Here we are again, blog number two from me. Yet another week has passed us all by and here I am, sitting at my computer thinking about what I'm going to write about today.
As a relatively new business I thought I might write about how I got started and about some of the challenges that have faced me along the way.
I had been thinking about starting my own business for a while, but was always too scared to take the first step. All I needed was a push in the right direction, something significant to change the course of my career. That happened suddenly earlier this year and so I thought - what the hell, let's jump in, give it a go, and see what happens!
First of all, as anyone with a marketing mind like myself would know I needed to think of a clever name for my business. I brain stormed ideas for about 3 hours one afternoon, and didn't come up with anything I really loved. Then the next morning at about 3am it came to me - Out of the Box - yes that sounds catchy, it's relevant to marketing, I hope I can get that, but I bet someone else has registered it already. Luckily, when I went onto the Business Name Registration website I found it was available, so I checked that a domain name was available also, and it was, so I registered both straight away, and suddenly here I was the owner of Out of the Box Consulting.
Yep - that's right a business owner with a registered business name and a registered domain name and nothing else.
Again with my marketing hat on I thought right, now I need a logo, and a website. So they were the next steps. Now for me I know how to get a logo designed - just ask your friend the graphic designer right?! But how do I create a website? I looked around, but some of the costs are in excess of AU$2K. Which is fine if you're an established business with money to spend, but this was me, just starting out, with my own money in the bank. So I looked on line (Google of course) at how to create a free website, and found a few, but I'd heard of Weebly so I thought I'd give that a go. So I got my content together, and once I thought it looked pretty good I pressed publish, but nothing happened. Instead I got a message something to do with DNS to your web host, or needing an IP address or something. Now I told you in my last blog I'm no technical expert, so I thought, OK, what does this all mean? It took me a while to figure it out, but eventually I thought, of course, I need a website host. (Anyone technical reading this will be thinking "duh", but if you've never done it before and don't have many technical expertise, you really have no idea). I've brought my domain name, but I now need a company to host my website for me!!
So what do you think I did next? Of course, I Googled it! And I found a list of website hosts, so who do I choose? I was trying to get someone in Australia, but the one I phoned turned out to be in the US called Just Host. They were helpful enough, so I signed up with them on a 3 year plan. They talked me through all the IT garble which I didn't really understand, and I managed to point my website to them, and set up an email account as well. They even worked through how to link my email account to my iPhone, so I can respond to emails without having to log on to the computer, which is great when you're not always at your desk.
When I finally had it all figured out, my website went live and I started using my email address, I was so proud of myself. I had achieved all of this by myself, with no help from anyone. In the corporate world if you have an IT problem you call the help desk and they fix it. But when you start up you're own business you are the help desk and everything else, so if it's broke you have to fix it, or you have to figure out how.
Now with all of this background stuff done, and everything up and running it was time I started getting some business, and making myself known, actually marketing myself for a change. So that was the next step and something that I'm still working on and can write more about in my blog next week if you like.
Until then, have a great week, and remember with communication the possibilities are endless.
Take care, Nicola :)