The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

THE GOOD: Making Decisions.

As a small business owner, you have to make decisions every step of the way. There’s no time for being wishy-washy. I have to admit, I’m pretty good at making a final decision swiftly and moving forward with confidence. I believe that any decision, good or bad, is better than no decision, at least most of the time.

Since my HireMeAspen website launched a little over a month ago, I am amazed at all the questions that needed answers. I’m amazed at all the decisions I’ve made.

What color should the logo be? Where should the first website be launched? What image do I want to portray? What partners should I have? How should I market the site? Where should I do my banking? When should I launch? Where should I advertise? Who should be on my team? How do I get friends involved? When should I try a new approach? What is my growth strategy? Where should I place the photo credit? How do I cross-promote? How long should I focus on the first launch before moving on to the next? Which credit card merchant should I use? What is my pricing model? Should I buy giveaways? Which email marketing program should I use? How will this widget function? What do I wear to my TV interview? What are the use cases? How transparent should I be to the media?

It’s nice to be the boss and not having to answer to anyone (except your customers). But, with that luxury comes jeopardy.

THE BAD: Google Analytics

My first (admitted and blogged about) mistake has to do with priorities. For one, we should have started using Basecamp Project Management Software earlier, but better late than never, I suppose. This software is great for managing a website development project. You enter tasks, you assign them, you check them off. It’s really fantastic.

The problem has to do with not only prioritizing all those items, but me being the designated prioritizer.

In the beginning, I felt so bad about adding items because it seems like for every one item we checked off, 4-5 more tasks were added. This is certainly not the way to build rapport with your already hard-working, over-extended developer. So, I’d send an email instead. Or call. Or subtly plant the idea to incite excitement where he’d want to add it himself and jump right on it.

I’d do anything but enter a task. Because that means it’s another “to do” that needs prioritizing by me. How do you choose the top priority when everything has a critical consequence?

And that’s where my bad decision making skills reared its ugly head.

All along, I knew how important Google Analytics was. But it consistently stayed around task #14 even as items were removed and added.

My entire business is made up of websites, and websites need user stats. But I didn’t realize how critical those stats were until today. Heed my warning: don’t make this same mistake. Move analytics to the top of the list (like I just did today)…above all those other critical items.

A month into my site launch, I need those stats. Should I print more flyers? Should I renew my ad spend? What traffic numbers can I pitch to potential business partners. How many users are local? How many come from Facebook? Do they depart during registration? I have no clue, because I have no stats.

THE UGLY: Lesson Learned The Hard Way.

So, I must start building those stats now. It’s not a pretty picture, but it is what it is. Google Analytics will be installed this weekend. And my stats will start rolling in.

The ugly truth is that I still look at the task list, and it still overwhelms me. I’m afraid there are many more mistakes on the way caused by poor prioritization.

Regardless, it’s all still worth it. I love the luxury of calling the shots, even when those calls are wrong.

I love it all: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

About Constance Hammond

A fun-loving, hard-working bootstrapper...with guts.
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