Edvin

MVP
Phoenix.png
Rising from the ashes...
Start: The Rising (Part 1) - Introduction
Previous: The Rising (Part 11) - Working On/In The Business
Current: The Rising (Part 12) - Name/design, Financial, Technology
Next: The Rising (Part 13) - Into the CRM

It has been almost three weeks since my last post; but, I haven't been idle.

Name & Design

I decided to revisit my business name and start the creative process. My plan was to come-up with an initial concept and then outsource it for crowd design.

The rational for this is that not all creative designers have similar background; so, they may not take color psychology of my demographics in mind.

So, I came-up with a new name and went to a signage forum for some help.
Lets look at one of my top name choices, that I dismissed after getting to a sign forum.

My business is related to Education; so, lets come-up with a new word for "Educate".

I change the "u" to "oo" (i.e. Edoocate), which can act as eyes or be googly.

I change the "c" to "k" (i.e. Edookate)

I replace "ate" with "y" for fun term (Edooky).​
It seemed like a good idea at the time since Webster dictionary doesn't report anything on it; however, imagine my embarrassment when the sign forum highlighted the meaning dooky in urbandictionary. After iterating and coming up with over 500 different name (I have almost 300 documented), I've settled on "gradulink" as business name.

The Sign forum members did not care for my posts and felt that I was not listening to their feedback; ultimately leading to me closing my post early. You can see the dialog here.

The forum did put me in contact with a member who has designed for other members of the signage forum. I plan to solicit his services for my sign and logo design and am in process of completing his design brief form. However, I can't proceed until January 1 because I need to incorporate my business in 2018 and expense accordingly. Remember, there is a tax benefit to waiting another few weeks in California because "corporations are exempt from the annual minimum franchise tax for their first year of business".

I suspect things will move lot faster once I incorporate, because I can start my activities and expense accordingly.​
Financial statements

This leads me to my ongoing business plan, which I have been working-on. One important element that I have not worked on has been my financial statements. I obviously need to do some forecasting, which includes P&L statement (aka Income statement), and balance sheet, and cash-flow statement.

At first, I thought about using excel spreadsheet. Then I thought about using GnuCash, which allows you to create a budget plan and run reports against. This seems like a really good idea for future to compare plan to actual. I started with a template, and realized that I need to move some of my expenses (e.g. computers, books, etc) to assets. Next, I realized that I needed a way to depreciate my assets, which meant re-organizing my structure for depreciation. But, I still have not purchased anything, nor do I know how much to depreciate (tangible) and amortize (write-off intangible) my items. It seems that I need a tax accountant before I even do my projections. This forecast turned out to be more complicated; or maybe I'm making it too complicated. I hope to finish this in the next few weeks.​

Technology Stack

Another thing that I have been thinking about is my technology stack. As I researched more and reflected on my endeavor, I felt that others can benefit from similar infrastructure. I found ClearOS community edition (based on CentOS), which can be beneficial; but, lacks one of the key elements, which is VOIP solution (i.e. Astersik).

As I thought about it more, multiple servers are needed to employ security best practices.

For example, we should have different host for database server, CRM web application, HR application, Marketing system, internal web-application, and two different firewall on different hosts.

With more research, I learned that hosting companies use OpenVZ to provide Virtual Private Servers (VPS) service to their customers due to its low overhead. So, I thought to myself that I can utilize the same strategy to isolate multiple environments under one operating system. As I thought about it more, I want to be able to duplicate the environment for testing and upgrade, which seems to suggest having a virtual machine would be a good idea. I'm currently considering Virtual Box and VMware virtual machine, which the latter is more likely to have better elastic cloud support.

Next I wondered about the best strategy for procuring the technology stack. While talking to my friend, I learned about the Docker for scripted environment. This leads me to idea that I can have Docker to build my environment (outsource script), which I can make available to community as well.​

My plan is to have my doors open around April 2018. I need to lease a location, plan and execute my marketing campaign, hire talent, etc, all in the next few months. In another words I'm running late and must complete my business plan in the next three weeks (before the new year).
 
Last edited:

djbaxter

Administrator
Technology Stack

Another thing that I have been thinking about is my technology stack. As I researched more and reflected on my endeavor, I felt that others can benefit from similar infrastructure. I found ClearOS community edition (based on CentOS), which can be beneficial; but, lacks one of the key elements, which is VOIP solution (i.e. Astersik).

As I thought about it more, multiple servers are needed to employ security best practices.

For example, we should have different host for database server, CRM web application, HR application, Marketing system, internal web-application, and two different firewall on different hosts.

With more research, I learned that hosting companies use OpenVZ to provide Virtual Private Servers (VPS) service to their customers due to its low overhead. So, I thought to myself that I can utilize the same strategy to isolate multiple environments under one operating system. As I thought about it more, I want to be able to duplicate the environment for testing and upgrade, which seems to suggest having a virtual machine would be a good idea. I'm currently considering Virtual Box and VMware virtual machine, which the latter is more likely to have better elastic cloud support.

Next I wondered about the best strategy for procuring the technology stack. While talking to my friend, I learned about the Docker for scripted environment. This leads me to idea that I can have Docker to build my environment (outsource script), which I can make available to community as well.​

I think all that is unnecessary for your startup. You can have a perfectly secure site and/or server without all of that and for a new business I would suggest it is an unnecessary expense. As the business grows, if it becomes very large and very successful, you may get to that point but I would suggest even then a priority would be a dedicated server before all that segmentation.

I manage my own dedicated server for my own sites and for clients' sites I host. I have it locked down pretty tightly and a lot of the monitoring is automated. There is a separate database server (that will be true for most hosting plans anyway) but everything else is self contained.
 
Top Bottom