Ah, this Big New Idea continues to take up a lot of my brain space! I switch quickly between thinking big and long term to thinking small and detailed. Such is my way of working.
Here’s what I’ve been working on over the past week-and-a-bit:
- Branding. After getting in touch with various designers and running into timing conflicts and fear of the unknown, I’ve come back to working with Evan at Sixteen July (who designed this site and who is awesome). She starts design work TODAY! I have, of course, created a Pinterest board of visual references. If you love that kind of thing and want to see how it will transform into a logo and brand style, check out the board here.
- Schedule. I’m aiming to launch the website and the business at the beginning of July. Originally, I was thinking June, but I have other commitments (read: I’m going away for a week) that just made it unrealistic. Before the launch, I’ll be running a trial photoshoot with my team here in Cambridge so that we can practice working together, and hopefully get some awesome content to share on the website.
- Pricing. I’ve been playing with the numbers to figure out what I’ll need to charge to make this work for me and my team, as well as keeping it affordable for the customer. I want tiny one-person businesses to be able to get high quality photography and copy, as well as making it accessible to bigger businesses who want to send us their entire range. I’m a big believer in getting feedback when you offer your product, so I’m only asking for feedback from a select number of clients before launch. (Rather than asking, “How much would you pay for this?”, it’s much more effective to actually put the product out there with a price tag and see how many people buy it. When people theorise about how much they’d spend on something, it isn’t always true to their behaviour.)
- Team. Oh, the team. So much of the success of Big New Idea will rely on the team. I have a little mini team for our trial, which I’m really excited about, but I’m also continuing to build local connections in Cambridge, especially for photographers. (If that’s you, email me.) I’ve been thinking loads about how I can scale up the team quickly, and about the leap of faith I’ll need to make to do this. Flexibility is awesome, but I’m also going to need to offer and ask for commitment if demand is high.
- Process. I’m fairly obsessed with process, and this is very much a work in progress. A real foundation for this business will be efficiency and professionalism, so I’m working on ways to get product lists, contact details, notes and shooting schedules set up to provide my team and clients with clarity. Picture big scribbly diagrams, post its, and spreadsheets as I work on this!
- Trial shoot. I have a lovely bunch of clients who have offered up their products for the trial shoot, and they’ll be getting emails from me this week. I’ll be planning each shot with my team so that we’re building in quality from the start.
I’ve also been thinking about the balance of my Big New Idea with my existing business. Because mentoring clients one-on-one, running retreats, creating courses, and leading workshops is really what I want to be doing. I love it. That’s why I started my business. It’s so important to me!
But right now, I can’t do more than keep with my existing clients while I set up this business. It wouldn’t be fair (or possible) to take on new mentoring clients because I wouldn’t be able to give them my full attention. That’s a hard decision, for me. But I have some exciting plans for when the Big New Idea is off the ground to create Jenny Hyde Mentoring 2.0! So patience is the key…
This decision – to pause mentoring while I set up something new and complementary – is also tricky from a financial point of view. This month and next month won’t bring in the cash flow I usually expect and aim for, PLUS I’m spending money on a website and props and other investment stuff. “Hold your nerve” is my mantra right now. It ain’t easy.
So, that’s the update from me! If you have any questions or thoughts, I’d love to hear from you.
PS Want updates directly to your inbox? Subscribe here.