Thursday, October 8, 2015

My start up business 6 month review

When I sat down and finally decided that I was going to do something about starting a YouTube channel, I made the conscious choice to treat it like a business.  More than a job, because that's just what you do to pay the bills; this would be treated like a start up business.  Now, that doesn't mean I started doing things with making money as my top priority, which is what people generally think of when someone starts a business.  Making money off of my YouTube channel has been the farthest thing from my mind.  And it's something I'm not even remotely interested in at this time.  I was looking at taking this seriously and handling it professionally and in a timely fashion.

I very easily could have said that I was going to start doing YouTube as a hobby.  You know, "I'll post a video whenever I feel like it".  I didn't want to do that.  I also didn't want to make promises that I couldn't keep.  I was going to get serious about this, but I was also going to have fun with it.

So, before I even started I sat down and a made a plan.  It was a 3 pronged attack.  I didn't put this plan together on a whim.  I actually thought about it for several weeks before I committed anything to paper.  I'm very careful about things.  Especially setting goals . . . and starting a business.

Prong #1 of my attack was titled: Physical/Equipment/Hardware.

I sat down and started to make a list of all the physical things I would need in order to start capture videos for YouTube.  This part of the plan was the easiest and the one that I was the most familiar with and most ready to execute immediately without too much research and preparation.  Before I could even start to capture videos I needed the equipment to do so.  I already had the consoles to play games on and capture from, but I needed a capture devise.  In my research of capture devises I settled on the Elgato HD 60.  The only problem with that was that I also needed to get a new TV (one that had HDMI inputs) and a new computer.  These were extra expenses I probably wouldn't have thought of if I had just jumped into this without a plan.

Getting a new TV and laptop can get expensive.  And it was.  But the benefits for things beyond capturing were worth it.  But I had to plan ahead and make sure I had the money to get the items I wanted.  But also to get the best that I could afford.  Is there better out there?  Absolutely.  Could I have afforded them?  Nope.  What I got has been very good, although storage space on my laptop is sometimes lacking.  File management is an almost weekly thing.  External hard drives are on option, but I'm back to saving up for the things I want.  This is a business.  I'm trying to be responsible.

Once I had all my equipment in place I could start working on prong #2.  Software/Social media.

The hardware is great but it needs software to help it run and work.  Same goes with starting a YouTube business.  I had to do a lot of research when it came to this part of my plan.  Software is so much more selective according to personal taste and function that it gets overwhelming to me at times on picking a specific program to do a specific thing.  With the extra expense of a new TV and computer I didn't have the money to get some of the software that I really wanted to get.  I still don't have the funds but I'm saving up for them and hopefully I'll get able to get them soon.

One of the things I wanted to get was video editing software.  Unfortunately with no funds left for development I had to settle with what I could get for free.  That was Movie Maker software that came free with my laptop.  If you've been watching my channel since the beginning you'll know that I was having a lot of audio problems while I was recording.  I bought, tried and returned several microphones before I finally settled (somewhat unhappily at the time) on using Audacity to record audio knowing I'll just have to spend extra time syncing up the audio and video file before editing.  Not the solution I was hoping for, but I had to make it work.

I think I have.  But I still have lots to learn.  I've tried to spend some time learning Audacity and Movie Maker so I know what I'm doing and hopefully learn to do it better all the time.  It hasn't been easy.  I did searches for "how to" videos online and most of them haven't shown me anything that I hadn't already figured out for myself on my own.  I know there's still a lot I don't understand and/or use that I could, but I'm getting there.

But no all of prong #2 is software related.  I have a Twitter account.  I've had one since 2009.  But I really wasn't using it.  No particular reason either.  I just didn't think about it when I wanted to say something.  That was what this blog was for.  I followed a bunch of people (that list grows and shrinks as I find new people and/or drop people I don't like anymore).  I just never been one to communicate in 140 characters or less.  I'm not an emoji child.

Starting my attack on prong #2 meant I needed to get on Twitter more and use it.  This has probably been the hardest part for me.  I'm not an extrovert by nature.  I'm not a complete introvert either.  I can be very extroverted but usually only with my close friends.  With strangers it's much scary.  And I've have to keep everything within that 140 character limit.  If you've read this blog at any time you know I can be a bit wordy at times (this time included).  I like being able to explain myself.  My thoughts and ideas are brief so why should my communication be as well?  I think I'm falling down on the job as far as this is concerned.  I'm getting better.  But I'm not where I want to be at this time.

The other part of the "social media" aspect is this blog.  My blogging hasn't been consistent.  Ever.  I've set goals to do it X number of times a weeks.  But when I force myself to sit at the computer and type something up when I have nothing to say things don't go well for me.  But hopefully you've noticed that I have blogged more than I have in the past.  There's room for improvement, but I think I'm getting better.

I'll go into prong #3 at a latter post.  That's a whole other story that hasn't written itself yet.

So, why am I telling you this?  Because it's my 6 month review for my new business.  And while it's my start up and I'm doing this for myself right now (more on that later), I still hold myself accountable for the content that I put out.  And you're my friends, so I think you should know my thought process on this whole thing.  When I tell people what I'm doing on YouTube they just don't get it, unless they're a gamer.  And forget about talking about this with my family.  Parents just don't understand.

Even though I don't have the views or subscribers right now, I'm not worried about it.  I'm just trying to make content that I love and enjoy.  Hopefully that will come across in my videos.  And hopefully other people will find it and love the same things that I do.  Will I get better at it?  I hope so.  Will more people watch?  I hope so too.  This has been a whole eye-opening experience for me.  In good ways and bad.  But don't worry I'm going to blog about that too.

So what do you think about my new start up business?  Have you seen any of my YouTube videos?  How did you find them (hint: you can find my channel here  )?  What do you think.  You can leave me a comment here, or you can leave me a comment on one of my videos.  That would be nice.