I love all of the firsts in life. The first kiss, yeah you all can close your eyes and flashback to that very special moment when your heart was racing, you slowly leaned in and then the magic happened. Ahhh…. well life if full of the first time, the first one, it’s about being brand new, exciting and nervous, what is to come next? What are you talking about Edward??
I’ve mentioned in a few posts that I have decided to start a bakery company as I had a few requests for Sugar Cookies over the holiday season and it seemed like a good idea to make a little bit of extra money, with the goal of allowing me to stay home with my kids if things become successful over the next few month. My son turns 4 in a few days and will not be starting school until September, and I would to spend the next nine months chasing him (and all my other kids) around the house during the week.
If you are going to do something it might as well be all in. I had sat around waiting for a friend of mine to take the lead on this idea, come up with a website while I sat around and waited for orders… last week my brain was like dude, what are you doing? You want this to be successful then you need to make it happen, and that is exactly what I did over the course of the last five days. In fact, I am a little impressed in what I’ve got accomplished this week.
Last Sunday I signed up for my own domain name, registered an online shop and began construction on a website, I added a domain email address and set up a Paypal account to receive payments.
Monday I completed deleted the premade template the website was built upon and created my own from the ground up, I have lots of experience making websites and ran a successful online comic book store 20 years ago when the Internet was much different than it is today. Also on Monday I set up all the required social media links, Facebook, Instagram, etc…
On Tuesday I visited Vista Print with the intention of getting business cards made, and I walked away with not only those but car magnets, a banner to hang outside, t-shirts to wear when I exercise at the gym at the same time creating a great company logo to bring everything together. I also made (with help from the artist) an order of 36 cookies with the FreeMason logo on them as well as several promo cookies to help advertise Valentine’s Day which have been absolutely amazing. Thanks Kristi.
This continue on Wednesday as these works of art take a little time to bring together, and while I bake a mean cookie I have to bring my icing skills up to the next level! That is what this weekend is going to be all about. After I take my kids back to mom’s house I will hit up the gym and get in run #13 and then home to ice up some more promo cookies and work on another skill set I need to posses.
Thursday I spent taking pictures of the promo cookies we created and put together some Valentine’s Day promo ideas and then added all this information to the website. In those last 2 days I also ran 20 km at the gym… the afternoon was dedicated to updating and testing the site as well. Thursday afternoon all my printed material came in from Vistaprint (they were incredibly fast) as I had placed the order two days ago and delivery wasn’t supposed to be sometime next week.
The logos are on the Jeep, the business cards are in my pocket and I’ve worn the shirt to the gym for one of my long runs. I’ve turned into corporate America on a very small scale, and while on a personal level I don’t really like the IN YOUR FACE advertising, I do recognize that it is a necessary evil for any small business to get the word out. Such is life.
Friday morning I put together a Word Document outlining our prices and delivery options for Valentine’s Day as I plan to hand delivery all of my orders to that special someone on February 14th. Patrick, my head of sales will handle the Greater Toronto area and I am going to hit all the Simcoe County/Barrie orders. We have some awesome Heart Shaped boxes ready to go and it is going to be awesome.
The rest of Friday I spent making sure all the links and the pages on the site were correct, updated shipping options, tweaked a few pictures and updated the code to make it match the PDF flyer I created. I signed up for a Boost package through the service provider I am using, and started looking at Facebook and Instagram and ways they can boost my page and site now that it is ready to roll.
I put my little ones to bed, started to set up my board to play some X-Wing miniatures space combat game, very similar to Dungeons and Dragons from my youth when it happened.
I got my first order through the site I had spent a week setting up. There is was the first. I suddenly became very nervous for a few minutes as everything that I had done over the past week kind of sunk in, there it was. My very first order. My business was officially open for business. North West Bakery is open for business!