Ready, set…wait, what?

New businesses are popping up everywhere! Great! Home offices, new storefronts, online only…you name it. But are they really ready to launch? While some might like to dole out their business when they’re able (but when they're not quite ready), their prospects may be left confused or uninspired and, worse, move on.

Business, hobby or something in between?

A sobering reality check is whether your new endeavor is actually a business. In many cases, it can be a passion you think you can make money at - and there is a big difference. While some passions can go on to be successful businesses, it’s those who start out with a business plan, with all its essential elements, that are more likely to stick. If you’re simply learning as you go and hope your hobby lands, you may come up short.

Clarity is so much better than chaos

Real life examples are the best way to share actual stories and case- studies. 1) an existing business was relaunching with a new brand makeover. They announced and introduced the refresh on social media, but any path to a website was non-existent (ugh, other than the old website that said “error”). While social media can be an excellent tool to gain exposure, the error website is still out there making them look unfinished. 2) a new business got started by simply sending out an email to prospects. But the message was confusing (ugh again, with typos) and it was not clear how one could make a purchase. 3) a manager of a large online store already launched a website to sell the items but, looking deeper into it, the products are not in all the right place. Some hustle has to happen to clean things up and re-introduce the line, now "take-two."

Even if you’re not ready to invest in a new or updated website, you can always feature a landing page that says “coming soon” - with contact info and other details to hold you over. If you’re sending out a message via email, make sure it is well crafted, correct and user-friendly. And, finally, don't publish your website if your work is not properly presented yet (if you need to, have someone check it).

Get real, one phase at a time
I often suggest clients work in waves. It’s easier to afford and digest. So, wave one could be business name and possible tagline, logo and website (temp or full). Then wave two could be fold in social media and e-news. Wave three could be promotional materials, ads and PR. But you'll notice, wave one has everything you need to go public and make a great first impression.

Less can indeed be more

I recently chatted with a business owner who admittedly is frugal. She is struggling to build her website and simply does not want to pay for help. I get it! Today’s tools allow for freedom like never before. Though, not all website or email platforms are created equal and if you’re not a designer or writer, you may pull your hair out trying. Reminder, you can do a basic one-page website with all your content (or that coming soon message mentioned above), to give the appearance and image of a total pro. Further, even a small budget can employ a marketing or graphics specialist to really help you shine.


One of the most important tips I’ve heard in business is that your website (or any communication) is not for you, it’s for your customers. You may feel it's fine, they’ll get it or you’re not willing to spend on a true wave one (thus, a mediocre effort will have to do)...but your prospects may not come along for the ride. You know what to do - be ready, get set and go!

(published 2023)