Just Paint

A home seller tells the story of talking with Jeff Proco, owner of Pro Painting Company of Riner, Virginia. Proco listened while the home seller fretted whether or not to repaint the interior of his home to appeal to buyers, and if he did paint, should he use white, off-white, or a color?

"Just paint," Proco said.

I was reminded of the story while visiting Concept Camp, a multi-day seminar offered by VT KnowledgeWorks for prospective entrepreneurs.

Director Jim Flowers described false economies, particularly with regard to consultants. He noted that $1000 spent on a hiring consultant seemed cheap when compared to the half year’s $75K salary lost when the employee an inexperienced entrepreneur hired had to be fired.

Entrepreneurs have myriad weighty decisions to make.

Sometimes, though, just paint.

Gentle advice to entrepreneurs:  Just put up the web site. I understand you want the web site to model the virtuosity of your invention. Your wanting to do it yourself makes perfect sense. Your "do-it-yourselfness" is one of your strengths as an entrepreneur.

But not having a web site in the world of Web 2.0, where links are collected like Beanie Babies 2.0, is like going to a Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce meeting without a business card. You pitch your idea, your passion speaks for you, and your listener says, "I want to talk with you more. May I have your card?"

It’s like the punchline to a child’s first knock-knock joke. "Who’s there? "Nobody." The kid thinks it’s hilarious to have a tricky answer. A prospective customer or investor who hears that answer, or searches for you online and finds that answer, feels tricked.

You’re not saving money. You’re losing opportunity.

Company name, names of officers (people form relationships with people, not with companies), contact information generously invitational in its completeness, logo if you have one, a sentence or two that describes your company, maybe your elevator pitch, done.

Just paint.

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