Shappos progress: Update 2 (The Digital Machines)

October 09 2012

Today we set up some more basic IT requirements. We managed to get an email address active which half works, in so much as it can send emails but not receive. I’d have thought that would be impossible like being half pregnant. Anyway that’s where we got to. And then gave up.

We’ve made some other forms of progress this week. Most of the time writing and sharing the brief for the web build. There are a whole bundle of options in this space and so we will review the proposals back and compare. The challenge for everyone is not to worry about the front end so much as ensuring that it is an efficient machine for managing peoples shopping experience. That said, the experience at launch says a lot. Its a fine balancing act indeed to get a quality design and a quality data-rich digital performance.

Talking of which, the business plan is inching slowly ahead like a rusty steamroller. The key principle parts involving description, where emotion and language play such an important role are almost complete. Then onto the rational numbers section. We did some rough numbers a few months ago which (at least in la-la-napkin-land) demonstrated that the concept might be financially viable and give an attractive growth curve. Now as we fine tune various costs and become closer to finalising launch stock and suppliers I have the next task of compiling a cash flow projection for the first 18 months (is that enough?). A pile of business books are within an arms length of our desks with myriad tips of how to approach such exercises. YouTube offers another 100,000 opinions. Thank you Internet.

We have identified some showroom space in London which could double as a press office. Also figured out where our fulfilment office could be, likely to be outside London but that depends on shipping rates.

First meeting with accountants next week to go through the business plan. Nervous? Nah….