If you’ve been holding onto a business idea that’s just waiting to be brought to life, it can be done! However, there are some important things to consider before jumping in headfirst. While launching a new business can be incredibly rewarding, especially if you’re solving a problem for a consumer or client, it is often a complex and involved task writes Talia Datt founder and director at digital marketing agency The Social CliQ.
A three-pronged approach to success
To ensure the greatest chance of success, I usually take a three-pronged approach that considers the before, during and after of a launch to ensure I’ve covered my bases and set the business up for long- term success.
First, there’s Pre Launch
Things to consider before you launch include:
- Create a business plan: While you might have an idea of the way your business will work in your head, it’s important to put pen to paper and map out every element so you can truly understand the scope. Doing this prior to launch will put you in the best position moving forward.
- Think about what sets you apart: What are the advantages your product or service offers that your competitors don’t? Are the features sleeker? Is it more user friendly? Communicate these benefits from the get-go to ensure your customer chooses you.
- Market Research and Testing: To get real feedback on your product or service, I recommend testing it on a select group of people who represent your target audience. That way you can fix any issues that arise as well as give you some insight into any areas worth highlighting upon your launch.
- Build a Narrative: A good brand story outlines the problem you faced before creating the product or service and what the situation was like prior to it’s creation, and presents the product/service as the solution to this conundrum. Make sure the story is interesting and well-told, as our brains crave engaging stories that contain both a problem and a satisfying resolution. A good brand story serves as a rich context in which to set the scene for your product and will help greatly when conducting PR.
- Get social!: You can’t launch a business without a corresponding social media presence. Launching these platforms before you launch the actual business is a great way to build hype and brand awareness. Get people interested with teasers and offer sneak peeks that don’t give too much away.
- Holistic teaser campaign: A great landing page on a fresh, aesthetically-pleasing website will complement your social media efforts –and if you offer a limited pre-order of your product that’s even better! Tease your offering some more online to build hype and grow your customer base.
Now it’s time to make it happen!
Here’s what I suggest:
- Timing. Is. Everything. Around 13 per cent of startups fail because of mistimed products. Coming up with a product you think has the potential to change the world is great, but are you customers ready for it? If the concept is too abstract or lacks the external technology to support it, come back later and try again. Alternatively, if your product is too late to the party, trying to steal market share away from already-established brands can be a financially and energetically exhausting process. If your product has been well received in the market research you conducted, and the participants were eager for more, then you know the time is now.
- Go out with a bang: How are you going to tell everyone that YOU HAVE ARRIVED? Will you throw a fabulous launch party? Dominate social media channels? Partner up with the celebrity or influencer of the moment? Whatever you do, make it big and memorable so you can maximise awareness as you’re starting out.
- Continue building your social media: Consistent posting and wide-scale influencer marketing is the way to do it these days, and you’d be remiss to neglect the power the right influencer can have on your brand. Another crucial element is user-generated content! Reposting followers’ content that features your product is key to building a community and instilling authenticity into your brand.
- ● An integrated PR strategy to complement your launch efforts is also necessary to maximise exposure and get your brand in your potential customers’ line of sight. What magazines, online publications, shows, podcasts etc. do they read, watch and listen to? Use PR to get your brand into the conversation.
Now that you’ve launched the brand, can you sit back and relax, letting the sales roll in? Not if you want to be around this time next year! Here is what I recommend Post- Launch:
- If you’ve done the hard work to set yourself up with a strong foundation, post-launch is when you begin scaling the business. Write out a sales growth forecast with some key KPIs you want to hit. Consider what actions you need to take to have the capacity for this growth! This may mean upgrading or outsourcing.
- Now you have a level of brand awareness and a (hopefully growing) customer base, will you consider adding more product lines? Have you been getting feedback that your customers are looking for additional or complementary products? How can you respond to this demand?
- Collect and analyse the data. Sales data, social media analytics, advertising analytics – all this information will give you insight into how you are performing and the areas that are in need of improvement or are worth pursuing as opportunities! You can also use this data to clearly calculate and articulate your competitive advantage and maintain the growth and momentum of your business.
- Gather feedback as to how you are tracking, whether it be on your range, packaging, price points etc. and brainstorm how you can adapt going forward.
If you’re able to tick off all these pointers and have a clear understanding of how you are going to enter the market, you’ve done a great job preparing for a successful business launch. Good luck!
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