Let me tell you a tale of three different small business owners and their websites.
The Fabulous Creative
The first business owner is a highly talented designer that runs a creative business. While her business name was perfect when she first started her business, as the years progressed she felt that the name felt like a tightly laced corset. She found she was constantly explaining what the name meant to people. She couldn’t breathe and expand into new services as she was limited by the name.
She wanted to change the name of her business, but couldn’t find the perfect new name or a new brand design. She talked about it with many of her creative colleagues and mentors. She researched options. She registered umpteen domain names. But nothing fitted perfectly.
Over the years she stopped updating her website as she was no longer sure what she wanted it to say, and the code grew steadily more out of date until one day the only thing that the code displayed was a single page of a single colour. No words. No images. Nothing.
This superbly talented and experienced designer was represented online by a single page of colour.
The Traditional Craftsman
The second business owner is an old-school tradie (one of those true craftsman). His expertise shines through his work and he has been doing his trade for many decades.
Most of his business used to come from word of mouth, but lately things have been a bit quieter.
He had a tradie website built about a decade ago, but didn’t know that they needed to be updated and cared for. The neglected code didn’t keep pace, and over the past few years the code broke, making his site look like it was filled with gobbledygook.
He had been meaning to get his website fixed, but he didn’t know what he wanted it to say or how anything worked. All this tech stuff made his head spin. So, what started as a few days of having a broken site, merged into months, which merged into years, and the gobbledygook remained firmly in place.
This amazing craftsman was represented online by a broken website filled with jumbled symbols and letters.
The Quality Driver
The third business owner is a deeply successful tradie with many staff. He is a stickler for high-quality in all things, and that is part of what makes his business stand apart for his high net worth clients.
He had a traditional website that was many years old, but it was not attracting the right clients, did not reflect the work they did, and was not responsive on mobiles.
He wanted to have a new website built that perfectly reflected every aspect of his business, so started researching and collecting bits and pieces that he liked from around the net.
He was obsessive in his hunt, searching for the perfect phrase and the ideal strategy, with his printed and painstaking research slowly filling archive box after archive box. He couldn’t stop researching as there was sure to be something more perfect if he kept looking. He tried writing the words for his site, but nothing was as good as his dreams and vision for what he wanted.
Weeks turned into years and the new site remained unbuilt while the old site remained in place and the pile of archive boxes grew steadily larger.
This remarkable tradie was represented online to his premium clients by an out of date, bargain basement website.
These three business owners are individually truly amazing, talented and wonderful people, yet their web presence presents them as shoddy, cheap, and uncaring.
Their stories are remarkably common and reflect many of the business owners I have met over the years.
Many business owners wait for things to be “perfect” before they pursue their dreams and goals. They wait for the perfect conditions, the perfect attitude, and the perfect time of year. They want to achieve their goals … but the time just isn’t right.
They wait to act on things they need to do to grow their business until they stop being so busy; until they get a few more clients; until they learn more about what they need to do with just one more workshop or course. They want to get around to taking the actions they need to do to grow their business … but the time just isn’t right.
If they do try to make a move, they bring their years of baggage with them. They are superbly brilliant at their area of specialisation, but they slowly paralyse themselves in marketing their businesses with their perfectionism. They overthink things until the effort of acting appears terrifyingly overwhelming.
In some cases, this baggage can be worked through, in others it overwhelms the very people who try to help them in the same way that attempting to clear a hoarder’s home can block the bravest of souls.
Waiting for perfect is simply procrastination and fear under a different guise. What if I can’t do it? What if I do it and it isn’t good enough? What if I do it and no-one notices or cares?
If you recognise yourself in these patterns what can you do about it?
… Start from wherever you are.
Do One Small Thing
Look for just one thing that could be done quickly and start there. Don’t try and run at Olympic level if you are just getting up off the couch.
Just do one small thing – One small thing that is heading in the direction of where you want to end up.
If your website is your block, don’t go for the perfect multipage site with all the bells and whistles. Go for a nice one-page website with just the essential high-level information.
A halfway decent one-page site with just a few paragraphs of information that is mobile responsive and has a way for people to get in contact with you is better than a broken site or no site.
Once you get that one small thing under your belt, the next one small thing is easier to do. You could choose to expand your one-page site to a 4-page site, with a bit more detail and pizazz.
Ultimately you can build up to your bigger vision – but start small.
That’s why we offer one -page starter websites to help get business owners get through mental blocks and put the foundations in place to grow.
You see, you don’t need perfect situations to get started. You just need the courage to take the first step (even if it isn’t a big one or perfectly executed!) and the right support team around you to help you run.