A client of mine recently said this in a meeting, explaining her momma used to always tell her, “Start as you mean to continue.” I think this could be interpreted several ways, but I take it to mean that one should give 100% effort from the get-go on any given task. Or to take it from another direction, if your heart isn’t into it when you start, it’ll be tough to get more excited (and put in more effort) later.
I love the phrase because it sets a simple directive: Do your best from the beginning, and keep doing your best throughout.
When it comes to data management, whether it’s system selection, system implementation, or day-to-day management of the data, always start as you mean to continue. Understand that things will never be perfect (you’re seeking success, not perfection) and plans will always change. But if you start as you mean to continue, you’ll still wind up in a much better place.
“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”
“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”
Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan
“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”
Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance