Setting up a website ≠ Starting a business

This baffles me. It irks me.

Picture by Richard Tilney-Bassett

THE COMMON THEME?

They all suggest one thing and one thing only — build the website.

Screw it, just do it!

I don’t think there is a shorter line to find inspiration from, than the ‘screw it, just do it’ approach of Sir Richard Branson. I love superheroes, and so I love the origin stories. I love the origin stories of startups and businesses as well, and there is no other story simpler, funnier, relatable or inspiring than how Virgin Airlines came to be.

WHY THIS STORY MATTERS?

It illustrates perfectly an entrepreneur’s willingness to take action. Branson was willing to start before he ‘felt ready’. He had no prior experience in the airline industry — let alone running an airline, yet he saw an opportunity and he seized it. He was willing to fail, but he was more keen on acting on the opportunity he saw.

He was selling plane tickets before he even had a plane!

SO. HOW ‘DOES’ ONE START A BUSINESS?

You can start a business by doing exactly that. Starting a business! And businesses are in the business of making money. Having a website isn’t the same thing as having a business.

  1. If you are starting a business, your first focus should always be on that first sale. Make a sale. Get the cash register going.
  2. How you are making that sale matters. But it doesn’t matter as much as you think. Use flyers, use pamphlets, use garage sales, instant messengers, online groups, your twitter account, emails. Use anything. Any medium is fine as long as it is helping you make a sale.
  3. You do need a website. Of course you do. But not right away. Your website is not your business, it is a tool that scales up your business. If you are making 5 sales a day, does it really matter whether you are doing it via a website or over phone calls? Actually, you may have a better conversion rate if you are doing it via a call. You need a website when your business starts growing and you want to put it on a path of further, faster growth.

That’s it for today. See you tomorrow.

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Abhishek Anand

Helping businesses grow 10x faster, and scale efficiently. Top Writer — Quora, Medium. Drop in a line if you’d like help with yours. mail@abyshake.com