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Week 2 - Setting Up

This past week has felt like three. I can’t believe that I’ve only been back in Waterloo for 6 days. Last week, I stated that my three goals were, “settling into a new routine and ensuring that I can be productive in my new workspace, establishing goals and a start on CANcube Corporate (custom puzzles for corporate companies) and finalizing processes for running competitions”.

On the first note of settling into a new routine, I think that I underestimated how long I would need to do that. One weeks time was definitely not enough, and this was definitely not an ordinary week that is representative of what my average week will look like. That being said, there was a lot of settling in. Upon return to Waterloo, I fully set up an office for CANcube, one where I think I can be a lot more productive, and can have more efficient workflows for working with the product.

I also made good headway on CANcube Corporate, or what we are now calling CANcube Custom. I am working with my buddy Michael to create the webpage and process for this new branch of the business. We set deadlines and goals and have been meeting up consistently to make sure that this is achieved. I have to give a lot of the credit to him though, he is persistent and dedicated and wants to get this rolling.

This final goal that I set was to finalize processes for running competitions. I have yet to make further progress on this front. I didn’t actually realize how fast small items eat away at my schedule. Instead of putting in place processes, I spent a lot of time wrapping up the Halifax competition and preparing for the Vancouver one. This included phone calls with the Vancouver local partner and sending way too many email to winners of the Halifax and Winnipeg competition. Notes from this: I need to have a system in place for post competition workflows. Have a system that can send out generic emails to all of the winners with properly generated gift codes.

Other things that I worked on this week that weren’t directed towards those goals were order fulfilment, although sales were quite slow this week, due to all the students being back in school I believe. I also toured LaunchPad, and learned about the program. I’ll talk more in depth on that a little bit later. I placed a decently large stock order. This one, I had a few issues with because Western Union prevented me from sending more than $1000 at a time. If there is one thing that frustrates me above all over, it’s having money, and not being about to do with it what I please. I tried a few different payment options, AliPay and WePay included but we finally landed on PayPal despite the $130 few that is attached with it. That order should arrive by next Friday before I’m gone for the weekend to NYC. This is a big order because it is almost all brand new puzzles. It should drive a lot of sales and make Vancouver Select 2018 quite the profitable competition.

On the LaunchPad note. I was surprised by how well organized and put together the LaunchPad program seems to be. I had assumed that I would be given a place to do my work and nothing much else, but it seems to be quite different. They really seemed focused on personal development and working with the entrepreneur to develop the skills necessary to succeed. I look forward to participating in that program but am also filled with a little bit of imposter syndrome? Everyone in there is working on tech project, machine learning, AI, building something new that no one has seen before. Here I am with a tried and tested business model struggling to turn my revenues into profits. It’s starting to push me to try and think a little bit bigger, something I am definitely a fan of, but it also makes me doubt how far I can take this business. The goal that I’d had set in my head for a while is by the end of 2019 to have $120,000 in revenues which in theory should be enough profits to pay one full time workers salary.

Throughout the week, I was hit by a lot of new ideas, pitches, and problems that I need to address:

  • Tax Accounting - I continuously put this off, but the longer I put this off, the worse the consequences are going to be. Rachel from LaunchPad said she would meet with me and help me work through what I need to be doing and paying.
  • Managerial Accounting - I believe that I have a strong inventory management issue. I think that one of the reasons cash flows are a constant issue for me is that fact that I have excess inventory sitting around doing nothing. I don’t believe that I am super well equipped with the knowledge to help me tackle these issues but I do think that I need to know my numbers. I need to know my depreciation rate, I need to know my cash conversion cycle.
  • Manufacturing the Helix - Originally I had the plan to create my own Rubik’s cube. Due to two releases from competitors with incredibly similar design, I do not believe that this goal is attainable any longer. I believe that I will have to put that dream to rest for a little while
  • Inventory - I often think to myself, what will it take for me to rapidly scale CANcube, why do I not have every Canadian cubers business. I believe that one of the largest underlying issues is my SKU count. I simply do not have all the desired wants and needs of cubers. I don’t get cubes fast enough, and I don’t have that large a variety. That being said I don’t know the proper way to grow that inventory count. I would need to know the costs besides the puzzles themselves of adding a cube to the site. Updating the pictures, maintaining the inventory, etc.
  • Timer App - my buddy Curtis scheduled a call with me the other day and pitched to me why CANcube needs better customer service and a cube timer app. The idea of a timer app got my gears spinning, mainly because of the data it could aggregate. I think it would be really cool to have cubers select their puzzle, do solves on it, and then in the background, we aggregate those solves data and can tell people what the average solve time on a certain cube is.

I write all of these down so that I can reference these in the future and check up on whether or not they are still problems/if I’ve pursued that idea. That being said, in the upcoming week I will target another three things.

  1. Tax accounting - confirm whether or not I have an HST number. If I do, find out when I need to remit my taxes.
  2. Finalize the competition processes - finish the document in its entirety with a checklist, supporting documents, and determine how to ease email sending.
  3. Edit and post the first vlog - this is a project I’ve wanted to start for a little bit, I think it would be fun and beneficial but the first step is editing my footage
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