Dear awesome online entrepreneur,
It’s ok if your website isn’t perfect.
Really, it is.
Life as an entrepreneur isn’t Pinterest-perfect. My desk doesn’t look like a styled stock photo (like the graphic above ;)). And my website isn’t perfect.
I’ve been designing websites for more than twelve years and I’ve had my fair share of really terrible websites. Maybe even the one you’re on right now. 🙂
Sometimes, you know what you want, but you just can’t create it. You have this vision in your head and you can’t bring it to life.
In the mean time, you know what you should do?
Create it anyway.
Create it the best you can, right now, with the resources you have.
Some web designers act like if you don’t spend $5,000 (or more) on a custom-designed website from them, then your clients are going to hate you, no one is going to buy your stuff, your business is going to fail, and you’ll be homeless on the streets living in a cardboard box faster than you can say “HTML!” And your cat will get up and leave because WHY NOT?
But that’s just ridiculous.
I’ll be the first web designer to let you in on a secret…
YOUR WEBSITE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A BIG DEAL.
This is really important for brand new businesses to remember:
The success of your business depends on how well you can solve problems for your customers. That’s it. Some people run very successful businesses and they. don’t. even. have. websites.
Seriously, just slap up a landing page (use Instapage… you don’t even need a domain) and call it a day. You can still get clients. Don’t waste your precious life spending any time worrying if the web design police are going to bust down your door because the centering of your header is off by a few pixels or you can’t decide between six different photos for your headshot (my headshot is actually a selfie taken on a fancy camera in my backyard :)).
Don’t let yourself get stuck in a creative cul-de-sac for months because you keep going back and forth with your logo designer or the votes are inconclusive from when you tried to outsource your branding to a Facebook group.
Just get it done.
There are more pressing issues in life than picking the right font for your header. Like disease. And poverty. And homelessness. So don’t let yourself get caught up in such minor details that ultimately don’t matter. Sure, I’m guilty of spending a dozen hours on a font website looking for a logo font on more than one occasion, but this is just a website (which is an awful lot like a business card, plain and simple).
Don’t let it rule your life to the point that you’re so paralyzed with indecision that you just don’t. do. anything.
Because if you’re starting a new business, your clients don’t care about how many hours you put into picking the exact right shade of pink to convey a brand that’s “fun, but still sophisticated and not trying too hard.” What does that even mean??
Clients care that you can solve their problems and get them results. Period. Everything else is just icing.
I’ve seen businesses with a single landing page or not super well-designed websites make hundreds of thousands of dollars, and websites with amazing websites designed by a team of professionals fail on an epic scale (lots of Silicon Valley startups). Your website, on its own, does not make or break your success.
Once your business starts to make money, having a well-designed website can help you. It can improve your sales and increase your credibility. A good website will position you as an expert and set you apart from competitors. The right branding makes your business stand out in customers’ memories for a long time.
With a good website, you can majorly upgrade your business game.
But at the right time. The time to drop $5,000 on your website is not when you’re just starting out. Really. If you’ve started your business in the last six months, your business is still going to change in major ways (pivot anyone?) so you don’t want to spend thousands on branding that will no longer be relevant in just a few months.
Like most business expenses, when you’re just starting out you should go with the minimum you need to solve the problem. If that means installing WordPress and a Themeforest theme yourself and calling it done, good for you.
The important thing is that you just DO IT. Don’t let yourself procrastinate starting the business of your dreams because you’re telling yourself you don’t have the budget to drop thousands on a professional website. Just get it done and out there. Done is better than perfect.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.