Onwards and forwards

Friday was a busy day – I’m still a bit under the weather – so focusing has been a bit of a challenges.  In these cases, I basically try to plan harder and tasks things.  In this case, I worked on a few admin tasks such as getting PayPal accounts opened up for myjewelerycove.com, etc. and provisioning additional payment gateways.  In theory you would think this could be delegated out, but this stuff crosses financial, technical and business side – so – you have to know corporate entities, names, registrations, need to know email accounts, URL callbacks, financial forecasts for websites, incorporation details, remittance things.    Basically – delegating things out would stretch something I can handle in 1 hour to a week. 

So, I’m SOPing this for next time – and will setup a process – but for now, I spent the couple hours it took to get the payment things working.

After some discussions with Gerry we decided to stretch ourselves and move into Germany.  PearlsOnly.de.   On the surface it would seem like an easy proposition, but in fact, this our first site that we will be ‘localizing’ in not English language.   Our SOP’s for new site rollouts are setup for English sites, so this triggered an interesting challenge of adding additional config parameters to the sites to enable non-English support.

So, as exciting as going ‘German’ was, by happenstance, and maybe sheer dumb ignorance by the end of Friday we are going to stretch EVEN further.  But more on that in a sec.

In the afternoon, our buyer from Japan came over for a visit.  Mr. F has been a great guy, and very worked very well with us.  I have recently changed our purchasing strategy, and rather that US telling Mr. F what to buy, I have asked our people to change our way of thinking – and have Mr. F tell us what the Japanese market is strong in at the moment.   Logic behind is that we have been rigid in our product offering, forcing purchasing patterns that where counter-market – resulting in high prices for us and our customers.   With Market focused buying – our goal is to have the market tell us what is good to sell and go after that.  So, with this strategy, I have basically opened up our whole Japanese product line for a complete revamp and have given control over it to our purchasing department – who in turn will work with Mr. F.  

Incidentally, while meeting with Mr. F – he had suggested that entering the Japanese market, selling pearls into Japan would be of interest to him.   Hmmm…at first it seems hugely complicated – but after 1 minute of reflection I saw the possibility. 

Actually – barrier to entry into Japan would be huge – BUT lucky us, we have a person on the ground, that is trustworthy, solid and ambitious.  We have logistics to and from Japan, and earlier that day we just figured out how to go ‘non-English’ for German market.   Lets call this serendipity.

So, while Mr. F was meeting with our purchasing team, Gerry and I quickly run through the traffic analysis for pearls in Japan.  Lets just say – that shortly after I purchased pearlsonly.jp – and we will be moving into the Japanese Market.

But hey, what stop there.   France was on our radar as well, so pearlsonly.fr might as well go on too.  Now, how is that for a STRECH.  Actually, logically this makes a lot of sense.  The high value, high effort part is in the process of going ‘multi-language’ – the actual work of translation, skinning, database work, etc.  is very trivial.  So, if we are going to invest our management time into multi-language, might as well get bigger bang for our ‘buck’.

The beauty behind the Japanese market, is that as we roll out new SilverDevotion.com and MyJeweleryCove sites – we will be fully setup to roll these out into multi-language space.

Our development on the new multi-language tool is not there yet, BUT,  in a few minutes, between Jimmy, Gerry and I we figured out a quick way to patch my old software that we are still using to manage products to support multi-language descriptions.   Today, I opened up a number of job posts on odesk for translators.  My initial thought was to in-house this work, but upon further consideration, I’m thinking of in housing a ‘outsourcing’ co-coordinator, and farming the work out to the world.   With the right person, we can manage 20-30 people doing work via odesk all without HR, office space, etc. work.   So, we will go this way – if it works great – if not, then we will switch and in-house these functions.