[Noty & Co.] Next steps.

[Noty & Co.] Next steps.

Obvious statement perhaps but I’ve really come to understand why people say that it isn’t the idea that makes the company, but the actual work put into it. Ideas are easy to come up with and I’m sure a lot of people come up with the same business ideas all the time but the hard part is to work on it and actually execute it.

That’s why people say that you shouldn’t be afraid of telling other people about your business idea. Chances are that the idea isn’t unique at all.

The hard parts today

I think it’s easy and exciting to come up with new ideas of products that I want to sell, like digital printables, apps and software products. But I think it’s hard to actually make something out of it.

The reason I think it’s hard is because everything takes more time than I anticipated. Somehow I believed that we would be making the products by now and that they’d be up on the Etsy shop by the end of the month but it likely won’t happen that soon. And maybe I shouldn’t rushing into it that fast either since it isn’t my full time job. Maybe I should just lay back and enjoy the journey.

The truth is though that I would really love to hit the ground running. I would love for it to go forward super fast and doing sprints. I would probably also love working on it full time and having people with me who are as motivated as I am right now. But right now it feels like I’m pushing through heavy snow because everything takes a lot of effort and there’s so many unexpected things to think about.

The Startup Name & What we’ve done so far

The startup is moving forward though. We’ve decided on a name: Noty & Co. (@notyandco). I’m very satisfied with the name! We had around 20 name suggestions and we landed on Noty because its shorts, catchy, girly, sounds fun and reminds people about notes (we know this because we asked people around us). The last point is important because I don’t want people to associate the company’s name with something inappropriate. I also don’t want the name to be too specific to digital printable products since who knows what happens to the company in the future, maybe we want to sell non-digital products or posters or wedding accessories and etc.

We have also made our first version of the logo but will decide on a final one next week, so this week will be spend on making logo designs. Perhaps we will be satisfied with the one we already have. I don’t think that the logo is the most important thing right now though, because it can always be changed later and it’s not important until we’re actually selling.

The branding is also starting to take form. We’ve gather mood boards, created color palettes and things like that. Business cards and things like that can wait though, and are not priorities right now. The social media pages: Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest have been created and also the Etsy shop, so that we can guarantee that the name won’t be taken. So now it’ll be very easy to start posting content once we have our products and launch. We’ve also formed our market survey agenda and questions.

Next Up on the Agenda

Next step is to send out our market survey and then gather real data that we can analyze and use for our company. The meaning of it is to help us test our assumptions, to see if the market is as we’ve predicted.

After that we can start planning and creating our first product line and test out which products are the most profitable on the market. We’re going to do a lot of different once’s to see which attract most customers and sells the best and then focus on creating those type of products. Once the products have been made and finalized we need to take appealing pictures and create mockups of our products in different environment for marketing purposes and write all the necessary documents, copywriting for our pages and helpful information for our customers (how to use printables for example).

Lastly we’ll focus on reaching out to people, try to gain traction and brand awareness through the social media pages and ads. We’ve decided to not take out any salary at first and invest everything back into marketing at the beginning to gain momentum and scale up. We’re using Trello for organizing to-do’s and try to have weekly meetings to make sure that things are going forward and checking off our to-do lists. The plan is to not spend too much time on branding and social media but on actually selling and marketing.

My Reflections

It’s a lot of fun to be planning and executing this project, it feels challenging and it’s something I haven’t done before. I’m sure we will make a lot of mistakes and maybe it won’t go as well as we hope, but at least I will have learned something from it. I think I’ve read that somewhere around 80% of startups fail so I’m not going around believing I will become Bill Gates but of course I think my business idea is good and profitable.

It’s also exciting to be the person “in charge”. I’m the one responsible for creating a strategy, planning what we need to do next and trying to organize things so that it works like a business form the start. I’m learning so much regarding marketing and reading so many useful things every day, it feels like I’m studying entrepreneurship. Now it’s time to implement the theory in practice as you always need to do to truly learn how to do something.

One challenge that I will need to face is that I’m a very driven person and once I have a goal in sight I don’t take things slowly and have to go all in at once. Since I’m doing this with my co-founder I have to be understanding and accept the fact that my co-founder probably won’t drop everything in life to reach the goals as I have a tendency to do. Especially since we agreed on that this isn’t something that we’ll work on full time. But maybe that’s a common thing when founding a company. The “Founder” probably usually has more motivation and belief in the company than the Co-founder since it was they who came up with the idea. Always a little bias and over-confident probably.

Parallel to this I’m going to continue learning React and try to make my own mobile app so that I can “get it out of my system”. That way I can still feel like I’m constantly moving forward without pushing my co-founder too much and demanding unreasonable work hours.

Professionally, I would love to connect with more entrepreneurs that have skills in design and development because I would love to start a company that designs and builds software and apps that solves peoples problems. I’m thinking about going to meet-ups but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do there to make meaningful connections…

Wendy Zhou

Wendy Zhou

UX/UI Designer from Sweden. Studying Cognitive Science. I write about my side-projects, design, tech, and cyberpunk. Contact: wendyzhou.design@gmail.com

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