Most times, my clients don’t have a clue about budgeting, cash flow management, marketing strategy or funding when they first approach me. So that’s what I teach them while writing their business plans: the basics. How much it’s going to cost to launch this thing, where they’re going to get the money, and how not to lose it after the company opens.
But launching a product is a totally different beast – although there are some similarities, and you can use a similar approach. Nathalie Lussier calls her approach the Launch Triangle (I’m still looking for a fancy name for business planning).
When you’re launching a product (especially an online one) you have to create a buzz. A soft launch isn’t usually successful unless you’re lucky enough to have access to a pretty huge, engaged audience already. Generating interest in your product before it’s available for purchase is, in my observation, the number one objective for a successful launch. And it’s also the number one barrier.
How a Product Launch is Like a Business Launch
No matter what you’re launching, these concepts apply:
- You need to create a budget – what are you comfortable spending to make this happen?
- You need to understand your ideal customer – whose problem will this business or product solve?
- You need a clear plan – what are the steps you will take to make this happen?
How a Product Launch is NOT Like a Business Launch
With a product launch, you’re employing specific tactics within your business to reach an audience you already have – or want to grow. Unlike a business launch, a product launch:
- Is heavily focused on marketing
- Is usually less risky – it’s easier to recover from a flop
- Is generally incredibly specific, tactical and detailed
I still find product launches a bit of an enigma. I’ve done a few, but they haven’t have the impact I wanted. I’m still learning from people like Nathalie Lussier about how to make a huge impact with a product launch.
Have you launched both a business and a product? How was your approach different? Let’s discuss it in the comments and in Nathalie’s webinar on November 4.