In a world that is moving so fast, I often wonder what is the best method of deployment for new business ideas: perfect first or launch and edit. I am often a launch and edit type of gal as I figure it is better to get the idea out to the world instead of never releasing it at all but now that my time is more limited and I am way more focused, I am finding that I am slower to just throw things at the wall.
I asked people in my network to share their opinions on what is the better method and here are eleven of their answers.
1. Launch and edit… Perfection will never come. Launch first, analyze second, then tweak… Analyze – tweak will be the continuous cycle!
2. Ready – Fire – Aim (Title of a book I read a while back). Until you launch, you’ll never know for sure what your audience really wants. So get something put together, and market it as quickly as you can. Then use the feedback to “aim” as you go.
3. Having learned the hard way, with our online services, don’t assume you know EXACTLY what your future clients need. Put your idea out there and let your client base scrutinize your offering. With this feedback you can then perfect your product and really fulfill the needs of your clients. This way you actually invest time and money on developing a product that your client has told you he wanted.
4. I am a perfectionist so I perfect things before launching. However I did read an amazing article lately about not holding back when launching something new and using your customers as your best resource for feedback. Then you can make changes if needed.
5. Waiting for perfection can immobilize you and keep you from getting started. Your business will evolve anyway and is not stagnant, so updating and editing are to be expected. If I waited to make everything perfect, I’d have never launched anything in the last 10 years. It’s much more important to get started and change things as you go.
6. If you wait until everything is perfect, you will never launch. Always be sure what you do put out there is quality, error free, and offering something you are sure you can deliver and respond to. But get out there!
7. Fortune favors those who take action. ”Perfect” doesn’t exist and can be a never-ending excuse. Get close enough and then launch.
8. I usually launch and edit because most often I cannot know what I am going to need to change until I put a project through its paces. I do find it helpful to do some beta testing with willing participants before doing a hard launch but it still never accounts for everything that may need tweaking or changing.
9. If you truly know your target customers, you’ll be able to answer this question yourself. If you’re a perfectionist, probably what’s mediocre to you is more than perfect for your customers. In that case, I’d say “Just get it out there.” In 9 out of 10 cases that’s the way to go.
If your customers however are perfectionists; if they only except high quality products and think, “Beauty lies in the details” and if they expect perfect service, then you’d better make sure to double-triple check your product and the way you deliver it, including the “before, during and after-service”! Perfectionists will lose respect for you if you don’t show the same attention to detail as they do. And they can be unforgiving and may want to warn all their friends not to fall into the same trap they fell! So, if you did overlook something and “let them down” – focus all the attention on THEM and blow them away with service and how you handle the situation and turn them into happy customers again. That will impress them. Perfectionists love perfect service.
10. I believe in a middle course. Many business owners are afraid of visibility and so they spend far too long perfecting their offers. On the other hand, I’ve seen too many practitioners launch programs that haven’t been sufficiently developed because they are ‘building the plane while they fly it’ and end up not being able to deliver on promises.
The truth is there is no such thing as perfection. Our best can only be reached by editing as a result of feedback from real clients. But I also believe we have an ethical duty to sufficiently develop our programs to the point that we know we can deliver real quality on our programs before we launch them.
11. Both, there are small windows of opportunity and the benefit of failing is high. There are times when perfect is a deal maker. (A pitch, demo, quality of media.) Both include the benefit of “excellent mistakes” and perfecting before launching can move you to the next phase.
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