When I was a kid I wanted nothing more than to be a comic book artist. From as far back as I can remember there was never a paper or assignment that I turned in that didn’t have a doodle on it. I had one teacher who lowered me a grade for drawing Spiderman on the corner of the page.
My grandmother, who mostly raised me, said that “hoodle doodles” would never pay bills and despite my ‘dreams do come true’ attitude, I never ignored her. She wasn’t being spiteful, she came from the depression era and insisting you have sound income was kind of the way they said, “I love you”.
For most of my life I have played on that line of being successful and pursuing dreams. I tend to be more happy than successful, but I have created an income for myself, while also creating some amazing stories. My day job is a web designer, but the side hustle (that’s what the kids are calling it these days) is this…
Shameless Self Promotion
With Covid-19 the world has really shifted closer to grandma’s depression era fears. When the shutdowns hit, we had no idea what to do. We, literally, had to start from scratch. My business was great because I am very good at motivating people, sharing knowledge, and helping people build up their skills.
That skill set doesn’t convey well over zoom. At least I haven’t figured it out yet.
This blog is because I wanted to write about what a day in the life of ICHRON is like, but I realized it’s not what I want it to be currently. COVID has really put a wrench in my daily life, and I am not alone. If you’re wondering if you’re the only one out there getting beat up, you’re not. I also am very proud of what we had, and what we’re doing to battle this thing. So, here’s a little of what we had and how we are changing to meet the moment.
I get to work around 10am, I have a disabled partner that I help get ready in the morning, so that’s the soonest I can get in. Monday is the most important day. We get the whole team together and review each project. We talk about schedules and who should be doing what and when. It can take hours, people take notes, and even if little work is done that day, we have our week planned out. Grandma would approve because I worked hard and made income, but that’s how it used to be.
Now, when I get in we set up the video meetings. We use our digital platform to review things, and not everyone is able to attend. We now have a manager that takes and disseminates the information to our virtual employees. We have to use coders and web devs from all across the United States, and our best shopping cart guy is actually in Italy. A Monday morning 10 am meeting with the whole staff is impossible.
This is not bad though. By forcing me to use digital communications we are setting ourselves up to be ahead of the game when things get back to normal. Currently there are a lot less sales meetings, but we also aren’t spending time and fuel to get to those meetings. Everyone pops into a Google meet exactly when the meeting starts. If I can just get some closes, grandma would be proud.
It hurts to make change. I was so happy to walk in, bs with the staff, get everyone going and sometimes we’d all head out to lunch. I miss that connection I had with my staff. I am learning this new way, and I think we’ll do fine. It does give me one thing the old way didn’t. Free time. I have more time for my art.
Tuesday and Wednesday
Tuesday through Wednesdays are usually production days, were I would come in, coordinate the team, work on some nifty art, and jump in when they need me. It’s the mix of pursuit of happiness and keeping grandma happy.
This is where I am losing time. I’m bogged down in redeveloping our marketing and changing the products we sell to better fit the economy. In all fairness, it’s something I do well, but it’s very time consuming. You have to change verbiage, pricing, on the website, in the sale materials, and in forms. And if it doesn’t catch you got to take it all down and do it again in a few weeks. Fortunately this is the exact thing I do for clients. They need to sell something, I come up with a way for them to do it.
Currently my strategy for ICHRON is to give a low intro price with extended payments. In this environment I’m worried that people wont be willing to drop a larger price point, even if they have it. This might not work for all businesses, especially ones that have a one time service or product, but an average site can take several months to develop.
Breaking payments up, is a little difficult on our end. I have to pay the sales guys, and the webdevs up front, but in the uncertainty I can sacrifice some of my security to pass it on to the client. In the end the product only has a small discount and we build a great relationship with the client.
Thursday and Friday
Thursday is the same as Monday but a quicker version. We want to make sure we head into the weekend and not let things slide by. If there’s anything I missed this is the day we catch it.
I don’t work Friday, it’s a garbage day, if you catch me at work or have a meeting it’s rare. Friday is my art day. And here is where the real money is… (Grandma gives the mala cara).
So what am I doing for art? You’ll have to read that in the next blog, a week in the life of the 23rd.
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