Topic: First Drafts
Web development is a specialty on its own, but since I was no stranger to creativity I knew that I could at least draft some sketches for anyone else to build a website for me. At the time, I was a senior in college finally finishing up my undergraduate accounting degree and was already preparing to attend graduate school the following semester. Consequently, it was my goal to have all my website sketches and plans complete by graduation.
“Startups & entrepreneurs are forever intertwined. Plan as much details in your life as possible”
A clean and easy to navigate website is the most efficient way to not only brand your business as legit, but to endorse your product. I cannot stress the importance of having a tech factor in your business. All entrepreneurs need to learn to make a formal decision of either recruiting, outsourcing, or learning how to build a website and mobile app. The mobile app world is a multi-million dollar market for startups to dive into. Nonetheless, its popularity and progression is nowhere near the prevalence of websites in today’s world. Websites are a must-have to be even considered by customers.
“Beginning Entrepreneurial Struggle (ROL): Recruit, Outsource, or Learn”
With time, I had eventually tried all three of the struggles. It is near impossible to find committed and loyal followers willing to work towards your goals without compromising the idea. Furthermore, it seemed even more difficult to learn to code on a level that even remotely matched the incredible websites coming out every day. My decision seemed apparent to me that I could bootstrap a simple prototype website with high hopes to win the interest of an investor (I will discuss the pros & cons of investing vs bootstrapping in a later issue). In order to produce a prototype I needed intricate designs and a competent foundation of technological expertise. Not only did I want my prototype to have a professional touch, but I wanted to be as involved in the design process as well. For these reasons, I kept learning to design websites and searched for outsourced programming services for a more cost effective web development price.
Slowly, but steadily I became more of a website specialist. I love challenges, so I would jump at any opportunity to jump over difficult hurdles to learn and improve myself. Not only did I study countless website formats, but I volunteered to build simple websites for churches, school organizations, and even myself for an online resume.
It was a challenge to build a website page by page that embodied both the results of my college research and ideas. I started with listing all the necessary website features, and then proceeded to use them to outline each web page on paper as sketches. With more ideas flowing I continued to build new features and add cosmetics to each web page after that. Comparing my website to other websites was a big help.
My first draft was a giant leap in the development stage and I was still within the right time frame. With only a few months left until I graduated, I had to continue improving the website cosmetics and start creating other general business features such as the logo, name, and slogans etc.
The name and logo were very important to me. A catchy and original name is a fundamental part of marketing and representation of the business. Incidentally, it can be a double edged sword, giving easy exposure one day, but lawsuits another day. After careful consideration about my business idea and website development, I knew that I wanted to brand my business with an original name relevant to its niche. Through trial and error, I finally decided to combine the words of its main specialties (college, recruiting, searches, tips, guides). Subsequently, this led to the combined word of Colluide(Coll from College & Uide from Guide). A college guide in the form of a social network seemed to be a great fit for me. With the name in mind, a new theme of colliding images set the pace for the color schemes and logo for the website.
“Research and develop unique or meaningful names for your startups. Domain name search tools are helpful”
Finally the idea was starting to take form. I had a name, logo, slogan, and website sketches all ready to build the official website. My next step was to submit a request to trademark my name and logo. To recap from a previous article, I mentioned that secrecy and anonymity due to fear of idea theft or intellectual property should be discouraged. However, necessary preparations before publication of private information are prudent.
“Ensure that requests are made to apply for respective patents, copyrights & trademarks for names & logos etc.”
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