2012 ended on a high. I was part of a team called Bookbay and we had just won Startup Weekend 2012 which was sponsored by Africa.2.0 & hosted at Microsoft South Africa. So you can only imagine how pumped up we were for 2013
Fresh from holiday and amped up by the previous year I decided that it was time to move my “IT community” idea into a startup. I had spent most part of 2012 learning about startups & attending tech events related to startups so I felt ready to step up and dive in. So I thought.
I will be sharing some of the challenges, experience and success that I went through with Geekulcha in its first 9 months.
Your name is your brand
The first major task was deciding on a name for my new startup. Never thought that coming up with a name would be such a hassle. I wanted a fresh name, something that can speak to the tech community. I searched the dictionary, googled, translated from other languages. Geek Culture sounded right but didn’t look fresh enough. I eventually came up with Geekulcha and love that name so much.
Sometimes your startup name doesn’t have to mean anything so I learned. Many such examples are Google, Yahoo, kiip, twitter. Just make it work
With the help of the creatives of JataMobile we managed to come up with a cool branding for Geekulcha. I was my usual self during this process, very picky and constantly changing things. We finally nailed it and got great feedback from a lot of “geeks” who loved it
It’s always important to find a look that will represent you, your company and give it that imagine that your customers/community can relate to. Just don’t spend way too much time in this department because you might even change it
Make yourself known
The decision to change from INNOvatorz.IT to Geekulcha wasn’t easy considering that we already had a following of around 1200 on our Facebook group. We had to create new image & make our community aware of it. That meant talking about the new name everyday until it stuck. Now Geekulcha has 1259 Facebook likes, 1200 twitter followers, and 2000 views on our Geekulcha Youtube channel with 50 videos and 2255 views
One lesson I learned from this is that always engage with your audience and don’t just tell them to go jump if they wont accept change. You need to let them know the reason for change and the benefits of it. It’s not an easy process but worth doing it the right way if you still want to have them and retain their trust
Get a domain name
Never really new the importance of checking if your domain is available. This had a massive influence in the naming and spelling of Geekulcha. You dont want to have a name for your company only to find that you can’t create a website with that name.
Make use of Godaddy to check the availability of your domain name
Company registration is a hectic process
Try and get as much info on the process of registering your company. You will need around 3 possible names. If money isn’t a big issue then find someone to do everything for you. It makes life a whole lot easier
Prepare to receive money
One huge mistake I probably made was taking forever to open a business account for Geekulcha. Open a business account and start saving. If possible try to document all your receipts so you can keep track of your expenses. While you are waiting to get funding or making your first sale get yourself educated on money. It is your business after all
If you have any other tip or advice regarding this section of starting your business then feel free to share so we can all learn
What is next?
Next up I will talk about “Having the idea”, what to do with it and also the importance of a team