Starting a new tech company in just 21 days - www.nanode.biz - takes a daytrip to Gloucester and invokes Plan B.
Week 1 was just a blur - mainly because I was still jetlagged having returned from San Francisco - and really not slept well for a few days.
Our mission for Week 2 was to complete the website, and online store and go live on Friday 20th January - which coincided with the January meetup of the #iotLondon internet of things group.
The website had come on in leaps and bounds and by the Sunday night it was then necessary to test the online shop with a few test purchases. I bought a few items - and all seemed to be well, Paypal worked, emails were sent and the shop backend worked perfectly. We now just had to polish up a few pages, add some more up to date content and get it ready for the launch on the Friday.
To incentivise some "friends of Nanode" to help us test the store - we offered free UK shipping up until midnight on the 20th. This worked well and we took more than £500 in this first week of unofficial trading.
The plan was to photograph the product for the online shop pictures, and to produce a series of build guides - explaining to new purchasers how to build their Nanode and WiNode kits. A series of camera problems meant that this didn't happen as quick as intended - and the store had to go live using the old build guides produced by Ian Chilton - not ideal - but at times like this, not a bad Plan B.
Friday came around all to quickly, and we spent the last couple of hours of the afternoon making some flyers to hand out at #iotLondon.
We rushed around to Shoreditch with a big box of stock only to find the pub venue so packed - it was virtually impossible to move - let alone do a presentation. After an hour of chaos - part of the group took off to an office building 2 streets away in Scrutton Street, leaving about half of the attendees in the pub - bemused and confused. The words "piss-up" and "Brewery" could certainly have been useful that night.
Despite awkward circumstances - we managed to do a company plug, and sell nearly £200 of stock, bringing to an end the first week of real trading.
The next job was to find an accountant and get set up with a Limited Company.
Debbie's accountant, came with her full recommendation - only hitch, he was located in Gloucester. So early morning on Monday 23rd, we set off in my Golf to Gloucester to meet her Accountant.
After a three and a half hour meeting - we were all set, and it was agreed that Nanode Ltd would be purchased as an off the peg company from Jordans in Bristol, who sort out the legal paperwork and can turn around a limited company in just a few days.
On the way home in the car, Debbie took a call from a friend, the result of which that we learned that the guy doing our website and store had walked, leaving us with a not quite fully finished site, and the problem of hiring someone else to finish off the detail - and it's never easy picking up someone else's work. Undeterred, we called in a few friends, and we think we have a solution to our immediate problem.
So, this morning at 10:30am - not quite 21 days to the hour after me getting off the plane at Heathrow, we now have a proper limited company, Nanode Ltd, the store is fully stocked, and business is brisk.