For many entrepreneurs, the most nerve-racking part of business ownership is launching it. Liftoff isn't always as graceful as you'd want it to go. There are problems that abound, from lack of initial public interest and PR coverage to last-minute bugs that could render the product useless. Fortunately, a successful business launch isn't out of reach, even for inexperienced first-time business owners. Here are five things to do to ensure a smooth and successful launch.
Study Your Market
Knowing who you're selling to makes common sense, but is often overlooked by a rookie entrepreneur. Ask the right questions and seek data that aims to answer them. Learn the market by giving out survey forms for visitors and customers to fill out and submit, researching what your competitors are doing, and reading up on relevant business regulations that could affect you. Talk with dozens of suppliers, distributors, and customers to get solid footing on the niche you are considering on joining. Sure, a business can still succeed even it hastily and blindly leaps into the market, but the success rate for those who plan, prepare, and study their target tend to be much higher.
Spark Public Interest
Even before launching your business, stir up public interest by posting on social media, starting a blog, and creating marketing videos that can potentially go viral. Don't expect your target market to just suddenly know about you come launch day. Make it easy for them to know your brand and its upcoming release. Aside from blog and social media posts, renting ad space is another common way businesses get the exposure they need. TV, radio, and billboards may seem old school, but they remain effective marketing tools for any commercial enterprise. Lastly, whenever you're not working on your business, make sure you're outside talking about it. Word of mouth marketing is free of charge, so make sure to leverage that to your advantage.
Only Take Money You Need
When you launch a fundraising campaign to raise capital for your cash-strapped business, only take cash that you need. While a solid product that is ready for commercial release requires a lot of money, investors often expect a ludicrous return on their investments. Considering the fact that average product conceptualization time is 18 months, you may fail to deliver on time if you take on too much cash at the start. Balance your budget with your expected launch date.
Outsourcing is a 21st century business technique that quickly rose to prominence due to the cost advantages that it bears compared to traditional staffing. Launching a business takes fewer people, but nonetheless requires key employees to handle anticipated traffic. Remote workers tend to be more affordable while delivering the same, if not better, output. Aside from outsourcing, you may be better off hiring contractors, at least during the early phase of your business. Full-time employees tend to be more expensive since you have to pay hourly or annual salary as well as medical benefits and paid vacation time.
Move to a Good Location
If you are launching a brick and mortar business, a good location is key to attracting high volume traffic. A well-designed storefront can improve visitor experience and encourage revisits. Remember, bloggers, investors, and customers will talk about your storefront with their family, friends, and audiences. If you are working out of a poorly ventilated and maintained space, you might get bad and irrecoverable reviews from your customers. Alleviate some pressure from your end by hiring a South Austin moving company to help you move your equipment and inventory to your new business space.
Launching a business is fairly easy; maintaining its upward trajectory is where the challenge lies. There are thousands of businesses being started every year, but majority quickly blow up before they can gain momentum. Prepare a solid launch pad for your business by following the tips aforementioned above.