You Have to Start Somewhere
 In Business Tips

Whether or not your business is perfect, or even where it needs to be, I want to congratulate those of you that have gotten yourselves and your businesses out there. What sets you apart from the crowd is that you took action, and got the job done. And done is better than perfect.

One of my recent clients needed everything from a business name to branding, logo, and website design.

His goal was to get his products out to test them, and he was very excited about taking a big step from being a cubicle dweller to starting his own business.

We designed his website with a beautiful gallery to display the products, and when the time is right, he can easily transform the gallery into a store for people to purchase items.  He had us design a logo, and we began to piece the website together.

He wrote an about page and added a photo of himself, which he wasn’t entirely happy with (no one really ever is).  We work with many clients who have to ready themselves to take their business to the public, and it is always exciting, but a little nerve-wracking for them.  Like many of our clients, he had not done much social media before working with us. This man did not even have a Facebook page. But for the sake of getting his product idea out, he knew he needed to jump in with both feet.

Then the time came to launch the site.  A day later. . . Panic!  He said, “I’m not sure if it is really ready. I could do so much more.”

This is where my Ph.D. in psychology comes in handy.  Feeling overwhelmed happens pretty frequently after a private person takes the step out into the world. They want everything to be just right. But when you are first starting out, there is only so much you can do.

You find out so much about your business when you are actually working in and on your business. That is the only way you will find out what works and what doesn’t. Somewhere along the line, you have to take the leap of faith and make things and do things. And usually, it is best to do this before investing too much into really fancy infrastructure.

Some people spend way too much time and money on their first website. They dream and have us move pixels around and around as a stalling tactic.

Once, to stall just a little while longer, someone wanted me to change the font inside of a MailChimp sign-up box.

I was at my wits end with her endless stalling shenanigans. I told her, “Go ahead and get yourself out there already. The font in your sign up box is not as important as starting to write on your site!”

Another client of ours had been a CMO of a major company. She was worried about launching because she thought she would need an assistant in place to answer all of the inquiries.

I told her, “If only!” knowing that this was just another fear-based delay tactic to avoid having to put herself out there.

More often than not, after they have had their site a year or so,  people will come back to me knowing exactly what they want to change. And there would not have been any way to know those things when starting out.

Doing the work is magic and things will still never be perfect.

A business, a website, a person – are always in a state of flux. We just have to stake our claim and start mining for gold. It is the only way to find it.

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  • Marilyn Paige

    Oh, so true, Judi. I launched my marketing firm full time last year and there really is no way to prepare for the business of staying in business. You just hold on to your hat and charge into the wind. Doing it is the only way you figure it out. Now, every day is terrifying and exhilarating and no two are the same. For me, it wasn’t obsessing over my website, it was stationery. Yes, that stuff that people rarely use anymore. While it’s true that as a marketer my business cards and letterhead should demonstrate marketing savvy, it’s really okay if they aren’t worthy of thunderous applause. (which is really just wondrous applesauce.) Thanks for yet another thoughtful, insightful post.

  • Judi Knight

    Marilyn, It is funny what we get hung up on. I don’t even have stationary and rarely send anything by mail. I do have business cards though! It is exciting to start something new. And even now when New Tricks is six years old, there is something new all the time. You are right, Hold on to your hat!

  • Catherine Marshall

    I’ve seen so many people who have waited to launch their business just because everything wasn’t perfect. Nothing will ever be absolutely perfect, and that’s something that everyone needs to remember, but especially small business owners.

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