We’re finally done with the our corporate website at http://www.oncardmarketing.com. It’s been quite a grind, but our designer and programmer have done a great job and really created a website and demo that we are extremely proud of. We can only believe that it will give us more credibility with investors and business partners. The demo was the hardest part, integrating some “dummy” functionality so that a user can click through it as though they are using it, even though it really doesn’t work (i.e. information is not being stored anywhere – no back-end database yet). It is quite comprehensive and we will begin showcasing this as our vision for the business, technology that we hope to begin developing over the next few months after we raise some more money…

Bottom Line: The one thing that this project has taught us is that it is critical that we to be crystal clear with what we expect. Although we thought we were clear with our extensive document that outlined exactly what we thought we wanted, things inevitably changed over the course of the project. I have to imagine that this is natural, to add some additional things and remove other as you see the site take form. The key here is to maintain crystal clear communication with your designer and programmer. We probably could have done a better job at this, and our designer and programmer could have pushed back a bit more when they felt that we were asking for too much. This was our first major development project, and as we’ve found, things always got pushed back, delayed, etc. I have no idea why this happened, but just be prepared. If you do one thing, don’t promise to show anything to anybody until it is complete (or near-complete). There are a ton of things that can delay the project and then you’ll be risk ruining the credibility you were hoping to build with your new corporate website/demo. We managed to salvage this credibility by showcasing only parts of the site that were working, but this is not advisable…

JT

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I’ve been following up with the hundreds of ad sales folks at these various magazine publishers. I’m sure by this point I am beginning to annoy a few people. But I guess that’s the fine line I need to walk when trying to sell a new service nobody’s ever heard of to busy people who need to forward my emails to the correct people in different division. Well, I am continuing to get a few more bites from these big magazine publishers. Just a couple days ago, I received an email from a senior consumer marketing executive at Hearst Magazines who is interested in hearing more about what we’re offering and wants to set up a call for after Thanksgiving. I also received an email from some new business development folks at Conde Nast, who also want to set something up for after vacation. I think they’re from Golf Digest, which would be pretty cool.

On another front, a friend of mine from Cornell who works in marketing has a close friend who works at Meredith Corp, one of the large magazine publishers I’m trying to get in touch with. She is going to put me in touch with this gentleman to talk more about our business and how we are hoping to work with Meredith. Hopefully, something will pan out from that conversation. Again, all this (everything it seems) will pick up after Thanksgiving so I’ll let you know how it goes in a couple of weeks…

Bottom Line: For entrepreneurs trying to network into large corporations, be patient. I’m not a patient person, and this process is very humbling and is teaching me to take one day at a time. As I’m finding, the sales process is neither easy nor quick. The two things that have helped me get any traction are resourcefulness and persistence. And that’s what I would recommend. I have no idea if it will pan out, but initial signs are showing that resourcefulness and persistence will give you the best chances of success.

JT