“If you want to guarantee the failure of your new business, just wait until you have your product or service offering “perfect” before you go to market.”
As an early business owner, an entrepreneur, a ladyboss, a start up and all that sexy sounding jam, I have become well versed and extremely experienced in the realm of error. I am an expert in fact when it comes to mistakes, I’ve tried them all.
Despite reading and receiving much wise and helpful advice, I still failed to see that it applied to me, nor fully grasp what was being said, until reviewing it in retrospect with an “ah yeah….”.
So, with my 10,000 hours of mastery in doing things the hard way, I will share over the course of this blog various bullet points of things I really would do differently, that so many startups do wrong also, and tell everyone getting into this entrepreneurial boat that I can save ‘em a lot of time!
Some things might just be the sort of thing people have to learn for themselves, and I now see that each business idea and venture shapes and educates you for the next - be it business or phase - and that’s all ok, but IF you choose to trust this wise old sage, I really could save you some time…
Do not wait to be perfect. Waiting to be perfect, or a little closer to it, and being not quite ready to launch/ to show/ to go live.... Know the feeling well? You won't get there.
This is probably the number one pointer I try to drum into anyone I meet in the idea to launching phase, and it’s greeted with a crest-fallen face and a “yeah I know but…”
Need to hear it from some top dogs and chiefs?
"If you want to guarantee the failure of your new business, just wait until you have your product or service offering “perfect” before you go to market. Here’s the big question: In whose eyes is your new offering “perfect”? In many cases, it is in your own, not those of your target market or prospects.
It is always better to start your journey with a largely unfinished or unpolished product or service, and allow its early adopters to help you make improvements. This likely means that you will not have your pricing firmly set, your offering complete, or your services automated. That’s fine; now make room in your launch schedule for feedback, allowing those who know you well or like the concept to put their imprint on the final version.
Nothing is more frustrating than spending time designing the product or service that you know your customer “needs” when it turns out to be not what they “want.” You won’t be successful selling them what you think they need, but you will be successful if you let them tell you what they want, and you incorporate that into your finished offering."
“It would be amazing if we could all start everything in life when we are utterly and completely ready. We would introduce our ideas to the market when they’re “perfect.” We would start companies when our bank accounts are “full” and ready for setbacks. We would plan and strategize until we’ve tackled every aspect of our business.
But in reality, if you wait until you feel ready, your opportunity has already passed. The difference between those who start before they’re ready and those who wait is that the former knows you won’t know what you can do until you do it.”
“It is true that effective planning, analysing, synthesising and organising are important ingredients to the success of your business; yet they must be kept in perspective as too much analysis can lead to paralysis.”
The famous American author, salesman and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, once said: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”.
I spent months building my perfect website, and I didn’t show anyone as it was a work in progress and I didn’t want them to scrutinize it before it was “ready”. I didn’t launch the website until all my packaging had arrived because I didn’t know how I would handle the FLOOD of orders I was sure to get on going live, if I didn’t have packaging - obviously! And I didn’t make any item live on the site until I had some serious inventory of that item, in my 3 different sizes and 5 different metal choices… ahem. I couldn’t have new customers waiting could i??!! - Yeah, I know. Bless my cotton socks! (English expression, embrace it and run with it)
And here is what happened, my packaging got delayed a month, and then wasn't right and had to go back, and took an extra two weeks to arrive, putting me eight weeks behind “launch”. I hit the button and went live and flushed hot and then cold and felt exhilarated and slightly nauseous…. and then nothing happened.
So I blitzed all my friends with an “I’m live” email, which made me feel super awkward and bashful, and I got my first order, and trashed my entire apartment trying to execute it and ship it out perfectly, with all the tissue and the wax seal and the gift pen and the personal note and the sexy matte black shipping box and the rose gold tape seal…
And then nothing happened. And then those friends that really love me, and have real experience in business and commerce and launching brands started drip feeding me their feedback.
That my website was a little…. dark.
“but thats my brand”
Yes but people like clean and bright
“well those aren't my people”
But when people feel inspired and happy they spend
“but my branding is black and gold and dusty rose”
And the website is a little complicated and hard to read, being dusty rose writing on a black background and all…
“but THATS MY BRAND”
And we love your font on your packaging but it’s not really legible online
“but thats my font!”
And there is a lot of writing, people don't want to read that much
“I always like information on a product! I read it all”
And you should really use Shopify, its so clean and so smart and so helpful…
“I don’t need to my brother is a web-developer and my druple platform is super smart for when I scale and have multiple stores and staff and inventory in different places…”
Around the six month mark, I started to listen… and around the 9 month mark I acted. I rebuilt the entire site in a week, on the simple, elegant and brilliant Shopify platform, with a paled down version of my dusty rose as the dominant back drop color, a dark grey font, stream lined descriptions and very legible and clickable. And people started to click…
Don’t get me wrong, it’s all still far from perfect, and once you have a launched site you will learn that that is the tip of the ice berg and getting people to your site is a whole other shitstorm of work, BUT, the moral of this tale is had I of shown people my site from the get go, AND listened to the feedback, and not waited for my packaging, I could have been up and selling and promoting a whole six valuable months sooner…. just sayin’.
I am now launching my mens, and I have pretty much made one prototype of each item, in various metals across the samples, and thats going to be that. There will be that one sample photographed for the website, and that same sample will meet buyers. I will expand with the demand, and not a dime or dollar before it!
"I will expand with the demand, and not a dime or dollar before it! "
- Jayne Moore