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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Don't procrastinate over perfection, just launch your business 

Rather than fuss over the tiny details, get your new venture up and running and then make changes

“It is official. I am a perfectionist who keeps delaying the launch of her business because I always find flaws,” said my sister, finally agreeing to what we have been telling her for months.

She is working on a new digital business and for the past few months has become nervous about even the tiniest details — stuff no one else would notice. As a result, she pushes back the launch of her business at any opportunity. She might suggest that other vendors should be checked out first — just in case — or she demands to be given time to view things with a fresh set of eyes.

If there is one thing I know about launching a business, it is that you can only procrastinate for so long. After that, you have to launch or you will stay trapped in this cycle for months and years. Here is why.

Most of the time it does not have to be perfect. Good enough is pretty good on its own. Improve as you go along. The thing is, when it is our business, it will never be 100 per cent perfect in our eyes. That is how I feel about writing. People might find an article of mine interesting, but I always think I could have used more compelling examples, or maybe changed that introduction. There will always be more features that you want to add, or a service that you do not want to offer any more.

Do not focus on the tiny details for now. Instead make sure your business’s important functionalities are in shape first, such as ensuring the online payment page works, that your website loads fast and you have a customer-service agent.

Do not miss out on customers or new business while you delay your launch over small details that only you are aware of.

You will not notice the real problems that need fixing until your customers provide you with feedback. This is something many start-up entrepreneurs are shocked by. While it may look perfect in your eyes, at the end of the day, it is your customers’ feedback that really matters, and you will not know that until you have put it out there and hear what people have to say.

For example, how do you know how a restaurant concept will fare until you open it. To avoid further expenditure and any issues, hold a focus group made up of your target audience members; they can test your products and services and provide you with feedback before you launch your business. That way you could tweak changes while your project managers and designers are still on board.

Also keep in mind there will always be things that need fixing; as long as your business is up and running that is how it grows and develops. Do not let a fear of things going wrong stop you from opening.

Continuous work and dedication are what really matter. While it is great to have some degree of perfectionism, as my sister argues, what is really important is to ensure your drive and dedication to improve your business continues, that you tweak it when necessary and are always on the lookout for how your customers are experiencing the brand. It does not matter how much effort goes into perfecting your venture at the beginning if you are delivering poor customer service, not reading through your clients’ feedback and keeping things static without improvement for a long time.

If you think about it, there is never a perfect time to take a major step in life. There will always be some sort of risk involved, and it may not necessarily feel like it is the right time yet. So, focus on the important things, invest in your business, consider some feedback and just launch.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer who manages a branding and marketing consultancy in Abu Dhabi. Follow her on Twitter at @manar_alhinai

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