Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Nothing much new

A week has passed and unfortunately yet again there is not much new to report on. It's actually quite disconcerting that I haven't had a sale at all this past week since this is supposed to be the prime season for shopping and gifts. I did hang around the posters around town but I'm not sure what good they did. I haven't had any emails or phone calls yet but the website has registered a few more hits on average than it did before. I've noticed a number of them have since been taken down; I'm currently debating whether to put them back up or not since I haven't been able to determine the effectiveness of the posters. It's worth another try, though.

I've managed to finish 2 of my essays so far, 2 on time and I plan on handing in one tomorrow ahead of the deadline. This would have left only one essay plan due in on the 14/12 but I've discovered another report due in on the first day back during revision week. I want to stay home during revision week to try to save money so I'm going to attempt to get that done ahead of time. The trouble is I'm thinking so far ahead with this that nothing about it has been covered in lectures or seminars yet so I have no idea what to do. Provided the material is covered in time I should be able to get everything done within the first few days of December allowing me plenty of free time for one last push at advertising my business here before I go home for Christmas.

On a personal note I realise this is the closest I've come to updating weekly so far; I would have updated yesterday but I came down with an awful fever or something yesterday evening and was reduced literally within an hour to a shivering, stuffy, feverish wreck. I was quite worried because these were the same symptoms I had just before coming to university if September and they kept me back for about 4 days. The trouble was that there is going to be a huge joint fancy dress birthday party this Saturday for two of my flatmates with their friends from home coming up to see them and I didn't want to be ill for it. I was given some Lemsip cold & flu tablets and some paracetamol before going to bed in an effort to stave it off and I'm glad to say it worked - by the morning I was feeling mostly better and as I type this I'm pretty much recovered, if still a little sensitive to the cold. Well enough to update the blog, anyhow.

I'm also pleased to say I managed to find a job of sorts as a student ambassador for visitors to my subject's department in university. It's by no means permanent of regular but it's some money coming in so woo! I also closed down an old Google Adsense account of mine with some money in it. The only issue is all this money will be coming to be in some months time when I really need the money now. Ah well.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

All quiet on the western front

I'd love to have updated a lot sooner especially since I'm failing to meet the simple target I set for myself of 1 post per week but the fact is that between now and my last post nothing has really happened. I've had one sale and a few leads but nothing else; sales have basically dried up. This is obviously a big problem as it's around the time of year where sales should sky rocket. 

For the amount of money I was paying for a Google Adsense campaign I did not see anywhere near decent returns - especially since I don't have anywhere near the advertising budgets of the big name brands like Amazon and GAME. So to help drum up some Christmas sales I'm going to be hanging up posters around town to try to drum up some local traffic. I live in a fairly small student town so the only offline alternative people really have is one GAME shop; I hope that if I point out I'm cheaper than them, it may help with sales. Other than that my friends and family have been really helpful in spreading the word of my business but unfortunately it seems when you start a business those close to you almost expect large discounts which simply isn't possible when the profit margins are so tight from competing in price with the 'big boys'.

There isn't much else to say with regards to the business and I don't really see much changing soon so I'm wondering if I should include more snippets about my personal life. At least then I would have some content with which I could update weekly. University takes up the bulk of my personal life: I have 2 essays due by Monday next week then 2 more each a week apart after that which means there's no let up until the very end of term. This is a huge inconvenience since term ends less than a week before Christmas day leaving no time for me to properly work on a Christmas campaign for the website. Because of this I generally try to do my essays as soon as possible rather than leave them until the last minute - I've already done 1 of the essays, I'm halfway through another and I've started on the third one. The sooner I get these done the sooner I can focus on drumming up sales for my business. As soon as Christmas holidays are over I have exams so I should be focusing on revising over the winter holidays (I'll admit I've been a bit lax on studying this term while trying to promote my business).

When I started my company in the summer I really had no idea just how much hard work it would be. I would consider myself an optimist but also a realist though I think I may have been a bit too optimistic about how the business was going to work out. I thought I'd have a rough first month or so but as soon as people saw I was slightly cheaper than the competition I'd get a steady, consistent stream of sales. Unfortunately it hasn't work out that way although it has all been valuable experience for me so I can learn to not make the same assumptions in the future. Perhaps now was not the right time to start up a business as it requires a lot of time and effort which university also asks for. I do however see myself running my own business in the future - it has given me an insight into how working life and making money can be by working for yourself instead of others and I like it.