Launching is a buzzword in entrepreneurial circles. It seems like everyone is launching something these days. Your colleagues are launching a website, a podcast, an online course, or a start-up.
Maybe you’ve even heard they are launching a launch! (Okay, too far?)
But what does it really mean to launch something? And should you buy into the launch mentality?
A launch is an “all-hands-on-board-let's-get-this-puppy-off-the-ground” approach to getting something new out of your cradle and into the world. It's about telling the story of a new product or service, then distributing that story in as many ways as possible.
If you've poured time into building something new, ask yourself a few questions before choosing to soft launch (release it into the world without much fanfare) or go big with your launch strategy:
1) Do I have a new product or service I want potential clients to know about?
To launch effectively, you MUST have something worth talking about. There’s a saying in the journalism business: "if it’s not new, it’s not news." The same applies to your launch.
Get creative and find a new story regarding your product or service, a new way of packaging it or a way of enhancing it to freshen it up.
2) Do I have the emotional and financial support to invest in a large undertaking?
Launching involves an emotional and financial investment. If there's already a significant amount of things going on in your business and life, it's smart to wait until you have space to really focus on your launch. Be patient and don’t put pressure on yourself. Financially, if your budget is already stretched, running a large-scale, effective launch will be tough.
Depending on your strategy, you'll want to have the funds to buy more product, hire that extra team member or handle any problems that come up - without going into debt.
3) Do I have systems in place to take advantage of this opportunity?
Every successful launch creates new opportunities for your business. Are you positioned to take advantage of these opportunities?
For example, you'll want to make sure your email client is set up with an opt-in and auto responders for anyone who jumps on board with your launch. In addition, clear your schedule to give yourself time to be available for sales calls, interviews or Q&A's. Have a post-launch plan in place to follow up with new and potential clients and keep the momentum when the official launch is over.
Launching isn’t for everyone.
A big push like this takes a lot out of any entrepreneur. It involves long hours, a few tears and many, many decisions. You need to be organized in advance with a plan. No one can launch alone (even a one-woman shop). You need to mobilize friends, family and your entrepreneurial colleagues to support you in getting the word out about your launch.
Successful launches, though...
...can yield fantastic results. There's a buzz about launches for a reason. With a launch, you have the potential to build your list, generate more sales, and position yourself as an expert. All of which helps you in the short (and long) term for your business.