A few weeks ago, a client confessed to me that his business coach had called him “the 80% guy,” because he has a collection of products and programs that are all mostly complete.

It turns out that “mostly done” is the natural state for a lot of products, especially in the online marketing world. Sometimes projects grind to a halt because you lose interest. Sometimes you run into a hurdle you can’t overcome. Sometimes you put it on the back burner because something more urgent comes along.

Whatever the reason, those mostly finished products and programs are costing you money. It’s time to pick them up, dust them off, and get them finished and for sale.

First Step: Get Organized

How much time do you waste just looking for files on your computer? Even worse, have you ever had to recreate a document you just knew you had, simply because you can’t find it?

Poor organization not only costs you time and money, but it can prevent you from finishing those mostly done projects. Take the time to get organized first, and you’ll shorten your product development time, and make it easier to outsource some of the work as well.

  • Use a consistent naming convention. Don’t title the video for module one “mod-one.mp4” and the video for module two, “week-two-shopping-cart-setup.mp4.” Adopt (and maintain) a meaningful naming convention, and you won’t have to watch your videos to know which program they belong to.
  • Develop a useful folder structure. If your products and programs consist of many different files, then a well-planned folder structure will help ensure you can find all the pieces later.
  • Keep files in the cloud. If you work from multiple computers, or outsource some projects, then storing documents in Google Drive or Dropbox helps ensure the correct files are always available, no matter where you are.

Schedule Time to Finish

I like to have weekly meetings with clients. I find it helps us stay on task, keeps projects moving forward, and prevents mistakes that can come from misunderstandings.

One client, though, always has a reason why her tasks are incomplete. She was traveling. She had an appointment. She thought her time would be better spent on some other task/project.

The result? She has multiple products and programs that are 80% (or more) finished, and none of them are ready for sale. She’s losing money every day, because she just can’t seem to find the two or three hours it would take to finish up some of these programs.

If that sounds familiar, the answer is in your appointment calendar.

Block off the time you need to finish your project, and treat it as if it’s an unbreakable appointment. You know how your doctor charges you for missed appointments? That’s how important your appointment with your project needs to be.

If your project is going to take more than a couple hours to finish, then break it into one-hour appointments over several days, then sit down and get to work

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Profit

One of my very favorite people in the whole world, Nicole Dean, is famous for telling folks that they don’t have to be perfect to be profitable. Yet still, perfection is what holds many people back from finishing up that project.

If that’s you, keep these points in mind:

The world is not black and white. Your project is not either perfect or a failure. It can (and maybe should) be somewhere in between.

Most of what you think of as an imperfection, others won’t notice. Remember, no one is as critical of your work as you are.

Product updates make for great re-launch opportunities. So you’ve found several glaring (to you) omissions in an older product. Spend a few hours updating it, and re-release it at a higher price.

Perfectionism is the number-one killer of great projects. Don’t let it derail yours.

Overcoming Shiny Object Syndrome

I like to knit. There is very little to me that is more enjoyable than listening to a great book while I knit a new pair of socks or a sweater.

Unless it’s starting a new knitting project.

The lure of casting on a new project is often too great to ignore, and the result is a collection of mateless socks and half-finished sweaters.

The same is true for online business owners. It’s often times much more fun to brainstorm and outline a new project than it is to finish up one you’re already bored with.

For those times when you feel compelled to drop your nearly finished project and jump into something new and shiny, do this instead: Start a “someday” file. Jot down your ideas; create an outline; write out some bullet points. Then put it away for later. When your current project is done, you’ll have a list of new ideas to help jumpstart your next product or program.

Hire Help

Very few people have the time, knowledge, and energy to do everything a business requires. If your projects are suffering from nearly done syndrome, consider hiring help. You could outsource:

  • Writing
  • Video editing
  • Membership setup
  • Document formatting
  • Shopping cart product setup and delivery
  • Editing
  • Sales copy
  • And much more

Really, you can outsource just about any part of your product creation. You could even hand off your 80% done project to a skilled VA to finish.

Need help getting your nearly finished projects completed and up for sale? We can help. Call us today for a free strategy session and quote.