Over the last couple of days I have been busy trying to get my head around all the things that need to be completed to set up a business, basically LOTS. Some of this process I will put into blog posts over the next couple of weeks, here are the initial items that have been consuming my brain (including in no particular order):
- Company structure establishment.
- Choosing a company name, I have a short list but it will depend on what I get register both legally and online.
- Financial projections, i.e. how long can I last till I am basically broke.
- Technology decisions, Mac vs PC etc (more on this later).
- Crystallisation of exactly what I am going to offer the market, in an ideal world this should be worked out before deciding to start one’s own business.
- Based on the offerings for the market how am I going to make money, can I do something that does not require me to be purely hourly rate based?
- Drafting of initial web presence content, one of the harder activities. Actual release will be depending on company name and URL registration.
- Initial artifact creation for my offerings, so when I actually get some paying work I can it done effectively.
- Re-establishing old contacts, letting them know I am opening up shop, this has also doubled as market research. I know again something that should be done before starting out!
- Graphic design ideas for logos, colour schemes and branding.
- Company will be established by mid this week (fingers crossed), this will solve company name and allow for a web presence.
- Initial web presence content underway, I would not even begin to say I have a first draft.
- Offering for the market, probably the biggest area I have got to work on. Initial thoughts was to do HR Technology consulting, but what sort? Further analysis and discussions has shown this by itself will not sustain me. So I am adding in training, Enterprise 2.0 consulting and leveraging my project management background. Finally I will also look to reselling some software, this is further down the path. I would like to eventually write a book, but will probably start with some ebooks.
- Re-establishing contacts has been fruitful to date, ok I am only 1 week in but still, I have completed my first billable work, landed a speaking gig and got leads on 3 or 4 pieces of work. Not a bad start.
- Technology has probably been the second hardest area. Why? I had always felt the next computer I purchased was going to be a Mac, a MacBook Pro to be precise. But this has not been the case. Instead I have purchased a Lenovo X61 Tablet (4GB RAM, 160GB 7200 RPM HDD, 12.1″ Screen, 802.11AGN, in built HSDPA card, 1.9 kg). Now why?
- Sync’s nicely with my Treo 750 which is running Windows Mobile 6. The MacBook Pro would but just not nicely, the biggest issue was Tasks and Notes.
- Has a docking station, essentially I run my office under my son’s desk and have a desktop, printer, monitor & keyboard there already. The docking station allows me to maximise desk space and have a full sized keyboard and 19″ monitor while working there via a KVM switch.
- I can run Outlook. Yes I know probably terrible for many people to hear but this is why. For the last 4 years I have been systematically building my GTD processes within Outlook to the point where it is seamless and effective. Given all the activities I need to complete to run my own business I felt it was more important to be efficient from day one than have “cool” technology (ignore the fact it is a Tablet PC for now).
- It is a Tablet PC. When I was a consultant previously I would spend many a meeting with my laptop open taking meeting minutes and referencing files. Basically this freaked some people out. The idea is I should be able to Ink on the tablet during meetings and still be able to carry on a regular conversation.
That is it for now, further updates as things progress.