After a couple of weeks of rethinking the direction of my consulting business, I decided to change the name. Of course, this was after I had already started social accounts on different platforms, bought a domain name, and began building out the website with my offerings. But as I sat in front of my laptop obsessing over the colors of my website and feeling like nothing went together, I realized something crucial—my business name didn’t reflect the work I wanted to do for clients.
So, one night when I couldn’t sleep, I decided to start over. And, do you know what? Everything seemed to fall into place after that. While it was a hassle to switch over my name on social media and my yet-to-be-completed website, it was worth every setback. Once I changed my business name from In Steil Comms to In Steil Creative, a funny thing happened. I actually felt more creative. Through changing the name, it was like something had unlocked, and I instantly started crafting a new mission statement and copy to go on my soon-to-be new website that felt more aligned. It was as though there was some kind of block that came along with having a name that didn’t suit my business. I wasn’t motivated to work on my website, I struggled to write about my offerings, and I spent time obsessing over little details that, in the end, didn’t matter at that moment.
I remember when I was still working with my business coach in her Camp Clarity program, and I was so excited to share what I thought was my branding with the group. A few of them were surprised that the first thing I did was make a logo and start working on a website. Yet, as a business owner, I thought, Shouldn’t I have all of those things done before I announce my business to the world? In hindsight, their surprise was justified. You see, the thing about a business is that it is likely to grow and change, and the thing about a new business is that the market may dictate the kind of work you do and the clients you get. For instance, when I dreamed up the initial concept for my business, I wanted to work with mission-driven non-profits. My background is in the non-profit world, and that was the sector I was most used to. But when it came to attracting clients, I quickly learned that small non-profits couldn’t afford my services (even at discounted rates). I also found that being so mission-driven limited my other options, as some clients would feel I didn’t align with their line of work. And I wanted to expand beyond only offering social media and public relations services to clients.
The first thing I learned by being an entrepreneur is that in business, as in life, you have to be flexible. Sometimes you have a great idea right out of the gate. Other times, you need to massage it a bit to get it right. And then there are the times that you may need to scrap it all together (a much nicer way of saying “kill it” than Mr. Wonderful says on Shark Tank). In the end, I wanted to feel passionate about my business, and although it might sound silly, changing my business name to In Steil Creative has allowed me to do that.
Do I regret starting with my logo and website? No. It taught me a few valuable lessons.
- It showed me that you don’t need to have all of the pieces of your business together before you start. Fun fact: I landed my first client without a business name, a website, or even a business in mind.
- It taught me that it’s okay to be broad. You don’t have to spend precious time, in the beginning, worrying about the perfect tagline or having your entire mission written out on day one.
- Most importantly, it gave me permission to burn it all down and start over. While you may want to solicit some outside opinions before you do this, in my case, it was the fire (pun intended) I needed to light under me to get it done (and by “it,” I mean the website).
The great thing about starting your own business is that you can change your mind or your direction at any time. Should you do it every five seconds? Probably not. But when you are just starting is the time to explore what works and what doesn’t and to have fun with the learning process.
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