We have a date!

Aaargh! Where to start? The good stuff or the not so good stuff? I’ll start with the latter and then head back to the former. It’s been a little ‘one step forward, two steps back’ around here lately….

So after the first meeting with the start-up counsellor, a phone call came requesting me to come in for an interview; on Friday the 13th, at 13:00 😉  This was a different counsellor and we spoke for quite a while about the application and what I was up to. It was all in Finnish and I was very happy that I understood everything she wanted. This was one step forward! The backwards steps came after the interview and the followup statement that I needed from my other counsellor over at the city entrepreneurship office. He’s on holiday until early next month and needs to see me in person before issuing the statement. So, my application is now sitting on the desk just waiting…

The second ‘setback’ is one of my competitors launching a product very similar to one of mine. I’m a little bit cranky at myself for not getting started sooner, but I know that I wasn’t in the right place to launch myself any earlier than now. I’m just chalking it up to ‘that’s life’. Anyway, when you see what I’ve got planned to the travelling public, I think you’ll agree, it’s nothing like the competition.

Of course, this hold-up with the grant application means that I can’t register the business. One of the main stipulations about getting the start-up funding is that the business can not be registered until the decision on funding has been made. No business registration means no ability to invoice, which in turn means no cash coming in. Although The Engineer is footing the bills at the moment, it does mean the little extras have been trimmed back. I’m okay with that, Mr. 14 however is finding it a little more difficult to understand. He has had some interesting advice for me lately!

There are a couple of silver-lined clouds on my horizon – albeit far away still! Firstly this delay means I can really research the banks and insurance companies. School studies will be useful for the business and the business will be useful for the school studies. That is the biggest and best bonus. I’ve collected credits on half my subjects so far and my course advisor at Helmi tells me that I can collect credits on the remaining subjects and more just by documenting my business over the next six months! The only non-business part will be the practical exam, although if I wish, I can use real customers for that also 🙂 Any volunteers?!

I’ve left the best until last. My webpage will be live October 16th 2013, at 12:00 (GMT+2). Today I met with the guy who’s going to be the driving force behind that. We talked about what I do need to worry about right now and the things that can wait a little while. I’m so excited – he knew exactly what I was thinking of, and has already started working on the look! That’s the power of a good business plan!

The domain name registration is in order, the Twitter account has been set up, the Facebook is there too, although I’m not releasing that on the general public just yet… Next step will be ensuring that I’ve claimed my business pages on Yelp, Trip Advisor, LinkedIn and FourSquare. Pinterest and Instagram are also on the cards! So much social media 🙂

Wow, it’s tomorrow already! Sleep tight 🙂

PS: Did I tell you I had lunch with the guy from Yelp today. Nice guy and had lots of interesting stories and things to share. I hope we get to do lunch again…

I do believe…

… I have a name! The chosen name has been on my list in one form or another for a while. After I stopped stressing about it, and just let the names gestate for some days it popped up front and centre!

I’ll share the full list (the good, the bad, the simply ridiculous and the plain ugly) after all the names have been registered.

Next step is to fill in my forms for the business registration centre, pay my fee, open a temporary new-business bank account, get my business plan all nice and shiny.

I have a serious case of butterflies (in the tummy!) and some sort of insomnia again. Once the name was there, I couldn’t fall asleep. All of the things I have to do kept crowding in to my mind. Little wonder I woke in the wee hours of the morning again, and the same things whirling around.

Short and sweet today. Moving on up – nothing can stop me! in the words of M People.

First comes the name…

I’ve been sitting here for a few hours now… working on the name. Helsinki Buy Design, the blog title is my first choice and the name that springs to mind first… although it is quite possible that the Business Name Registrar (PRH) will not accept it. Plus there is every likelihood that I can come up with something more inspiring and catchy. As one page suggested: quirky or functional!

At the same time I’ve been googling all sorts of combinations to see what other sites are out there. I’ve found tour pages, on-line tour guides, a heap of blogs, and similar business ideas to my own. Fortunately they are not in the same city. The good news, nobody is offering the type of tour that I’m looking at doing. Not yet anyway. Talking with people who know the market better than I do, has led me to believe that there will be competition quite soon.

The plan is to get the initial paper work in the system before the end of the month. Now, I’ve downloaded the initial startup package. 15 pages of text to go through. Ugh. In the meantime, I have managed to create a list of 26 names to ponder… Of course now that I have the list I’ve googled ‘How to choose a good business name’! (I’m wondering if I should have done that right at the beginning). So now, with the list in hand I have to keep in mind the following do’s and don’ts:

Do have a name that is memorable and easy to spell.  Do have a name that has a visual element. Do pick a business name that gives a positive connotation. Do have a name that include information about what your business does. Do try to keep the name short and easy to pronounce. (Maybe this means that I have to exclude the Finnish words…)

Don’t use generic names based on names, such as Heather’s Bar, John’s Hairdressing etc. Don’t use generic names that literally describe the product or service, like Computer Consulting Company, (that contradicts the 4th do from above!). Try to avoid geographical names. (I think this advice is not applicable for travel based business.) 

Now, to sit quietly and go through my list. Once I have a name, then comes the next stage. Stay tuned!!!