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Project X – The Story So Far…

15 Apr, 2009 Phil Starting Up

success-failureLet me bring you up to speed…

As my intention for this blog is to archive lots of information that future entrepreneurs will find useful, the main purpose of writing this is to share with you every step of a journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

I’m currently in the midst of setting up various little companies (all run by just me), and beginning to formulate a small group of foundations that will hopefully, set me in the right direction of becoming a successful business owner.

On a daily basis, I will be working on these projects, either crawling the net for resources or articles I can use and learning the steps from the highest businessmen that exist today – basically anything that will help me and my future profits.

So where am I up to when I start this?

Well, it’s Wednseday the 15th of April 2009.  It’s 9.18am and I’m currently sat at my desk at work, NTL Telewest business.  I’m wailing in the face of redundancy and from an email memo that’s circulating here this morning, officially redundant on the 22nd. Very soon.

Redundancy seems to make people change.  I have seen evidence of people who have become apathetic and unfriendly in light of the situation.  People stop caring.  Managers stop managing and it really is a sad state of affairs.

I quite like it.

Redundancy for me, has been quite possibly the best thing that’s probably ever happened to me (apart from getting married) in my life, and potentially… that probably ever will.

It was during the beginning of the ‘big black’, that I came across an article on inc.com, a popular entrepreneur magazine, that I had an idea.  The idea was to start an online business that could be very popular and could earn a life-changing amount of money.  I was intrigued.

I began researching the market, making sure that such a website could exist today, and began contemplating the notion of actually starting a business, hey, I even had the money coming in from the redundancy settlement to pay for it.

I have no programming skills, my special skills are in thought and concept (maybe a little graphics/design), but not programming (I thought PHP was a drug?), MySQL (My-what?) and CSS.

So I did the best I could, learnt dreamweaver, built a few experimental sites from basic templates (E.g, ww.evo-power.net), and tested aspects such as Adsense, custom html and flash on the sites.  Learnt Google and it’s analytics and affiliate marketing – everything for getting started.  I practiced much into each night, until my foggy eyes could take no more, and I attempted to do a crash course in web development, web design and graphics – merely to get a good idea as to the basic understanding of the web, how it is made and how to make money from it.

I am still in no way an expert (took me 2 days to set this wordpress blog up!), but neverthless, more confident at what I’m doing 4 month on.

Anyway, I digress.  So I’m working at my day job still, and blogging/working on my projects in the evenings.  I work hard at present (4.5 hours sleep most nights), but it’s doing what I love, so it doesn’t feel straining at all – I know the value of a good work/life balance.

Now I’m not trying to say I don’t trust you, but for my own reasons, I cannot tell you the name or industry of my unlaunched online business (I’m waiting on the trademark and other protections), but I will tell you of the steps I’ve taken to get to where in the project life we are presently.  So for the purposes of this site (until my site is launched), I’ll call it Project X.

From doing all my research, contacted industry experts and looked at the other closest ‘competition’ (thoroughly!), I found a company who could build my site.  They are one of the best high-end designers and dynamic developers I have ever mseen, with a superb portfolio and a very professional and thorough approach, I don’t mind paying a little more for the right company.  I’m dealing directly with the CEO and we email and Skype almost daily with any small adjustments to features or requirements I have and how we can develop them.  We are certain we can produce a website that has the capability and design of a very successful business, glorifyingly beautiful to look at but ultimately simple to use for the user.

newodlogo

I have a name, I know the hosting company I’m going to use for the dedicated hosting and the overall style or theme of Project X – down to the colour range.  I have thought and documented everything.  Starting a business has certainly made me see just how much there is to consider – it’s no small feat.

All the sites features have been at their birth, an idea.  The whole site was just an idea initially.  It soon snowballed the more and more I thought it through or talked it over with family and friends for idea bouncing sessions.  I’m quite creative anyway, so had a few ‘brainwaves’ which have now given me the edge of any competition and makes my site unique, offering features to this market which no other site does. But talk things through, and listen to what people say to you, ask questions and get a feel for a target audience.   Know your customer.

I have learnt on the net how to write a business plan – very important – from various sources online.  After all as the saying goes; “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.   This is so true.   See my seperate blog for how to write an efficient business plan for more information, but it’s pretty simple and straightforward and is a good excerise to replay everything in your head and highlight anything you may have missed out or overlooked.

Once I had this idea for a business and began putting into action, I then began playing around with Adobe Flash CS4 and building a simple flash site for me as a company.  I couldn’t just be Phil Owen, I needed a name for my company, so chose OwenDevelopments and set up  www.Owen-Developments.info.

This was really only for myself (in fact, I didn’t even submit it to any search engines apart from Google).  Again, it’s all Flash, FTP and Adsense practice to me.  It’s good to update things on that site too whenever I make progress with Project X.  I get the realization then, that things are moving forwards and it’s rather exciting.

So now I have my project I’m working hard on, see my categories for where I’m up to, what I’ve learnt, what I’ve found useful and any comments are always welcome.  If you’re stuck at the beginning and need advice, let me know and I’ll try to explain what I did.

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About Phil

Phil is creative director at PSM Digital but also freelances with web design and SEO in Manchester, UK. He researches and studies online business, along with the latest technological advances and development in design, SEO and social media.

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About The One Man Mission...

Hi I’m Phil. Welcome to my blog, where you’ll find useful information on web design, development and online business advice.  I’m a creative director for a digital agency in Manchester, UK and I also freelance web design also.  Currently setting up and developing a new online business, I am here...

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