It’s finally happened: I have become my mother. Except, instead of babying an actual child, I’ve been babying my new business.
In the past few weeks I’ve noticed I’ve been fussy, picky to the core, and nervous about opening my online store—much like a mom who’s nervous to let her daughter head to kindergarten on the first day. Is she ready? Will she do well? Will they like her? Yeah, that’s how I feel about sending my business out into the world.
But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about launching a new business, it’s that you can only keep it safe under the cover of your watchful eye for so long. At some point, it’s time to get going and launch already. Here’s why.
Most of the Time, Good Enough is Absolutely Good Enough
Your business is never going to be perfect in your eyes. There will always be more cosmetic things to fix, more features to add, more you could have done to help it succeed.
But because these things will always exist, if you focus on getting them out of the way first, you could delay launching for months—even years! You have to pick a point at which to put those things out of your mind (even if just for a second) and put your business out in the world.
In my opinion, that point is when all the basic functionality exists for customers to be able to use your business. So, in my case, that was getting some inventory and setting up the back-end parts of the site so that customers could browse items and pay. Everything else that was keeping me from launching—like the tweaks in the virtual store window—was just holding my business back. Sure, these things are important, but they can be further worked on later.
Don’t miss out on money or customers because of something small that only you will notice. Get the basic version of your business out there, and then you can tweak to your heart’s content.
You Won’t Know What Problems Need to Be Fixed Until it’s Out in the World
Here’s a reality check that can be hard for many entrepreneurs: You don’t always know what’s best for your business. While you certainly have good ideas—and you may have your own opinions about what your business needs to succeed—ultimately it’s your users or customers who should inform business or product decisions. And, until you put your business out into the world, it’s hard to get a read on what’s working and what’s not.
For example, I can certainly test things myself on the site and have my developer fix them, but I won’t know everything that still needs to be tweaked until customers browse the stores on different browsers and check out using their different payment methods.
Expect that there will always be more things to fix, for as long as your business exists, but know that you’ll have a better sense of where to put your energy once customers are actively engaging with your business. Don’t let things that might go wrong keep you from opening your doors.
Consistent Work and Quick Fixes are What Really Count
While you may think that your business needs to be in the perfect place in order to launch, really you need to be in the perfect place. You need the capability and drive to continue to put out excellent work during this crazy time and the nimbleness to make changes on a dime.
And once you feel you have those things? Then launch, baby, launch.
Though I still have reservations about what the store looks like, if the products I’m offering are diversified enough, and if I’ve chosen the right e-commerce platform, I feel confident knowing that I’m at least ready to get started and tackle any issues that arise.
Lastly, don’t let fear be the reason you don’t launch your new business. When have you ever felt fully ready to do anything this important in your life? All you can do is prepare as much as humanly possible, know that you’ve done all you can for your baby to shine, and send it out into the world.
There I go, sounding like my mom again.