Product launches are vital to a brand’s value and popularity. But of course, a good product launch requires a proper step-by-step process.
How do you make a product so viral that it gets people to tell at least five other people about it? How do you make a product so strategically-important that it sells out in no time?
Well, here’s what to do:
1. Get in the rhythm of hiring strategically
No startup has the budget for hundreds of employees, but there are countless fails because leaders don’t hire the right people early enough.
Often, the best early hires have a few key characteristics that qualify them to lead a launch component: They patch one of management’s weaknesses, possess subject matter expertise similar to a founder’s level, and share the company’s brand principles. To help bring rhythm to the hiring process, ensure that team members share a vision for the launch and agree on the definition of success.
You don’t have to anticipate every need and burden the company with hiring costs at the outset, so hire key employees early and then others closer to the launch date.
2. Balance all work streams with clearer goals
Each employee is responsible for a different work stream, with the manager accountable for all, from high-level strategy to core coding. Many managers struggle to find the balance between delegation and micromanaging.
Across every stream, transparent, measurable goals can help propel startups forward. My best launch plans have relied on technology to chart key objectives and empower a small team to own their respective streams. Though any tool that acts as a project management vehicle summarizing open and completed high-level tasks is useful. Give your team the resources they need, establish regular check-ins, and proactively ask how you can help them succeed.
Work with team leaders to determine and document these goals in specific terms, and communicate with them early, regularly, and in writing, on what to accomplish and what to avoid. Let the team handle the rest. This provides a framework that helps deliver the high-level, real-time status you require.
3. Cultivate patience for inevitable delays
Delays are inevitable. The best managers make themselves part of the delay to understand the decisions surrounding it and to plan the response. Incorporating feedback from a focus group of hopeful clients early in the development process helps managers prioritize the most impactful features and maintain the schedule.
To avoid repeats and minimize downtime, institute more of these short check-ins. Open communication through tools to track progress. Additionally, show launch-inexperienced team members the prospect or investor feedback on their progress and cultivate the patience they need to persevere.
Every launch encounters problems. By assembling a strategic team, keeping them focused with measurable goals, and delivering results, you can help to avoid the pitfalls that doom most launches and maximize your new product’s success.