If we were having coffee we’d have a lot of catching up to do. I haven’t done one of these posts for a quite a while. In fact I think this is my first one since Nerd in the Brain has been at the helm.
As my regular readers know, lately I have only been on here for my weekly Thursday Doors post because this past winter I started scaling back on my social media after I accepted a severance package from my employer of the past 14 years, and then set out to start my own MarComs agency along with two of my former employees.
NJN Communications Inc (don’t bother Googling it – we don’t have a web presence yet) was federally incorporated and officially born here in Canada as of April 1st, 2017.
All three of us are working from home and though we don’t quite have enough business yet to justify three full time salaries similar to what we were accustomed to, it is going well and we’ve already surpassed our targets for the first quarter, which isn’t even over yet!
So what do we do? Well, we produce various types of bilingual literature (English and Canadian French) as well as written and visual content for small to mid-sized machinery manufacturing brands in the woodworking and construction equipment industries.
We’ve also started branching out into home/consumer products, having recently completed a project for an importer/distributor who’s introducing a new heated floor mop to the North American market this year.
Basically we offer marketing material production services for companies that either can’t or don’t want to set up their own internal marketing/graphics departments.
So pretty much any materials that are printed or published to help a company take a product to market in Canada or the U.S. (and conceivably elsewhere as well) – we produce it.
Drawing on our experience and industry contacts from doing similar work for one company, our work includes things like promotional brochures, catalogs, spec sheets, product literature, technical writing and user manuals. We do translation for existing documents, and write press releases, new product bulletins, and corporate notices intended for media outlets. We also do product photography, print and on-line ads, packaging artwork, and hopefully more promotional videos as well.
Though the three of us we each have our own complimentary areas of specialization, we all have a well-rounded skill set, to allow us to offer such a wide mix of services.
And it’s kinda cool that in many cases each of us is capable of pitching in whenever one of us is overloaded, to help move a project forward. It keeps the work challenging, varied, and fun.
I will say that after over three decades of getting up each morning and travelling to another physical location to do my job all day, working from home is quite an adjustment.
On the positive side, not having to commute has been more of a blessing than I ever thought possible.
After years of 45-90 minute drives twice a day, my morning commute from the kitchen coffee machine to my downstairs office desk now takes me a grand total of seventeen seconds.
Yes I actually timed it 😉
This allows me more time to maintain a regular light exercise routine and still put in a full workday; without feeling that same level of fatigue I normally would after a day at the office.
Being at home means breaks are spent doing and putting away laundry and other light housework, and things like prep work for meals. This means that Honey and I end up having more quality time to relax together when she gets home from work and there’s lots less housework for us to do on weekends.
I also get to make healthy home-cooked lunches including barbecue too!
The downside of working from home?
When you’re among your own things all day distractions are everywhere you look.
There’s always something that needs to be done around a home so it takes a lot of discipline to tell yourself it’s work time, and not homeowner time, and stay focused.
It only takes a minute or two to drop a load of laundry into the machine, but fixing that darn fence gate is out of the question during the workday…or so I try to tell myself 😉
I also miss the social side of working in a building full of other people. I do spend a good amount of my time talking with our clients and coordinating with my partners, but time spent on the phone isn’t quite the same as one-on-one face-to-face social interaction with others.
Now that the warmer weather is here it is easier to go for lunchtime walks and bike rides around the neighborhood. It’s good to stretch my legs and clear my head because I have to admit that for a while this past winter, I was starting to go a little stir-crazy from being cooped-up at home all day in front of a computer screen.
So if we were having coffee I would tell you that overall things are going well and that I don’t regret making the move. In fact I kinda wish now that I had made the move earlier. But hey, we weren’t ready then.
I’d also tell you that I don’t expect my blogging/social media activity to change much in the foreseeable future. There’s still so much to do. We have to get our website built and create some promotional content to put up on a few key social media channels.
The irony is not lost on me that a company that helps others promote their products has no web presence yet to help promote their OWN services 😀
For the moment anyways, though I’ll try to pop in now and again to read some of your posts, one Thursday Doors post a week is all the time I’m willing to commit to my blogging.
So for those who were wondering how things have been going, there you have it.
Thanks to everyone for all the kind words and encouragement and hopefully we’ll see you here again next Thursday 🙂
#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly open link-up event originated by Diana over at Part Time Monster and is now hosted by Nerd in the Brain. It’s a great way to meet and get to know some pretty awesome fellow bloggers. You should check it out 🙂