This article originally appeared in Forbes. Read the original here.
Every entrepreneur likes to think that they have their business figured out. But the reality is that there are way too many things to refine in any business to have everything figured out. And even when you do have it largely figured out, there’s probably something that could be improved.
More than a decade after starting my first business, I feel that we still need to work some things out. While there’s something to be said about perfecting and mastering something, there’s also a downside to waiting for perfection to come along.
If “not yet” is your typical answer when you’re considering launching a new product, releasing a new feature or adding a new employee, you might be unconsciously holding your business back. Here’s why:
You Make Room For The Competition
In today’s business world, the early riser often gets the worm. So if you’re trying to wait until all your Ts are crossed and Is are dotted, you might lose out getting to market before your competitors. Sometimes hitting the market first is enough to get a brand or product all the visibility and marketing it needs to succeed. A latecomer faces the challenge of having to prove that they have a superior product or service.
Being in the software business, we often worry about releasing new features to our clients until they are 100% bug-free. The truth, though, is that sometimes we may never find all the bugs and pushing back releases may just delay finding them. We set a standard that we’re happy with before we release any new features, even if we know there are still minor tweaks to make.
You Limit Your Growth
Resource planning is paramount to healthy growth. Sometimes that means that you must anticipate manpower ahead of time and hire before you truly need that next employee. Finding good talent is not easy, and waiting to hire when you need it desperately may cause you to make the wrong decisions. No one likes being under pressure, and knowing that you are understaffed can push you to bring on a teammate who may not be ideal for the role simply because you must hire someone.
Rather than waiting until you're desperate, hire ahead of time to ensure an easy ramp-up for the new employee and a greater capacity to serve your clients.
At our agency, we’re always interviewing for various roles, and often we bring on great talent ahead of our needs to allow us the liberty to add that new client without feeling like we’re being squeezed.
Delay Future Success
The fear of a premature idea can often be scary. Will jumping the gun cause negative repercussions for your business? Your brand? Your reputation? These are serious questions business owners and entrepreneurs must answer before signing off on something or giving the green light. But think about what a “not yet” response will get you: nowhere. If you are constantly choosing to hold your business back for one reason or another, it’s possible that you are delaying the success of your business.
When our agency first created a marketing intelligence platform, I was often haunted by thoughts of “this may not be the best time.” Thankfully, we worked through all of the things that weren’t quite right and made it work. Had we decided that it wasn’t time yet to begin a software platform, we may not have anything today.
As a business owner and entrepreneur, every decision you make matters. Sometimes the fear of rejection and failure are so strong that we prefer to delay. But waiting shouldn’t be your go-to strategy. While I am not advocating jumping into things, it’s also important to take calculated risks and move forward, even if perfection has not yet been achieved.