You’ve determined your market offering, you’ve created your business, you’ve organised the premises, you have a business plan and you may even have some business lined up with your first customers on board.
Next comes your official launch. It’s time to kick start your business – and it’s here where the old saying “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” can ring all too true.
A coherent and strong launch of your business can really help give you the initial ‘shove’ to hit the ground running and generate momentum. A poor or ill-thought out launch can see your new venture stumble and miss out on the chance to make that all-important first impression.
Your people are your biggest asset of course, so staff ready and confident for the ‘off’ is imperative. How do you prepare your people to kick start your business effectively?
- Brief them fully on their role in your launch and how important it is
- Get your staff working and thinking as one – team building events are a good pre-launch activity
- Ensure their work area is ready; try not to leave ‘things to do’ around the workplace such as equipment still to be installed and office furniture ‘still on order’
- Show your staff the company is ready and all set to launch efficiently, not in a half-baked manner
It’s worth investing in the well-being of your staff, and enjoyable and constructive team building activities will help your staff prepare for the full-on nature of your launch.
There are all sorts of events you can involve your staff in – not just paintballing – and putting yourself in the hands of professional events organisers is a sound idea.
Work areas and equipment
Ensuring your premises is fully ready for business – even if an office where no customers are likely to visit – is important for efficiency and morale.
Even details like making sure it’s fully decorated and all office furniture has been delivered and installed instills a feeling of ‘readiness’ in your and your staff.
Both digital and offline marketing should be in hand. In the case of offline marketing, ensure supplies, such as stationery, are ordered and delivered in good time for mailings and other campaigns.
Think in advance about what type of marketing you’ll engage in.
Ensure space is booked in good time and allow time to create and provide artwork to the publications concerned. If you start planning early you can often get better deals in local newspapers.
For radio, you need to start planning months in advance to create your ads and book slots with radio stations, so it is worth considering using a company like Radio Works to manage this for you.
If you’re using mail marketing, ensure your mailer is ready to go on the day you’ve targeted to kick start your business-whether pre-launch or on the day.
Make sure it’s been carefully written – if you decide to have it professionally copywritten allow time to find your writer, brief them properly and allow time for revisions.
Ensure your mailing supplies are ordered in good time. If you require printed envelopes, for example, allow ample time based on your supplier’s turnaround times – and use the services of envelope companies with a good reputation, such as Quick Envelopes, who will meet your needs fully and meet agreed deadlines for delivery.
The same goes for other stationery such as headed notepaper and business cards.
Kick start your business: Digital marketing
Think about your digital marketing strategy – maybe use the services of a digital marketing agency or someone expert in activities such as social media to plan and make the most of your digital options.
If your business lends itself to social sharing such as content distribution, opportunities for shares to go viral and so on, then it requires some planning.
Just having a Facebook and Twitter presence and updating to them regularly isn’t all you need to do – actually planning social media campaigns is important.
The same applies to email marketing – as with offline mailings, email campaigns need planning so as to be effective at launch time. This is how to really kick start your business.
Creating a ‘buzz’
Creating some pre-launch interest is very important. It ties in with proper use of social media as mentioned above – if you or your team are lacking in knowledge of how to make the most of social media, it’s well worth learning more or using the services of an expert.
It’s about getting your brand out there and being talked about. Advertising is an obvious avenue – don’t forget online advertising such as via Facebook which has the advantage of being highly targeted to your specific audience.
Basic PR can be free, and providing stories for local media, your trade press or maybe national publications and relevant websites may be within the scope of you or someone on your team.
If not, copywriters and PR consultants can help use online and offline media to help generate a buzz on the run up to your launch. If you have a large budget, go for the best and use a company like Saatchi and Saatchi.
Conclusion and Planning your launch
Going back to the ‘fail to plan’ point earlier, the key is to plan everything properly well before your launch date.
The last thing you want is to let something slip through the cracks – a basic like forgetting to order envelopes for your mailing can have a knock-on effect and reduce the impact of your launch.
Don’t leave things to chance. Kick start your business using the tips outlined above.
About the Author
Paul Thompson is the Director for Quick Envelopes, which produces quality printed envelopes and charity envelopes for businesses across the UK.
License: Creative Commons image source