I’m going to give you a piece of valuable, free advice, comrades. Ready? I’m gonna lay it on you now.
You’re never going to be ready to start your business.
That’s right! And it’s not because you aren’t capable of opening and running a kickass business. It’s not because you’re bad at what you do, or because you don’t know enough, or that you don’t have the chops to go out there and show the world how awesome you are.
It’s simply this: There’s no amount of preparation, research or planning that will make you “ready” to start doing what you do—something will always catch you off guard or unprepared. Your first clients might ask about services you’re not prepared to start offering yet. People might start paying attention to you, and contacting you, before your blog and social media presence are presentable.* Because you’ve been networking and letting people know you’re planning to go out on your own, people might well send you prospective clients before you even have a domain name, far less a web page.
If this happens to you, rejoice! It means you’ve found a need in the marketplace, and you’re still new enough to develop your business around addressing that need.
Frankly, there isn’t enough time in the world for you to read every blog and book, take all the tutorials, and get all the additional certifications and outside reinforcement you probably feel like you need before you can offer your services. In any case, you’re going to have a much better idea of what skills you need to brush up on once people start hiring you.
Don’t be this guy.
And what of your web page? If you’re not a professional editor and web designer, or even if you are, you’re unlikely to produce a flawless, typo-free web page that functions and looks precisely how you want it to. It’ll be a work in progress. At some point, after a reasonable amount of work, you need to decide that your web page is attractive, concise, professional, and good enough. Then, plug it in and get ready to go. You have more important things to do than to make sure the red in your logo matches the red in the text in your About page. There’s time for that later.
Social media? If need be, start without it. If you wait until you have your social media strategy developed and underway, and you have hundreds of followers, you may well be waiting a year or more. Build up your following while doing the work. If you get an early client who knows that you had only 4 followers when they hired you, so what? They’ll be pleased to help you grow, and they’ll mention your fabulous progress to others when they recommend you.
So get out there. Be ready enough, with a good enough web page and a good enough social media presence. Do the work. Then, go make it better.
* Any resemblance this situation might have to that of a certain business owner with a pastry-related surname is completely coincidental.