Saturday, 25 July 2009

So here it is, another Saturday night spent with a hot printer.. And no, it's a device, not a real life one. I'm sure my social life would be the envy of no-one :-)

But it's all good. I have signed up to quite a few directories and websites etc. In the morning while I'm patiently holding my sign up for the unhappy hordes to read as they rush past, the Hairy Goat name brings a smile to a few faces and looks of puzzlement to others. But now people are getting used to seeing me and are now approaching for a brochure or some information on the London Photography Mystery Tour. Some people have been generous with their time and even giving tips on places to see. Thanks to Paul, Karen and Chris. Word of mouth may turn out to be the best form of advertising after all. A young guy was so taken with the Hairy Goat sign, he wanted a photo of it. I told him to take a photo of my t'shirt as well, so who knows where my picture will end up!

Even one of the ladies from a huge competitor today generously encouraged her group to step my way and some did, though only collecting brochures and information, so I hope to see them on a tour soon.

I forgot to mention I had my first paying customer during the week and it was gratifying to see enjoyment and satisfaction in progress. Thank you Ian, and I think I'll frame the first £20 earnt.

And so, tomorrow while most of the UK has a sleep in, I'll be heading into London waiting patiently for the adventurous explorers to come for a walk with me. The sun is going to shine, so come along!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

I'm getting a tan!

The last month has been a huge improvement on the summer's of the last 3 years. Admittedly over the last week, there has been random rainbursts but the sun is often out and it's warm enough to wear shorts! Who would have believed it? It's a good year to start working outside. The sunscreen and hat are on for most of the day, and I'm still acquiring a tan.

I've started to sign up for as many online business directories as possible and looked at other forms of advertising besides brochures. My first choices, with free magazines and papers cost more than I can afford at the moment, so I'm still reliant on whatever I can get for free, or as little as possible. Having said that, I'm still likely to buy an ad in TimeOut over the next week or so and my friend Shadan of ididjeridoo sent me a long list of online directories. Very helpful, so thanks!

The photo printer has been going non-stop for 6 hours and the continual noise is enough to drive anyone a little potty. My eyes are falling out of my head and it's time for bed.
Catch you another day.

Friday, 17 July 2009

My kingdom for some toner!

Hello again
I've learnt a valuable lesson over the last few days. Have as much back up stock as possible because not everything goes to plan. My brand new laser printer for brochure production is sitting gathering cobwebs because the manufacturer has completely sold out of toner. Nationwide!! With no shipment due for two weeks. I'm sure I'm not the only unhappy Lexmark owner in the UK. So, unless I want to take out another mortgage to pay for the work to be contracted out, I'm now producing the brochures on my photo printer at a much higher price, and taking 5 times as long. Live and learn.

Thanks to everyone for spreading the word about Hairy Goat around. The website is having hits from Portugal, USA, Netherlands, Australia, UAE, Algeria, South Africa and obviously the UK. It's great to see that many are return visitors to the site and I really would like to hear from you if you have any suggestions or comments. I'm certainly no expert on setting up a business or a website and there are many constructive comments out there!

Handing out brochures and business cards is an interesting experience. First thing in the morning, commuters want nothing, unless it looks like a gift. It gives a more positive impression by just holding a sign which is easily read as people rush past. Those who are interested come and ask about it. Tourists are the most polite, invariably using thank you whether they take a brochure or decline it.

Every day is interesting and there have been very few negative experiences, apart from Lexmark and their faulty logistic operations.

Hope your day is interesting too.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

A huge learning process

Ever since I decided to go ahead with establishing Hairy Goat, it's been a non-stop process of learning, decision making, spending and continual work. I have to say that being in control of my future is a wonderful situation as I'm not scared of hard work and have a lot of faith in the Hairy Goat business.
Ever since the launch of Hairy Goat last week, I have received so many encouraging emails from friends and colleagues, along with the contructive comments I had asked for. When setting up a website, it's easy to forget the simplest things, and one of those for me was putting a note saying that payments for photos are made via Paypal. So, please, if you have any ideas, please let me know.
I realise now that I have too many photos and will have to do some serious culling as the galleries are too unwieldy.
Thanks to those of you who have forwarded my website to friends over the world and would ask you to keep it up. Apart from direct marketing with brochures and business cards to hotels and hostels, hopefully an article in a couple of relevant magazines, standing outside Tower Hill Tube Station today with a sign, and becoming friends with at least 10 Concierges at upmarket hotels in London, this is how I will get the support to make Hairy Goat viable.

An 8 hour sleep at night is long gone, and I don't mind!


Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Hairy Goat Inaugural Blog!

Hello and welcome to the Hairy Goat Limited blogsite!

Please use this blog to give me any feedback on my website, my photos, tours or tips on interesting places to see or photo opportunities.

I hope you enjoy the website and even more, I'd love to have you running around like a Hairy Goat on a London Mystery Photography Tour.