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Paul's Latest Blog - Everything Happens for a Reason

iCAN experiences founder Paul Nicol embarks on his own personal blog, taking the readers on his journey from diagnosis of a sight losing disease through to the present day as he makes iCAN experiences a success in the midst of tough economic times.

Hello once again blog readers. I am sure that you will be aware of the imminent Paralympics and so far, I have refrained from mentioning anything about the Olympics or Paralympics. I will continue to leave the Paralympics coverage and commentary to the many others that are already doing so, I will however pledge my best wishes and good luck to the entire GB Paralympic team as well as all the other competing countries, may the best man, woman, team win!

Right, I had to look back at my blog posts to recall where exactly I left things some 3 weeks ago before I started blogging about my Mount Kilimanjaro climb.

Before I embarked on the Kilimanjaro climb I had incorporated the business and was looking for experience operators to work with iCAN experiences. I did however forget to mention my Website Development saga....

Back in January 2012, I had done some research and made contact with a number of website developers to try and find a suitable provider for my project. I had put a lot of work into my website brief, being clear on exactly what I wanted, with a particular focus on usability, accessibility and a clean professional look. The accessibility was of particular importance for the "Back end" of the website to ensure that as a user of "JAWS" screen reader, I would be able to manage the content of the website on an ongoing basis. You'd be surprised how many "off the shelf" systems are not accessible to screen readers (Or maybe you wouldn't!).

Anyhow, I was looking for a developer local to me that could give me what I needed within a budget that I could afford. After many discussions with many providers, I managed to find such a supplier. It was a small outfit and I had a number of meetings with them to get clarity on exactly what was required etc. Then about a week before I was due to leave for Kilimanjaro, it came to signing a contract so that the developer could get started on the work. I read through the contract and found that I had a number of queries on specific points that I felt were unclear or not acceptable to me. I had a conversation with my contact at the company and she informed me that she would need to discuss it with the developer before sending through any amendments, "Okay, no problem" was my response.

The next day I received an email from my contact pulling out of the project with no explanation, just a "We feel it's best if we go our own separate ways" kind of message. I was astounded by this response! I tried to call and email on a number of occasions throughout the day to understand why, I suggested in voicemails and emails that we can talk and find a way forward, but absolutely no response. At the time, I was fuming, whilst it is absolutely understandable that someone may wish to pull out of a deal, to do so over an email with not even a sensible, adult conversation left me fuming! It was no way to do business, completely unprofessional! Needless to say, I got over it..

On my return from Kili, my priority was to find a new website developer! Now, I am very much a believer that "Everything happens for a reason", I have had house sales fall through, despite having lost money, I look back on it and think "thank heavens that it did fall through", I wouldn't be living in the house I am now, in an area that I am pleased with and with some great neighbours!

So, when I look back at my developer falling through, I think thank heavens! The website development company I have on board now immediately knew what I was after, gave me complete confidence and assurance that everything I wanted could be done without any fuss. The price was right, all be it more expensive than the original developer, but the results I hope you agree are fantastic! I assure you that this is no plug that I write under duress, it is my own personal opinion, I couldn't recommend Direct Media Design enough.

So, once I had my website developer secured, I was free to concentrate on all the other things. My approach to this was to create what originally seemed like a ridiculously long task list, it had nearly 100 items on it! I then began to prioritise these items and tackle them one at a time. The biggest issue I had was learning about how the industry worked, I had a vague idea of the basic principal, but didn't know the finer details. So, I carefully selected my first 3 experience operators, looking for the smaller independent operators local to me that I thought would be most amenable to me and what I was trying to achieve.

I was amazed to find that the first three experience operators were all onboard with the idea of iCAN experiences and by the time I had met with all 3 of them, I had a good idea of how the industry worked. This stood me in good stead for any future discussions, I was able to talk to experience operators with confidence, this is an essential part of business, needing to be confident in your idea and the industry, after all, who wants to do business with someone that comes across as not knowing what they're talking about?

There were so many other things that I needed to do, creating a logo, seeking legal advice, finding an accountant etc. Next week I will tell you about my mini saga finding a suitable business bank, but I’ll leave you with the advice that my accountant gave me "Treat all banks like theives and you should be fine", brilliant!

Please do share this with your friends, family and whomever else you think may be interested. Remember to follow us on Twitter @icanexperiences and become a fan on facebook.

Finally, please browse around the site, if you like what you see buy it, if you don't see anything you like, tell us! We welcome feedback, be it good or bad, we think we are excellent at what we do, but can only continue if you tell us what’s good and what’s not!

All the Best,

Paul
Founder - iCAN experiences
Where possibility can become reality!