It’s been said that ‘Perfection is the enemy of good’ (even ‘great’).
The point is, if you need to wait for perfection, you will never complete anything and you’ll get stuck. You may even develop a severe case of analysis paralysis.
Alan Weiss encourages his readers to act “when you’re 80% sure / ready / comfortable”. “You see, the final 20 percent of preparedness is dysfunctional.”
Here are 5 reasons he quotes:
The client usually does not appreciate the difference
The final 20% will cost you more than the prior 80%
It is an excuse not to move
You can never be 100% percent prepared, nor should you be
Remember Zenos paradox: ‘if you make 50% progress toward your goal every single day, you’ll never reach it’.
If you make 50% progress toward your goal every single day, you’ll never reach it.
Enough with the pop psychology. You probably get the idea by now.
If your business is 80% ready to launch, get started now! The next 20% will cost you too much in time and lost opportunity. You will probably have to readjust it anyway. As long as you have the initial sales and some of the first service and product delivery steps conceptualized or in place you can probably develop the remaining 20% after your first sales are secured. You can develop the rest as delivery dates approach.
At this point you will have the positive reassurance that:
- You are actually able to sell your service or product (your business is marketable so you are not wasting your time)
- You are delivering what the client has paid for (you can even get client input as you refine your offering)
- You have or will be getting paid (some cash flow may take some of the pressure off, it sure as heck will feel a lot better :-))
What if you are less that 80% ready?
Is your paralysis is due to waiting for a perfectly developed business model, to decide on your exact offerings, to define your target market or even which industry you will be in?
You can still get started and lay a foundation that will deliver dividends when you are “80% ready”.
After all, to quote Will Rogers –
“Even if you are on the right track … you’ll get run over if you just sit there!”
Build Your Brand and Your Audience, Before You Launch Your Business
Here is a general summary of the approach I recommended recently to a client who had put her new business launch on hold while other somewhat related opportunities were being presented to her.
The objective at this initial stage is to build your personal brand, your online presence and social proof while you build your audience. In this case, the client is a successful professional who wants to venture into a different business she has an idea for. You may be a recent grad, a dropout, never have been in business, or whatever, but you have contacts, passions and opinions to share. Here is a summary I wrote to her after our recent meeting:
Get Started with these 2 steps:
Start with these two steps:
Step 1 –
- We can develop a blog for you to start building your online presence, share your ideas and get feedback.
- Secure your Social Media presence (using your name etc.). Especially Linkedin.
- Ideally, your blog and website will carry consistent imagery, url extensions (i.e. yourname.com, facebook.com/yourname, twitter.com/yourname) and messaging throughout from platform to platform.
Step 2 –
- Start posting stories to your blog.
- Reach out and connect with contacts on Linkedin, Google plus and other Social Media.
- On social media, inform people about your ideas and opinions and share links to your blog posts.
- We can make the blog super simple to start. Even just white space with text.
Simple as that!
While you are setting that up, make note of all the blog topic ideas that flash into your mind.
Now, some additional thoughts (don’t wait for these to start on the above):
I would brand you at the highest level to encompass all foreseeable business models you are contemplating. So, as I see it, the [Your Name] brand is simply … a down-to-earth, intuitive and professional business person who loves horses and lives a great balanced lifestyle which she earned by educating herself on an ongoing basis and working hard putting her talents to practice. She’s a great role model and has a lot of wisdom to pass on. How’s that?
I would suggest registering YourName.com unless you have a moniker you wish to use [InternationalTraveller.com / WomanOnaMission.com / SeriousStuff.com]. Let me know if you would like help creating one.
The main objective is to start writing and sharing your thoughts and knowledge. Tell people on social media and elsewhere where they can find you and your stories (posts with links etc. on social media etc.). Get Linkedin Publisher status and they will publish your stories to a wider audience.
Optional / can wait – Ideally, get a professional photographer to snap a bunch of professional and lifestyle photos (you at the office, looking out at the city on the deck, with your horse, taking a walk with the city in the background etc.).
The sooner you start the larger your brand and audience will be by the time you decide on your business model. So you can then hit the ground running, with minimal time delay in building your audience at that time. Just announce our new business to your followers and tell them where they can see the new business website (which will have a link to your blog). You will also be able to easily survey your audience to get their opinion about your business model selection, image, colours, pricing etc.
As an example, if my other client agrees to give you a credit in her book and blog for the content your are providing, you can link it to your blog. Additional opportunities like this will also arise. You need to leverage them to build your audience and your blog and mailing list become your central point of communication and a great assets to develop.
This whole process will help you think through your business model and plan your offerings, often based on more input from potential client than you would have otherwise.
The Bottom Line
If you are 80% ready … it’s time to get started NOW!
If you are less ready and don’t even know which direction you will be going in, you can still get started with building your brand and your audience.
As the Nike slogan goes …
JUST DO IT!
This a related post I wrote about verifying your business model