What does perfect look like? This is a quandary I’m constantly faced with. I’ve grown up considering I’m a perfectionist and this has caused me to fail. Repeatedly. After all it’s important to not just know what you’re doing but to give a good impression, right? You cannot have one without the other.
As someone who has more than 20 years experience in professional and marketing roles this is pretty important. However, when I over analyse everything this can lead to a stand still. It can also lead to the fear of being judged and not asking for help. This sequence can lead to failure by default. With no action, momentum stops. Things don’t get published, or done until they are ‘perfect.’
To succeed in business I’ve had to learn to get over myself. To quote Dennis Yu, ‘Done is better than perfect.’ I’ve tried various techniques, however it wasn’t until I was recently reminded of iteration (thanks Dennis) that I started to gain momentum personally and professionally.
Iteration is golden. However to accept this principle and put in place, you need to be a good communicator and delegator. A process also known as CID. You see when you apply the principles of Communication, Iteration and Delegation, progress happens. On reflection, I have been doing this from the start of my business.
There are many places you can start with iteration. Quite simply the idea is to start with what you have and then make small changes to get to where you want to go.
Once the decision was made to create the business of Serena Dot Ryan, things moved very quickly. Once I could see clearly how to create the business, there was no time to waste. Money was an issue so I sought out ways to be creative with my time and money, aka, iterate.
Free Advice Is there, You Just Need To Know Where To Find It
I was in a state of ‘being perfect’ (aka procrastination) and I met with a Business Advisor from the South West Sydney Business Enterprise Centre (SWSBEC) to help me breakthrough this stalemate. It worked a treat. We met on a Thursday. I got advice on business set up and registered the business ‘Serena Dot Ryan’ that afternoon.
In NSW, the office of the Small Business Commissioner can point you in the right direction to get support to set up your business, it’s worth checking with your local government body to see if you can get government subsidised support to get set up.
Cost Effective Marketing Tools
There are many things you can use to market your business online and in person. I learned after working for someone who went Bankrupt, only invest in essentials. Do not over capitalise. Cashflow is king. So with these things fresh in my mind, I only wanted to invest in 2 things for my start-up business. Whilst not my favourite thing to do, I created my own logo and then needed business cards and a Website.
I knew that I needed to get some basics in play to be able to market my business. It started with getting some DIY business cards ordered via Zazzle.
It was 6 months later I went to a professional graphic designer to re-design my business cards.
Now when you start a business, and no income is being generated yet, you need to be creative with what you have. For me this meant creating a website on the WIX platform. I didn’t focus on the platform but rather the price and speed at which I could get it published. I created the website in a day using my experience in managing Content Management Systems for Pharmacare and Visa to not just create the website but optimise the functionality available. The website was 4 pages and all I used was free stock imagery via WIX and Pixabay. I applied basic principles of Search Engine Optimisation like ensuring my meta titles and meta descriptions were complete, all images were named properly and my view of my website on mobile devices was optimised to increase my chances of being found by search engines.
That week I organised professional photography. So people could see me on the website and have unique imagery.
Within the month I had started to gain visibility online. I had my first enquiry via my website and they became a client. I continued to get at least 2 new enquiries a week via the website organically. That means I didn’t spend any additional money on marketing.
November 2015, I added the Mailchimp plugin to capture people’s details subscribing for news updates.
January 2015, 3 months after creating the website, I added a blog.
April 2015, I had so many clients, that I resigned from working as a Marketing Consultant.
Within 6 months I was generating enough income to employ myself.
October 2015, I added a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to the website.
August 2016 I added a Facebook Pixel to my website. So I could see who was visiting my Facebook from the website and vice versa.
March 2017 I started to look at options to increase my tracking and optimisation of my marketing activities on the website, it was then that I realised I had reached my limitation of what I could add to and use on the website whilst it was on the WIX platform.
The WIX platform is fantastic to help small businesses and start-ups with a limited budget to get an online presence with a website. It has fantastic tools to help you capture, keep and convert clients. However as your business grows it is essential to always be reviewing, adapting and changing what you are doing. This is classically known as ‘iteration’. Take what you have and make small changes to where you want to get to.
May 2017 the new Serena Dot Ryan website was launched on the WordPress platform. WordPress is originally a blogging platform and perfect for me to be able to implement digital plumbing to track, measure, optimise and customise my marketing activities. However, I’m still taking a measured approach. I’m still iterating to ensure my business and goals stay on track. The WIX website I created for Serena Dot Ryan is still continuing to serve its purpose.
If I had waited to start my website on a different platform it would have taken weeks to get up and running. I would have missed opportunities to get clients and actually get business momentum.
Is your perfectionism holding you back from progress? What could you do differently to move forward?