Starting a Photography Business: Part 21 – The Final Countdown

As the last few days before the launch are fast approaching, I’ve been enjoying the chance to go through the site with a fine toothcomb to make sure everything is as it should be.

I’ve had some friends take a look at the site and all feedback has been positive and some interesting things have come up too. It is a great idea to let people have a look at your site before you send it live. Spelling mistakes you’ve become blind to get picked up and having some test customers going though the site before launch is so useful for getting to know how smooth a transition it is from product to checkout.

Because I’ve been working with the site for so long it became clear that I have become more blinkered to it than I imagined; a couple of friends flagged up areas they didn’t think were as straight forward as I did. So there have been some tweaks. It turned out to be really quite scary asking friends to have a look over the site, particularly as two were photographers but it was a good stepping stone for the launch.

It’s been a week of ticking off checklists when the tasks were complete. Favicon – the image that appears on the address bar & makes your site more visible when it’s bookmarked. All delivery prices correct for each country. I’m having a download section so we, (the web designer and I), have been testing to make sure they download ok.

My attention has turned also to more practical things, setting up a business bank account. All the terms and conditions arrived this week and it’ll certainly keep me in bed time reading for a while; it’s like a whole rainforest has been sent to me. I’m also trying to decide right now between doing self assessment tax myself or using an accountant. Whilst I realise that doing it myself saves me money paying an accountant does mean I have someone to discuss any financial things with.

For ease, and as they charge more reasonable costs than using a bank, the payment collection will be done with Paypal. I was really surprised when I was doing my initial research to find that they run a free service which is more than adequate for most peoples needs. As I was having a quick look through their website yesterday to see how easy it is to attach the payment facility to my site, they offered a button for buying gift vouchers, the light bulb went on, and suddenly I was opening up Photoshop to create gift vouchers. I rarely use Photoshop so learning how to create layers to add text was a really fun experience, actually saving it in the right format was the trickiest part!

We’ve had a few days of lovely sunny weather this week, in fact as I write the sun is streaming in my window, it’s encouraging the spring bulbs, snowdrops and crocus, to start flowering and it’s been tough not heading off to take photos. In theory though as the site launches there will be a bit more time to move away from the computer and re-engage with our beautiful planet.

Notes

  • Ask some friends to have a look over your site when it’s almost ready for launch, it’s invaluable to have some feedback before it goes live. If your friends find little issues then you can bet other people will too; it’s better to alter them before you launch than make tweaks when it’s live.
  • Make sure you’ve thought about how you are going to collect your money from your site, most banks offer website services and there is also Paypal. Have a shop around and see what suits you best.
  • Just because you are about to launch don’t discount new ideas; if it’s something that enhances your customers shopping experience give it due consideration.
Living in the beautiful rural county of Yorkshire it was perhaps natural for Ruth to have an affinity with the countryside and its wildlife. Creativity is Ruth’s driving force finding an outlet in television & radio she worked for many years as producer for BBC & ITV.

However a love of photography and for being surrounded by nature called her to go back to her photography training and bring pleasure and joy to people through her connection with our planet.

Staying in the moment when taking her images allows her to experience the natural magnificence unfolding before her eyes. It is this moment of mediation, of gratitude, that she evocatively conveys through her images.

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