Thursday, September 3, 2015

Cards, Chai, and the little things!

Some of the biggest problems that people face when starting their own company, are rarely the ones that actually matter. You will have a harder time finding a stable chai delivery boy, or a janitor who isn't blind to that fifth bin in the corner, than actually finding a place and/or funding for it.

It sounds weird, I know, but in reality, these are the real nuances that we actually notice. Why? Because things that we can find on the internet are far easier to comprehend. Want an apartment? No problem. Need to order a spare HDMI cable? Got that covered too. Find an english speaking office boy who knows how to make sure you get extra sugar in that cup? Uh.... why not... ask the neighbouring office?.... Yeah...

Investment is always a two part deal. It takes time and money, the share not always being the same. These are the tiny things that barely dent your pocket, but keep your time locked up for days. And the higher you are up the organizational ladder, the more your time costs. 

But before you can even think of hiring the necessary manpower, you'll need to turn that empty place that smells of fresh paint, into something people can be at least look forward to growing old in :D. Office supplies and decor is key here. As a child, I never quite understood why offices had all these fake plants in the lobby. I always wondered "Why plants? And if so, why Fake?". Only once I started working in an office did I realise that it was to make people believe that the outside world still exists! (And nobody usually wants the responsibility of watering the plants... so... :P).

Last on the agenda is for every employee to personalize their "share" of the office space. This is where all the pictures and motivational posters come in :P Oh and nametags! I always wanted one of those toblerone shaped name plate thingies, Had to settle for a tiny little sticker in the corner of the door :| But I made sure to get the works done for my Business card. The design of the card had a pretty standard white background, with the text in a bold helvetica-type font that I cannot quite remember, with a nice purple header on the top right. 

Finding a local vendor turned out to be a nightmare, though. I tried five different local vendors in total. At first I just went hunting for the nearest card guy, literally resorting to asking a security guard if he knew a card printing place nearby. The first two places had terrible paper quality, and the price of a gold studded mercedes. The third place misheard me on the phone, and dealt exclusively in wedding cards. The fourth started off really well, till they informed me their minimum order is 10,000 cards. The last one, I found out, had long since been replaced by a bakery. "I am 98% disappointed by this.", I told my partner over the phone, eating a chocolate eclair.

After making all the time machine jokes he could think of, he told me to "Google it". So I searched for "Print Business Cards". I figured I'd go in order and try them all, but my first result ( pretty much floored me. I was pretty skeptical about ordering business cards over the internet, but I must say I was pretty impressed with the speedy delivery. (Their design template system was pretty easy to use, so I even managed to spice it up a little bit with flourish). The card quality was also spot on. This was the factor that I was most skeptical about, seeing as I could not verify/approve the card quality beforehand. This is why I placed an order of only 100 cards. Placed a re-order for 400 more within an hour of opening the package ;) 

These little details don't really show up when looking at the broad picture, but they are often the last few things to deal with, and while they don't really dent your budget (relatively!), they definitely take several hours/days away from you. Sites like Vistaprint can really help you save big, time and money :)

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