Building Online UrgencyJanuary 27th, 2015 by Jeff Winget
Starting a business offline, in the real world, is scary. There are a ton of overhead costs. You have to secure a space, buy product, and attract customers through advertising. I have friends with small businesses, and they work all the time. They are always at the store, or on the phone, or at the computer crunching numbers. There is a fierce urgency in what they are doing because the margins are razor thin in the real world, and profit is hard to come by because of the initial (and on-going) costs of doing business.
Starting a business online is completely different. I believe that most online businesses are started by people like me. People who have other jobs to pay the bills and who are starting an online business because they love to do something and would love to make a little money for it. While the passion is good and keeps you motivated, the online world doesn’t inspire as much fear and urgency as the real world. It’s cheap to start a business online. A domain name is $10/year or so, hosting space is < $120/year, and a business license is < $50. Of course, there could be a few other costs, but those are the minimums to get started.
So, with the cost of starting a business being way less than an average car payment, how do you create the sense of urgency that will make you successful? Leonardo da Vinci explained the importance of urgency and action:
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.
Moving yourself from having knowledge and being willing to application and action isn’t easy when you stand to lose very little. The motivation and urgency have to come from somewhere besides an intense fear of failure and bankruptcy. It has to come from an innate sense of wanting to succeed. It has to come from immersion in the work and constant action at some task to grow the business.
Here are some things that I’ve been doing to keep up the urgency in the early stages of this business:
- Be 150% attentive to clients. The people I’m working for right now are getting the best customer service I can offer. I’m fast, I listen, and I’m engaged in meeting their needs beyond their expectations.
- Blog. Getting up every morning and starting my day with a cup of coffee and a blog post about the business helps me engage for the day. I generally think of things I can do for the rest of the day to grow the business because I start thinking about it at 5:00 a.m. when the house is quiet and my mind is alert.
- Talk to everyone. I don’t think there is a person in my life who doesn’t know Shanda and I have started this little adventure. I’m trying not to be annoying, but by talking about it and being excited about it, I have found clients through friends. Word of mouth is the best advertising, so open yours.
- Work on projects simply for the purpose of advertising or perfecting your craft. I just started working on a website for my family to put family memories and stories on. I’m doing it on my own dime and for the benefit of the family, but I’m also trying out some things design-wise and working on my craft. Practice makes perfect.
Those are just a few things that I’m doing to keep my engagement and sense of urgency up everyday. I believe that those two things–urgency and engagement–are the keys to success in any business venture, and you don’t need to be facing financial ruin in order to attain them.