The Value of a Business Mentor
This website was only launched a week ago. My original website was hacked in February - when you clicked on a listing, you were taken to ISIS propaganda or an advert for Viagra! The hack was a very upsetting experience - as anyone who has been a victim of indiscriminate crime can relate to, I was so angry and confused as to why anyone would get any satisfaction or pride out of disabling the websites of innocent, unknown people. The feelings I had were very similar to those I had when my car was stolen by joyriders one year.
I also realised I'd been very complacent in my approach to the security of my original website. I had not been thorough enough in clarifying with the company who'd built it as to who was responsible for the security updates and how these should be done. I had thought these were part of my contract, but they were not. Possibly unfairly, I felt let down by them - and annoyed at myself. I urge anyone who has a website and a contract with a developer to check these things out.
Most of all, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of work and potential cost (£1000s) of rebuilding my website.
A friend mentioned that I should get in touch with a neighbour with his own tech company: enter James Brently from Agile Cadence. James truly turned out to be a knight in shining armour. On a temporary basis, he was able to patch up my original website; and over the course of 6 months, he and his colleagues worked with me to build this new website.
However, it was his supportive, incisive approach to this process which has been a real insight to me. He took me right back to the start to try and establish what I wanted to achieve with my business. Since 2010, Three Bears Prints has been unfolding organically, with no real direction or purpose. In working with James, I now have a much clearer sense of what I want to achieve, and my new website reflects that. It's been an instructive, personally rewarding experience.
I think many artists struggle with having confidence in their work when it comes to selling it, particularly at a price which reflects the time and effort which has gone into it. The redevelopment of my website has not just given me a place to share and sell my artistic creations; it has also given me a huge confidence boost, and taught me to value my artwork more. I've never had a 'business mentor' before, but over the last 6 months, James has fulfilled that role. In February, I never thought that I'd be thanking my hacker for doing me a favour - but that's what they've done!
Best wishes and thanks to James, Mike and Adam at Agile Cadence.