When you have a great website idea, you want to share it with the world. But there’s always this push and pull of when the right time is. If you launch too soon, you risk disappointing or even losing customers with a product that’s not fully hashed out. If you launch too late, you risk wasting money and time or worse, losing the market entirely. It’s all about finding that happy medium and it’s tough.

So how do you know when the time is right? You may never know, but here are some steps you can take to limit your risk and most likely be successful.

Have You Tested It?

One thing that annoys me when I go to a website is finding something that doesn’t work. I mean it’s broken. Test your site and then test it again. Visit your site as a potential customer. Click every link. Fill out every form. Every time you change something on the site, test it again. Your website is your cyber business card, it needs to look good and have the right information on it from the get-go.

Is a Plan in Place?

I’m not talking about a launch plan, but a plan for after the launch. Is the infrastructure in place to handle the business this new website will generate? Make sure your staff is ready. Make sure you have enough product or at least a way to get more product quickly if you need it.

Do you have a fallback plan if something goes wrong? Come up with a few contingencies for the most likely roadblocks. Whether or not you need them, you’ll feel more comfortable launching if you have them.

Consider a Soft Launch

No one says it’s all or nothing. If you’re truly concerned about the launch of your website, send it out to friends and family first. They can be your harshest critics, but they can also be the most forgiving. It’s a win-win situation.

Don’t Do Too Much

When you try to please all of the people all of the time what you end up doing is failing. You know who your target audience is, make sure your website caters to it. Don’t worry about everyone else, if you need to adjust on the fly, you can. But I’m pretty sure if you’re focusing on the right target audience, you will succeed.

Will The Website Do What It’s Supposed to Do?

This sounds incredibly stupid, but it’s actually a very important question. We get so bogged down in the little things — the bells and whistles that will make our website stand out that — we forget what the site is really supposed to provide for our customers.

Make sure that your website is meeting its goal. If it’s to sell a product, then feature the product. If it’s to give advice, then put that advice front and center. Your website needs to do what it’s supposed to do first and worry about the bells and whistles later.

Don’t Worry About Perfection

Many business owners wait too long to launch their websites because they’re waiting for just the right moment or want to make sure a page looks just right. What they’re searching for is perfection and there is no such thing. There will always be one more item to tweak or one more paragraph to rewrite or the perfect Saturday in June to launch on.

You will never find perfection, but that’s okay. If you follow the steps above, you can be pretty sure you’re ready to launch.

Written by Erika Towne