes with installation (and ongoing) support at a very reasonable cost. The company is in Switzerland though, so we'll see how I can work that out. Hey, I'm single, shouldn't be an issue staying up late to work with them if need be. Anyway, a lot of progress on that front. What's weird though is, when I look at all I've done, I find myself thinking I didn't really accomplish a lot - which is probably because it's all back-end stuff, and I can't show anybody any of it. It's a lot of reports customization and the like, which is still in its infancy. I won't really be able to get those in place until I have something on which to report and I can see it. Doh! LOL
From a business perspective, I have also applied for my DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet. I don't plan to buy things on credit, at least not until orders exceed my one-man-band capacity to service them, but I know it's essential.
I'm reading some information on StartUpPrincess(dot)com regarding starting a small business. I suppose it's useful to mention that I've been going back and forth between the dropship and reseller models. Dropshipping has it's obvious benefits, but I'm thinking reseller agreements would be a better way to go. Something about the reseller agreement seems to have a likelihood for higher profit potential, at least over time. I'm thinking (and I realize I may have blogged this before) that some dropshipping in the beginning will be a good start, and allow me to get into all the marketing and ad stuff. Again, as I KNOW I've blogged before... it's all a bit overwhelming.
At this point, you (if you even exist - since who is bothering to read my stuff here? LOL)... anyway, you're probably wondering why I'm doing it alone. Well, because nobody wants to help. I haven't really asked, but when I bring it up all I get is encouragement. I spoke with my buddy, who was making some good money in online retail, but he really wasn't listening to me. **sigh** Every time I mentioned a topic, I'd get a few words out and he would start telling me what he knew. I couldn't get a word in edgewise, since he was essentially recreating the wheel with his advice. I kept telling him that I knew where he was going, and that I had already worked out a lot of the details he was "introducing me to," but he just got into this zone where I had to sit and listen to him while he petered himself out on the topic. It's was pretty frustrating - but, at the same time, it was a healthy discussion in understanding what a future in business partnership with him might hold. We got past that discussion and, a few weeks later, the next time we talked, he brought up the concept of "dropshipping" to me, as if I had never heard of it. LOL I'm sure he recalled the discussion of it, but I wasn't talking to him about dropshipping, I was talking to him about other outlets and resources to promote the online business and expand sales in a capacity that would corral satellite customers from those outlets and resources to the primary iBuildThings web site.
All that being said, he clearly has my best interests at heart. He and his wife are wonderful friends of mine. It's just that his level of focus is so diffused that progress is excruciatingly slow. I'll circle back around with him after there's an online catalog, and no reason to discuss startup topics.
Outside of that discussion, I have other friends who have a lot of great ideas on where to take the idea, but I'm guessing I'm a bit poor at conveying my focus. Which, of course, causes me to consider that my own focus leaves a bit to be desired. I mean even in that rant you just read, I have to assume at least 50% of the cause for him not being able to focus on the main idea. I guess I need a 15 second elevator pitch.
So, I'm getting rambly here. LOL My mind is wandering away from the details of the store.
So, over the weekend, I need to review the rest of the StartUpPrincess info, and put together the details for establishing reseller agreements.
Today, I'm going to review some payment processors, and engage a dropshipping company or two and try to get the makings of an online catalog together. I'll also be contacting the Argento (theme people I mentioned) and see about purchasing that theme and its related extensions and getting those installed. Once those things are in place, I should be able to soft-launch, and begin a couple of ad campaigns and see if I can get a few products sold. I mean hey, until I am actually in the water, I can't see how well I can swim.
Thanks for reading this. Even if nobody does, it's cathartic to type it out. ;)
Hope you're having a fantastic day!
Oh, and here's the parent company logo... I finally go this finalized. :)