A few weeks ago, I briefly shared some Caffeinated Press updates for the second half of 2015. We keep growing, teeing up editorial product for launch this month through the end of the year.

The joy of launching a new business includes the “high highs” —

  • your first media profile
  • your third unsolicited sale to a stranger
  • opening your doors to the community

— and some “low lows” —

  • writing personal checks to pay the bills
  • getting ignored by potential partners because of your start-up status
  • suffering embarrassing tech glitches

— but the experience is worth it. Entrepreneurs create things. And although the birthing process isn’t easy, the long-run payoff is almost always worth it.

As Caffeinated Press has grown from beyond a group of friends at a dining-room table thinking about logos and websites, to a corporation with contracts and assets and a physical presence, I think some of the choices we’ve made have helped us grow along the way.

For example, we deployed a robust, self-managed Web portal with a rich back end to support private activities by the board and our editorial and marketing teams (read more about the infrastructure here). That particular combination of tools helped us get off on the right foot. We were slower, however, to maximize our customer-relationship toolkit; although we’ve since adopted a solution, we have some data to backfill.

And for every good idea, like our Business of Writing seminar, we sometimes have a “two steps forward, one step back” moment. Like this week, when we got a phone call from a person who wanted to register for the seminar but couldn’t. Our fault — the SSL certificate was improperly pointed, and the problem is now fixed. But did anyone else try to register and then give up when they couldn’t complete the sale? How embarrassing.

We’ve come a long way. We’ve got a long way to go. But there’s one undeniable truth of life for starting a business: You already need to have some insight into how to start a business. Passion divorced from expertise won’t help. So take advantage of tools like the Service Corps of Retired Executives, the Small Business Administration or online communities ranging from Reddit to AT&T’s Business Circle.

Reflections on Launching a Start-Up
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