It happens more than we’d like to admit: You launched what you thought was your best product yet, and it didn’t perform the way you had hoped.
It’s disappointing, to be sure, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the launch was a total bust — or that your offer isn’t viable. Honestly, when I dig into launch debriefs with new clients, most of the time, we find out that our lack of traction came from a lack of planning.
So before you beat yourself up about your launch’s performance or change direction and scrap your offer completely, there are a few things you can do. And in today’s post, I’m sharing three of the best ways to plan for your next launch so it will have more success.
Launch Plan Step #1: Don’t lose sight of what’s important
Getting distracted by shiny objects is a pitfall for many small business owners, but unfortunately, it’s one of the most common reasons launches don’t do well. For a launch to be successful, you have to clearly define who your product is for, what problems those people may be facing, and make sure that your product can solve them.
Anything else is just a distraction. But you don’t need to be perfect.
Perfectionism can be a shiny object in itself. All you really need to do is make sure you deliver on the promises you make on your sales pages and in our marketing material. Oh, and actually deliver the solution you’re selling.
Using the P.O.P. method to create a great deliverable
I like to use the P.O.P. method to ensure that the offer a client just launched is viable — and really aligned with their audience and goals.
P.O.P stands for:
- Purpose: Think through the why behind your product. Does it make sense for your customers? Does it fit in with your overall messaging and business goals?
- Outcome: What does satisfaction or success look like for someone who purchases this product or opts to work with you? Will you be able to deliver what’s necessary to make that happen?
- Process: How will you get the deliverable to our client or customer? What journey will they need to walk through as they purchase, receive, and use it (this is also known as user experience or UX)?
Generally, this helps ensure that your launch plan is built around an offer with purpose — and that the outcomes and processes are streamlined so people can clearly see how this offer can help them.
This also applies to re-launching existing offers
Thought you could skip over this step because you aren’t launching something new?
Just because you’ve launched it before doesn’t mean this step doesn’t need to be revisited. Past success does not dictate future success. There are many variables — like the economy and shifts in consumer perspectives — that can influence how your product will be received in the future.
Look at your offer for improvements that can be made in the short term (evaluation does not always mean rebuilding — save that for a long-term project). Revisit your offer as if you were a new customer seeing it for the very first time.
Does it deliver in the way it promises? Is there anything that’s inaccurate or outdated? Can the user experience be freshened up by adding new introductory emails or walking customers through how to use your product?
Keeping the customer or client in mind first is always a good way to gauge interest and usability.
Launch Plan Step #2: Plan 60+ days ahead
A successful launch starts roughly two months before it goes live.
Why? Because you need time to build your audience. This could look like literally building it by creating content that grows your email list or following or with content intended to warm them up to your product/service and, ultimately, sell.
And once it’s time for launch week (whether it’s a Tuesday or a Saturday your offer goes live, I mean the literal 7 days that come before it), your focus should solely be on making sure you have an audience to launch to and making sure they’re ready to buy.
Launch Plan Step #3: Prepare your team
You need to make sure your team is briefed and on the same page at least 30 days before your launch. Also, make sure that you have tasks clearly laid out so everything gets done on time!
Set expectations of everything, including what your availability as the CEO will be. Alternatively, no one, no matter the role they have in your business, should get notified the weekend or the day before about needing to be online. Clear boundaries are crucial for launch success.
Ensuring your team has everything they need, including time to make arrangements for meals, their children, and work duties mean that you will have a much smoother launch experience when it comes time.
Want more launch tips?
Launching can be stressful and frustrating if you do not have the right processes in place. But if you want things to go smoother but are struggling to do it on your own, you don’t necessarily have to enlist the help of a strategic partner.
My blog is full of helpful resources to show you how to make your launches a little less chaotic.
And if you want more tips like these, I recommend checking out “What an Operations Expert Wishes You Know About Launches.” I share the 5 biggest myths business owners believe when launching a new product or service and how to work around them so the launch can be a success.