STARTING A NEW BUSINESS?
You’ve probably come across a ton of advice to work hard on your strategy, your branding, your business planning before you actually show your stuff off to the world.
And I get it, I really do. You want to make a good and memorable first impression.
IT’S ALL GREAT ADVICE. UNTIL YOU TRY TO FOLLOW IT. AND FIND THAT IT ABSOLUTELY PARALYZES YOU.
You want to offer your potential client exactly what they want to buy. But you can’t find out what that is until you engage them in conversation. But you can’t engage them in conversation until you actually offer them something. But you don’t know what to offer until you…OH GOD!!!!!
Let’s call the whole thing off, right?
So what do you do?
YOU JUST START.
When I launched the company in Madrid, I was told by my French overlords to simply take their business model and duplicate it in Spain. So I started there. And quickly found out that it was not going to work.
In Paris, they were a French company offering other French companies information on businesses in France.
But, the Spanish did not believe that an American working for a French company could tell them anything at all about businesses in Spain.
So that was a giant waste of time and money, right?
NO. Because they were VERY interested in what we could do for them outside of Spain, where they felt out of their depth.
So, I stopped talking to potential clients about what we could do in Spain and started emphasizing our capabilities in the rest of the world. And it went GANGBUSTERS.
But, didn’t they care that I had originally pitched something different?
No, not even a little bit.
And did they repeatedly sign up for six figure contracts?
Why, yes, yes they did.
Here is the thing: every business you can think of, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, and YouTube, has evolved, right in the public eye. They had an idea of what they were going to do, put it in motion, and changed and changed. In many cases, they actually found out the market wanted something different than what they expected, and so went there instead.
Your ideal client will change. Your business model, company name, branding, and service offerings will not be the final ones.
You will have well thought out theories. But that’s all they will be: theories to be tested and rejected if they are found wanting. Trial and error. It’s not failure. It’s market research.
Don’t cling to what isn’t working. No one expects you to stay with exactly the same thing you started out with. That wouldn’t be smart. It would be failing to thrive.
Don’t let this be one more reason you aren’t moving forward. You’re going to get it wrong. A few times even. It’s inevitable. You can’t outsmart this by delaying until you have it all worked out.
You have to start. And know that things will change. And keep going anyway.
So talk to me-have you found advice that you really, really wanted to take, but ended up just stopping you in your tracks? Tell me about it!