December 11, 2008

Website online!

Well, the end-of-term assignments and the all nighters that came with it, made me forget mentioning that...the website is online!!! It's www.matchtranlsations.com The website was completed about two weeks ago by the Inidan company that developed my corporate logo, VGM. Unlike the work they did on Match's corporate identity, they were slower and a bit more sloppy on that job. I would not recommend them for developing websites. 

As the website is not ready, I have started working on a Google Ad campaign to go with it. Google Ads are an amazing marketing tool; especially for B2B services. Google Ads are those sponsored lis you find on top and on the right of your screen when you search fro something on google. The ads match the keywords that you are looking for, and the advertiser only pays if someone actually clicks on the link. They are pretty annoying for regular users, but they are a valuable resource when companies look for B2B services, because the ads are often more targeted to what you are looking for than the actual search results. 

Setting up a Google Ads campaign is quite easy and intuitive. You get to choose everything; the campaign's budget, what countries, (or even counties) it should reach, and crucially, what keywords are to trigger your ads. The latter bit is the most difficult part of setting up a campaign, because it take some time coming up with a few hundred keywords that could be trigger a click-through. I owe my knowledge of working with Google Ads to Chasidy Atchison, my supervisor during the summer internship I did at the Joel Warady Group, in Chicago. Setting up google campaigns, especially in foreign languages, is one of the service I offer through Match.


November 21, 2008

First client! …almost

Well, so on Monday I begun calling a number of prospective clients. I had copied down a list of 200+ companies from teh Coventry Camber of Commerce website a few months ago. On sunday I selected 10 of them, and set myself the goad of realizing at least a lead during the week. And sure enough, the first company I called, Acton Finishing, responded positively! I sent over a proposal on Tuesday for translating the website in 3 languages...total revenue 300 pounds (!). The director, Sandeep Gulati, asked me to get back to him on the 25th of January. He also asked me if I could help him with re-developing his website...which is great. I hope I am not taking on a bigger bite than I can chew, but it should be alright. I'll keep you posted!


November 16, 2008

Steps forward…

So, after a long absence, I finally got my act together, my company is almost set up! Over the last few weeks I have been working on the corporate logo, letterheads and webdesign with an Indian outsourcing firm, VMG BPO. It was great to work with them...once I overcame my initial insecurities, I realized how easy it is to work with people that are thousands of miles away from here. I managed to develop a website, business cards and letterheads for 300 US$. To be honest I could have done better, but I feel it was a good investment. 

On the registration side, I submitted an online form for being se;f-employed. To be honest, I am not really sure what that entails, and I have the feeling that I should have waited before taking that step. After submitting this form (you can find it at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/selfemployed/iwtregister-as-self-employed.htm) I received a confirmation email, but I am not sure if there are any other things I need to do in order to be considered self employed. 

Anyway, I am not too preoccupied by the registration issue. What matters is that now I feel ready to contact my first potential clients. I had already created a huge, general list, using the local chamber of commerce membership register. But Now I selected the first ten companies and from tomorrow onwards I will begin my telesales campaign. I'll keep you posted


May 06, 2008

On Idustry Experts…

Back again! After weeks of silence...apologies about that; bad time management. There are news about MATCH translations. On the website front I am stuck...I can't find the time and the inspiration to develop it properly and so I decided to postpone the putting it online to June. I will work on it before my internship begins. On the registration side, I am stuck too. As i am planning to set up my company on my own, and since I would like it to be a limited company, I will have to wait until October. Then it will be possible to register a company as a sole owner. Otherwise I would have to find someone to act as company secretary....i did think of asking my fiancé, but I that would be quite degrading. But if you would like to find more about company 'formats', look at this website, it is very helpful

http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/layer r.l1=1073858808&r.l3=1073865436&topicId=1073859215&r.l2=1073859215&r.s=m

It's a great site in general and it has a lot of information about legal structure. Nevertheless, I feel that hiring an accountant to deal with all the paperwork is indispensable. I will get to that in late September when I am back at Warwick and I will try to find and upload information about how much accountants cost.

So, back to the new developments. To recap, I am stuck with registration issues and I am stuck with the website. I did get some advice however from some 'industry experts' on the translation business. Here in Madrid I work at the University's language lab and I just asked my boss for advice on my idea. It was a very good talk and I got a lot out of it. I won't go into the specifics, but I would suggest to anyone planning to get started to make a list of all possible and even stupid questions and ask them to people who are already in the business.

In fact i am planning to take it a step further and actually ask those same questions to a future competitor of mine. Having a Warwick email address will help me with that, I won't even have to pretend to be a students asking for information for my coursework ;-). I'll let you know how that goes.

Gotta run to class now, ciao!

Mattia


April 19, 2008

Sidenote

Much to my surprise (I say that because I haven't 'marketed' my blog to anyone yet) there have been some visits to the blog! Lol, about two. But at least I know that now I have the responsibility of keeping the public entertained! I will post more often, I promise. And write some comments if you wish... whomever you are...

Quick update

Hello again!

I just wanted to mention briefly how Match Translations (that's the company name, in case I hadn't mentioned it...how do you guys think it sounds?) is coming along. The webiste styling is proving to be pretty tough. The text and the basic structure are done and ready, but the actual styling of the page is....difficult. I just can't get the outlay beyond that 1990s-style glass ceiling of website design. It's pretty irritating; I keep repeating and changing the same things over and over and it just seems to be going nowhere.

 But aside of that, I'm also starting to look into the legal bits and pieces that I will have to take care of. First and foremost, the legal form of the business. Limited company you will shout! And limited it shall be, but the paperwork for it is kinda complex. I will keep you posted about my discoveries. 

Ciao! 

 


April 11, 2008

The idea

I suppose that the second entry of this blog would be a good time to voice out what my business actually will be about. It's nothing fancy, really. It's going to be a company translating websites. Websites of other companies that is. I like the idea for one reason; it's straight-forward. I speak a few languages myself, so i can take care of some of the translation work and I know plenty of international people who can help out with the languages I don't know. Company websites are easy to translate; they generally are non technical, static, and the text content isn't very long.

Lol, I know nothing about websites though, and that's what I am trying to make up for in these last days. I have to say, it was easier than I thought. Over Easter I bought a book called "Build your own web site the right way" by Ian Lloyd. Yeah, the title does sound a bit cheesy but the book itself is brilliant; concise, descriptive and at times even funny (the author is a Brit!). Building the website o my own kills tow birds with one stone. On one hand if I am to translate other people's website, it would be a good idea to know what the stuff's all about. On top of that, I would like to save myself the dosth it takes to have someone develop a website for my soon-to-be company. So, that's why I have been playing around with HTML over the last few days, with some...mediocre results. I plan to have it finished and uploaded by the end of April.


March 27, 2008

The start of something new

Hi all!

Well, I don't think anyone is reading his yet, but it kinda feels good to bring out soething that has been inside of me for some time, that something being the 'entrepreneurship spirit'. I have been thinking about setting up a business since I arrived at Warwick. I'm in my third year, on an erasmus exchange in Spain and finally I feel ready to get started. I come from a very non-entrepreneurial background and it took me some time to gather the right skills and the attitude to feel ready for this. Now I have a feaseable and manageable idea and six months to prepare for it. I am writing this blog principally for myself; I feel that if it's out there I will feel more motivated to get over the lazyness and the comforts of a parent-funded student life. And also, a year from now I will be able to follow how my idea developed and learn more for the next time I start a business. So here we are, I hope that anyone reading this will like it and will find it interesting enough to follow it and maybe drop in some suggestions here and there. 


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