So Online Beer Coolers, also known as the OBC, has a new home page look. Do you like it? We hope so. OBC runs thousands of tests and surveys each year to gather data to create a better koozie center.
Koozies are for everyone and we want to create a site that you can enjoy. Buy your koozies from OBC and you will be a happy customer. If not, you will get your money back and guess what, you get to keep your koozies.
OBC is for everyone, come join the new way to order Koozies.
So, we are thinking of launching a new site and we think we have the concept ready to roll. We are currently developing a new Koozie site to roll out in the next 60 days – right here on this URL. The site is going to be different from any custom koozie site you have ever seen.
There are going to be a lot more photos and an order form that is going to be state of the art. You will be able to design anything and I mean anything! Custom Koozies galore is a better way of looking at it – We are still developing the concept, logo, products, and order form – nevertheless, I thought we would let you guys know what to expect. As you all know expectations are what leads to joy when they are met.
Here I am sitting in my brand new shiny office! It was quite the fanfare when I first arrived to this lovely shared facility as it was a) a holiday and b) we got locked out of the office for my very first few hours. Silly me! Having finally received a set of keys as well as a stern talking to on how not to lock one’s keys in the office I have arrived! Got my new double-screen work station, a wrap-around desk and all the coffee I could ever hope for. I can just feel the productivity ooozing from my fingers.
My Latin American co-workers were thrilled with the personalized koozies we handed out! Genius! A big hit all around and some promises to connect to friends in key places associated with marketing accounts for major local companies. If just one person comes through I’m going to be pretty excited!
In addition to being a special work day (my third official day in the shiny new office) today is my birthday. It has been so fun to receive phone calls and chat about all of the progress kooziez.com has made over the past year. As we enter into our second year of official existence (well official in the sense that we started having the capacity to take orders on the web) I am really excited about where this company is headed! It’s a wonderful time to be associated with this fantastic start-up company and I can’t wait to see what summer has to bring! Graduation koozie time just around the corner!
Perhaps the most difficult part about setting up as an entrepreneur, even an online personalized koozie business, are the business relationships that are forged and formed. It can be even more difficult if one of those relationships is based on and/or evolves into some type of friendship. Here is where lines begin to blur and black and white becomes a muddled shade of grey.
Best thing to do is to create clear lines and expectations from the get go so that there is little to be unclear about. Penalties set-up for all parties involved ensure that everyone stays on their toes and motivation is high to complete the tasks set ahead for each party involved. Failing to set-up clear and concise definitions often leads to awkward and uncomfortable conversations that are more a result of lack of communication than anything else.
It can often be difficult to foresee what exactly you will even need to communicate to each other before the business has started but it’s best to lay it all out on the table and have a line of command for each and every one. It’s certainly better to be over prepared rather than under-prepared. When it comes to business it’s best to leave emotions out of the equation so there are no hurt feelings. Black and white is a lot easier to understand than fuzzy grey.
Having just started to take over more responsibility in the company, I’ll now be needing to be involved with a great deal more of the design process (like 90% vs. 15%). Before I enjoyed creating designs just because it was fun and creative. Now I’ll be responsible for the designs as the safety net (one of the other full-time owners) slowly gets pulled away.
I am sincerely looking forward to being able to use some of my creative energy to create lovely personalized koozies designs that make people happy. Of course I have nothing on those who have actually gone to design school, but it sure is fun to learn how to at least do the basics. Who knows… maybe graphic design classes are in my future.
As of today, I will be using the web and all of its many tools to my advantage and will be starting GIMP tutorials via You Tube. Gimp also has many tutorials that can be read on their site, but as a visual person – I tend to find it easier to split the screen, video on one side, GIMP on the other, and do as I see.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed tutorials on YouTube and to all those who have contributed to making GIMP the fantastic program that it is! You are all awesome!
I really and truly do take offense to it! I am not spam. Please do not mark me internet “powers that be.” It feels like I need to go to a support group. The first time it happened I was so shocked, so offended, I wanted to call up Mr. Google and say “Hey!” Well, I didn’t really have a developed speech but it was definitely going to start with that Hey and forcefully might I add.
Our email accounts were initially hosted with company x. Turns out, as soon as we started getting orders and corresponding with interested clients, BAM! Spam City! It started happening slowly. Someone wouldn’t receive an email. They’d write a second more angry email asking why I hadn’t responded and I’d write them back from my gmail account. I’d forward the initial email just so they could see that I really and truly had made the effort. It’s still not the same. It got so bad towards the end, I couldn’t even send emails to most people that had used the contact form to contact us! I would send an email and immediatly receive a response that my email was “undeliverable” and had been “rejected” by the receiver’s inbox (or something more appropriately computer speak than that).
I just want to make you the perfect koozie! I’m not spammy pammy! I’m J and I want to provide you with the best possible customer service I can. Needless to say, we’re now being hosted through a different company and the issue has been resolved up to 98%! Yay! The moral of this lesson is, definitely do your research before deciding on a hosting company for your email addresses. If you will be doing a majority of your communication via email, it’s best to go with a company that has a great repuatation amongst the inboxes and other hosting “people” around the world.
There are aspects of my business that make me wonder how I ever could possibly accomplish them without the invention of something. I’m apparently deep in thought these days about technology and its impact on my business. Why is it that I’m so proficient at using my Blackberry but can’t figure out how to properly create a functioning table on Excel? What basic principles was I not paying attention to in grade school?
Lucky the technology wonder I’m speaking of is so user-friendly that my parents access it on a daily basis. The one and only dropbox. A free (open source?) program that has made my life and my business so streamlined, so efficient, so positively accessibly that I wonder how we could ever be in business without it? The lives of thousands and thousands of trees saved due to the lack of printed paper. Hours and hours of pen and paper correction fixed at the click of an enter and save button.
Dropbox allows me and people I choose to share folders, with to access documents that we can share, correct, save and access from any computer at any time. If I install the application on my desktop, I can access my documents even when I’m not connected to the internet. I create the invoices and my partner creates the art. Together we access the client’s folder and communicate with a series of notes on their order details sheet. So organized and so well documented the chance of an error is slim to none.
Have any questions about Dropbox? Ask me! My work space possibilities are virtually unlimited and if there’s one thing I love, it’s flying to Brazil to visit my family at the drop of a hat ;).
My childhood was during an interesting brink in technology. My husband and I often marvel at how different our “growing up” experiences were in the few short years between not having a cell phone in high school and having one. There’s a world of difference between the A-Team and the Ninja Turtles. I imagine siblings, spouses and grown-up friends felt this way when discussing their childhood experiences with color and non-color TV available.
Specifically I refer to Microsoft Word and the many programs it has available for the laptop and PC. I remember floppy discs and playing Oregon Trail during computer classes. Microsoft Excel was explained in basic terms if at all. It was mostly for creating organized tables and helping out with math equations teachers didn’t want you doing on the computer anyway otherwise “how would you ever really learn it”. The same rational in not allowing a calculator until Middle School.
This brink I refer to is in schools that placed an importance in learning Microsoft and its programs and those that didn’t or left it as the student’s choice. I chose “No” and consequently want to throw Excel out of the window each and every time I am asked to create a spreadsheet. I prefer my calculator and scratch paper method. It’s safe (probably just because I know how to do it) and I’m used to it. There are those of us in our almost 30’s who love Excel and there are those of us who loathe it. My only computer class post high school was basic HTML. Never having any use for complex Excel equations, I squeaked by never having learned it. I’ll be starting a Microsoft tutorial later this month and am looking forward to documenting it. You should too. It will theoretically make this business venture 20 zillion times more smooth and efficient. Stay tuned.
Check out www.kooziez.com and let me know if you think my efforts are working!
Koozie Central Blog day 2: This would perhaps be a lovely time to inform you readers out there that while this may be labeled “day 2” it is more so that there is a consecutive way of seeing the posts. It is not in actuality “day 2” but it is indeed day 2 of my post. Suggestions for a better labeling system welcome.
On this wonderful day 2, I am overjoyed that my company has a flexible “work from wherever” policy. Owning certainly has its perks as does the invention of the internet. The blackberry has only sent me further spiraling into a hole of technology that I will never be able to crawl out of if the sun explodes, the satellites stop working and I’ll no longer be able to access the internet on a beach in between surf breaks while drinking a Corona. Wait, wait, wait what am I saying????? I don’t surf.
I feel coldy, my nose is stopped up, my ears are stuffy and I wish it was colder so I could eat chicken soup without breaking into hot sweats… but alas, on this 92 degree bright sunny day, I find myself in bed with the flu and none too happy about it. Until I realize, I don’t even have to beg a day off! I can work from my bed! Oh joy! I’ve found the greatest secret in the world – I’m a busy little bee even if I am in a reclining position!
This blog will now be focusing on the writer’s experiences of being an entrepreneur in a non-entrepreunurially loving economic climate… in a foreign country.
Panama City, Panama
The headquarters of koozie central. 2 years into being here in Panama my husband, his close friend and I have decided to start an online business based out of Panama City, Panama. Crazy to work with my husband you say, or crazy to live in Panama… either way, the general description of crazy seems to fit the general tone quite well. But don’t you have to have an element of wackadoodle to be doing something like this? I love having my own business and every single aspect of it. Easy it is not, but rewarding it most certainly is.
Koozie Central Offices
A small extra third bedroom in a friend’s apartment. We’re talking Sing-Sing small by the time all the boxes of koozies were lined up along the walls. The window faces another building and has old-school glass slats. Can’t see out the window except for the top right eighth if it’s a sunny day. Too many koozie boxes. Dog hair on the floor, two chairs, one broken and resting on a wood block. The redkneck office – might as well put the fridge on the terrace and go the whole hog. Back room, no a/c small fan with no cover. I refuse to work past 2pm due to heat exhaustion. Big, shiny beautiful computer :). Worth spending money on the good things. The shingle has been hung.
Our first fight
A discourse between the two men as to why woman couldn’t control their emotions and why they had to be so sensitive – “they” clearly being me and PB’s girlfriend (I shall code name him as Paul Bunyon). I storm out. To prove a point of course. You don’t like my emotions, then work without me. The walk-out lasts five minutes – they don’t know how to set up the email addresses. Point One: me, men: 0.