Before you go off to do that…

Last week we officially launched a new business. We created the website, got the business cards designed, opened the bank account, and began the hiring process for our first member of staff.

Importantly, though, we didn’t do ANY of this until we’d actually been running the business for more than half a year already. In fact, for well over six months we also had no logo, no marketing materials, no formal agreement with our business partner, no documentation, and no plans for how to scale. We didn’t even have a business name! Instead, we focused all our time and effort on three things: finding clients, keeping those clients happy, and making money.

This was all completely on purpose: we know (from bitter experience) that a business doesn’t need anything else to get started. In fact, bits and bobs like logos and business cards are often the unnecessary busy-work that founders procrastinate over rather than focus on the big issue: figuring out if the business actually stands a chance.

At some point, it’s usually necessary to faff around with branding and Twitter handles – and it’s inevitable that you’ll spend a good few days debating “innovativesolutions.ninja” vs “innovativesolutions.global”, now that every other suffix has been nabbed. But unless you’re setting up a huge ecommerce store or a complex web app, you can get away without any of it for quite some time.

Just three things matter at the start: finding clients, keeping those clients happy, and making money. It might be less fun than scouring online colour palettes for your perfect shade of lilac, but believe me: it’s WAY more fun to scour online colour palettes for your perfect shade of lilac once you know your business is already working.