Ending my series on New Years Business Resolutions with the biggest one yet: getting your new business launched!
Launching is the hardest one of all, I think. Getting out of your own way and releasing your hard work into the world is incredibly difficult. I’m guilty of getting caught in the avoidance trap that comes along with it.
Sometimes, it feels like your product/service isn’t good enough for release, or that it will fail and embarrass you. Or maybe you think you don’t have the “authority” to launch the business you want because who would want to pay to hear what you have to say?
Honestly, this is something I still struggle with, too, and I’ve been running my own businesses for more than a decade (holy shit, what a realization). It can be incredibly anxiety-inducing and nerve-wracking to release something you’ve worked so hard on and have it judged (or what you feel is judgment).
Getting Your New Business Launched
Here’s how I cope with getting over the fear of launching and get my products out there:
1. Make a plan
I’ve learned the hard way (repeatedly…) that a successful launch of a product is one that is well-planned and thought out. I’ve been known to just keep things to myself and have a “surprise” launch, a la Lemonade. However, very few of us have the clout of Beyonce so surprise launches rarely work to our advantage. A better method, instead, is to let the world know to expect a new product/service. And tell them why they’re going to want to pay attention. Set a launch date a few months ahead of time and work backward from there. (BTW there’s a launch checklist in the Members Library that can help you get this all scheduled out.)
2. Don’t hide from the failure
There’s that trope that the word “fear” is actually an acronym that stands for “False Expectations Appearing Real” which I’ve always thought was a little hokey, but that doesn’t make it a lie. Instead of being afraid of failure, I’ve found a better way is to call failure out and face it. Make a list of the worst things that could happen that you would consider a “failure” for your launch. Like, go WAY overboard and list out the most absurd things. Maybe your house explodes because you hit “publish” on your new website. Maybe your dog gets hit by a car while you’re loading your new products into the trunk on your way to a trade show.
Are these realistic at all? Not really. But now you’ve faced the ridiculous outcomes so now you can realize that your launch “failing” wouldn’t actually be the end of the world. If your launch isn’t as successful as you hoped, take the things you’ve learned from it and utilize that for the next launch. The “failure” isn’t permanent and shouldn’t be the thing that stops you from realizing your dreams.
3. Let yourself be vulnerable (it will help your sales!)
I love that we’re in a time where entrepreneurs are opening up to their fans. I think that’s one of the best uses of social media: showing the flaws and the things that make us all human. Let yourself be open with your fans about why you felt this launch was necessary and how much you love what you’re doing. Talk about the struggles you’ve had and how it’s led you up to this point. Let them know you’re nervous and that you put a lot of love behind your new thing, whatever it is.
As skeezy as it feels to type this, it’s still true: utilizing vulnerability as a sales tactic in this time of marketing has huge benefits. Pretending you’re great, everything’s great, and nothing bad is happening makes customers feel like you’re not being truthful with them. So remember that a customer isn’t buying a product, they’re buying into you and a story.
4. Keep in contact with an accountabilibuddy
I have a business coach who I speak with every other week. I can tell you that ~75% of our conversations are her talking me out of my limiting beliefs and poor self-talk and that the money I’ve invested in her has paid off dividends because of that alone. So I heavily suggest you keep someone in the loop about your business. Someone who can keep you accountable and make you commit to action. Be it a business coach like me or another entrepreneur you’re friendly with who understands the struggle and can keep you in check.
5. Understand that launching is not final
Lastly, remember that whatever you’re launching isn’t the final form. If you get bad traction, poor feedback, or low sales, these can be utilized to bring the product/service back with version 2.0. Perfection should not be a roadblock for launching! Launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to get it out into the world and tweak it as you get more information, experience, and feedback.