Surprising Challenges

By: David (business)·

Off the top of my head, there are three challenges that would probably otherwise fly under the radar. It's not the kind of stuff magazines cover because it's not sexy.

Logo

We needed a logo. Over winter break, I sketched out a super simple idea for one. It was an "I" with the scales of justice, and an "L" that looked like a judge's gavel. I showed my idea to Dan and he wanted to add an element that indicated illustrations were an important part of the recipe, rather than looking like it was all about law. It was a good call. So we added a pencil underneath the letters and included a squiggly line that shows the pencil drew the letters.

The problem with our first draft, as was discussed in my last blog post, was that our black and white logo looked a bit too much like the ISIS flag for my taste. Also, though Dan drew the letters exactly as I had drawn them, I realized that the scales of justice looked more like triangles. Like what people in the country might ring to let other people know dinner is ready. And the gavel didn't look like an L. Which was accurate of how real gavels look, but it didn't convey the IL for Illustrated Law. Lastly, I wanted some color. I suggested dark blue.

So Dan went back to the literal drawing board and came up with our current logo (found on the header and footer of every web page). The scales look like scales, the L looks like an L because he drew the letters inside the images, and the circular shape and blue color make it look nothing like an ISIS flag. 

Bank Account

Setting up a bank account was a surprising pain. I thought we could just open a business account with no hassle. The only reason I wanted one was so we could keep our business and personal expenses separate. 

Yet, each bank wanted a $100 "service fee" (even though it's 100% automated electronically) and "maintenance fees" (even though the maintenance, too, is 100% automated). I don't know if providing bank accounts is on anyone's radar as a start-up, but it seems like a field ripe for disruption. 

Anyway, we didn't want to spend money to store money. Especially when we have so precious little of it. So we just opened a new account under Dan's name and he directed all income from our products to link directly to that account. It's not the ideal solution, but it will have to work for now. 

Other things that cost money to get going: registering the LLC, trademark, and website.

Website

I had no idea how to set up a website. People looking at this page may argue I still have no idea. And they'd be mostly right. I was intimidated about starting the process, but with nobody else to do it, I just rolled up my sleeves and jumped in.

Before working on the content, I first surfed dozens of templates, looking for the one that would work best for our purposes. The thing is, they all looked basically the same. I don't have a discerning eye when it comes to design and layouts. So I just picked one that seemed simple.

Making the site was surprisingly fun. I spent at least eight hours straight putting in the content on the first day (Jan 20th). And almost every day since then I've made some adjustments. I've had to Google a lot of questions about how to add or modify features, but the learning process has been enjoyable.

I've also tried my best to enhance our search engine optimization, but I think I've done all I can do for now. I had to learn to navigate my way around Google Console, Bing Webmaster, and Google Analytics for the first time. And I've really only scratched the surface on what those platforms can provide information-wise. There is only so much I can learn from self-help articles on Google. We definitely need a tech-savvy mentor.