To launch something, whether it is a business, website, rocket or rubber-band flung projectile, is an exciting and daunting task that has generally been preceded with months or even years of preparation (well maybe not the rubber-band projectile). Last week I 'launched' my new website in preparation for taking our products to market following years of work on their development.
t was created by our head of IT, Simon White, who did an amazing job of putting it together out of my many changes, new thoughts and ideas. I felt like the nervous excitable parent anticipating the arrival after months (in this case, years) of waiting.
Letting go of your creation
When you create a business, the website associated with it is often seen as the embodiment of that creation. It's almost an entity in its own right and is created from the flowing juices of ideas of how you can show people who you are and what you have created. Many of you will know that it takes a lot of planning and attention to detail to create a website. When it's ready to be put out into the big wide world of the internet, you feel like a parent watching their child entering the gates of the school alone, knowing that once they are out there, there’s no going back.
That's how I felt when the final adaptations were made and the first stage of the site was ready to go. Simon and I were talking over Skype and making changes and additions as we spoke. It was late on a Sunday night and we had just reached a point where we could open the gates. He uploaded the site to our address with a password so that we could check it out before letting it go finally, like holding onto your child's hand as they are wanting to rush off and play. I'm not sure if Simon knew that I was nervous about it or was stalling but he removed the password and set it free in one fell keystroke. It was probably better like that, like a plaster being ripped off the wound; the hand had let go and it was away.
A life of its own . . .
What I had to realise is that, similar to a child, a website will grow, change and expand over time into a totally different animal. It will find its feet and know where it is going and how it wants to get there.It will stumble along the way and the teenage years may be difficult, but it will grow strong and may even produce new creations of its own along the way. It will need guidance and shaping on the journey and at some points, a damn good telling off as the experimentation with the latest fashions and trends don’t quite work out.
But this attention to its growth creates the strong character needed for it to be seen in the overcrowded world wide web. The messages it gives out, the links that it makes and what people say about it all go to make its presence known and is the ongoing SEO task of any parent (or IT guardian).
Our full site will be launched in around six weeks with the eCommerce sections turned on so that customers can begin to buy our products. I think that will be an even scarier event than this initial launch as I will see just how many customers come along and buy. I'm looking forward to it though: it's taken me five years to journey from the initial idea of our product through experimenting, designing, patenting, manufacturing and finally to selling. Those years have been tough and hard-going, but they have also been amazing and led me to believe that anything is possible with a good idea and the determination to see it through.
So my five-year-old baby is ready to take its first steps in the world of business. Bring it on!