Saturday, November 22, 2008
Pulling Roots: When It's Too Hard to Change
If there is one thing I've learned since starting my virtual assistance business, it's that once you get yourself planted and start to fertilize and grow your business, it can be very, very time-consuming and difficult to change your entire business structure.
For instance, I wish I had created a shorter URL when I started my business. Right now, it has a dash between each word: mad-typing-and-consulting.com. I submitted that URL to a gazillion places - as many places online that I could find (legit places).
I needed the search engine rankings. I needed clients. I needed to be recognized as a leader in my industry. So I plugged that URL like my life depended on it.
Finally, I woke up and realized that a shorter URL for my business' Website would have been a better move. And I also realized that any Tom, Dick or Harry could snatch up other variations of my Website, which might confuse new customers.
So I went to GoDaddy and secured madtyping.com as well. I made this new URL a redirect, so if people typed it in, they would be automatically re-directed to mad-typing-and-consulting.com. Very cool, and GoDaddy made it easy and free for me to do.
What if I had decided to drop the "and Consulting" from my business' name? After all, everyone calls it MAD Typing. Some people even call it Madison Typing. But if I had moved to a two-word name (MAD Typing), I'd have to change my bank account information, credit card information, order new business cards, update all client account information, update all the profiles in all my social networking groups, etcetera, yadda, yadda.
What a pain!
Pulling up roots can be a pain in the butt. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it.
That's why I believe it's important to have a solid business plan in place before you jump head-first into the entrepreneurial pool. You could be the most talented administrative assistant on the planet, but if you don't have someone to guide you through the start-up phase and if you've never started a successful business before - particularly one with a virtual presence, the odds of you failing will be high.
Pulling up roots does, however, have its purpose. If not, my yard and garden would be full of weeds. Like a garden, your current business needs TLC too. Don't neglect it, and don't ignore the people who say, "Virtual assistants need to develop a niche to be successful." I used to think that was hogwash. Now, I'm not so sure.
Lately, I've been contemplating a niche-down, concentrating on desktop publishing, PDF conversion, and blog copy editing services. But to do that, I would really need to change my business name. Wouldn't I?
Pulling roots. You gotta love it!