How do you get your business ready for launch?
No matter whether your tech start-up is product, service or software orientated, when the time comes to launch it can test the strongest of entrepreneurs to the limits. In this article, I’ll provide you with 10 Top Tips for getting your ducks in a row for launch. In planning this article, I’ve assumed that your testing is done; you’ve clearly identified your target market; you understand your future buyers and know how to reach out to them. In other words, I’ve assumed that you’re “ready” for launch and just need some helpful hints so you can hit that launch button with confidence.
Here are my Top 10 Tips:
- Dust off your business plan. Sometimes start-up business owners put together a great business plan when they’re doing the rounds for funding and support and then make the mistake of casting it aside. If your business plan is well conceived and constantly updated it should act as your sat nav throughout the life of your business, not just pre-launch. So, if you’ve allowed your business plan to gather dust and you’re about to launch, it’s time to dust it off and let it be your guide.
- Check, check and double-check your offering. Pre-launch is the time to make sure that all the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted on your offering. Making sure you have sufficient supply and production capacity (if appropriate) will help you deal with the unexpected.
- Check, check and double-check your skills and experience. It’s never too late to make sure you have what it takes to launch. Launch is no time to kid yourself, so if you’re in any doubt that you have the full gamut of skills and experience, either personally or in your team, now’s the time to plug those gaps.
- Get to know your style. Launch is a stressful time for pretty much every business owner, so anticipating your emotional journey and being ready to deal with the ups and downs will help you get through. Work to your strengths and embrace the challenges if you can.
- Work your network. Stirring up your network pre-launch is a great way to get some free ‘buzz’. Use your social and physical networks to the max to get everyone ‘and their dog’ speaking about your launch.
- Expect the unexpected. No matter how organised your are, when you launch there will be something that takes you by surprise. It may be something good, it may be something bad, but if you’re on your toes and nimble footed, you’ll get through. Keep your wits about you and your eyes open and you’ll be more difficult to unsettle.
- Set up your performance monitoring systems. Pre-launch, your cashflow is likely to have been a ‘one way street’ with money going out on a regular basis, and little or nothing coming in. During and post-launch that should all change, so now is the time to make sure you have the right performance monitoring systems in place. You may decide to measure performance on enquiries, conversions, sales or cash in the bank, either way you need to do it and you need to do it regularly. Now is the time to establish how you’ll measure your performance and how often, because results are the lifeblood of any business.
- Get your team in tip -top condition.When time comes to launch, you should have your team at least identified and hopefully in place. On the eve of your launch, you need to make sure they’re firing on all cylinders and are crystal clear about what’s expected of them. Synergy is all about everyone pushing in the same direction, at the right time and with all their might.
- Polish up your online presence. Your website should be well established by this stage, but now is the time to go back and make sure it’s still saying the right things to the right people and that it’s completely up to date and supporting your launch to the max. Now isn’t the time to make major changes, but don’t forget to make sure it’s in the best possible shape to help you achieve your objectives. It’s also the right time to be making the right noises on the social media (see point 5 above).
- Look after yourself. It might seem an odd bit of advice from a business advisor, but pre-launch, you really need to make an effort to eat well, get enough sleep and exercise on a regular basis. Your body and your mind are going to be challenged throughout the launch period, so make sure you’re in the best shape possible to deal with everything life throws at you.
If you’re a Scottish tech start-up that’s getting ready for launch and would like some support, why not REGISTER TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
I’m Andrew and I’m one of ICS’s Innovation Advisers . I would love to use my experience to help you grow your business, so get in touch with me at Andrew.email@example.com or link me at www.linkedin.com/in/mcgeeandrew or follow me on twitter @mcgeeandrew