In the past when I’ve heard about women who have started their own companies, I’ve been awed by their accomplishments. Now I’M the one starting my own company, and believe me, it’s not awesome!
The process of getting my business off the ground is long, and for me has involved both leaps forward and steps back. It has largely been made up of hours of research and learning, making phone calls, and sorting out the issues I face one at a time to move the process along. Sometimes picking up the phone to get things started is the hardest part.
For example, I needed to find some artists to work on my prototype. It made my palms sweat to make that call to talk to the first artist. It’s hard to feel credible when you don’t have an organization or a business title behind you. I wondered, could I present a credible case to the artist to get his interest? But that was the hardest moment, as the phone call went well, we entered into a dialogue, and now I’m working with not one, but two artists. Once a process gets going, it develops a momentum of its own and becomes much easier.
My most recent issue was learning that I can not trademark the company name I registered with my state last year. Other than a new filing fee with the state, there is no dollar cost to me to rename my business at this point, it’s just an emotional set-back. Since it’s very important to me to have trademark protection in the future, I embarked on a round of intense study to learn what goes into the proper naming of a business. I brainstormed with friends and family, and at the end of several weeks I felt I was further away from a good name than when I started rethinking the whole thing.
Thus I made the decision to get professional creative help. Once again, when I’d researched and honed in on the agency I wanted to call, it was very, very intimidating to pick up the phone and initiate that conversation. I had not anticipated having to spend the money at this stage, and I was very nervous to take this step. But I knew that I would soon need to hire someone to design a logo and website anyway, so I reasoned that if this agency worked out well, they might become a good partner for my future needs.
I’m happy to say that, once again, the person on the other end of the line of that scary call was very nice, explaining completely the process we could go through to decide if we wanted to work together. Their services were reasonably priced, and I have hired them to work with me in finding a name, tag line and logo; all trademark-able and with the available web domain name. The step backward that forced me into this process of finding a new company name has led me to the knowledge that this is actually a perfect time to be crafting a more complete brand strategy, and will result in a big leap forward.