Archive for November, 2007

papers.jpgIt’s all very well having a gorgeous site with good functionality and lots of lovely things on it, but if no one knows about it it’s rather a waste! (And very unfair on potential customers!) (And potentially quite bad for business….)

So (having emailed all my family and friends and asked them to tell theirs), my current daily task is sending my press release to all the contacts I have amassed in my Press Book, and also applying to various online directories. I have been reliably informed that several things are essential/very helpful when contacting the press:

1. If you can add a couple of photos to your press release it gives a great idea of the feel of your site and is more eyecatching.

2. Find out the name of the person you need to contact and email them directly.

3. Make sure your press release is double spaced.

4. Follow up! Don’t just assume the journalist in question is going to either read or use your press release. (Edit: I’ve recently been told this is a very BAD idea. Confusing! But since calling journalists can be a little bit soul destroying sometimes, I’m tempted to choose this option.)

5. Some people say don’t send it as an attachment, some say it’s fine to. I’m not sure about this one, but I know it looks a lot better separately.

6. Having thoroughly researched your target market and what they read you will know exactly which publications to contact!

7. Don’t forget to give all your contact details.

8. If you don’t want your press release to be used before a certain time, put ‘Embargoed until…….’ at the top.

9. Get someone to check it over for spelling or grammatical errors.

10. There are various websites that enable you to submit your press release for free, and to which journalists come for new information. I haven’t yet tried one and am slightly sceptical because it sounds a bit too easy, but I may well try it anyway and report back.

(This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few things I’ve picked up along the way.)

I’ve also been joining online directories. This is so easy; most of them have a page for submitting your details, or an email contact. Some cost (anything between £10 and £250 as far as I can tell), and some are free. I’ve gone with several ethical/eco/green directories and so far am attached to about three or four. The best thing about this is that most of them are on page one of Google, so even though on my own I’m nowhere near this yet, through the directories I can indirectly benefit from their high ranking.


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I’m writing a lot at the moment because I get the feeling there may be swathes of time approaching when I simply don’t have time to. Day Two of Being My Own Boss has been one of the most stressful and euphoric of my life!

I think the words ‘teething problems’ may have been invented for this morning, when PayPal decided not to work and almost immediately two orders came in.  After many expensive minutes on the helpline and even more emails pinging back and forth between the web developers and me, it all came good, which left me with only 4635 more things to do.

I was going to say that in retrospect I wouldn’t send out over a hundred emails to friends and family announcing a business launch if everything is not working 100%, but since all the testing worked the only way to find out was for people to actually order. And hopefully there’s been no real damage done.

Then there is the fact that uploading photos is not my forte. It’s frustrating that people are missing out on nice things because I’m an idiot with Photoshop.

Another issue was that someone was put off by the lack of padlock as an indication of security. Absolutely right to be careful, and that is also now in hand, although both PayPal and Protx, the payment processor, are padlocked and totally secure.

Next on the list is Order More Stock (discipline required), start Sending Out Press Releases, Apply to Online Directories, Finish Uploading Products, Plan for Two (small) Fairs in December, and then a Bunch of Niggly Stuff which escapes me just now……………….

I must go and consult my Post Its.

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Boutiko Launches!

The day has finally arrived! www.boutiko.co.uk went live this afternoon.  There are a few creases to iron out so I’m anticipating a few very late nights ahead, but I am so excited and happy to have reached this point after nine months of preparation!

So many thanks to those who have helped and supported me and continue to do so. I am going to work hard to make a success of my little business, and getting to this point has been made considerably easier by so many people, and I’m very grateful for that.

I hope you enjoy the website!

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Launch Postponed

Due to the highly unoriginal reason of unforseen circumstances, which have led to there being not enough time to be ready before the stated date of launch, I have been forced to push it back to next week. While disappointing, it will at least mean that everything will have been done properly and not rushed to coincide with the date I originally set.

So for anyone who actually reads this blog, sorry! Not long to wait now. It’ll be worth it in the end.

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My friend Kitty has launched an ethical footwear business, and her site went live yesterday.  Find it at http://www.kitty-cooper.com .  Kitty studied shoe design at Cordwainers in London and her designs are simply stunning. kittyshoe.jpgShe only uses vintage fabrics and trimmings or chromium free leather, and the shoes are gorgeous and decadent enough to rival any big fashion house, in my humble opinion! I have been around for part of her journey to this point and have seen how hard she’s worked to get here, and the website shows that. It is stylish and beautiful, and most importantly ethical, just like her shoes!  Good luck Kitty! xx

And yes, these are hers!

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Nearly There!

I’ve seen the site! It’s half finished, but definitely getting there. It almost feels like this is happening to someone else. I’ve spent so long now working towards this and can hardly believe it’s actually going to be real and outside my own head soon!

Some of the photos look a bit too vivid and there are a few details that need fixing, but I think this will all be sorted out in the next week or so. My poor web designer’s been hard pressed since having to redo someone else’s site after it got hacked into, but she has been reliable, patient and dedicated throughout, and really paid attention to my requests. What more can you ask for really?! In fact, I’m going to include a link to her site in the blogroll.

Not long now….

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