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Monday, March 22, 2010

An update

Thought I’d give an update since my last posting. In a nutshell, I’ve been focused on NOTtheBookStore.com and less on the violins e-commerce site. Last quarter I tried expanding to the University of Cincinnati, with a little help from their marketing club student organization. UC’s quarter ended this week, which meant a whirlwind turnaround for textbooks. And the marketing club has gathered steam and started doing their promotional fliers and other activities.

This semester will be very interesting. UC is four times bigger than Xavier, where I had previously been targeting and have been breaking even (most of the costs are for marketing). UC is a pivotal test to see if the idea scales to bigger schools. So far it’s been slow, but with Xavier it took about a year before things took off to the point of breaking even. If UC takes off, it would give me enough confidence to hire someone to revamp the site and improve the design and flow.

The violins site has taken a back seat for the last month or so. My contact with the Chinese supplier has been quiet. She’s a family friend, so I’m confident that if I took the time to contact her again she’d help me out. I did some initial work with a Shopify site, but I wish it were more of a drag and drop. Most sites I’ve worked with, the drag and drop part of it is too simple, but programming with CSS has been too difficult. Google’s Blogger so far has the easiest to work with from a layouts standpoint. There’s still a skill gap there. Another gap has been the use of Photoshop or Illustrator to design graphics. I could really use that skill so I can update the graphics on the site easier.

I’ve started reading the book “The Other 8 Hours” based off of Adam’s recommendation. It’s inspired me to continue to do a little every day, even if it’s as small as 10-15 minutes. Hopefully the time will add up and eventually I’ll get something successful! I’ve deleted all my back episodes of CSI and took it off my DVR. Hopefully this will buy me the time I need every day!


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