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Whether you're a first-time entrepreneur or planning your next big product launch in your current company, every new project requires considerable upfront planning before it's available to the public. However, in the midst of excitement for a new idea, it can be easy to leave some important considerations behind.
Slowing down to make sure everything is taken into account can make all the difference in a successful start up of a new business. The benefits of timing or first time to market pale compared to creating a strong, solid plan around your company's goals and strategy that will help you save (more) money and make (more) money in the long run .
So ask yourself and your team why you feel compelled to rush. Then create a complete implementation plan that includes each of the following four considerations and first steps. Trust me this time; You'll be glad you did.
1. Market research
First things first, do you know that people want what you are selling?
Whatever you do, don't make assumptions. Confirm your guesses with real data. According to a study by Think With Google, less than 40 percent of all marketers rely on consumer research to make decisions. The final result? A total failure and a corresponding loss of time, money and reputation – all of this could have been avoided.
This is best illustrated by Netflix's failure to create its spin-off Qwikster. When Netflix decided to become a streaming service rather than a DVD delivery service, it wanted to make things easier and simpler. So her team hastily built Qwikster as a separate company focusing on nothing but delivering DVDs to customers. Of course, Netflix would only take on the streaming side of things.
In the end, this turned out to be an epic failure as the DVDs in the mail were the last thing customers wanted more of. Without taking the steps to actually communicate with their customers and see if that separation was of interest, they frustrated many in their base who had to create two separate accounts when they still had access to DVD delivery and streaming.
It's not just about whether your customer wants it, believe it or not. Customers offer a unique point of view; They can provide some of the most valuable suggestions that can benefit your business. They meet one or more of their needs. Hence, no one is in a better position to explain what these actually are than they are. Market research or focus groups can come up with brand new ideas and strategies that are very helpful.
Related: The best market research options for your business plan
2. Build tension
One reason many companies rush to market is because of perceived timing. In certain times of the year, customers are more likely to pay for certain products. Services for personal development and self-help, for example, are extremely popular right after the New Year. However, the timing of the year or quarter isn't nearly as important to how well you are preparing your customers for the launch of your new product or service.
Hypothetically, you could launch a new self-help product on Thanksgiving and have more initial success because of your pre-marketing campaign than if you tried to timing the beginning of the year with little to no pre-launch preparation.
Of course, all of this “success” ultimately depends on your goals for the start. However, remember the marketing "rule of 7" which says it takes a customer at least seven times to see or hear something before they consider buying it.
If you can get a product or service that is about to hit the market seven times (or more, if possible) before your release date, the chances are that sales will increase once it hits the market.
3. Define OKRs
Of course, what your launch should look like is up to you and your team, but it's important to get on the same page before even discussing the pre-launch phase.
The mobile communications engineer Melody Yang is the founder of numerous popular apps, such as the Japanese learning app Nukon. To this day, Yang says that before she even starts a new project, she goes into the details of the planning. As Yang noted in a recent Zoom interview, “During the planning phase, I would ask my team and myself these questions: 'What are our OKRs (goals and key results) for the current milestone? What are the potential blockers? Do we have enough resources within the limits? "
OKRs are most effective when applied to the overall project results, and not just to a person's performance, such as by. described Harvard Business Review. This level of planning and analysis of important data points is not only helpful for setting the course before departure – It's a great way to stay organized and updated throughout the build and launch process.
When in doubt, bring these traceable data points into the process. They may seem like guesswork at first, but if you fail to meet or exceed set goals, you know that course correction is needed sooner rather than later.
4. Evaluate past launches
Finally, when relevant, look at past product launches to find out what made them successful or what could have done better, according to your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and the new results you want to repeat or achieve.
The best thing to do is to research your own products with your own team. If an earlier launch was successful, plan for everything that led up to that point: the content you will publish, the marketing strategies implemented, the time it will take to plan, etc.
Also, watch out for variables like a viral video or the seasonality of a trend (but be careful – see above). or trendy fad that helped introduce. Take these variables into account in your new plan and recreate them if possible.
Related: 5 Critical Marketing Metrics You Should Follow
Think of new projects as research for your company too. You will master the art of the launch in the course of your time as an entrepreneur and you will find that market research, building a hype, setting OKRs and learning from your past attempts are always in the foreground in successful new launches.