There’s no such thing as stupid questions, only fear-based insecurities that can sometimes come with your first business launch. Hey, it happens. Being a business owner or entrepreneur comes with a lot of firsts, and you might spend your first year(s!) reinventing all kinds of wheels over and over again. There will the challenges and problems that have obvious and easy solutions, and there will be things that are seemingly so simple that bog you down much longer than you anticipated.
It’s ok, it’s part of the whole “being in charge” thing, and asking a question doesn’t make you stupid. It makes you smart. It means you are arming yourself with the information needed to make you stronger, better, more efficient, more creative…
In this spirit, let’s answer one of the “stupid” questions I get all of the time: What is a business launch?
Hey — great question, I’m glad you asked.
Here is the short, fast and dirty answer: A business launch is characterized by the action of putting anything new out into the world. It could be a new program, service, product, or the announcement of your business in its totality. Anytime you put a date on the calendar with the intention to “announce your new THING!,” that is your launch date.
In all of my experience as a professional project manager, I’ve boiled down the four basic ingredients I think every launch should include to yield the greatest success. (Sure, have I seen people wing it before? Yup. Do I recommend it? Nope.) If you’re new to the business launching idea but know you have something to offer, grab your favorite note-taking tool.
To set yourself up for a successful business launch, you will want these four things:
A clear, tangible goal, or what I like to call “the thing.” The more specific, the better! It must be something you can control and doesn’t rely on outside factors falling into place in order to become a reality. When identifying your goal, it should almost always include a verb! It will sound something like, “Finish my website redesign with new images, branding, and copy.” Or, “Open a group program for my ideal clients to xyz…”
Clarity about what your “thing” is, and more specifically, how it’s going to work. You can’t launch something if you don’t know what it is, how people are going to get it, and how you’re going to give it to them! This requires planning up top and is where you will put the bulk of your energy in the beginning.
An execution roadmap and game plan — This is the how. What are the task items required to make your launch real? As an example, if you’re launching a website, what are the pieces you need to assemble before it can go live? (Graphics, copywriting, logo?) The more detailed and clear you can get on your roadmap, the less unexpected challenges will pop up along your way to launching!
A sense of the obstacles to come — Sure, this one is tricky if you’ve never launched before. How can you know what you don’t know, right? I hear ya, but there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success. Try getting really honest with yourself about the pieces of your work that excite you and the parts that you know are energy sucks. For example, if you’re offering a group program but admin stuff isn’t your strong suit, set aside extra time in your roadmap to onboard your clients and get all of the information you will need from them. This way, you are full steam ahead when it’s time to get to the pieces of your offer that you love!
The great news is, it’s really hard for a launch to flat-out fail. Once your “thing” is out there — you’ve launched, baby! Consider yourself in business! While there are loads of variables we can use to measure its success (like positive feedback, gaining new clients, and making money), the only thing that notes a true failure is if you didn’t launch at all.
Even if a launch is delayed — and girl, that happens — that’s ok. The finish line is still coming, it’s just a little further away than you might have anticipated. Listen, there is a reason people pay other people to help them project manage their launches in essentially every industry imaginable. That’s because it is nuanced. Each launch is different. Each successful execution requires different steps. Every business owner is unique.
If you know you are ready to launch your “thing” but aren’t quite clear with the what, how, and when… I know just the place to start.
Check out my Craft Your Custom Launch program and see how together we can get really clear on all of the pieces you need to have a wildly successful launch. I know every business launch is different, which is why this offer is so customized. I will help you gain clarity around your goal, become crystal clear on your offer, create an individualized roadmap of everything that needs to happen to get it out there, and a jumpstart on some of the obstacles lingering in the business-building wings. At the end, you’re going to love your launch, and then we can do a happy dance.