I have homework!

Due to said homework, I really shouldn’t be blogging. A promise is a promise, however and here is my day so far….

My mentor appointment was scheduled for 1300 today, so the morning was spent on preparations. I printed the plan only to notice that the ink cartridge ran out half way through. Changed the cartridge only to notice that the paper supply is running low. There was enough paper for one complete copy, and enough for a second version pieced together with other pages from earlier versions. That would be my copy and I hoped that I wouldn’t need to leave more than one copy behind with the mentor.

Packed my bags and headed out the door. Halfway down the street to the bus stop I remember the pen and diary sitting on the bench. I turn around and head home again. Leaving home for the 2nd time and my nerves are really getting worked up. The bus didn’t arrive when it should have and I had started walking towards the metro when I spied the bus (late?) heading my way. Now I had to run back to the bus stop. I hate running for buses!

From the bus to the metro and out again a few stops later. A quick walk around the corner from the metro and in the lift to the sixth floor. I presented myself and for an awful minute thought I’d arrived on the wrong day or the wrong time! All was in order and so I was directed to waited in a room I’ll now call the brochure room. Brochures for insurances seemed to be most popular. Every local firm represented on one wall.

My mentor appears and we head to his office. He sits behind the desk, whilst I am ensconced behind a second table with a screen. We chat and he looks slightly surprised, horrified and gratified all at the same time when I produce my masterpiece.

We don’t get to the end of the first page before his first criticism comes out. My text or pitch doesn’t give any of the essence that he gathered from our chat. Good point. The next person that reads the business plan may not have had the opportunity of hearing me speak first.

So we continue on, chapter by chapter. He advises me that I shouldn’t be afraid that someone will steal the idea. Of course it could happen, I can research the market without giving too much away in this planning stage. So we have planned that I approach my target market already now, do mini interviews and see what they say. Two ships arrive in Helsinki tomorrow, so I now I’m off to write some questions.

We arrive in the financial section and that sets off more questions. Pricing is going to be an issue. One more question to work into the survey! More tweaking the numbers and looking at the different sales mixes versus customer groups. This is definitely going to require further work.

The whole time the conversation has been going backwards and forwards on all sorts of topics. He finds some good addresses and answers one crucial question that has been bugging me for a very long time. We talk web addresses and come to the conclusion that buying the ‘.com’ may not be the most financially wise move at this point. I can register the ‘.fi’ and review the situation later. Or I could take another name. The jury is still out on that for now. It took so long to get this name that I’m now getting attached to, that I’m not sure I want to use more time on this issue.

We have agreed to meet in two weeks and 3 days time. I need to do the research, update the plan and send to him two days before our next session. Plenty to do. No time to blog! Okay, that’s not true. Just maybe not as long and detailed blog posts.

I think I also need to investigate PollDaddy.com and see what that can do for me… if not now then in the future…

Poll hosts: any hints or comments you have for this newbie poll host? I should check the forums also: do I have to use PollDaddy?

Oh, and on the way home I bought a pack of printer paper 🙂

Business Plan (version 4)

Finally the business plan is ready to go. This part has been more than a little difficult for me to document. I thought that the blogging for the business setup would get easier. If anything it has become harder.

So right here and now I am going to pledge to post about my progress every single day (even the weekends). I’m not going to promise great long chunks of text. Short and sweet, to the point is my goal from now on!

My next task is to get my application for starttiraha* together. It’s actually quite straight forward, all I need to do is take the information that is in the business plan, and rewrite in in Finnish. That part my partner will definitely have to edit and double check for me.

Tomorrow I have my first meeting with the YritysHelsinki people and the butterflies are fluttering already. I’m good to go. I’ve been working on my sales pitch, I’ll have copies of the plan ready to distribute (hard and soft copy) and I’ve even managed to source some potential marketing / promotional items. I just need to ensure phone and computer are nicely charged before I leave the house.

I do have one small concern. What does one wear to this sort of interview? How does one prepare? I don’t want to come across as too successful nor do I want to appear totally clueless. Competent, yet aware of my shortcomings is the best I can do. That shouldn’t be too difficult, after all it’s my business!

* Starttiraha = start up funding.