7 Tried and Tested Top Tips for Launching a New Business Initiative.
Launching a new product or diversifying into a new sector requires the ability to combine creative dreaming with pragmatic planning. To celebrate our first blog post and the launch of our product website, we’ve gathered together the best advice from those involved in this project to help anyone else who may be looking to embark on this journey themselves.
1: Plan backwards
‘Begin with the end in mind’ is the first of Stephen Covey’s ‘7 habits for Highly Effective People’, but he wasn’t’ the first to highlight the importance of having a clear idea of knowing where you wanted to end up before you start. So take time to dream and put as much flesh on the bones of this dream as you can. Until you know where you really want to end up, you’ll never be able to break the journey down into those achievable steps that will catch your dream and make it happen.
2: Be realistic
With the vision of your end goal out of the box and shining brightly in the blue sky of your thinking, it’s important to then be realistic about the length of the journey ahead. Planning to honest, sometimes lengthy timescales is not a negative. Rather, the space to breathe is more likely to allow for the reflection and review opportunities that are going to be essential in grounding your aspirations. Less haste really can result in more speed.
3: Problems = Opportunities for growth
Of course, ‘problems’ are frustrating. But anyone who has ever developed anything will tell you that these moments are when the most significant decisions or changes of direction are made. No one likes it when things don’t go to plan but take a breath and channel the energy of the moment into developing a creative and constructive outcome.
4: Facts are friends
A favourite saying of one of our directors! It’s possible to spend a lot of time talking, even worrying about stuff that may not even be a thing. Fears, doubts, misconceptions and misinformation can all have an air of truth inferred on them when pressing into new territory, so take time to challenge statements and check facts. Factors that appear to be major obstacles may not even be an issue when the truth of the situation is determined.
5: Look around
As you move into trying out new ideas or working in different ways, you will inevitably find skills and knowledge gaps that must be filled to move forward. As a first step, it’s worth taking a fresh look at your workforce. Has someone already in your workplace got a hidden talent or past experience that might be just what you need? If not, then don’t be afraid to pay for expertise. What might seem like a prohibitive upfront cost could save you time and money that far outweighs the expense. Presumably, you’re trying to develop and market a product or service that comes out of your expertise? Don’t be too proud to make use of the expertise of others.
6:Get in there
Throughout the process, make sure that you are as clued up as possible about what is happening in the sector you’re seeking to be a part of. This is more than some form of google espionage. It’s more about getting the experience that your potential customers are currently having. What options do they have? What variety is there? What do the comments sections and feedback from purchasers say about what they are valuing or what frustrates them? Taking account of this will allow you to launch with confidence that you are meeting commercial needs and offering something new.
7: Get out there!
You will never fully know what you need to know until you hit the market, so take the plunge with confidence but an attitude of wanting to continue learning. Trade fairs, websites, industry publications, blogs, social media will all allow you to interact with your target audience, giving you the information you need to tweak your product to their needs. If people don’t know that you’re there, they won’t know what you have to share. Word of mouth is important too, so share your news with all existing customers, even if you don’t think it’s entirely relevant. They might have the contacts you need.
- Plan Backwards – Dream where you want to be and work out the steps to get there.
- Be realistic – It’s not negative to plan with honest timescales
- Problems are opportunities – It can be about trial and improvement, embrace opportunities to learn
- Facts are friends – Take the time to check you are grounded in truth, not in fears or misconceptions
- Look around – Use untapped skills of your workforce or buy in expertise that will save in the long run.
- Get in there – Do your homework, do your thing!
- Get out there – Share your news as far and wide and loud as you can, particularly with the contacts you already have.
Thanks for reading and good luck! Let us know how you get on.
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